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Top 10 Fictional Movie Bands

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Brandon William Peach. They don’t tour, record or even exist, but hell are they iconic: fictional bands set the tone for the films they’re in, and give us a great soundtrack to rock out to. One thing many of our choices have in common is that they represent a specific era in time: whether it’s the '50s like Marvin Berry & the Starlighters, the '60s like The Wonders, the '70s like Stillwater, or the '80s like Robbie Hart and his band, there are plenty of imaginary rockers that give new meaning to the word “unreal.” In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 fictional movie bands. And just like the amplifier of a certain fictional metal group, this list goes to eleven!

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Script written by Brandon William Peach.

They don’t tour, record or even exist, but hell are they iconic. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the best fictional movie bands. And just like the amplifier of a certain fictional metal group, this list goes to eleven!

#11 – Dewey Cox: “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007)

Kicking off our list is the subject of one silly biopic parody. Dewey Cox is a Johnny Cash-type and one helluva blues guitar player. Through the movie, we see the natural evolution of his music – and by “natural,” we mean drug-fuelled. From rockabilly, to punk, to folk and more, Cox rocks through tons of genres before finally writing his masterpiece. Then dying.

#10 – The Commitments: “The Commitments” (1991)

They’re the world’s hardest working band: a bunch of blue-collar Dubliners get together to form a group, but they’re not your typical bunch of blue-collar Dubliners. When you think of Irish songs, this is not the first thing that comes to mind; but against all odds, these guys got soul.

#9 – Marvin Berry and the Starlighters: “Back to the Future” (1985)

Who could forget the Enchantment under the Sea Dance, with Marty McFly himself on guitar? Marvin Berry and the Starlighters are not only noteworthy for their brilliant cover of “Earth Angel,” but also for introducing rock-and-roll to the father of the genre, Marvin’s cousin. Would Johnny B. Goode even exist if weren’t for Marty? This is heavy.

#8 – Robbie Hart: “The Wedding Singer” (1998)

The eponymous wedding singer and his band contribute many of this flick’s unforgettable moments, including drunken renditions of “Holiday” and – of course – “Love Stinks.” The band is so hilariously, believably ‘80s that it’s easy to forget the movie was filmed over a decade later. Bonus: they have killer guest vocalists, like the Boy George-lookalike keyboardist and the rapping granny.

#7 – Sex Bob-omb: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010)

Here’s a band we really wish were real; one whose low-fi crunch and delightfully adolescent lyrics would cater perfectly to a cult following. It’s no surprise they’re so catchy: their songs were written by alt-rock hero Beck, who also coached the cast members to ensure an authentic indie rock vibe.

#6 – Barry Jive and the Uptown Five: “High Fidelity” (2000)

Previously known as Sonic Death Monkey, Kathleen-Turner Overdrive, and Barrytown, this band-in-the-making debuts in the third act… and to everyone’s surprise, they sound amazing! Barry Jive’s inclusion in this captivating film about love, loss, and the power of music is almost a send-up of the comedy-drama genre – a chaotic mix of elements that work together toward a satisfying resolution.

#5 – The Blues Brothers: “The Blues Brothers” (1980)

One of the greatest musical comedies of all time showcases one of the best fictional groups ever to hit the big screen. The Blues Brothers are an R&B tour-de-force, and they mix the best parts of rock, jazz, soul and – of course – blues. What are you gonna do: they got the threads, they got the soul, and they got the moves!

#4 – The Wonders: “That Thing You Do!” (1996)

No, they’re not the O-ned-ers – they’re the Wonders from Tom Hanks’ excellent directorial debut. Half-Beatles, half-Beach Boys, the Wonders embody a very particular cultural era – the mid-1960s. We’re even treated to some catchy ‘60s-style tunes, as the actors played their own instruments and recorded a few songs, including the movie’s title track. Their feel-good pop is pitch-perfect for this feel-good flick.

#3 – Stillwater: “Almost Famous” (2000)

While charting the rise of fake rock band Stillwater in 1973, “Almost Famous” takes a hard look at touring – and how the often-chaotic life of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll can take its toll. At times the film is fun, at others deeply contemplative, but Stillwater’s music, with its authentic ‘70s-rock vibe, always makes the perfect soundtrack.

#2 – The Wyld Stallyns: “Bill & Ted franchise” (1989-1991)

If the Wyld Stallyns ever hope to save the world with rock-and-roll, they’ll have to pass their history exam, travel through time, and defeat Death himself! Bill and Ted are the quintessential daydreaming metalheads, and their band is a tribute to every high-schooler who ever air-guitarred his way through a boring class. Without them we’d never have learned to: “party on, dudes!”

#1 – Spinal Tap: “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984)

Tiny Stonehenge monuments. Amps that go to eleven. Eyebrow-raising songs. Spinal Tap is number one on our list because they’re responsible for elevating the mockumentary to unprecedented levels of absurdity, hilarity, and awkwardness. Whether they’re lamenting the deaths of former band members, discussing their guitar collection, or developing a lighthearted musical about Jack the Ripper, Spinal Tap is a prime example of why we can’t get enough of fictional movie bands!

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