Top Five… Movie Bands

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Are you ready to rock?! Are you ready to roll?! Okay, are you at least ready to sway gently? No? Well then, just read about the best fictional music combos in cinematic history instead…

Like movies, like novels, there are just too many bands around. Over the years the world has stocked up so much melodic, artistic creation that’s inevitably going neglected, perhaps it’s time for a moratorium on anything new – just so we can all, as Henry Kelly might agree, play catch-up. After all, if it’s not another new wave of new wave of new wave of guitar-thrashing, synth-shredding, oddly-punctuated, implausibly-fresh-faced beat-combos clogging up yer iTunes, there are all those made-up movie groups claiming space under ‘S’ for soundtrack as well.

Ah, but some can be fun – discounting, of course, those TV-evolving Monkees (happy Head-iness aside), those dull-but-worthy-but-dull Commitments, and that thing Tom Hanks inexplicably does.

5. Spinal Tap – This Is Spinal Tap

Spoof or not, the Spinals’ metal music does nothing much for me – yes, even the genteel, poignant, Mach-esque Lick My Love Pump on piano (in D minor). But leaving them out entirely would be like, well, only tuning the dial to a meagre (wait for it) ten. Listening to the flower people just about loses out to this heartbreaking scene of metal’s finest… getting lost.

4. The Soggy Bottom Boys – O Brother Where Art Thou?

Dan Tyminski’s vocal interludes provide the disappointing downtime on the otherwise-ethereal albums of Alison Krauss and Union Station, but rollicking along with the aid of the Coen Brothers’ shimmering dustbowl farce and George Clooney’s raffish charm – okay, smug miming – they work winsomely. No depression, here. And however Wayne Duvall may sandpaper-raspingly rail, these here Soggy Bottom Boys sound (enjoyably) old-timey enough to me.

Hard to believe that genial, jigging Charles ‘That’s fiiiine’ Durning is the same man who once acted as enemy to a frog and a bear in a psychedelic Studebaker.

Speaking of whom…

3. Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem – The Muppet Movie

Rather like the Grateful Dead, only slightly less weird-shaped, tripped-out or cartoonish. But rather rocking, nevertheless. (Kermit still steals the best line, at the end, as well as The Muppet Movie’s finest song, in The Rainbow Connection. But then, y’know, he was the boss. Whatever Miss Piggy might squeal.)

2. Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations – Bedazzled

Now there’s playing hard to get, and just… ‘You fill me with inertia’, indeed. Eleanor Bron, fresh from flirting with a can’t-act Macca in Help!, appears to have picked up a few Beatlemaniac mannerisms. But from the peerless Peter Cook – well, Freddie and the Dreamers, it ain’t.

Pity poor Dud. Though he would have his revenge, in Derek and Clive days, with the equally-splendid ‘Jump, you ****er, jump‘. Not really one for Cathy MacGowan, that. Even with the Devil calling the tune.

1) The Rutles – The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash

The pre-fab four. A musical legend that will last a lunchtime. Neil Innes’ spot-on pastiches still leave me shocked. And stunned. The Lennon estate and McCartney goldmines actually earn money from these songs, thanks to some especially stingy copyright-grasping. If it’s any consolation to Innes – and his cheeky How Sweet To Be An Idiot/Whatever sample on Anthology cash-in Archaeology suggests some smartness – these can buy him love.



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9 Responses to “Top Five… Movie Bands”

  1. What?! The Rutles??

    Wyld Stallyns are best baby! Top band of all time and space!

    Shame on you both… this is clearly an amateur compilation…

    And also, the Oneders – they had that awesome tune!

    Ah dear…

  2. How could you ignore Wyld Stallyns?!
    Or the Blues Brothers?
    Even Renee Zellweger singing Sugar High in Empire Records deserves a shout-out.

    Not to mention Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.

    You chose… poorly.

  3. Also, if you’re mentioning Spinal Tap, I’d like to draw people’s attention to Christopher Guest’s Folksmen and the New Main Street Singers. Because they are great.

  4. Also, brave, brave sir Robin’s minstrels… although they did end up getting eaten (and there was much rejoicing!)

  5. Aidanrad Says:

    Ah, amateur, I freely admit it – wait, you mean there might have been money on offer…?

    Sorry, but I’ve always found the Blues Brothers rather, well, soulless. Taking some exemplary source material and managing to transform it into mere MOR, self-indulgent shtick. Those hideous saxophones, for a start…
    (Apologies all.)

  6. three more…

    Stillwater from Almost Famous

    Dujour from Josie and the Pussycats

    but the best has to be Ellen Aim and the Attackers from Streets of Fire and

  7. Good call on Stillwater, awesome band, awesome movie. But still, no one’s ever going to beat Spinal Tap.

  8. What about A Mighty Wind?

  9. The Swanky Modes?

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