December 31, 2014

The Number’s Racket

As we become more technologically-savvy, it seems that numbers are beginning to dominate and infest our musical culture. Whether it’s digitalization, which relies on 1’s and 0’s, record sales, concert grosses, celebrity endorsement figures, or the current bane of the music industry, MP3s, numbers seem to matter these days. For many a rock act, throwing a number into their name has helped define its band member count or, perhaps, the number of good albums they have left in their repertoire. Sure you can recall 20, or maybe 40, bands off the top of your head that have numbered names. But once we started digging, we couldn’t believe how many groups have placed an emphasis where it counted, numerically speaking. Here’s a quick-scan list to help you with your musical mathematics.

One Dove:
Formed in the early ‘90s, this British band delivered hard danceable rock tunes. Notable album: “Morning Dove White.”

One Minute Silence:
A hip-hop/rock quartet from London. Notable album: 1998’s “Available in All Colors.”

One Plus One:

An early 1980s New Jersey duo who produced electronic psychedelia. Notable album: their 1983 debut “One Plus One.”

Chopper One:
Formed in the mid-‘90s, this Hollywood quartet, including a husband and wife, released the indie hit single, “A Punk Named Josh.”

Day One:
An English duo that mixes Celtic, jazz, and hip-hop influences into their songs. Notable album: late ‘90s “Ordinary Man.”

Greater Than One (or G.T.O.):
A 1990s techno/house duo who produced songs like “Pure” and “Elevation” before one-half of the band died.

Hurricane #1:
Raw rock ‘n’ roll is the style of music produced by this British quartet. Notable album: 1998’s “Hurricane #1.”

Number One Cup:
Chicago slack-rocker quartet that formed in 1993. Late ‘90s album was titled “People, People Why Are We Fighting?”

The Other Ones:
Off-shoot members of The Grateful Dead, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Phil Lesh, along with pianist Bruce Hornsby, released a 1999 album, called “Strange Remain,” under this band name.

Ex-Judas Priest member Rob Halford and guitarist John Lowery brought electronic rock to their 1997 Two album, “Voyeurs.”

Two Guns:
A late ‘70s southern rock ‘n’ roll quartet. Notable album: 1979’s “Balls Out.”

A pair of forefathers of trance rock in previous incarnations, this British duo brought their groundbreaking style to 1997’s club single, “F*** The Millenium.”


Two Minute Sinatras:   A Texas quartet that fashioned a techno/rock approach on the indie circuit. Notable hit single: 1996’s “Johnston Street.”


2 Unlimited:                   A 1990s Dutch duo who scored numerous dance hits in Europe including the single, “Get Ready For This.”


Eric Chial 2:                   Sonic textures and lush pop instrumentations suffuse this Chicago pop duo’s output. Notable EP: “Our Invisible Empire.”


Fem2Fem:                     An all-lesbian California dance pop quartet. Notable album: 1995’s “Animus.”


Tab Two:                        Smooth jazz/techno sounds waft through the work of this German duo. Notable album: 1997’s “Tab Two.”


3:                                     An English trio, that included former members Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, brought the progressive rock of the ‘70s into the 1980s. Notable album: their 1988 debut “To The Power of Three.”


Three Dog Night:          Early ‘70s rock giants that had 3 lead singers. “Celebrate,” “Joy To The World,” and “One” were just a smattering of the hit singles produced by this now-nostalgic band.


Three Man Army:          An early 1970s British heavy metal trio. Notable album: 1974’s “Two.”


Three O’Clock:              A mid-‘80s California retro-rockin’ pop band. Notable album: 1987’s “Ever After.”


3T:                                   The three sons of Tito Jackson, Michael’s brother, formed this band to croon Beatlesque harmony pop. Notable album: 1995’s “Brotherhood.”


A3:                                   Primed with a political voice, this mid-‘90s British, six-member blues band received notice with their 1997 album, “Exile on Coldharbour Lane.”


Dirty Three:                    An Australian trio consisting of a guitarist, a drummer, and a violinist. Notable album: 1998’s “Ocean Songs.”


Fun Boy Three:             Former Specials members Terry Hall and Neville Staples, along with friend Lynval Golding, formed this trio in 1981 and cracked the light rock charts with “The Telephone Always Rings” and “Summertime.”


Marvelous 3:                  Melody hook-heavy Georgia pop-rock trio. Notable album: 1999’s “Hey! Album.”


