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"The late Bill Nye once said, "˜I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
Mark Twain, in his Autobiography ("Bill Nye" was Edgar Wilson Nye.)
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With it being one of the most diverse forms of art in the world, it's only natural that some people come up with ideas for songs, bands or styles of music that sound absolutely insane in hindsight. It's also natural that a lot of these work.

See Trope Names for a Band for a sillier version of the below.


  • ABBA: Four guys and girls don't know what the hell they're doing for the first 2 years, are overly cheery for the next 6, and finally go emo in the last 2. After their career ends, their music finds its way on Broadway and later the big screen.
  • ACDC: From the Land Down Under comes a band named after a label on a sewing machine, led by a guy in a silly outfit. Their first singer drank until death, and was replaced by a Geordie with a funny hat. Their music is simple and monothematic, and their singers squawk like parrots.
  • Aerosmith: Five musicians from Boston. They have a Roller Coaster at one of the Disney Theme Parks featuring their songs, spent the equivalent of an airplane in drugs, their first #1 was a Disaster Movie theme song, and their leader became a judge on a reality show.
  • Alanis Morissette: Woman who lost her dictionary writes angsty songs, most about an ex (widely considered to be a former Full House star).
  • Alice Cooper: The spirit of a 17th-century heretic lives on inside a skinny 20th-century preacher's son. She compels him to paint his face, buy a pet snake, and repeatedly fake his own death. Under her namesake, he incites children against their educators.
  • Alice in Chains: Grunge musicians from The Nineties write like it's still The Nineties.
  • Alien Ant Farm: Nu-metal One-Hit Wonder - with a cover, whose video satirizes the original artist.
  • America: Three Brits pick a Non-Indicative Name and sing about horses, roads, and failed relationships.
  • Animal Collective: An indie pop band that rips off The Beach Boys and takes no shame in doing so. One of Pitchfork's darlings.
  • Andrew WK: Pop-metal musician with the diversity and subtlety of a 2-by-4, who may or may not be a corporate fabrication.
  • Animusic: Two guys make music videos with no lyrics, people, or actual instruments. Rumors on the origin of their videos are on Snopes.
  • Anybody Killa: gangsta rapper with a lisp and clown face paint.
  • Apocalyptica: Finns rocking out with cellos.
  • Arcade Fire: A bunch of Canadians, two of whom were raised in Texas, who make songs about neighborhoods in the suburbs. Everybody knows and loves them, despite everybody not knowing them and hating them because of that.
  • August Burns Red: A woman immolates a dog, so the dog's owner names a band after the incident.
  • Avantasia: A German decides to write a fantasy story as a giant excuse to show off his connections among Power Metal bands.
  • Avenged Sevenfold: A band from California whose members have scary stage names. Many of their songs have lines about death, which lead to several Funny Aneurysm Moments later. Their lead guitarist's dad opens for a ventriloquist.
  • The B-52s: A band from Athens GA, two of which are female and wear beehive hairdos sing songs about aliens, hot pants, lobsters, and other weird stuff while playing toy pianos, glockenspiels, and even conventional instruments.
  • Balkan Beat Box: Some Israeli guys combine Balkan music, klezmer, and hip-hop.
  • Barenaked Ladies: Five Canadian guys who sing an awful lot of songs about failing relationships (though none of them seem to have one of those, at present). Likely have the vast amounts of money they are well-known for writing a song about wishing they had.
  • The Beach Boys: Five or six suburban white kids sing songs about a hobby only one of them ever took part in.
    • Or, rock and roll's other greatest soap opera, whose biggest claim to fame was an album they never finished.
  • Beach House: Male-female duo that isolates themselves from society by locking themselves into a room to record an album. Sometimes a producer may join them.
  • Beastie Boys: Some white punks who bought into an African-American social phenomenon and ripped off many artists along the way. Opened the doors to Rap Rock artists such as Limp Bizkit.
  • The Beatles: Four musicians from Northern England, famous for Silly Love Songs and "recording under influence". After the split, one decided to play house instead of writing music, another one married a one-legged woman, the third produced a Monty Python film and nobody cared about the fourth (he even had drinking problems).
  • Beck: Morose, baby-faced second-generation Scientologist who dabbles in more genres than anyone would bother to count, writes decay- and death-obsessed songs (while always presenting a cheerful or at least devil-may-care facade, except on the heavily-indebted-to-Nick Drake Stoic Woobie LP written after ditching his longtime girlfriend); despite a career spanning (roughly) ten full-length releases, still is recognized primarily for one song—yeah, that one! with the line everybody mishears—which had never been intended to be released as a single.
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven: A bad-tempered German who wrote his best work when he couldn't hear it.
  • Beirut: Nearly incomprehensible singer leads a brass band and a few other musicians, influenced by Eastern European folk music. Has nothing to do with a city on the Mediterranean.
  • Best Coast: A hipster chick who's obsessed with her cat and weed.
  • Big Dumb Face: A guitarist combines Ween and death metal because his old band wouldn't let him.
  • The Birthday Massacre: Canadian Perky Goths sing Mind Screwy songs and make disturbing videos. They also jump around a lot, and occasionally wear bunny ears. And rock out.
  • The Birthday Party: Nick Cave and his friends get drunk on stage.
  • Bjork: Female singer from a northern European island who is famous for bizarre lyrics, as well as wearing a bird and beating up reporters.
  • Black Metal: Angry white guys from the grim, frostbitten and brutal north who wear makeup and sing about Satan, JRR Tolkien (despite The Lord of the Rings being rife with pro-Christian subtext) and dendrophilia.
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow: Pennsylvanian musicians with really weird Stage Names play obsolete synthesizers while one of them sings through a vocoder.
  • Black Sabbath: After losing two finger-tips in an industrial accident, guitarist switches to playing left-handed, loosens the strings a bit, and develops a new playing style. He joins forces with other guys to write horror fanfic disguised as songs.
    • Ozzy Osbourne: Guy writes spooky songs while taking every drug in existance - and somehow surviving. Got a new generation of fans by showing how fucked up he and his family are.
  • Blaze Ya Dead Homie: His stage persona is a reincarnated gangsta rapper from the 1980s. He wears clown facepaint.
