The Top 15 Best Bands in Movies

#5. Sex Bob-Omb from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Sex Bob-Omb

Key Members: Stephen “The Talent” Stills (Mark Webber), Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) Kim Pine (Alison Pill), ‘Young’ Neil Nordegraf (Johnny Simmons).

Their Best Song: Launchpad McQuack (that’s not the actual title of the song)

Wyld Stallyns may have saved the world, but Sex Bob-Omb had to deal with the romantic angst and flakiness of their bassist Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and fight the powerful Katayanagi twins in a literal battle of the bands. They may have sold out to Gideon Gordon Graves (Jason Schwartzman) in the end, but it’s hard to resist a record deal from the G-Man. Anyway, eventually they end up giving Scott Pilgrim the boost he needs to kick in the teeth of Graves, and they even sound better without him in the band anyway.

#4. Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes from Star Wars

Star Wars - Cantina Band

Key Members: Figrin D’an, Nalan Cheel, Tend Dahai, Doikk N’ats, Ickabel G’ont, Tech Mo’r

Their Best Song: Cantina Band #1

It takes some real balls to be the house band in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is the Mos Eisley Cantina, but Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes barely bat an eye after Obi-Wan Kenobi cuts off Ponda Baba’s arm. They just go right back to playing. The cantina band is infinitely better than The Max Rebo Band at Jabba’s Palace, if only because Sy Snootles has one of the most annoying singing voices in the entire galaxy. It’s a real shame too, because Max Reebo and Droopy McCool are very talented musicians.

#3. The Blues Brothers from The Blues Brothers

Blues Brothers

Key Members: “Joliet Jake Blues (John Belushi), Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd), Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Murphy “Murph” Dunne, Willie “Too Big” Hall, Tom “Bones” Malone, “Blue Lou” Marini, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Alan “Mr. Fabulous” Rubin

Their Best Song: Sweet Home Chicago

Even if you don’t like blues music, it’s hard not to fall in love with The Blues Brothers. Calling all the way back to the classic days of “Saturday Night Live,” this duo became the first feature film to spawn from the late night sketch series. But these brothers are legendary because they’ve actually released real albums, went on tour around the country, and have stood the test of time following the death of John Belushi. Their legacy was tainted slightly by Blues Brothers 2000, but it didn’t do any permanent damage. It’s even hard to pick their best song since they collaborate with so many legends in the movie.

#2. Spinal Tap from This is Spinal Tap

This is Spinal Tap

Key Members: David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), Vic Savage (David Kaff), Mick Shrimpton (R.J. Parnell)

Their Best Song: Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight

If The Folksmen didn’t do it for you, then this other assembly of Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer should do the trick. The phrase “turn it up to 11” is now a common quote when it comes to talking about music, and that’s because of This is Spinal Tap, the mockumentary that follows this British band on tour. And yet again, what’s truly fantastic about Spinal Tap is that they’ve become a real life touring band around the world, and they even had the song we featured above included as a playable track on the video game Guitar Hero II.

#1. Stillwater from Almost Famous

Stillwater - Almost Famous

Key Members: Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee), Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup), Larry Fellows (Mark Kozelek), Ed Vallencourt (John Fedevich)

Their Best Song: Fever Dog

The guitar sound is incendiary. Way to go. We don’t have the time to write a think piece about the midlevel band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom. But we do have time to praise what I consider to be the greatest fictional band in cinema’s history. What do I love about Stillwater? To begin with…everything. Based in part on Black Sabbath and the real-life experience director Cameron Crowe had as a young, budding journalist, Stillwater is the perfect depiction of a rock band from the 70s. This group toured hard and rocks even harder, with all the complications of a band rising to fame in a world riddled with acid, adultery and airplane mishaps.

Honorable Mentions

Tenacious D from Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
Infant Sorrow from Forgetting Sarah Marshall
The Weird Sisters from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Löverburger from Can’t Hardly Wait
Sonic Death Monkey/Kathleen Turner Overdrive/Barry Jive and the Uptown Five from High Fidelity
Hedwig and the Angry Inch from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Autobahn from The Big Lebowski
The Lone Rangers from Airheads
Sexual Chocolate – Coming to America
The Max Rebo Band from Return of the Jedi
Adult Education from She’s Out of My League
The Rutles from All You Need is Cash
Soronprfbs from Frank
CB4 from CB4

So there you have it. Those are my picks for the Top 15 Best Bands in Movies. I’m pretty confident in my choices, but there’s obviously going to be dissension in my ranking in the comments, so fire away. At the same time, there are probably some bands that I missed in the honorable mentions, so feel free to refresh my memory.

Of course, these are only bands from the world of movies. If you like this list, I may just have to go back and do a separate list for the best bands from television, because there’s plenty of those too. We’ll see what happens.

What do you think of my Top 15 Best Bands in Movies? What are your favorite bands from the big screen?

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