Mojave 3:                        A California acoustic-driven trio with a knack for tackling thoughtful subject matter. Notable album: 1998’s “Ask Me Tomorrow.”


Secret Chiefs 3:            This band takes its inspiration from world music, abstract, experimental songs, and surf grooves. Notable album: 1998’s “Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws.”


Spacemen 3:                Formed in 1982, this English trio taps into the world of psychedelia. Notable album: 1991’s “Recurring.”


US3:                                (United States 3) A popular early 1990s trio that incorporated hard guitar work and psychedelic pop. Notable album: “She’s The Word.”


Four Letter Word:         This Welsh punk quartet formed in the early ‘90s. Notable album: “A Nasty Piece of Work.”


Four Out Of Five Doctors:   An early ‘80s Washington D.C. quartet that specialized in soft rock. Notable album: their 1981 debut “Four Out Of Five Doctors.”


Gang of Four:                A mid-‘70s English band which had varying members over the years. They specialized in politically-flavored reggae-rock. They disbanded in 1984 with hits like “Damaged Goods” and “I Love A Man In Uniform” under their belts.


Scott 4:                           A British trio who throws together techno with country in an edgy underground fashion. Notable album: 1998’s “Recorded In State.”


Five:                                A late ‘90s British boy band made up of five members who crooned out the rap-pop hits “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” and “When The Lights Go Out.”


Five Easy Pieces:         Straightforward rock ‘n’ roll blasts from the speakers of this California quintet. Notable album: 1998’s “Five Easy Pieces.”


Five Style:                       A Chicago-based funk-jazz-rock quartet. Notable album: 1999’s “Miniature Portraits.”


The 5th Dimension:      The “summer of love” ‘60s superband quintet known for hits like “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In” and “Stoned Soul Picnic.”


Ben Folds Five:             This North Carolina trio, led by Ben Folds, is noted for its piano-driven rock pop. Notable album: 1999’s “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.”


The Dave Clark Five:   As 1960s’ British sensation, this melodic quintet churned out many hits that went Top Ten in the U.K. The singles “Over and Over” and “Because” did quite well in the States also.


Fury of Five:                   A New Jersey punk-metal quintet whose 1998 debut album was entitled “At War With The World.”


Jackson Five:                Back in the early ‘70s, some Detroit brothers let their youngest male sibling steal the spotlight with pop hits like “ABC” and “I’ll Be There.”


Mach Five:                      This New York quintet, formed in the mid-90s, released their alternative rock-based self-titled debut CD in 1998.


MC5:                               This subversive Michigan 1960s quintet was a controversial precursor of punk. Notable album: 1969’s “Kick Out The Jams.”


Pizzicato Five:                A kooky Japanese duo, popular since the mid-‘80s, has continually produced pop-laden, psychedelic, electronic grooves. Notable album: 1997’s “Happy End Of The World.”


Six Feet Under:             Heavy metal musicians, some from the band Cannibal Corpse, have recently come together to form this Florida death metal quartet. Their latest release is probably available from your favorite death metal hangout.


Sixpence None The Richer:   Formed in the early 1990s, the folk, soft rock sounds of this Texas band carries muted Christian undertones. The band scored a resounding success with their self-titled debut album in 1998.


Eve 6:                              Popular southern California pop-rock trio received wide independent radio airplay with their 1998 album “Eve 6.”


Jet Set Six:                     A New York swing-punctuated rock band. Notable album: 1998’s “Livin’ It Up.”


Seven Day Jesus:        This West Virginia Christian rock-pop quartet formed in the mid-1990s.


Sevendust:                    This Georgia funk-metal quintet received an outpouring of critical rave with their hit debut CD. Their 1999 follow-up album was titled “Home.”


7 Seconds:                    This early ‘80s Nevada punker quartet lasted longer than their namesake, carving a long underground following which ended with the release of their 1996 album “The Music, The Message.”


7 Year Bitch:                  A Washington state all-female punk quartet formed in the early 1990s. Notable album: 1996’s “Gato Negro.”


Automatic 7:                  An early ‘90s southern California punk rock quartet. Notable album: 1995’s “Automatic 7.”


Dial 7:                             Stir in rap, funk and rock and out comes this California quintet’s mix of music. Notable album: 1998’s “Never Enough Time.”