  • Blind Guardian: Four Germans who sing about The Silmarillion and a bunch of other books and like to multilayer their vocals 40 times. They have also sung about Peter Pan with a certain pathos.
  • Blur: British Boyhood friends writing novelty songs about Upperclass Twit life, Middle Class Twit life, and Working Class Twit life. After first 4 albums became more "alternative" (leading to the one song America knows them for). More famous for their vague feud with a pair of troublemaking brothers and the lead singer eventually becoming a pack of animated apes.
  • Boondox: His stage persona is a killer scarecrow who haunts the Deep South. His music mixes Country Music, rock and Hip Hop.
  • Bowling for Soup: A group of guys from Texas who are more famous for their less serious than their rare but beautiful serious ones. Most of their songs are either about beer, relationships, or humorous past incidents.
    • A pop-punk band who write sarcastic and sometimes meaningful songs about friendships, failed relationships, getting drunk, and whatever Phineas and Ferb Phineas & Ferb are doing today.
  • Bob Dylan: An ugly man who can't sing, and plays his guitar and harmonica (and sings anyway). Later he developed a liking for drums, bass, and electric equipments, after which his audience booed him. Many people don't know he wrote some of his songs. He still sings to this day, and his awful voice got worse.
  • Buckethead: Masked KFC-enthusiast plays the guitar.
  • Buddy Holly & The Crickets: Three guys from around Texas named after noisy arthropods. Their leader, a big John Wayne fan, is proof that Nerds Are Hardcore.
  • Butthole Surfers: A group of Michael Stipe stalkers come down off of their latest acid trip to discover they've recorded twelve albums.
  • Can: A group of West German modern classical and free jazz musicians decide to start making rock music instead. Their songs are frequently made up of hours-long jams improvised entirely on the spot and then edited down to a still-ridiculous length. Their lead singer during their best years is a mush-mouthed Japanese drifter who screams and mumbles over the beat.
  • Captain Beefheart: A downright reprehensible human being with no regards for musical convention.
  • The Cars: Five more musicians from Boston. Their frontman is ugly and has an uncomfortable voice, and they lost their only Grammy nomination to a one-hit-wonder disco band.
  • Catherine Wheel: A band led by a singer with over-expressive eyebrows refuses to be labeled anything.
  • The Causey Way: A manic revivalist preacher tries to indoctrinate you.
  • The Chemical Brothers: Two students who DJed under the name "The Dust Brothers", but had to change the name when they got sued.
  • Chic: Three classically trained session musicians and two session backup singers get together and play their own variety of disco. Two of them are producers and bring that sound to various projects. Their most famous hit (that their French name was mentioned in) was written after they couldn't get into the most inaccessible discotheque ever to exist. They have (indirectly) been responsible for the growth of rap music with their second most famous song.
  • Coheed and Cambria:A band with a very high pitched singer that makes songs about a convoluted, Mind Screw space opera that also has a comic book series.
  • Coldplay: British band specialized in writing depressing ballads who is frequently accused of plagiarizing or ripping off other bands.
  • Cradle of Filth: A British man an inch taller than Joe Pesci gets nodes on his vocal chords.
  • Creature Feature: A dark cabaret duo that wish it could be Halloween every day of the year. Their songs are mostly inspired by cheesy horror films and Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival: Four guys from California named after a beer commercial write songs about the Deep South. Their popular songs are often misunderstood or misheard.
  • The Cure: They're morose, depressing kids from southern England who wear lots of make-up and do up their hair. They started out as happy-go-lucky snot nosed punks, before making three albums full of depressing music and writing lots of dirges. Then they became poppy and almost gleeful, and started making lots of big hit singles, before returning to their inner child and making another morose album full of angsty music. They sold out stadiums, and are now middle-aged men who still wear make-up and play angsty music.
  • Daft Punk: Two French guys who cut bits out of good songs, add a beat, and then appear onstage to perform them standing in a pyramid made of incandescent tubes. Oh, and they pretend to be robots.
  • David Bowie: Androgynous British rockstar who claimed to be a bisexual space alien, appeared in a bunch of movies, and invoked the New Sound Album trope at least nine times. A song he did with a rock band helped a white rapper achieve stardom.
  • The Decemberists: Some nerds make music about history and use big words.
  • Def Leppard: Five guys from Sheffield start out copying Thin Lizzy then move on to copying Queen and lose (part of) a member in a road accident.
  • Dethklok: Five idiots who don't actually exist play death metal.
  • Devo: Some college kids from Ohio have an in-joke that turns into a band. A lot of other bands emulate them. They are best known for singing about weapons used to lash people.
  • Dick Dale: A man plays the same note on a guitar really fast (occasionally switching to other notes), because he'd rather be in the ocean. His most famous song was revived by both a Quentin Tarantino flick and a rap group.
  • Dir En Grey: A metal band made up of, of all people, a bunch of Japanese pretty boys. Their singer seems to have 10 voice boxes he turns off and on depending on how he sings. They don't sing in English, and sound like literal retards when they try.
  • Disturbed: A bald guy who was trained to sing in synagogues instead makes monkey noises with two Pantera fans and a David Spade look-alike.
  • DragonForce: A Multinational Team whose songs consist entirely of fantasy cliches and guitar solos. They are best known for having one song appear in a video game.
  • Dragonland: A bunch of Swedes perform songs with fantasy and classical/symphonic elements. Unlike the Multinational Team above, they are actually really good live.
  • Music/Music/DreamTheater: Five guys from New York playing Progressive Rock, doing as many complex notes as they can in the solos while doing even overly complex songs with overly complex parts, while their lyrics aren't at the same height as their music.
  • Duran Duran: A bunch of young guys, mostly from industrial areas of England, form a glam rock band with punk and disco overtones and wildly incomprehensible lyrics. They become massively successful. Later, as they grow older and less successful (and lose and gain band members), they start making solid alt-pop/rock tunes. Their lyrics also make more sense. They sing abour Brazilian cities and starving wild dogs.
