In my opinion, “Lucifer’s Friend” has got to be the worst name for a band, unless they worship the devil, which these guys did not. Maybe they wanted to one-up Black Sabbath in that area because they thought it would sell. But Black Sabbath took their name from the title of an old Boris Karloff horror film. “Lucifer’s Friend” had no other connotation. I don’t know why they chose “Lucifer’s Friend” as the band’s name, but I think it was a bad choice that cost them much deserved success. Especially since they were a band that could have out-heavied any band that was around in 1970, when their eponymous debut came out.
Picture Black Sabbath meets Uriah Heep mixed with a combination of Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Deep Purple. Now picture how cutting edge and heavy that was back in 1970. The only bands that maybe equaled them back then were Sabbath and Zeppelin and that’s a maybe.
So why has almost no one ever hear of Lucifer’s Friend, at least not outside of Germany, where they hailed from? I can’t say for sure, but I really think it came down to their name. It was just too dark, too evil sounding. I think too many people didn’t want to listen past the name.
Regardless of the reason, Lucifer’s Friend Is a band I am glad to have been turned on to in the early ’80s. They were a band that was too far ahead of their time for their own good – and in my opinion, a great band that chose a terrible name.