Greatest cartoon bands of all time
The 80s and early 90s was a magical time for both cartoons and music, as its that sweet spot in history where artists still had a lot of undiscovered territory to explore while having a rich history of existing genre and norms to rebel against. Of course, like all good things in entertainment, music and cartoons will find their way to each other, which is why every single cartoon during those times had a music-related character. Even the Transformers had Jazz, Blaster, and Soundwave.
Some of the best of examples didn’t just have a character with a music related concept, they had an entire band. Here are some of the greatest cartoon bands of all time:
Jet Screamer (the Jetsons)
This futuristic (well, everything from the Jetsons is futuristic, right?) band may have been marketed within the show as a musical act that turns garbage into marketable hits, the main example being the song Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah, which was taken from Elroy’s gibberish – what’s really notable about the band is that the song was so catchy it was eventually covered and turned into a real world hit by the Violent Femmes.
Cold Slither (from G.I. Joe)
Sure, the act is a one hit wonder, and it’s really just Dreadnoks that Cobra Commander clothed in tacky glam rock attire (which is probably the norm for G.I. Joe characters, come to think of it), but Cold Slither used subliminal messages to hypnotize enough people to fill an arena. That totally rocks.
Josie and the Pussycats
Forget the recent live action movie. The original pussycats were class acts who can belt out creamy and catchy Motown songs while being chased by bad guys. Also, like Jet Screamer, a large number of Josie and the Pussycat songs stood the test of time and were remade by modern bands. It also helps that the band is not a one hit wonder, having an entire show based around their act, similar to
Jem and the Holograms/The Misfits
We put both Jem and the Holograms and The Misfits in the same spot, because really, they’re two sides of the same cartoon coin. A large part of their appeal is based on how they play off of each other. The Holograms’ songs were some of the best commercially viable cartoon songs that didn’t actually become commercially viable. In fact, to this day it’s easy to find straight adult males who have fond memories of Jem and the Holograms.
Dethklok (from Metalocalypse)
I have to admit that I’m not a fan, and Dethklok is the only entry that isn’t from the 80s/90s, but you can’t deny that being so popular (well, within the fictional reality set in their cartoon) that they make more money than most countries’ governments, with enough clout to kill fans at concerts without getting into legal trouble, has earned them a spot on this list. Of course, it also helps that the band is a real band and has a real album (Dethalbum) that was a bonafide smash hit, having reached the 21st spot on Billboard’s top 200. Dethklok even tours around the country, with some of their songs finding their way to videogames (Guitar Hero II) and movies (Saw II).
Shuki Levy and Haim Saban
They’re not really cartoon characters. But if ever there is an 80s or 90s cartoon (or western tokusatsu) with a music score that found its way stuck into your head – you have Shuki Levy and Haim Saban to thank.