Songs by Bands that Don't Exist

Our local oldies station devotes the 12-1 slot for a themed “lunch hour” program. Generally they’ll do a bunch of songs with some silly thing in common; such as songs about dead people, songs with nonsense words in them, etc.

A few days ago they did songs by bands that don’t exist. I was tied up in meetings all day and didn’t get to hear the program. So, can we name some songs by bands that don’t exist?

I can only think of two:

Life is a Rock by Reunion: IIRC they were a bunch of studio musicians who recorded one song, just for the helluvit, and then went back to their regular jobs.

Sugar Sugar by The Archies: Again, a bunch of studio musicians, only this time the songs was recorded for the TV cartoon.

Any others?

Well, I wrote a song a couple years back about people having to slow down when driving in a neighborhood with a lot of retarded kids. It was called “Slow Children at Play.”

I am not a band.

Does this count?


If I recall correctly, in the Tom Hanks directed film That Thing You Do, the fictional band in the film is The Oneders (pronounced like The Wonders, get it? They were one hit wonders), the song they performed (titled,suprise, That Thing You Do!) was actually released as a single and charted in the States.

How about anything by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass? As I’ve heard it, there was no Tijuana Brass – it was all Herb in the studio.

Minor Hijack: What about bands that didn’t exist until a fictional movie was made about them? Otis Day and the Knights were made up for Animal House, but then they started playing dates. Similarly, I think that there have been touring versions of Spinal Tap and The Commitments, from the movies of the same name. (And, hey, hey, what about The Monkees?)

I suppose anything by Milli-Vanilli (sp?) would qualify. While they were a group they did not really do the songs credited to them. It was in fact uncredited house musicians.

If not what you asked for, it was pretty closely related.

It’s sort of like the “Archies” who had about seven groups touring the country under the name “The Archies” after the song hit the charts.

Didn’t “Josie and the Pussy Cats” chart something briefly?

And the first song by “Surfaries” (sp?)(it charted back in the early 60s) weren’t they (the group) really mostly the Beach Boys just jamming with some friends at another friend’s studio and then released under the Surfaries name? As I remember, they were really sweating their own record company finding out since a couple of them call each other by name on the record.

How about “A Man of Constant Sorrow” by the Soggy Bottom Boys?

That “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodby” song by “Steam”

IIRC, this was a song in progress and was to be used as a B side on a Steam release. The idea was that i45’s (Listen up, kids, back in the old days we had “records” made of “vinyl”.) had a hit A side and a “lackluster” B side. This “forced” DJs to play the A side.

But I digress. Paul Leka and Garrett Scott (Steam’s singer) were writing the song in studio and didn’t have all the lyrics. Of course, they substituted the “na-nas” and the “hey-heys” until better lyrics could be written.

The producers liked the song so much they wanted to release it, as is (or as was?) as the A side!! Garrett was so upset by this, he refused to let such a crappy song be released under the name “Steam” so it was originally released under a false name (I’ll think of it). It became such an immediate hit that it fell back into the domain of one of “Steam’s” songs and made it onto their 1969 album.

So, it was originally released by a band that didn’t exist!

Imagine if it never was… what would we sing when the visiting team retired their starting pitcher in the bottom of the fourth inning? :slight_smile:

Y’all are forgetting the current big thing in technically nonexistent bands: The Gorillaz.

Sure, they’re backed by some of the best hip-hop & techno talents the UK has to offer, but 2-D, Murdoc, Russel and Noodle are just ink & paper…
But really cool ink & paper…

It depends on what you mean by “doesn’t exist.” For instance, the Four Seasons recorded several singles and released them under the name of “The Wonder Who.”

Procul Harum was the name used for a one-shot release. However, once “A Whiter Shade of Pale” became a monster hit, the musicians formed a formal group.

Then there’s “Ruben and the Jets” and “Spinal Tap.”

About 10 years ago there was a show on FOX called “The Heights” about a band that enjoyed playing bland, inoffensive top 40 pap and they charted a song “how do you talk to an angel”. Seems to me that the song lasted longer than the show.

There were a lot of “bands that don’t exist” in Bubblegum music of the 60s and 70s. You mentioned the Archies; another bubblegum group that immediately comes to mind is the Cuff Links, who had a hit with “Tracy.” Like the Archies, they were also studio musicians, and I believe Ron Dante was with both “groups.”

Another that comes to mind is a song called “The Sound of Philadelphia,” better known as “TSOP.” This 1970s instrumental was done by a “group” known as MFSB (that is, Mother Father Sister Brother–they had a thing for initials), that was supposedly a bunch of session players.

Not sure if this counts, but a “group” called Susie and the Red Stripes had a hit in the 1970s also. They were a legitimate band though, and better known as Paul McCartney and Wings.

“One Tin Soldier” By Coven. “Coven” was a studio band.
I’m not sure this counts, but both Ross Bagdasarian and Sheb Wooley recorded songs under other names.

“The Blues Brothers” charted a couple of songs, do they count? Of course, they didn’t write stuff.

“The Shape Of Things To Come” by Max Frost and The Storm Troopers. The song is from the film Wild In The Streets and is credited to the nonexistent band in the film.

A lot of the '70s disco groups were actually session players, including MFSB – Van McCoy, the Salsoul Orchestra, A Taste Of Honey, and The Emotions, just to name a few.

I was going to mention The Archies, Coven, and Milli Vanilli, but never mind…

Christmas, Christmas, time is near, time for toys and time to strangle some little furry high-pitched weenies until their EYES BUG OUT OF THEIR HEADS AND…

Ahem. Sorry. Only American Bandstand song to get a 0 rating from the audience.

But hey, can anyone name the Fifties novelty song that, according to the first episode of their '80’s TV revival, was written by Dave Seville, and was their first hit?

Not only was Dante the lead singer for both “groups” but, with “Tracy” and “Sugar Sugar”, he was the only person to have two Top 10 singles in the charts at the same time in two different groups.

The Residents may also be another non-existent group. It’s hard to tell; the band apparently has four members but they perform in costume and none have ever revealed their true identity. However speculation is that all of their material is the work of two men, Homer Flynn and Hardy Fox.

The Toys. IIRC it was two brothers that did one song - “Smoke Two Joints” - back around the mid/late 80’s or thereabouts. The song got massive radio play in California and from what I’ve heard they were offered record deals but they never did anything else. No albums, no live shows, just that one song. Alot of you might have heard the song covered by Sublime on Forty Oz to Freedom. If you listen at the end of the record he says “when we did ‘smoke two joints’ that was jacked from the toys.”

I saw the witch doctor
He told me what to do
He said:
“Oo-ee, oo-ah-ah
Ting, tang, wallah wallah bing bang…”

Performed by the Chipmunks.

What do I win?

I always liked “U Stink But I (heart) U” byt Billy and the Boingers, of Bloom County fame.

How 'bout songs by bands you wish didn’t exist?