Inspector 7:                   Formed in the early ‘90s, this New Jersey ska band had 9 members in its lineup at last count. Notable album: 1997’s “The Infamous.”


L7:                                   Los Angeles riot grrrl quartet who drove their pounding rock straight out of the ‘80s and into the forefront of the girl grunge early ‘90s. Notable album: 1994’s “Hungry For Stink.”


S Club 7:                        L7 would eat these kids alive. From the manager of the Spice Girls come this shiny pop septet, consisting of 4 girls and 3 boys. Notable album: 2000’s “S Club 7.”


Sister 7:                          Stirring rock and funk in a spellbinding brew is the specialty of this Texas quartet. Notable album: 2000’s “Wrestling Over Tiny Matters.”


Eight Seconds:             A mid-‘80s Canadian pop rock quintet. Notable album: 1986’s “Almacantar.”


Driver Eight:                   A California trio named after a R.E.M. song, this alt-rock bunch, formed in 1995, peppers their songs with Christian messages. Notable album: 1996’s “Watermelon.”


Nine Inch Nails:            Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails. Like the Pennsylvania and Ohio steeltowns he was raised in, the music reflects an industrial, hardcore, dark, angst-driven edge. Notable singles: “Sin” and “Down On It.”


Buck-O-Nine:                A mid-‘90s California septet with strong ska leanings. Notable album: 1997’s “28 Teeth.”


Novocaine NP9:           A Welsh alterna-rock quartet. Notable album: late ‘90s’ “Frustration No. 10.”


10cc:                               The English 1970s quartet of music veterans whose slinky rock melodies wove their way onto the U.K.’s charts. Notable hit single: 1975’s “I’m Not In Love.”


Ten Foot Pole:              Formerly named Scared Straight in the 1980s, this southern California punk band renamed themselves in the early ‘90s. Notable album: 1999’s “Insider.”


10 Minute Warning:      Bassist Duff McKagen of Guns ‘N’ Roses played in this early 1980s punk quintet, but the band never released a recording.


10 Speed:                      A California glam-rock trio formed in 1994. Notable album: 1998’s “10 Speed.”


Ten Years After:            The perennial 1960s hard rock/r&b English quartet. Notable album: 1969’s “Ssssh.”


Eleven:                           An early ‘90s Los Angeles-based funk-rock trio. Notable album: 1993’s “Eleven.”


Eleventh Dream Day:  Originally formed in 1983, this Chicago underground alt-rock trio broke up and then reformed in 1997 to record the album “Eight.”


Finger Eleven:               A Toronto, five-member, former cover band. They released their own material on the 1998 album “Tip.”


12 Rods:                        An electronic, trippy Ohio trio. Notable album: 1998’s “Split Personalities.”


12 Rounds:                   Heavy instrumentation and use of natural noises punctuate this duo’s musical craft. Notable album: 1998’s “My Big Hero.”


13 Engines:                   A 1990s 4-member Canadian group who churn out compact, delectable rock nuggets. Notable album: 1991’s “A Blur To Me Now.”


13th Floor Elevators:     This Texas psychedelic rock quintet formed in 1965 and disbanded three years later. Notable album: 1966’s “The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators.”


Static 13:                        Kind of mopey, mostly introspective, is how to describe the sounds of this New Jersey quartet. Notable album: 1998’s “Eye Won’t Change I.”


Union 13:                       An East Los Angeles punk quintet. Notable album: 1998’s “Why Are We Destroying Ourselves?”


Size 14:                          It’s a band member’s shoe size. This southern California quartet specializes in alternative rock. Notable album: 1997’s “Size 14.”


Sixteen Deluxe:             A Texas indie rock quartet formed in the mid-‘90s. Notable album: 1998’s “Emits Showers of Sparks.”


Sixteen Horsepower:   The five members of this Colorado band enjoy wailing their unique brand of gospel-blues. Notable album: 1998’s “Low Estate.”


Flight 16:                        A British hard rock quartet that formed in the early 1990s. Notable album: 1998’s “Flight 16.”


Seventeen Rhinos:      A Wisconsin four-member band known for their raw rock sound. Notable album: 1998’s “Planet Indigo.”


Heaven 17:                    This pioneering British trio produced early ‘80s synth-driven hit singles like “Let Me Go” and “(We Don’t Need That) Fascist Groove Thang.”


