In granddad's (read: my) day, radio and TV commercials relied on catchy jingles to sell product. Yet despite its success, this trend started becoming passé in the 1980s, as ad agencies and their clients went from commissioning original compositions to licensing existing music. Somewhere in the middle, however, there's an odd little collection of pop hits that first saw life as commercial jingles. "I'd… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "music" (most recent at top)
Surely by now you know that there's nobody named Pink Floyd; Syd Barrett named his band after American bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. (Jethro Tull and Rilo Kiley were similarly named for obscure historical figures.) But perhaps you were once fooled, like me, into believing that these nine bands' fictional frontmen were real. Echo & the Bunnymen. Vocalist Ian McCulloch never went by the nickname… read more!
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were both born and raised in Queens. That makes Simon & Garfunkel a more "pureblood" New York outfit than, say, Blondie or the Velvet Underground. This made me think about the countless Los Angeles bands that, like the city itself, consist of transplants: most of the members of the Eagles, Guns N' Roses, and Maroon 5, for example,… read more!
Many of today's longest-lasting jazz/pop standards were originally written for movies in the 1930s and 1940s. So many, in fact, that it's futile to list them. (A few standouts: "Cheek to Cheek", "Jeepers Creepers", "Lullaby of Broadway", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B", "Chattanooga Choo Choo" - and those were just the ones nominated for Oscars!) But here are… read more!
Our ever-litigious society has contributed to innumerable stories of ridiculous legal demands. Like when a band from the United Kingdom is forced to change its name in the United States because an (almost invariably obscure) American band who happened to snag the name first sues them over the rights. Rather than fight these Yank musicians and their lawyers, most Brits… read more!
These days, movies are adapted from everything: books, stage plays, video games, comics, even trading cards (Mars Attacks!). But then there is this peculiar subgenre of adaptations, a sample of which pops here and there over the years: films that are based on songs. I'm not talking about movies that merely borrow the titles of hit records (e.g., Pretty Woman,… read more!
For decades, the Top 40 chart has seen the occasional novelty hit sung in something other than English. Think of Santana's "Oye Como Va", Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose", or the Sandpipers' "Guantanamera" - and those weren't even big enough to make this list! Based on their peak positions on the Billboard Hot 100, here are the nine most… read more!
There are bad songs, and then there are bad songs that have a significant and irreversible effect on pop culture. Here are nine tunes which, if I had a big cosmic "undo" button, I would have made sure never came into existence. In some cases, the songs themselves aren't the problem so much as the terrible trends they unleashed. "WITCH… read more!
These days, there are countless dance club hits that feature just a couple of words - typically, sampled dialogue from an unknown source - repeated endlessly. Fatboy Slim ("The Rockafeller Skank") and Duck Sauce ("Barbra Streisand") are just two examples that leap quickly to mind. But those tracks are a dime a dozen, and so this list isn't about them.… read more!
A funny thing happens whenever I tell someone I'm a filmmaker. Just about everybody asks me, "What kind of films do you make?" I think it's an odd question, as most directors tackle all kinds of genres. That said, there are filmmakers who strictly focus on one genre - especially in documentaries, horror movies, and porn. And once upon a… read more!
Have you ever heard a song on the radio that you were sure was by a particular performer - only to find out, often years later, that you were wrong? Of course you have. And so have I. Here are nine examples of well-known hits that sure sound as though different, usually more famous artists recorded them. Call it the… read more!
For a while, there was this joke that every hip indie rock group had to have a female bassist, a la Tina Weymouth in Talking Heads. But recently I saw some old British Invasion band playing a song from the era, and I was intrigued by seeing a girl behind the drums. I wanted to know more, and this list… read more!
Summer 2010 at the movies is shaping up to be another season packed with unwanted sequels: the ho-hum box office of the latest Shrek and Sex and the City installments serves as a reminder that vapid follow-ups to successful movies aren't guaranteed winners. The same often goes for sequels to hit pop songs, rare though they may be. The following… read more!
Not to toot my own horn, but I'm proud that I'm able to write, direct, edit and shoot a film as well as do graphic design, illustration, animation and other forms of creative writing. I am not, however, a renaissance man, as I don't have a musical bone in my body. I cannot play an instrument, and if I ever tried… read more!
Pop/rock songwriters are notorious for their bad grammar. Any English teacher can tell you that. But some are equally clueless about geography and history. Such as the writers of the following nine tunes: "Pride (in the Name of Love)", U2, 1984. Probably the most famous lyrical error, Bono pinpointed the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. as occurring on "early… read more!
This list is explicitly a tie-in with my new short comedy Party Pooper, now available for viewing at Funny Or Die. Now that the film's out, I must reveal myself as a proud fan and practitioner of potty humor. And a running joke in our household has been to take classic pop songs with "love" in the title or lyrics… read more!
"Well, she was just 17, you know what I mean." No, Beatles, what do you mean? To be fair, the UK's age of consent is 16, making this song's 17-year-old subject fair game for the Liverpool lads. But here in California, she'd be jailbait. This list is tongue-in-cheek, of course; pop music is aimed at teenagers, and as such, songwriters… read more!
After recent Oscar success for Ray and Walk the Line, the musician biopic is - for better or worse - big right now. After all, it promises an easy ticket for Hollywood actors who thirst for awards. Too bad the movies themselves are usually lousy. 2007 has seen the musician biopic at its peak, though input from the US this… read more!
It's interesting to note how many notable blind musicians there have been over the past century or so. (I suppose deaf singers would be more interesting, but...) You could say that, owing to their sightlessness, these people turned to music to make their lives more meaningful (and let's not forget instrumentalists, including jazz pianists Art Tatum and George Shearing), but… read more!
Sweden is the third largest exporter of pop music in the world today, after only the United States and Britain. Think about that. While Japanese pop groups are big in their home country, and the same can be said all over the planet - France, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Italy, India, etc. - not even musicians from Ireland or Australia… read more!