  • Eagles: A backing band, later one of the most hated bands ever. One of their members starred in a TV show that lasted just one episode, and another only writes songs about the fact that he is aging (and is also a noted opponent of piracy). The other two members were once part of the group supporting...the drummer of the four musicians from Northern England above. They are best known for singing about a travel accommodation on the West Coat.
  • Eels. A man with a one letter stage name and a large beard writes songs about his incredibly depressing life.
  • Electric Six: Some sleazy-looking men do Affectionate Parody disco-rock about things like fast-food franchises and preferring women who have venereal diseases.
  • Elton John: Fat, gay, nearsighted, balding piano player from England with silly clothes and Knight Fever. He writes songs about Marilyn Monroe, weird robot rock bands, The Wizard of Oz, dance steps named after reptiles, and children's music from time to time. Loves to shop, throw tantrums, play tennis and cavort with British royalty.
  • Elvis Costello: He named himself after a truck driver, although his glasses make him look more like a plane crash victim. He almost destroyed his career by dissing an R&B legend, but he recovered to gain a large cult following by dabbling in many musical genres, when he's not making a spectacle of himself on TV.
  • Elvis Presley: A truck driver from Mississippi who knew how to sing and dance. Who in his first appearance on TV was shown only from waist up.
  • Emerson Lake and Palmer: A hyperactive keyboardist, a bassist who sounds like Inuyasha after a stint at philosophy camp and a really good drummer embark on a quest to reinterpret the classics, while pissing off a bunch of rock critics in the process.
  • Emilie Autumn: A bipolar woman writes music with a violin and harpsichord... then accompanies it with screamed lyrics about how men suck.
  • Eminem: A white trailer-trash guy named after chocolate enters a largely black music world and makes songs about drug use, suicide, violence, killing family members who pissed him off, and all sorts of things that piss off the Moral Guardians.
  • Entity Paradigm: Two bands from Pakistan join forces to combine the styles of two bands with some of the most obnoxious fanbases in music history.
  • Einsturzende Neubauten: Some Germans confuse the music shoppe with the local hardware store. It takes them around fifteen years to realize their mistake.
  • E.S. Posthumus: Symphonic rock with a much bigger emphasis on the "symphonic" part. Also did a few songs with Jay-Z and the fat guy from D12.
  • Evelyn Evelyn: Amanda Palmer pretends that she helped bring Siamese twins out of sexual slavery and get them a record deal. The Siamese Twins are actually Palmer and Jason Webley dressed up in crip drag.
  • Faith No More: A talented vocalist sings about things like man-on-man fellatio and pedophilia while the band plays rock-genre roulette.
  • The Fall: One controlling, slightly megalomaniacal madman from Northern England. A giant cast of supporting chara—er, musicians, including one ex-wife, one ex-girlfriend, and one (as of now) current wife. THEY MAKE MUSIC! What kind of music? All kinds, mostly of the post-punk vein but with other interesting elements rolled in. Famously made an influential radio DJ faint the first time he played one of their singles.
  • Fall Out Boy: A pop-punk -but often called emo- band named after a bit character from The Simpsons who mostly sing Anti Love Songs. The most famous member is the bassist, who's been known to making poor decisions such as showing his private parts on the internet and marrying Jessica Simpson's sister.
  • Fatboy Slim: The ex-bassist from an eighties indie band mixes up songs from his record collection.
  • Finntroll: A bunch of Finns dressed up as trolls blend black metal with polka (complete with accordion) while singing in Swedish about eating Christians.
  • Fleetwood Mac The best rock and roll soap opera of all time. Most of their best known hits are the two American singers literally singing about their real-life breakup on stage.
  • Foo Fighters: Four musicians, named after ufology, and led by a guy who used to be another band's drummer. This guy was once hospitalized due to an overdose on... coffee.
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Six musicians, including a gay lead singer, who emerged from the Liverpool punk scene to write dance-pop songs with Lyrical Dissonance. Basically killed their career by having their first single banned by the BBC, and the video for it and another were banned by MTV.
  • Franz Ferdinand: Some Scots start a band because they're bored. They admit all their music kinda sounds the same. They were named after a guy who died along ago.
  • Futret: Guy remixes Ear Rape-y tracks about gay deer, ponies, and obscure, awful films and posts them over the internet.
  • Garbage: Three guys from Wisconsin and a woman from Scotland write cheery songs about obsession and relationships that turn sour.
  • Gorillaz: A band consisting of a blue haired childish Casanova with both eyes pressed into his head, a Satanist who owns Satan's own bass (El Diablo), a 15 year old Japanese Super Soldier guitarist, and a drummer who has been possessed by multiple spirits. (the actual members are an hyperactive musician and a guy who wrote weird comics)
    • Or, the alternative hip-hop equivalent of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Green Day: Band named after drugs led by bisexual, who started with simple songs about masturbation and insanity, only to shift into long, long songs complaining about how fucked up their country became.
  • Grinderman: Nick Cave angsts about how he can't get laid.
  • Guns N' Roses: Before: Five, and later six, highly intoxicated musicians led by a troublemaker. Later: Troublemaker Prima donna singer and lots of musicians which he hires and fires at will.
    • Or: A band that kept the sound of the 80s alive into the 90s. One of their albums took a decade and a half to finish (they only spent a small fraction of that time actually working on it).
  • Halestorm: A band featuring a female singer who sings about being in love with someone else and a song about getting off while being watched by a peeping tom who is doing the same.
  • Hanson Three impossibly cute young Oklahoma brothers form a cheery pop band, then decide to become an indie group. Their biggest hit barely has lyrics.
  • Hed PE: A band which fuses Punk Rock and Gangsta Rap, and often focuses on conspiracy theories. Major influence on Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.
  • Helloween: A band of German guys doing over-the-top, faster and happy songs who are responsible for what the European Power Metal scene is nowadays. They've left a singer and a guitarist, who were key members of their classic lineup, but are still doing music.
    • Gamma Ray: A band formed by the former guitarist of the above band, which talks about life in general, space and science themes and plenty of other themes. Oh, and this same guitarist nowadays is also the singer.
      • Iron Savior: A friend of the same guitarist forms a band which talks about the story of a sentient starship built by the inhabitants of a tribe of the ancient Earth. Later, they'll sing about freedom and perception of reality.