N17:                                This early ‘90s Arizona quartet is known for their crunching political-industrial rock sound. Notable album: 1997’s “Trust No One.”


Nineteen Wheels:        A pure rock-driven Michigan four-member band. Notable album: 1997’s “Six Ways From Sunday.”


20/20:                             Raised in Oklahoma, this new wave, rock ‘n’ roll quartet burned up the tall grass in the early ‘80s. Notable album: 1981’s “Look Out!”


H20:                                This 4-member band from New York is strictly hardcore rock. Notable album: 1999’s “F.T.T.W.”


Matchbox Twenty:         The 1990s were good to Florida, and this band didn’t fall in line with the teeny-bop sensations pouring out of the state. Rob Thomas’ rock-friendly quintet scored a 1997 hit single with “Push.”


22 Brides:                      Two sisters from Massachusetts lead this alterna-rock quartet. Notable album: 1995’s “Beaker.”


29 Palms:                      An early ‘90s British pop duo. Notable album: 1990’s “Fatal Joy.”


.38 Special:                   One of the premier southern rock bands of the ‘80s, they crafted bayou boogie singles like “Second Chance” and “Like No Other Night.”


Big Back Forty:              An Ohio country-rock quartet that had released their debut album “Bested” in the mid-‘90s.


UB40:                             A multicultural mix of varying musical influences made up this popular ‘80s British 8-member outfit. They were primarily known for their reggae pop hits like “Red Red Wine” and a backbeat version of the familiar Elvis tune “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”


Level 42:                        A very successful 1980’s British synth-driven jazz-pop quartet whose notable hit singles included “Something About You” and “Running In The Family.”


Black 47:                        This Irish-American quartet of musicians mix traditional Celtic leanings with traditional rock ‘n’ roll. Notable album: Their 1993 debut “Fires of Freedom.”


The B-52s:                     Formed in the late 1970s, this Athens, Georgia quartet are noted for their goofy, catchy hooks as heard on their hit singles “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack.”


58:                                   Former heavy metal band members, including Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, formed this quartet in the late ‘90s. Notable album: 2000’s “Diet For A New America.”


Five-Eight:                      An early ‘90s Georgia post-punk trio. Notable album: 1992’s “I Learned Shut Up.”


Starflyer 59:                   A southern California Christian rock trio. Notable album: 1997’s “Americana.”


Sun 60:                           Once they were two, but Sun 60 included 3 more members into their light. This southern California group focused its rays on the sounds of folk. Notable album: 1995’s “Headjoy.”


Rule 62:                         This indie pop-punk quartet hails from California. Notable album: 1997’s “Rule 62.”


Sixty Five:                       A Chicago husband and wife formed this folk outfit with three other members in the mid-90s. Notable album: 1998’s “Any Machine Can Wave.”


Eiffel 65:                         A highly-lauded Italian techno-pop trio whose 1999 album “Europop” towered above the competition in Europe.


Six By Seven:                 This British hard rock quartet formed in the mid-‘90s. Notable album: 1998’s “The Things We Make.”


Six Going On Seven:    This late ‘90s Massachusetts hard rock trio has a tendency to instill a little jazz into their mix. Notable album: 1998’s “Self-Made Mess.”


Regatta 69:                    A North Carolina ska-influenced quintet. Notable album: 1997’s “Prime Time.”


Star 69:                           Critics praised this mid-‘90s British rock quartet. Notable album: 1997’s “Eating February.”


Mexico 70:                      A mid-‘90s British funk-pop quartet who received instant recognition for their debut album “Imperial Cornet Hour.”


The Delta 72:                This Washington D.C. four-member band plays soulful rock. Notable album: 2000’s “000.”


Seven Mary Three:       A Virginian grunge quartet formed in the early ‘90s. Notable album: 1997’s “Rock Crown.”


Sweet 75:                       Primarily a trio of musicians, including former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who played with guest artists on tunes ranging from edgy lounge to crunching rock. Notable album: 1997’s “Sweet 75.”


Seven Red Seven:       This mid-90s Chicago duo execute power synth melodies as evidenced in their club favorite “Thinking Of You.”


Ninety Pound Wuss:    A Washington state punk quartet. Notable album: 1997’s “When Meager Die of Self Interest.”


9 Below Zero:                An early ‘80s British blues and heavy metal band. Notable album: 1981’s “Don’t Point Your Finger.”


