Billboard.com has a list of “The Top 10 Bands That Formed in College.” They’re not ranked, they’re just in alphabetical order:
- Coldplay, which formed at the University College of London in 1998.
- The Commodores, which came together at Alabama’s Tuskegee University.
- Pink Floyd, which originally formed in 1965 at London Polytechnic. Roger Waters, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason were studying architecture . . . while Syd Barrett was working on an art degree. He hooked up with the rest of them because he was a childhood friend of Roger’s.
- The Pixies, which began when Black Francis met guitarist Joey Santiago at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, hence their song, “U-Mass”. They then dropped out of school, and added bassist Kim Deal and drummer David Lovering.
- Public Enemy, which started coming together when Chuck D and Flavor Flav met while studying at Long Island’s Adelphi University in the early 1980s.
- Queen, which started as a group called “Smile” when guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor met during their time at London’s Imperial College. Freddie Mercury was studying at London’s Ealing Art College.
- R.E.M., which formed at the University of Georgia in 1980.
- The Strokes, which really came together at New York University.Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Fabrizio Moretti, and Nikolai Fraiture began playing together in prep school, but didn’t call themselves ‘The Strokes’ until 1999, when they met guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. at NYU.
- Talking Heads, which formed after David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth met while at the Rhode Island School of Design in the early 1970s.
- Vampire Weekend, which came together at Columbia University.
(Billboard.com has brief write-ups on each band.)