  • Hole: Blonde drug-addict troublemaker who married a rock legend plays with lots of chicks and a dude. After spending years bitching about her husband's co-workers, she hires random guys and calls it a reformation.
  • Hellyeah: A supergroup featuring the singer from a metal band and the drummer from a famous band. They think they're cowboys.
  • Hot Hot Heat: The singer has been described as a "headlong yelper", the rest of the line-up is constantly changing, and they have lyrics about antioxidants and termites.
  • iLiKETRAiNS: Young British men in suits make history sound very depressing.
  • Infected Mushroom: An Israeli duo cranks out eldritch noises and Word Salad Lyrics. It sounds like Mind Rape.
  • Insane Clown Posse: Two former gangsta rappers in clown makeup rap about horror movie subject matter, and often include humor that is either completely juvenile, dark as hell, or just damn weird, but do talk about some pretty deep subject matter. They were also professional wrestlers for a short time.
  • Intestinal Disgorge: Dwindling group of Texans who won't stop screaming.
  • Iron Butterfly: A nice little pop group emerges with a really long hit tune after one of the members gets wasted and are mistakenly crowned as heavy metal pioneers.
  • Iron Maiden: A lot of British musicians, led by a slightly hyperactive bassist and a hammy singer. They like to write songs based on books and movies.
  • Janis Joplin: A woman from Texas who was better known for her screaming than for her singing. Her two most famous songs were Cover Versions, and one only charted after she died.
  • Japan: Two brothers from London who were physically abused by their brutish father channel their dysfunctions and sadness through music, along with some childhood friends who are perfectly fine with the lead singer brother's fixation with an Asian country. One of these friends was born in Cyprus and succumbed to cancer at the beginning of 2011.
  • Jean Michel Jarre: Guy delivers green aesops through industrial music.
  • Jellyfish: A drummer and a keyboard player, both childhood friends and music students from a town near San Francisco, form a melodic pop/rock band with a revolving lineup which at one time includes the keyboardist's brother on bass. They write and play a lot of music that has their own unique style, but reminiscent of music from The Sixties and The Seventies. The drummer sings lead in front of the stage while playing drums standing up. They play vintage instruments, can sing nice harmonies and are known to go overboard in the studio. They have an aquatic name and wear colorful, loud, outdated clothes, also from The Sixties and The Seventies. Once wrote a mini-Rock Opera about Super Mario Brothers for a Nintendo tribute album.
  • Jethro Tull: A very hairy, hopping woodwind player in silly clothes forms a band with lots of lineup changes, writes rock operas about disgruntled boy poets pondering the meaning of life and the metaphysical adventures of dead train riders, names homeless people after oxygen tanks, and sings about living in a farm in Scotland. His band's music is eclectic and the lyrics very literary for rock music. He and his band, whose name is often confused with the singer's name itself, play lots of concerts, and they even unexpectedly beat the band of Californians and a Dane mentioned later for a prestigious award in The Eighties.
  • Jimi Hendrix: Ex-paratrooper who played his guitar upside down. Did covers of the US national anthem and a song from a folk singer. One of his most popular songs was misheard so many times he started actually singing it instead.
  • John Peel: Radio DJ, and Liverpool Football Club supporter, who often played records at the wrong speed, and used a fancy stage name.
    • And who began his radio career by convincing some Dallas natives he knew the most famous band in Liverpool. Also helped to break said band in Texas and covered the JFK assassination before moving onto Oklahoma City, then back to England and pirate radio before becoming one of the first BBC Radio 1 DJs.
  • John Zorn/Naked City: A saxophonist can't decide what kind of music he wants to play.
  • John Williams: A composer who writes music about space battles, adventurers, and sharks with a taste for raw soylent.
  • Judas Priest: A quintet of Brits fronted by a Leather Man who could probably shatter glass with his voice if he tried.
  • Judge Dread: A fat, white British guy who re-writes nursery rhymes, fills them with innuendo and sings them over reggae beats.
  • Justice Yeldham: Australian beans self with plate glass hooked up to contact mic.
  • Kaizers Orchestra: Six guys from Norway channel Tom Waits and write rock songs about war, the Mafia, and mental hospitals, adding a pump organ and oil barrels to the standard guitars-bass-drums-vocals setup. One guy wears a gas mask.
  • Kanye West: A college drop-out with an ego bigger than Antarctica, who drove a 19-year-old girl to tears on stage during an awards show after claiming that an R&B singer had a better music video than her. He also criticized the then-President's reaction to victims of a major disaster in Louisiana and may or may not be a gay fish.
  • Kate Bush: Weird lady known for art rock songs about literature and history. Her fans believe that every eccentric female artist post-1978 ripped off of her.
  • Katy Perry: A failed white heterosexual gospel singer kissed a girl while drunk and wrote a song about it, and uses weird stuff as lingerie.
  • Kiss: Four Brooklyn-bred Jews in whiteface and black-and-white costumes become teen idols despite acting like vampiric circus performers. They also sell out big time, and everyone loves them for it. Later on, they appear in a comic book that you might want to wash your hands after reading.
  • Kitchens of Distinction: A fat, nerdy, balding man with a monotone voice sings about death and how much love sucks.
  • Kokusyoku Sumire: Two Elegant Gothic Lolita s play opera-polka-cabaret. One of them sings in an incredibly high voice.
  • Kool Keith: A New York rapper with a bizarre and often puerile sense of humor who performs under several thousand aliases, calling his music "Pornocore" and "Horrorcore".
  • Korn: A bunch of metalheads who insist on not being tagged as metal, don't use 6-string guitars, and invented one of the most infamous styles of music in music history. Lost a guitarist to religion.
  • Kraftwerk: Four dudes pretend to be robots (when they aren't singing about how they're Autons).
  • Kyuss: Several stoners from the California desert, named after a Dungeons and Dragons character. The guitarist was a lanky ginger kid who played his guitar an octave lower 'cos it sounded cool. He later started another band with some nutter who liked to play bass naked.
  • Lady Gaga: Millionaire who gets her clothes from a dumpster is paid to sing about monsters.