98 Degrees:                  The faces of the Ohio boys in this quartet were plastered on many a braces-filled, pre-teen girl’s closet door in the mid-to-late ‘90s. Notable hit single: “Invisible Man.”


Haircut 100:                   This six-member, early ‘80s, new wave/dance British group had a brisk-selling album in 1982 with “Pelican West.”


OS 101:                          (Old School) punk is fashioned by this four-member band. Notable album: 1998’s “United Brotherhood of Scenesters.”


All-4-One:                       A California pop quintet whose #1 single, “I Swear,” stayed at the top of the U.S. charts for 11 weeks.


One Eighty:                    A Christian ska band from California. Notable album: 1998’s “Crackerjack.”


Blink 182:                       This mid-‘90s southern California scatological, thrash music trio scored a splashy, squishy success with their 1999 album “Enema Of The State.’


Front 242:                      In the early 1980s, this Belgium quartet was one of the few pioneers churning out electronica beats to jerk around the dance floor to. Notable album: 1983’s “No Comment.”


24-7 Spyz:                      A New York hard rock-punk-funk quartet. Notable album: 1996’s “Heavy Metal Soul By The Pound.”


311:                                 A Nebraskan quintet that blends hip-hop, funk and metal into their work. Notable albums: 1997’s “Transistor” and “311 Live.”


Swirl 360:                       A ‘90s California duo that borrows heavily from the melodic guitar chords inherent in early ‘70s rock. Notable album: 1998’s “Ask Anybody.”


Apollo 440:                    A mid-‘90s techno-rave dance quartet. Notable album: Their 1995 debut “Millenium Fever.”


Galaxie 500:                  This New York trio played catchy pop hooks in the late ‘80s and their last album was 1990’s “This Is Our Music.”


BR5-49:                          A Tennessee quintet whose rockabilly sounds that could tear up a jukejoint. Notable album: 2000’s “Coast To Coast.”


700 Miles:                      A mid-90s Michigan punk/funk group. Notable album: 1994’s “Dirtbomb.”


707:                                 An early 1980s mainstream pop-rock quintet. Notable album: 1982’s “Megaforce.”


764-Hero:                      A folk-rock indie trio that played the independent scene in Seattle. Notable album: 1998’s “Get Here and Stay.”


777:                                 Solo artist Steve Hillage’s driving psychedelic, ambient groove endeavor. Notable album: “System 7.3: Fire & Water.”


805:                                 An early ‘80s progressive pop quartet. Notable album: 1982’s “Stand In Line.”


808 State:                      Successful 1990s acid dance/rock English outfit noted for their immaculate electronic production skills. Notable album: 1996’s “Don Solaris.”


MC 900 Ft. Jesus:        (from an Oral Roberts sermon) Solo artist Mark Griffin’s funky industrial and electronic concoction. Notable album: 1994’s “One Step Ahead Of The Spider.”


911:                                 A mid-‘90s trio of British boys who caused hearts to flutter with the hits “Love Sensation” and “Don’t Make Me Wait.”


999:                                 Garnering a bit of cult status, this early 1980s British quartet pumped out punk-pop. Notable album: 1981’s “Concrete.”


1910 Fruitgum Co.:      A sugary early ‘70s bubblegum pop band. Notable album: “Juiciest Fruitgum.”


Toothpaste 2000:         A six-member slacker rock band which has roots in both New York and Seattle. Notable album: 1998’s “Fine, Cool, With Love.”


Bran Van 3000:             A French-Canadian multi-musician group that plays techno-pop and electronica. Notable album: 1998’s “Glee.”


54-40:                             A Canadian political folk-rock quartet that formed in the early 1980s. Their last album was 1998’s “Since When.”


10,000 Maniacs:           The indie-favorite ‘80s New York band fronted by Natalie Merchant. Notable hit single: from their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance, “Because The Night.”


Millions Like Us:           A funky 1980s pop British duo. Notable album: 1987’s “Millions Like Us.”


Billion Dollar Babies:  Members of Alice Cooper’s band formed this hard rock quintet in the mid-‘70s. Notable album: 1977’s “Battle Axe.”


Trillion:                           A late ‘70s Chicago, guitar-driven, art rock quintet. Notable album: 1979’s “Trillion.”


© 2000 Ned Truslow


Comments are now closed.