Daisy Jones & The Nine Other Fictional Bands We Love
During the final weekend of Coachella, I found myself thinking about how great Daisy Jones & the Six is—both the series and the original music. Based loosely on the story of Fleetwood Mac, this series has something for everyone: fans of 70s music, fashion, and everything in between.
While the show’s gotten tons of hype on social media, critics had a mediocre response. Currently, the Rotten Tomatoes score is 70% from critics compared to an audience score of 81%…which proves that the critics are like objectively wrong. (What can I say? I generally don’t agree with the critics, and this time is no exception!) The narrative and characters leave you wanting more—and searching for tour dates. I do need to give a special shout-out to Riley Kilough. She nails the role of Daisy Jones. Elvis would be proud.
Now for the original music. It’s AMAZING. Period. I find myself listening to Aurora on Spotify over and over. I even contemplated buying the vinyl. (Yes, you can buy the album on vinyl!) Blake Mills both produced and wrote or co-wrote every song on their debut album. Additional co-writers include Marcus Mumford, Chris Weisman, Phoebe Bridgers, Jackson Browne, Z Berg, Jason Boesel, Matt Sweeney, Cass McCombs, Ali Tamposi, James Valentine, Barbara Gruska, Ethan Gruska, Stephony Smith, Jonathan Rice, Joe Keefe, Kayslee Collins, and Taylor Goldsmith.
I think this would be the perfect moment to give a shout-out to all the “fake bands” that produced real music. Here are some of our personal favorites.
The Oneders AKA The Wonders are the focus of the film That Thing You Do! (1996) staring, written and directed by Tom Hanks. That Thing You Do! tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional 1960s one-hit wonder pop band, The Oneders. The band’s stand out single “That Thing You Do!” was written and composed for the film by Adam Schlesinger, bassist for Fountains of Wayne and Ivy and released on the film’s soundtrack. The song became a genuine hit for the Wonders in 1996 when it peaked at #41 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Crimson + Clover
Featured in Amy Fleisher Madden’s fictionalized memoire “A Million Miles”. A must for fans of early 2000’s emo, all songs written by Dan Keys of Recover and Young Love.
From Almost Famous (2000), based on the real-life experiences of Cameron Crowe, who worked as a writing for Rolling Stone magazine. Crowe co-produced the soundtrack with Danny Bramson, and co-wrote a majority of Stillwater’s songs with Nancy Wilson of the 70’s rock band Heart. Peter Frampton wrote an additional two songs, while also serving as a technical consultant for the film.
Josie and the Pussy Cats
All versions, but especially the iconic 2001 film, staring Rachael Leigh Cook, Rosario Dawson, and Tara Reid. All three added background vocals to the soundtrack, but the real star is the voice of Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo.
Additional album contributors include her bandmate Michael Eisenstien, Adam Schlesinger, Adam Duritz, Jane Wiedlin, Anna Waronker, Jason Falkner, Dave Gibbs, Steve Hurley, Matthew Sweet, and Bif Naked.
Of the 1987 movie Light of Day, starring Michael J. Fox, Gena Rowlands, and Joan Jett. The title song is credited to Jett’s very real band, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and is the result of a writing collaboration with Bruce Springsteen. The soundtrack also features Ian Hunter, Dave Edmunds, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Jon Bon Jovi.
The central band in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010). All of Sex Bob-omb’s songs were written and composed by musician and producer Beck, though the film’s actors do sing on the soundtrack. Members of Broken Social Scene wrote the songs for opposing band Crash and the Boys, while Metric provided the song “Black Sheep” for The Clash at Demonhead.
Julie and the Phantoms
From the Netflix original of the same name, Julie and the Phantoms is just one of the bands featured in the show, along with Sunset Curve and Dirty Candy. Executive Producer Kenny Ortega was adamant that the cast be able to sing and play their own instruments, as he envisioned the show going on tour after its initial release. Unfortunately, Netflix canceled the family show after one season and, for the time being, it hasn’t been picked up by another streaming service.
Aside from the cast, album contributors include Tova Litvin, Doug Rockwell, Anne Preven, David Amber, Erin Bowman, Michelle Lewis, Dan Petty, and Matt Wong of Reel Big Fish.
The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family was a musical sitcom that ran on ABC in the early 70s, based on the real-life family The Cowsills. While the story follows a group of musical siblings who produce their own Top 40 hit, the majority of the cast weren’t involved in the recording process. The core of the vocals come from members of the Ron Hicklin Singers, but star David Cassidy became the lead vocalist after convincing Farrell that he could sing. Music for the series was produced by Wes Farrell and Shorty Rogers, who also arranged for The Monkees.
From the 2018 remake of A Star is Born. The film was nominated for half a dozen Oscars and won Best Original Song for “Shallow,” as performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Production credit for the song goes to Lady Gaga, of course, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt.
Additional album producers include Dave Cobb, Nick Monson, Paul “DJWS” Blair, Brian Newman, Mark Nilan Jr., Benjamin Rice, and Lukas Nelson—Willie Nelson’s son!