  • Led Zeppelin: Four British musicians, who wrote lots of songs based on JRR Tolkien, lost a drummer who choked on his own vomit, and won't reform because their singer loathes their most recognizable tune.
  • Limp Bizkit: Self-deprecating Nu-metal and Punk Rap band known for live performances in which the vocalist emerged from a giant toilet and calling themselves "the worst band in the world" in interviews.
  • Linkin Park: Six men who can't decide what genre they belong to and go from angsty rock ballads to angsty Nu-metal. Have two singers, one only raps and another screams a lot.
  • Liz Phair: Indie artist whose famous album included songs about fellatio and sexual promiscuity. Later hated by critics and indie kids for making a pop rock album.
  • Lordi: Finnish members of the KISS Army dress like a Nordic version of GWAR, perform catchy hard rock, and TAKE OVER THE WORLD! Or, rather, the Eurovision Song Contest, which is usually the provenance of safe soft pop music.
  • Lords of Acid: Band sings about sex. A lot.
  • Lou Reed: The former lead singer of a band affiliated with the Warhol Factory and bananas. Made an album which only consisted of 64 minutes of white noise.
  • M.I.A.: Sri Lankan musician who raps over drum machines and drops anvils about politics. Her most famous song's title refers to a popular form of origami.
  • Machinae Supremacy: Swedish nerds mix power metal with chiptunes and sing about video games and self-empowerment. They also cover pop songs and make them drastically different.
  • Madness: Seven guys from Camden town who wrote songs about buying condoms and their school uniforms.
  • Madonna: A woman from Michigan who built her career in getting Moral Guardians upset.
  • The Mamas and the Papas: A man (who will later molest his own daughter) leaves his wife for a bratty teenager. They team up with a fat lady and a drunken Canadian to drop acid and take turns breaking each other's hearts in four-part harmony. They sing about a day of the week and a state.
  • Man or Astro-man?: Some guys from Alabama pretend to be aliens and play instrumental songs.
  • Marilyn Manson: Outcast from Florida randomly decides he wants to be a shockrocker, is successful, and then has his intelligence and art belittled because he's too weird for his own good.
  • Marvin Gaye: A guy who started out as a sideman drummer, did not write many of his own songs, feuded with his record company, and went bankrupt. Also, had really serious conflicts with his father.
  • Maxibacon: Two full-grown men wave Wii remotes at a computer and blabber incoherently.
  • Mazelna Kiken: A zebra-headed street performer who talks way too fast.
  • Meat Loaf: Fat guy from Texas sings ten minute long mini-operas with silly lyrics about sex, cars, having sex in cars, crashing cars and occasionally motorcycles.
  • The Megas: Four guys from LA remix songs from an NES game using rock instruments and give personalities to fictional characters that previously had little to no personality through their songs.
  • Melt Banana: A hyperactive Japanese girl yelps out random words while her band bashes their instruments.
  • The Melvins: Two guys who didn't let Kurt Cobain into their band and can't hold on to a bassist name themselves after a grocery store clerk.
  • Metallica: Three Californians and a Dane who got together during The Eighties, changed their musical style and haircuts (to the chagrin of the fandom) in The Nineties. Their drummer made a total ass of himself about file sharing. Fans are divided as to the exact moment when they Jumped the Shark, but even the band admits that they wish they could just pretend that their ninth album never happened.
  • Michael Jackson: Former Child Star from Indiana who damn well knew how to sing and dance, with health and emotional problems that steadily pushed him into the Uncanny Valley. And eventually, death.
    • Or: Some dude from Indiana sings in a falsetto voice. Eventually fatherhood and various personal problems distract him from music.
  • Midori: A Japanese girl wearing a schoolgirl uniform screams while her band plays jazz-punk fusion.
  • Midnight Oil: Some angry Australians shout a lot about environmental and aboriginal issues, and use lots of big words.
  • Midnight Riders: Four guys from Texas who certainly didn't murder anyone from Love Supply make hard rock. They did win the Grammy for Most Pyrotechnics in a Single Concert, though.
  • Miley Cyrus A thirteen-year old girl moves from the country to Hollywood, gets a TV show with her father which resembles her real life (at least, the one she has after the show becomes popular), and sings songs about leading a normal life in Hollywood. Her mistakes become fodder for the tabloids, and growing up in public becomes controversial. She soon dresses like a Winged Humanoid and dates a handsome Australian boy.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence: A quartet from New York who once described themselves as 'Industrial Jungle Pussy Punk' and take pride in being Refuge in Audacity personified.
  • Monte Cazazza: A misanthrope who likes to gift his friends with dead cats on fire releases two albums within a 45 year career of avoiding attention. He is credited with naming a genre that no longer resembles his music at all.
  • Modest Mouse: An indie rock band fronted by a guy who has the same name as a British army officer who died in the War Of 1812, sings like Brak with a lisp, and tends to write Word Salad Lyrics. Kidz Bop covered their most famous song (which shares its name with a one-hit wonder song from 1977), and their most famous member joined pretty late in their career and is known for playing guitar in some British band from the eighties.
  • Motorhead: A group of Mean Brits led by a singer who despite disadvantaged looks holds the record of groupies banged. Their biggest hit revolves around cards.
  • Muse: A British guitarist with an interest in space and the paranormal writes over-the-top alternative/progressive rock and plays it with two of his friends.
  • Mozart: A boy flirts with an ill-fated princess while his father takes him on tour. When he grows up, he writes about harems, seducers, and birdcatchers.
  • Murray Gold: A composer who writes music about time travel.
  • My Bloody Valentine: Two Irish guys, one with an unpronounceable name, and two British girls form a band. They play at ear-shattering volumes, mix everything into a huge wall of sound, and stare at their own shoes.
  • My Chemical Romance: Four guys from New Jersey create music tangentially related to their LARP campaigns.
    • Alternatively: A sassy diva with a massive love of comic books and Star Wars, a five-foot man with an army of puppies, a unicorn believer with an incredible poker face and a guitar god with Hammerspace Hair come together write songs about vampires, raygun battles in the desert, the afterlife, and Dawn of the Dead.
  • "My Jeans": A song by a 12-year-old girl who feels a great urge to buy a pair of pants. The video features her driving a car even though she isn't the right age to do so.
