The death of Davy Jones has much of America revisiting its past love affair with The Monkees, a fictional band manufactured for a TV show of the same name that found success against all odds. The group was clearly inspired by and derived from The Beatles, but the band’s members quickly won the hearts and minds of America with catchy tunes like “I’m a Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.”
While they may have been the first band to make the leap from fiction to reality, they were by no means the last. Several TV shows and films have tried to get their manufactured outfits to transition to music in earnest, but they haven’t met with as much success. In most instances, the line between an actual band and “novelty act” is blurred to the point that making a distinction doesn’t really seem like a good use of anyone’s time.
Let’s just enjoy them for what they are – a handful of substandard, clichéd conglomerates created for the sole purpose of making producers money.
And what’s not to enjoy?
Bands manufactured through stupid reality contests count, per my arbitrary rules, so the band formed in the third season of Puff Daddy’s MTV reality show Making the Band (“Get me a sugar cookie!”) graces us with their presence on this list. Though other bands were formed in other seasons, this all-girl ensemble had the most of success of any of them, but still not all that much.
The band was formed in 2005, and after several lineup changes, eventually called it quits in 2009. They will be missed.
Wait. No they won’t.
The first Christopher Guest mockumentary was such an uncanny and accurate send-up of the bloated and weird rock and roll lifestyle that those in the band, namely Michael McKean, Guest, and Harry Shearer took the gimmick to another level and not only toured, but also released an album of original material.
Though at no point was this to be an earnest undertaking, the band’s effort still ranks as one of the most listenable and entertaining on the list, mostly due to the attention that the actors paid to detail, as opposed to just throwing on shiny shirts and pulling some dance moves.