Music  |  Lists

The 50 Best Fictional Bands

August 12, 2010  |  7:00am

In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, our hero (Michael Cera) and his fictional band Sex Bob-omb must do battle with Scott’s girlfriend’s seven evil exes, both on and off the stage. With so many different band scenes, writer/director Edgar Wright wanted to make sure the music was worthy of Toronto rock city. “Nigel Godrich [and I] were both very critical about fictional bands in films,” Wright tells Paste, “so we wanted to make sure we get the right people for the job. We basically cast bands like actors. We cast different artists to play the different fictional bands, and Beck was really up for doing the Sex Bob-omb songs. I think he saw it like a fun exercise to play a part rather than writing Beck songs. What’s sort of cool is that he channeled some of the more fuzzier, kind of punkier stuff of his first demos. He did something like 22 songs in 72 hours. It was incredible.”

So where does Sex Bob-omb stack up among the countless fictional bands to grace movie screens, TV shows and books over the years? We decided we’d rank celebrate the 50 best. Some of the songs are awesome and some are just awesomely bad. A few weren’t even based on The Beatles. Tell us who we missed in the comments section below.

50. Buckaroo Bazai & the Hong Kong Cavaliers
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Notable member: Buckaroo Bonzai (Peter Weller)
Songwriters: Bones Howe, Michael Boddicker (original music)

W.D. Richter packed 50 years and deep if not always developed mythology into his 1984 cult film. He also packed it with some terribly wanky guitar shredding.

49. Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld
South Park
Notable member: Timmy

The Lords of the Underworld were OK metal, but something was missing…TIMMY!!!

48. Eddie and the Cruisers
Eddie and the Cruisers
Notable member: Eddie Wilson (Michael Paré)
Hit: “On the Dark Side”
Songwriter: John Cafferty

The movie was a critical and commercial flop, but the soundtrack was a surprise hit, selling four million copies when “On the Dark Side” became a #1 song.

47. Marvin Berry and the Starlighters
Back to the Future
Hit: “Earth Angel”

Marty McFly joined the band to save the dance—and his siblings—playing a rendition of “Johnny B. Goode” that the crowd wouldn’t quite get. But their kids are gonna love it.

46. Bad Blake
Crazy Heart
Member: Otis “Bad” Blake (Jeff Bridges)
Hit Song: “The Weary Kind”
Songwriters: Ryan Bingham, T Bone Burnett

OK, so Bad Blake was a solo artist and not a band, but this is one of the unironically greatest songs on the list.

45. Dingoes Ate My Baby
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Members: Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne (Seth Green), Devon MacLeish (Jason Hall)
Hit: “Pain”
Songwriters: Four Star Mary

When not slaying vampires, Buffy and her friends would hang out at The Bronze, where Willow’s high-school boyfriend Oz (Seth Green) played in the band Dingoes Ate My Baby.

44. Steel Dragon
Rock Star
Members: Ghode (Zakk Wylde), Jörgen (Jeff Pilson), A.C. (Jason Bonham), Bobby Beers (Jason Flemyng), Chris “Izzy” Cole (Mark Wahlberg), Kirk Cuddy (Dominic West)

With musicians from Dokken, Foreigner, Journey and Ozzy Osbourne’s band, Steel Dragon’s hair-rock, I mean hard-rock credentials are unassailable.

43. Drive Shaft
Lost
Notable members: Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan)
Hit: “You All Everybody”

Lost may be over, but you can still play “You All Everybody” on Rock Band.

42. Dewey Cox
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Hit Song: “Let’s Duet”
Members: Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly), Darlene Madison (Jenna Fischer)
Songwriters: Dan Bern and Mike Viola (of the Candy Butchers) wrote most of the film’s songs

The musical biopic to parody all musical biopics. Angela Correa sings vocals for Jenna Fischer.

41. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains
Notable members: Corinne Burns (Diane Lane), Jessica McNeil (Laura Dern)
Hit: “Join the Professionals”

This 1982 cult film about a teenage punk band was a precursor of the riot grrrl movement.

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