  • New Order: Four nightclub owners from Manchester. They were in a band with a really charismatic singer, but he killed himself. One of them asked his girlfriend to play the keyboards, and they decided to keep playing since they weren't qualified to do anything else.
  • Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds: A stick-figure man angsts about God and love for twenty-seven years while musicians constantly join and leave his backing band.
  • Nightwish: A finnish heavy metal band with a lead singer who sounds like she belongs in an opera.
  • Nine Inch Nails: A guy records himself playing a bunch of instruments, and then edits them together into songs, some of which he makes videos for. Oh, and they're among the most insanely disturbing videos ever. Later, he gets a Grammy for saying "fist fuck."
  • Nirvana: Two guys from Washington and an Ohioan who wrote noisy, simple, music with weird lyrics and even weirder titles.
  • The Notorious B.I.G.: An obese man from New York who could rhyme well, but only released one album before somebody killed him.
  • Noise Music An atonal, dissonant racket made of whatever can be found that somehow gets passed off as music.
  • Oasis: Five British musicians, led by two brothers who fight with everyone, including themselves. Have an unhealthy obsession with the "Four musicians from Northern England".
  • The Offspring: Guy with an MD in biology gets along with three other guys to write angry and snarky music. A part of their fandom met them driving dangerously.
  • Oingo Boingo: Eight Southern Californians spin paranoid, often psychedelic musical fantasies in a vaguely multicultural style. Their leader later becomes a movie composer often collaborating with a specific director.
  • The Only Ones: A squeaky-voiced heroin addict, a balding punk rocker, a relic from the sixties and a man who looks like a vulture perform songs about love, drugs, a love of drugs and drug-addled love.
  • Oomph!: An industrial metal band of 40-something Germans. They wear lots of dark make-up and write songs about hide-and-go-seek and jumping off the roof while sleep walking. Their music videos are often either fairy tales or obscure with no relation to the lyrics see the music video for "Traumst du".
  • Operation Re-Information / Wizard Master: A programmer and his friends play music using computer keyboards with straps so they can be worn like guitars.
  • Opeth: Five Swedes decide that what death metal really needs is more Hammond Organ and jazz guitar and make many music videos that appear to be set in abandoned Victorian mansions.
  • Owl City: A man-child and his syntheziter create Word Salad Lyrics. He becomes a huge one-hit wonder with a song about insects.
  • P : A guy who can't sing recruits Johnny Depp to play guitar and Flea to play bass. River Phoenix dies the night they play.
  • Panic! at the Disco: A quartet from Las Vegas who can't decide if it wants to be Fall Out Boy or The Beatles and are heavily known for looking very feminine and enacting in lots of Faux Yay. Their biggest hit featured the singer dressed as a Johnny Depp character.
  • Pantera: A group of former hair metal guys who hired a manly singer and changed entirely in The Nineties, creating the Groove Metal genre at the same time.
  • Passenger of Shit: Hardcore electronica's Garbage Post Kid.
  • Pearl Jam: A bunch of Washington musicians, led by a singer with a distinctive and at times incomprehensible style. At a certain point, decided to alienate their fanbase. They had a number 2 hit with a cover of a 60s one-hit wonder.
  • Peter Frampton: A big-haired ginger who became famous for a talking guitar.
  • The Pillows: Three Japanese guys try really hard to make 90's grunge sound upbeat, although before that they made jazzy lounge-pop.
  • Pink Floyd: First: British musician gets stoned and writes songs. Then: Another British musician thinks about past and present annoyances and writes songs. Finally: A third British musician tries writing happier songs.
  • PJ Harvey: A weird girl gets angry and records it.
  • Prince: A short guy from the Midwest writes and performs songs about Sex in a falsetto voice all the while wearing feminine outfits. Later changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol.
    • Prince's Associates: Same guy releases songs with different lead singers while not crediting himself anywhere on the record.
  • The Prodigy: Bunch of ex-acid house ravers from Essex fronted by two men called Keith.
    • Or: British guys sing about fire.
  • A Place to Bury Strangers: 3-piece band turns off the lights and plays nightmarish music at ear-shattering volumes.
  • The Police: A drummer with a large ego forms a three piece, recruiting a bassist with an even larger ego, and a quiet but nice guitarist. They make songs about prostitutes, social inequality and Soviet Russia.
    • Stewart Copeland: The drummer from the said band goes on to make soundtracks with a synthesizer. Better Than It Sounds. Made a lot of gamers happy.
    • Sting: Said bassist with a huge ego writes weird music and decides to give his money to other people.
  • The Protomen: A group of musicians from Nashville, Tennessee join forces to create a Dystopian Rock Opera based off of a series of NES games that originally contain virtually no storyline whatsoever. They then proceed to act out as if it was real and they're a handful of the few rebelling citzens.A ten-piece group, half of which changed out between the first and second albums and one of which is a robot.
  • Porcupine Tree: British guy who really likes Pink Floyd starts recording psychedelic rock and attributing it to a forgotten psychedelic band from the 70s on his own, hires a few other musicians, who end up deciding they like Radiohead and Opeth and start playing a strange mix of psychedelic rock, alternative rock, prog metal, with the occasional electronica/post-rock influence. Rush and King Crimson members appear sometimes.
  • Queen: A guy with an ABD in astrophysics joins forces with a flamboyantly gay singer to write mini-rock operas about riding a bicycle. Over 30 years later he gets that PhD.
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody": One of their songs, wherein a condemned murderer who feels no remorse for his crime wangsts about not being a Karma Houdini.
  • Radiohead: Angsty British band, broke out after a song of theirs became a hit in Israel, at a certain point decided to shift into weird music, and later got into a feud with Miley Cyrus.
  • Rage Against the Machine / Street Sweeper Social Club: A political rapper joins forces with a guitarist who sometimes mistakes his axe for a turntable.
  • Rammstein: Six Germans with a fire fetish.
