Back in 1969 or so, The Monkeys passed on a little song called "Sugar, Sugar," saying it was too bubblegum for them to record. The song was later picked up by the producers of "The Archies," and it became the first-ever hit song from a cartoon. This resulted in nearly a decade of crappy Saturday morning cartoons involving bands who solve crimes (Josie and the Pussycats, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Charlie Chan and the Amazing Chan Clan, the animated Star Trek*, Jabberjaw, etc.) or have bands traveling along with them (Around the World in 80 Days, Dr. Doolittle, Etc), or have entirely gratuitous musical montages (Scooby Doo), or have live-action musical wraparound segments ("Captain Kool and the Kongs").
Now, I don't know about you, but as a 10-year-old, I just beamed when I heard the band playing in the cantina scene in Star Wars. I loved that the music didn't fit the overall style of the movie, I loved that it didn't fit the 'modern' 1977 sound, and that it was simultaneously alien and familiar.
This was a hit, and Lucas (Who, as we know, has only one idea in his head: How to become high lord emperor of the world so he can get chicks into bed, and all that Star Wars crap is basically just a means to that end that he doesn't really care about**)So he re-used the gag in the the third movie. (Which is basically a remake of the first) but the music there was embarasingly bad and terribly 80s, and the lyrics (If you translate them) are about Arobics. Yikes!
The "Popular Music in Genre Films" thing didn't *Start* with Star Wars (Remember Uhura's crappy "Where my heart is" song?) and it never became as popular or ubiquitous as it did in Saturday Morning cartoons - thank God - but a lot of fairly odious stuff still ended up taking up a lot of our time in movies and shows that really had no place for it.
That Bluesly/Jazzy song from Dr. Franklin's "Walkabout" episode of Babylon 5, the entire movie "Spaceship," the two gratuitous songs in "The Giant Gilla Monster," the "It's Love, Love, Love" song from the original Battlestar Galactica, a season's worth of "All Along the Watchtower" in the new Galactica, that extended guitar jam from "The Troubled Spirit" episode of Space: 1999. The damn Space Hippies from Trek. Gah. You name it. It's almost always bad.
So what I'm asking you folks is
(A) What songs in SF shows/movies do you really hate?
(B) What songs in SF shows/movies are actually kinda' good?
Sound off in the comments!
* - Oh, just relax. It was a joke.
** - Again, just a joke. Relax.