During this modern age of the World Wide Web, cross continental missiles and PVR the idea of a fictional band touring the world just doesn’t surprise you anymore.
These bands are made up of actors, voice artists and/or cartoon characters yet they seem to have taken the world, and every television set therein, by storm. From rockumentaries, tongue (firmly) in the cheek parodies to real world endeavours to make a cheap buck, these bands not only produce incredibly awesome tracks and sometimes albums, but also helped to reinvent the way to view and admire bands.
Here’s a short list of three fictional bands that I personally think not only brought upon a change in the industry, but also made it big. Not too mention they rock hard, really hard.
The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers started as a SNL skit between Dan Aykroyd and late great John Belushi with Aykroyd playing the Belushi singing away. The skit became so popular that other members were added to the band and shortly thereafter a debut was performed on SNL.
Even though the original sound of the band was based on R&B (not this new gobbledygook of Rhythm & Bass but Rhythm and Blues, the way it should be) and old fashioned soul, the band regularly added many rock ‘n roll riffs to songs, making them instantly recognisable and also totally danceable.
After Belushi died of a drug overdose, Aykroyd was joined by famed actor John Goodman. Besides two Blues Brothers films and a console game, the Blues Brothers have made an everlasting impact on popular culture.
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
David Bowie’s flamboyant Glam Rock persona, Ziggy Stardust, the human agent an alien planning on saving humanity with a message of hope. Ziggy is the definitive rock start with his wild drug abuse, promiscuity and message of peace, love, happiness and ultimately hedonism. Ziggy is his own worse enemy and finally consumes himself due to his massive ego.
The self titled concept album went on to receive huge critical acclaim and also inspired a film, aptly named after the band. Fans started to emulate Bowie’s persona and glitzy androgenism to the horror of parents and clergy men around the world.
The first “virtual band” to make it big, Gorillaz is a band of cartoon sprites who have been wowing the hip kids around the world. They’ve gone double platinum in the US and earned five Grammy nominations, going on to win one.
They’ve released two studio albums and many remix/compilation albums that have also garnered a huge fanbase. This is the hip and happening band of the imaginary, playing alternative rock to triphop, they have the clubs in their pockets.
Probably the most curious aspect of this band is that no one is completely sure of who actually provides the music. Crazy stuff.
So don’t dismay budding rock star, if cartoon sprites and comedians are making music that not only earns them the big bucks but also gets the fans a-dancing, you can too. Keep working those tabs!