  • Ramones: An authoritarian Republican, baseball card collector and horror movies fan, a left-wing six-feet-ten Jewish geek with OCD, a bipolar German heroin addict and their Hungarian high-school friend become models for generations to come (by making two-minute songs about sniffing glue and hitting people with bats) while not achieving commercial success until the band broke up... 20 years later.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Four Californians who like to sing about sex and their state.
  • Red House Painters: A bunch of guys play long, drawn out, slow songs about how much life sucks. Known to cause depression in listeners.
  • Regina Spektor: Russian girl who sings songs about lost wallets, whacks her piano bench with a drum stick, and pronounces 'better' as 'betow'.
  • Relient K: a rock band that sings silly love songs and the occasional Christian rock song. They've lost all but two of the original members over the years, but ever time someone quits, they're quickly replaced.
  • REM: Band named after a type of sleep. Took their most famous album name from the sign on a local restaurant. Has a hit nobody understands the lyrics. Sang songs about a radio station, rivers, train drivers, a dead comedian, and were generally so melancholy that the singer in another band had one of their CDs in his stereo when he shot himself.
  • Renard Queenston: Canadian furry makes electronic music using TONS of aliases.
  • REO Speedwagon: A bunch of college students from Illinois get together to make power-ballads.
  • The Residents: Four guys from Louisiana wear eyeball masks and make bizarre music.
    • Alternatively: A group of people nobody knows make music so obscure even they sometimes forget it exists.
  • Rilo Kiley: Pinsky from Salute Your Shorts and the girl for Troop Beverly Hills and The Wiz become indie darlings.
  • Rod Stewart: A hard rocker makes increasingly mellow music until he becomes a standards singer full-time. Married a woman much younger than him and (according to an urban legend) had semen pumped from his stomach.
  • The Rolling Stones: Four British musicians tough to kill and/or retire.
  • Ronnie James Dio: A middle-aged New Hampshirite with a heroic tenor fit for Wagner fronts a few metal acts, invents a new hand gesture and sings a lot of songs about rainbows.
  • Gioachino Rossini: A lazy genius of an Italian connoisseur born on the twenty-ninth of February constantly reuses his music for his operas, the best-known of which is about a jack-of-all-trades barber who helps a young nobleman obtain the woman he has become enamored with and was written thirty years after its sequel premiered. His other well-known works, most of which are five- to eleven-minute extracts from his other operas, usually get stuck in people's heads.
  • Rufus Wainwright: The gay, bilingual Marty Stu son of two folksingers, with a flair for the dramatic (or more specifically, the operatic). Possesses a voice that could either wreck ships or peel paint, depending on whom you ask. Sings about beverages and vices in his Signature Song.
  • Running Wild: A bunch of german guys singing songs about pirates and history in general. Trope Makers for the "Pirate Metal".
  • Rush: Two high school dropouts and a long haired man with an incredibly high voice perform songs about philosophy and Mark Twain books.
  • Sabaton: A band that sings about historical events. And about how tough various Nazi military units were.
  • Schoolyard Heroes: High school buddies write horror-themed songs. Once responded to a Moral Guardian by blaming their behavior on fast food.
  • Franz Schubert: An Austrian choral singer writes over a thousand works before his premature death.
  • Scooter: Techno with singing chipmunks and a German guy screaming random English phrases.
  • The Servotron Robot Allegiance: A group of robots hate you and are afraid of Radio Shack.
  • Sex Pistols: Band managed by a London shopkeeper, who hired the singer because he liked his t-shirt. Had a hit with a song named after the British National Anthem. The only reason that song never became a number one hit was to avoid contoversy, so the chart was rigged to keep them out of that position. Bassist couldn't play very well at all and tended to have his amps turned down. Toured America but it was a bit of a disaster so they broke up. One of their members' names would also become that of a professional wrestler in the 90s.
  • The Sisters of Mercy: A snarky British polyglot with a leather fetish implies at length that he really likes drugs, girls, and guns.
  • Slayer: Four Californians go on about Satan despite one of them being Catholic.
  • Sleigh Bells: A former girl group singer and a former Post-hardcore guitarist get together to play dance music that abuses dynamic range compression.
  • Slipknot: An 8 person band from Iowa that believes Halloween should be celebrated all year long. Met their lead singer in a porn shop.
    • Stone Sour: The lead vocals and one of the guitarists wear normal clothes occasionally.
  • Skyclad British man who sounds like orc barks out generally angry, misanthropic lyrics that somehow resembles shakespearian poetry to thrash metal with violins. Also had to cancel tours once because guitarist felt like it was a good idea to jump over the nearest fence while wearing sunglasses.
  • Songs to Wear Pants To: Asian guy asks people what his songs should be about.
  • Soundgarden: Rock band named after a sculpture in a Seattle park. Were very popular but not quite as much as two other bands from the same city. Their most popular song was named after two objects in space.
  • Spandau Ballet: Five guys dress up in kilts and spend their entire career trying to decide what their style should be. Their biggest hit has a name commonly found on tests with two answer choices.
  • Spiritualized: Psychedelic shoegaze complete with trumpets, a gospel choir, and lyrics about life, love, and heavy usage of drugs.
  • Stryper: Four guys dress in tight yellow and black spandex and rock out about how much they love Jesus.
  • Suicide (band): Two New Yorkers play music vastly unpopular for their time and subsequently get an axe thrown at them.
  • Supertramp: A bunch of Brits, whose first two albums sold so poorly they fired most of the band, sing cynical songs about school, the mental health system, growing up, and each other.
  • Igor Stravinsky: Russian musician forced to become a lawyer flees to Paris to stage his ballets, many of which scare its listeners. His best-known ballet caused a massive riot at its premiere and is shown in an animated film from 1940 where it is performed by dinosaurs.
  • Symphony of Science: Autotuned scientists.
  • System of a Down: Four Armenian guys write political music with nigh Indecipherable Lyrics.
  • t.A.T.u.: Russian child psychologist hired two fourteen-year-old girls to masquerade as lesbians and make out in the rain. Their biggest international hit was the English version of a song that was originally in Russian.
  • Tears for Fears: A pair of emo British teenagers write synthesizer-heavy political songs.
  • Ted Nugent: A very conservative guitarist with a cowboy hat who spends a big part of his concerts talking about politics. Despite being a rocker, he has never taken drugs in his life. He is known to piss off his own fans. He was a member of a one-hit wonder band in the 60s and another popular band from the early 90s.
