It's hard enough for real bands to write a song that's a hit. That makes it even more impressive when fake bands have come out with such unbelievable crackers. Here are ten songs by fake bands from TV or film that are so good, it makes you wish they were real.
1. "Too Much To Dream" by The California Dreams
For men of a certain age, Jake Sommers was our Zach Morris. A leather jacket clad, motorcycle riding, guitar playing front man of a rock band who dates the prettiest girl in school. Speaking from the prospective of a pre-pubescent boy in Waterford, Sommers was living the dream. "Too Much To Dream" was Jake Sommers' masterpiece, with one of the best episodes of the teen show being centred around him meeting his idol and having the song stolen by him to resurrect his fallen career. Shockingly, as a song that was written for a teen comedy, it's beautiful. (Mark Winkle's harmonies are unreal.)
2. "Pugwall Theme" by The Orange Organics
If the California Dreams didn't inspire you to start a band as a kid then there's a good chance it's only because Pugwall got there first. "Pugwall" and "Pugwall's Summer" were Australian imports shown on the old school TCC (The Children's Channel), based on the band formed by the unfortunately yet conveniently named Peter Unwin George Wall (P.U.G. Wall, get it?) along with his friends Bazza, Orfo and Stringbean, who were then joined by Pug's love interest, Jenny. The show's theme is a belter opening with the defiant, almost punk rock lyrics "Nobody tells me what to do, no not me!"
3. "Do The Hippogriff" by The Weird Sisters
During "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", the students are entertained at their "Yule Ball" by Wizarding band "The Weird Sisters". The song itself sounds almost like it should be a Billy Idol hit but it's undoubtedly a choon.
That should really come as no surprise when you consider that the fake band is made up of real member of real bands Pulp and Radiohead, with Pulp's enigmatic frontman Jarvis Cocker playing the part of Weird Sister's Frontman "Myron Wagtail".
4. "Big Bottoms" by Spinal Tap
Without "This Is Spinal Tap" we never would have had The Office, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family or countless other comedies that the original rock mockumentary influenced. There is so many great tracks this fake band have come out with but Big Bottoms is not just lyrically hilarious but it also features every member playing a bass guitar, which really, REALLY shouldn't work but it really, REALLY does.
Spinal Tap were before their time in so many ways, but especially in proclaiming their love for big butts almost a decade before Sir Mixalot did.
5. "That Thing You Do" by The Wonders
"That Thing You Do" comes from the film of the same name about a band called The Wonders (or the Oneders? - Ed.) that wind up (spoiler alert) being a one hit wonder.
The film was written & directed by everyone's favourite, Tom Hanks (who also featured as the band's manager). The song itself is scarily catchy and was actually written by the band Fountains of Wayne who went on to have their own massive one hit wonder a full eight years later with "Stacey's Mom". Give it a listen but be warned, it WILL be in your head until the new year at the very least.
6. "Fever Dog" by Stillwater
Stillwater were the fictional band in the movie "Almost Famous" which featured "My Name is Earl" star Jason Lee as lead singer Jeff Bebe.
Yes, Almost Famous is famous for bringing Elton John's absolutely wonderful "Tiny Dancer" to the forefront of everyone's collective consciousness but the original music written for the film is fantastic in its own right.
"Fever Dog" being the best of the selection with a Pearl Jam-esque sound that would have put Stillwater at least 10 years before their time (the movie is set in the 70s). You could just check out the song here, but you could just watch Almost Famous again, as if you needed an excuse.
7. "Riddle of the Model" by Sing Street
This song sounds so much like a Duran-Duran song from the 1980s that when I first saw the hugely successful Golden Globe nominated "Sing Street' I had to pause it and google the song to see if it was a cover. It's not. It's a completely original song by the fictional Sing Street band which, in the movie, was written to impress a girl and get her to be in your music video.
Why else would you even start a band or be a musician? Well played.
8. "Old Joe's Place" by The Folksmen
"The Folksmen" are somehow the same actors/musicians as the aforementioned Spinal Tap. Yes, it's true. This song is from their much later Mockumentary "A Mighty Wind" where the crew hilariously send up the world of folk music. This is something different for the list but is a genuinely good song. You will also recognise (bald man on the left) Harry Shearer's voice from The Simpsons. (He's Mr Burns, Principal Skinner, Dr Hibbert and LOADS more.)
9. "School of Rock" aka "Zach's Song" by School of Rock
This is perhaps the most self explanatory one of them all. It's the song at the end of School Of Rock, written by child prodigy Zach and performed by Jack Black and his band full of primary school students that he's taught illegally before getting caught and somehow is then allowed to perform with these children in public. However, I'm not going to get into a post about the flimsy plot of School of Rock because it's all about the song and this one is class.
10. "Dayman" by Electric Dream Machine
If you're thinking "Hey, this isn't by a band this was in their musical!" then you are sadly mistaken my friend. This legendary song first features in cult comedy show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" in Season 3 Episode 9 when Dennis and Charlie start the band "Electric Dream Machine" to compete with Dee's possibly mentally substandard rapper boyfriend. The song has taken on a life of it's own to the point that in a public surrounding if you were to explain the word "Dayman!" musically, you would almost definitely hear a response of "ahhhhhhh" coming from some randomer. "Prepare To Experience Sexual Magic!"
You could mix any of these songs on your Spotify playlist and none of them would stand out as anything but unreal tunes!