Top 5 Band Logos Missing From The 25 “Best Band Logos”

Feb 18th, 2008 // 28 Comments

thm_misfits_skull_logo.jpgAh, nothing quite fills a slow-ass holiday Monday better than list gripery. At first, as I read this rundown of the 25 “Best Band Logos,” all I could think was “they better remember the Misfits skull. They better remember the Misfits skull.” Well, they did remember to include the Misfits skull (phew), while managing to hit most of the canonical choices when it comes to rock logos (Metallica, Van Halen, the Grateful Dead skull, the Stones lips, et cetera). But while you might pitch a kvetch about the obviousness or ordering–Phish ahead of Public Enemy’s crosshairs? The Scissor Sisters ahead of almost everyone at No. 5??–can you really fault the folks at Spinner for forgetting a few of your own faves while sifting through forty years of pop music iconography? This is the Internet, after all, where counter-lists are plentiful unto pointlessness. That’s why I cobbled together a list of five personal pop design highlights, any one of which could maybe, you know, be subbed in for H.I.M.’s “heartagram” or the backwards Korn “K.” (Just sayin’.)

1. The Dead Kennedys

deadkennedys.jpg

The only time I ever got busted for defacing school property was when I decided to leave a Dead Kennedys’ tribal carving in my study hall desk with an X-acto knife lifted from the art supply closet. Somehow I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one.

2. Anal Cunt

We’ll just link this one, thanks.

Once you realize that’s not a starburst and a teary eye, they never quite wink at you in the same way again.

3. Walt Jabsco/2-Tone Records Logo

waltj.jpg

As with everything else related to ska, Mr. Jabsco’s chiaroscuro rudeness was blunted into kitsch by the third wave, but his clean, comic lines are why you can still tell a 2-Tone 45 from across a crowded record store. Beware of sloppy, skanking imitators.

4. Parliament/Funkadelic

parliament_logo.jpg

FunkadelicLogo-1.jpg

Two logos that perfectly capture the music being branded: a fractured space-age font and a loose (bootied) and slightly sinister cartoon.

5. Run-DMC

rundmc.jpg

It’s an interesting tribute to your logo’s immediate pop cultural legibility when it gets jacked by a Chinese restaurant.

Best Band Logos [Spinner via PTW; HT to dickdogfood for originally pointing out the Run-SUM restaurant]

  1. rad_matter

    I thought the H.I.M. “heartagram” was something that you got tattooed on your arm after too many jello shots in college.

  2. Royfromage

    Does the Elvis Presley TCB lightning bolt count?

  3. Ned Raggett

    Phish ahead of Public Enemy’s crosshairs

    NO.

  4. K-milo

    ab-fuckin’-ba before NIN?

  5. AL

    Frehley’s masterstroke was rendering the final two letters in Kiss as stylized lightning bolts.

    Really? I think Nazis beat him to that one: [en.wikipedia.org]

  6. Garrison Dean

    Ok, 30 logos… no Rocket from the Crypt? [www.bizzazz.net]

    Thats effed up.

  7. noz

    My inner backpacker is frustrated by the absence of the Hieroglyphics tri-eye. Something has to be said for a band logo that rises in ubiquity as the musicians it represents continue to fall creatively.

  8. Lucas Jensen

    I don’t even know what the Scissor Sisters’ logo looks like. Even after seeing it.

  9. Anonymous

    crass has a pretty rad logo as well… should have totally made that list.

  10. Chris Molanphy

    Word on the 2-Tone logo. And Run-DMC: totally iconic. Kids in my junior high were rocking that logo in ’84 long before most of us had heard “Rock Box.”

    I think my Prince mania is well documented around here, but the Spinner folks are nuts putting his glyph on top. Prince fans equate that logo with his long, dark ’90s period, and it’s an annoying symbol to reproduce, by hand or by computer. Plus, honestly, the best Prince logo of all time is the rendering of his name on the cover of the 1999 album (the only Prince T-shirt I own).

  11. grahamorama

    I was always a big fan of the Smashing Pumpkins’ heart logo. I can’t tell you how many times I doodled that thing in high school… and in college… and in my early adulthood…

  12. natepatrin

    Arguably missing: the Stooges logo from their first two LPs, Radio Birdman’s logo (which looks like something that George Lucas could’ve used as an insignia in some corner of the Star Wars universe or another), Blue Oyster Cult’s upside down question mark/cross, Basement Jaxx’s lettering and — maybe the most glaring omission — Aphex Twin.

  13. cstmr srvc

    heres a site with a fantastic selection of logos, ranging from the obscure to the obvious. there is a history lesson on wher ethe logo originated from, often from the designers themselves. then the author waxes and wanes prosaically about said logo.

    anyway, totally worth checking out:

    [pictograms.blogspot.com]

  14. revmatty

    @Chris Molanphy: Agreed on the Prince iconography, thought the logo from Purple Rain or SOTT is arguably more familiar to the general public.

  15. drjayphd

    @cstmr srvc: Great, now I want a sperm necklace.

    …I just typed that, didn’t I?

  16. mike a

    Not a “band logo” per se, but the K Records logo deserves at least an honorable mention. Is there a more iconic image in indiepop?

  17. Charles A. Hohman

    I can’t believe they omitted the Cheap Trick logo. The whole black and white Courier New typography epotimizes the band’s balance of nerdiness and diligence quite well. And the Pumpkins heart logo should’ve been included too. I know a dude who got tattooed on his calf.

  18. pchcowboy

    Slayer

  19. Pete the Chop

    Where the hell is “Boston”? I know some junior high boys who are going to be pret-ty pissed.

  20. CarsmileSteve

    wot, no poppies?

    [www.pweination.org]

  21. CarsmileSteve

    also, insert 89873284768273 other uk indie bands of the 90s here…

  22. JudgeFudge

    I was expecting to see E.L.O.’s space-age jukebox logo….

  23. Hertz-Lion

    CSTMR SRVC, thanks for mentioning my Brand Upon the Brain blahg, which features PWEI, ELO, Hieroglyphics and all the others that the faintly pointless “25 Best Band Logos” survey forgot. I wouldn’t qualify a script or a typeface as a logo, so I won’t be covering The Beatles or Run DMC or ABBA. They get enough press as is. I still have The Weirdos, King Diamond, L7, Tytan and Stukas Over Bedrock to cover!

  24. tristax

    “That’s why I cobbled together a list of five personal pop design highlights, any one of which could maybe, you know, be subbed in for H.I.M.’s “heartagram” or the backwards Korn “K.” (Just sayin’.)”

    You mean KoЯn, Яight?

  25. Anonymous

    scissor sisters belong nowhere near a list that has the word best in it.
    eccch.

  26. Anonymous

    MINUTEMEN

  27. I found the title of the blog (Top 5 Band Logos Missing From The 25 &) on the web. Its a very great text.! Janelle Dinho

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