  • Tenacious D: Well-known Hollywood actor and his bald friend play pastiche rock'n'roll songs, mostly on acoustic guitars.
  • They Might Be Giants: A rock band consisting entirely of nerds named either John or Daniel, except for the one guy named Marty. They've got an accordion, a guitar, and a drum machine. Their songs make no sense. It's awesome. Eventually, they started making kids music.
  • Tom Waits: An empty soup-can full of wet, rusty nails gets behind a piano and sings.
    • Ol' 55: A man annoys busy morning freeway traffic by driving way too slow.
  • Tool: A bald man from Uncanny Valley, a long-haired drug addict, a man interested in the occult, and another long-haired man who likes to play crotch-bass get together to perform songs about such topics as drug abuse, child abuse, and transcendence. They also make insanely disturbing and mind-screwy stop-motion music videos for some of the songs.
    • Or: Four talented musicians spend most of their career not releasing albums or doing interviews.
    • A Perfect Circle The aforementioned bald Uncanny Valley guy starts a new band with his other band's guitar tech. They're Lighter and Softer than the other band, but still have a whole album about drug abuse. The current lineup also includes a drummer who will play with absolutely anybody, a guitarist who was a founding member of a famous nineties rock band but barely played anything on their commercial breakthrough album, and a bassist no one's ever heard of with the word "Junk" in his last name.
    • In both cases, the bald guy also had a wrestler take his stage name from part of his.
  • Tori Amos: Flame-haired feminist artist who writes songs about rape, masturbating to Jesus, and things that seem to have been the result of drug use. Also re-invents rock songs into piano-driven dirges. Has a crazy, obsessive fanbase and is one of the hugest gay icons in alternative rock.
  • T. Rex: A band fronted by a guy in a top hat and glitter. Its style devolved over the course of its career, going backwards from long psychedelic songs to Chuck Berry-esque three-minute pop songs. The band is considered to be one of the main influences of Hair Metal.
  • {[Music/Toto}}: A band that played on hundreds of hit records, some of which were their own. They are named after a famous dog and are best known for singing about a continent with mostly black people.
  • Twiztid: Two guys who love horror movies, comics, toys, marijuana and cigarettes rap about being serial killers and wear face paint.
  • U2: Four musicians from Ireland that promote awareness for the Environment.
  • Ultravox: English art students perform a quirky mixture of glam and proto-punk rock in the mid - late 1970s. They lose their leader and are directionless for a spell before picking up a former member of a Scottish boy band. They become a cool synthpop/New Romantic quartet who make iconic music videos and symbolize The Eighties.
  • Van Canto: 5 people make guitar sounds with their mouths instead of playing instruments.
  • Van Halen: A pouty-lipped Jew, a Polish-American, and two biracial immigrant brothers revolutionize pop music with watered-down heavy metal. Their guitarist channels Johann Sebastian Bach by twiddling his fingers really fast. Later on, the pouty Jew is replaced by a guy who doesn't mind getting speeding tickets. Also, the Polish-American's eventual replacement was a teenager.
  • Vocaloid: A group consisting of people who don't actually exist.
    • Alternitavely: A text-to-speech program with cool box-art. They can sing.
    • mothy: Someone who writes songs using computer programs, most of which are about horrible people, people dying, or horrible people dying.
  • Richard Wagner: German writer heavily in debt takes opera to the extreme and is forbidden in Israel. You may frequently hear his works at weddings and in old cartoons.
  • Wall of Voodoo: First line-up: Henry Mancini meets New Wave. Second line up toned down the Mancini aspect, and added more Country. Their only hit was probably a number one hit in the country south of the United States.
  • Ween: Two misogynistic, homophobic, racist middle-school buddies get high off household cleaning products and use an 8-track to record songs about tropical fruit and fellatio.
  • Weezer: Four musicians, one of whom is a soccer-loving geek who took 10 years to graduate from Harvard and the other three of whom nobody knows. Originally opened for a band led by Keanu Reeves. Their music videos are mostly famous due to the celebrities in them.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic: A man known primarily for parodies of other people's music.
  • Wesley Willis: A diagnosed schizophrenic backed by a Casio drum machine wails nonsense.
  • Wintersun: Absolutely epic and high-energy album follows the musings of a man lost in the wilderness as he slowly freezes to death.
  • The White Stripes: This rock band has two band members (any rock band worth its salt would have at least three) who were married until 2000. Their last name takes the name of the band. The main singer and instrumentalist does almost all the work, with the girl just bashing drums loudly. They enjoy butchering songs done by other artists. Their most famous song's title can refer to an international military alliance.
  • Wire: Four English art students have fun noodling around with musical instruments, making all kinds of tuneful noise in the process. Suffered a disgraceful pop music period in the late 1980s. A female-led alternative band from The Nineties famously ripped off their sound.
  • The World Inferno Friendship Society: A bunch of drunk anarchists play all kinds of instruments in songs about dead people, psychic powers, and getting into fistfights.
  • Yes: Five Englishmen write songs about vaguely religious gibberish that never end, best known for having a keyboard player who wore a cape and eventually wrote music about dead kings and their wives.
  • Yuki Kajiura: A Gender Bender Expy of the deaf German man up above, pre-deafness, who even grew up in his hometown despite being originally from another continent.
    • See-Saw: Two Japanese women, one of whom was an Office Lady until she Rage Quit, sing love songs with twisted lyrics for the benefit of Humongous Mecha.
    • FictionJunction: A series of ripoffs of the Svengali/Trilby relationship named after a narratological term and a type of civilian infrastructure.
    • Kalafina: Three Elegant Gothic Lolita singers and one insane pianist. Their breakout hit involves screaming the word "oblivious" in Gratuitous English over and over.
  • Yoko Kanno: A Japanese musician writes mainly cartoon soundtracks, and is beloved for it.
  • ZZ Top: Three homely blondes from Texas sing about lower appendages and find a surprising number of metaphors for the deed.
    • A band famous for not shaving. Ironically, the one member you'd expect to have a beard does not have one.
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