Though they never address their band name's origin with a straight answer, one believable explanation has been given linking "Biffy" with the name of the spy (Wilfred Albert "Biffy" Dunderdale) Ian Fleming based his James Bond novels upon while "Clyro" is a town in Wales where members' families had gone on holiday.
Take your pick of literary references. Singer Nick Cave has attributed the name to a birthday party scene in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, though no such scene exists in the novel. In turn, The Birthday Party is also the name of a piece by playwright Harold Pinter.
The band began its career as Mr. Crowe's Garden, perhaps a nod to the story "Mr. Crow's Garden" in Albert Bigelow's The Hollow Tree Snowed-In Book. Eventually known as simply The Crowes, their record label suggested a modification of the name, hence the color.
The band now known as Coldplay was first called Starfish, but they adopted the new moniker when fellow musician Tim Rice-Oxley of the band Keane decided he no longer wanted to use the name for his band. Rice-Oxley originally got that name from a book of poems called Child's Reflections, Cold Play by Philip Horky.
The band takes its name from a shortened version of "devolution," a concept advanced by Oscar Kiss Maerth's The Beginning Was the End, a pseudoscientific thesis which attributes the rise of man as an evolutionary accident caused by a species of sex-crazed, cannibalistic apes who developed tools to exploit each other sexually and feed on each others' brains.
Famously took their name from The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, who in turn stole the phrase from a William Blake poem that includes the line: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite."
The name actually comes from a caption used in Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon II, describing a photograph of WC Fields with a "terminal case of gin blossoms." "Gin blossoms" was the term for rosy skin, sometimes caused by alcohol consumption.
The name is a cross-cultural hodgepodge (much like the band), coming from Nikolai Gogol, an influential writer in Ukrainian and Russian literature, and "bordello," an Italian word referring to a brothel.
In Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the number 42 is "the answer to life, the universe and everything." It's unclear whether members of the band came up with the name while reading the book or it came from their producer, also a fan. What is clear is that they added the word "Level" in order to avoid potential legal problems.