From Led Zeppelin to The Beatles to almost every other inventive rock band in between, the world of fantasy has been a constant source of inspiration. We have put together a list of our favorites. Some of them are amazingly weird, and some are just amazing. But each and every one of them would make JRR Tolkien shape his hands in the demon formation and ROCK OUT!
10. The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins - Leonard Nimoy
In what amounts to one of the worst ideas humanity can lay claim to, Leonard Nimoy attempted to capitalize on his Star Trek success by recording this bizarre ode to J.R.R. Tolkein's beloved hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. We suppose the reasoning behind this was, "Hey, Spock has pointy ears, so does Bilbo Baggins, Bam! Let's see Spock singing a song about him!" If you're a fan of pop-culture nostalgia gone wrong, you've just hit the mother lode.
9. Xanadu - Olivia Newton John
After the titanic success of Grease, Olivia Newton John starred as greek goddess Aphrodite on roller-skates in the delightfully abysmal disco musical Xanadu. The movie was pretty freaking horrible yet quite entertaining, due to an off-the-charts kitsch factor and a genuinely awesome soundtrack. Its title song is one of the film's best, due in no small part to the fact that the amazing Electric Light Orchestra wrote and produced the track.
8. Stonehenge - Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap, a ground-breaking comedic mockumentary about a thoroughly mediocre metal band struggling to stay relevant in the 80's, only seems more and more earnest as time goes by. The truth is a LOT of bands out there at the time were every bit as ridiculous, and the winning track "Stonehenge" really hits the nail on the head in terms of the late 70's/early 80's metal trend of making vapid songs based around spooky-fantasy scenarios.
7. Dark Fantasy - Kanye West
Proving that fantasy isn't just the territory of cheesy metal bands and disco, Kanye "I'm gonna let you finish" West released Dark Fantasy, complete with a bizarre video where West comes across a beautiful (possibly dead?) female, bird-creature looking thing. In spite of the fact it was a half way decent video, it was by no means "one of the best videos of all time!"
6. Holy Diver - Dio
Holy Diver is exactly the over the top cheese-metal that Spinal Tap parodied. The music video is a site to behold, combining Dungeons and Dragons swordplay with Danny DeVito sized Ronnie James Dio howling nonsensical lyrics like "Ride the Tiger! You can see he's fresh, but you know he's clean!" in his amazing operatic-metal voice. It's hard to take seriously, but to any metal fan, it's four minutes of no-holds barred awesomeness.
5. The Unicorns - I Was Born A Unicorn
The quirky, indie rock band the Unicorns are a nerd rock fantasy come to life. Often singing songs about ethereal sites such as mythical sea creatures and ghosts that are tired of scaring people, the band got a little autobiographical with their song "I Was Born a Unicorn". If you're a big fan of fun, lo-fi, indie-pop, then the Unicorns are for you!
4. The Never Ending Story - Lamahl
Never heard of Lamahl? Don't worry, even Lamahl has to be reminded sometimes. This mulleted dance-pop singer fronted the band Kajagoogoo (another strangely named act that time has forgotten), but went solo for the title track to the exceptional fantasy film The Never Ending Story in 1983.
3. In the Garage - Weezer
On their classic debut, The Blue Album (a giant leap forward for Nerd Rock) Weezer threw in one of their most endearing lines that captured the hearts of geeks everywhere: "I've got a Dungeon Master's Guide, I've got a twelve sided die, I've got Kitty Pryde and NightCrawler too, waiting there for me." In today's geek saturated music market, these lines may seem commonplace, but in the early 90's, bands just didn't let their nerd flag fly freely, making this song very much ahead of its time.
2. The Rainbow Connection - Kermit The Frog
This banjo led song is undeniably one of the great fantasy songs of all time. It's hard not feel all gushy inside every time it plays, because it speaks to the childlike sense of wonder in all of us.
1. WonderBoy - Tenacious D
The Jack Black fronted Tenacious D has had no greater moment of glory than their rousing fantasy rocker Wonderboy. The song creates its own triumphant mythology for a mysterious hero known as Wonderboy, who has the power to "kill a yak from 200 miles away…With mind bullets!"
Did we miss any fantasy-themed rock songs on your top 10?