It might’ve started with Family Ties and “At This Moment.” Or maybe it was Friends‘ Ross and Rachel going on a break to the strains of “With or Without You.” Somewhere along the way, we started associating great songs with the big TV moments they’d accompanied, and we’re betting you do the same.
Since the fall season has already offered up some great iPod fodder, we’re helping you get your groove on by compiling a list of recent TV tunes that struck us as awesome, complete with song and artist information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection.
Here’s how it goes. First off, the usual warning: Spoilers abound. Second, you know we lurve Glee, but we kept the list to songs used as background rather than as musical numbers unto themselves. That said, there’s nothing scientific behind our picks; we just went with what we thought was cool. If you disagree or have other suggestions, that leads us to our third point: Hit the comments section, because we really wanna know what TV songs you’d choose.
Let’s get started! Peruse our TVLine Mixtape playlist, and then fill the comments with your favorite TV jams!
SONG TITLE | “Into the Black”
ARTIST | Chromatics
ALBUM | Kill for Love (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | Boozy and bereaved, Daniel watched from afar as his former fiancée stood on her dock after a moonlight swim. Jack and Amanda lay in bed, neither sleeping, neither happy. At Cliffside, Charlotte railed against the indignity of her father’s betrayal. And the lyric –”Once you’re gone, you can never come back” – applied to all of them.
LINER NOTES | The song used in this scene is a cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).”
SONG TITLE | “Bad Girls”
ARTIST | M.I.A.
ALBUM | Available now in single; slated for M.I.A.’s not-yet-titled studio album due in December
WHY IT ROCKED | If you can think of a better soundtrack for ditching a blind date, running barefoot through city streets when you can’t get a cab, navigating a quick change, scrubbing in and delivering a breech baby, we’d like to hear it. (Side note: For reasons we can’t quite pinpoint, the lipstick removal in particular is just. so. badass.)
SONG TITLE | “The Lost Boy”
ARTIST | Greg Holden
ALBUM | n/a – though the song is available as a charity single benefitting the Red Cross
WHY IT ROCKED | Still hollowed out by Opie’s death in the previous episode, SAMCRO gave him a quiet send-off. Drinks were raised. Tears were shed. Childhood photos were lovingly tucked into jackets. And as the chorus blossomed, Jax led the procession that put the troubled Son to rest.
LINER NOTES | Holden co-wrote the debut single “Home” for American Idol‘s Phillip Phillips.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Raising Hope, “Not Indecent, But Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal”
SONG TITLE | “White Night”
ARTIST | The Postelles
ALBUM | The Postelles (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | It took them a few times to nail it – and even the so-called right time involved him admitting that he’d once had a momentary sumthin’-sumthin’ with her mom — but the boppy music that cranked up when Sabrina accepted Jimmy’s proposal gave us a good feeling that their new home will be a happy one. (Take that, Grandma!)
SONG TITLE | “Ho Hey”
ARTIST | The Lumineers
ALBUM | The Lumineers (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | There’s nothing to cement Brennan’s return to the Jeffersonian (and Booth, of course) like a good, music-backed montage. When Brennan and Angela each figured out a piece of the Pelant puzzle, it looked like the criminal mastermind was going to go away for a really long time. (Turned out he did… as an extradited “Egyptian” – and therefore basically free — citizen.) Ah well. At least the song was solid.
LINER NOTES | If “Ho Hey” sounded familiar, it’s likely because you heard it in ads for Blue Moon beer.
SONG TITLE | “The Funeral”
ARTIST | Band of Horses
ALBUM | Everything All the Time (2006)
WHY IT ROCKED | Guys, we met the mother! If ever a moment needed to be commemorated with a tune, this was it.
SONG TITLE | “Young Blood”
ARTIST | The Naked and the Famous
ALBUM | Passive Me, Aggressive You (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | Most the songs on our list were picked because they provided a background for a hugely emotional moment. This one was picked because we thought it was a cool song and because a TVLine editor happened to be running in Central Park as Lucy Liu was shooting her fleet-footed scenes alongside the reservoir earlier this year.
SONG TITLE | “All Alright”
ARTIST | Fun.
ALBUM | Some Nights (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | Nick’s sweet reassurance to an out-of-work Jess (“C’mon, I can’t do anything and look at me! I’m… kinda fine”), her giggled admission that she’d confused “shot girl” for “cigarette girl” and his easy arm around her shoulders were perfectly backed by the pop confection.
SONG TITLE | “Towards the Sun”
ARTIST | Alexi Murdoch
ALBUM | Towards the Sun (2011)
SONG TITLE | “Names and Races”
ARTIST | Foreign Fields
ALBUM | Anywhere But Where I Am (2012)
WHY THEY ROCKED | As if the drama needed more help tugging on our hearts… These two acoustic numbers put a soft edge on a tough subject, the first while Jasmine and Crosby were talking to Jabbar about racism and the second as the worried parents watched their son sleep.
SONG TITLE | “Without You”
ARTIST | One Two
ALBUM | The version used in the show was the acoustic single; you can find another version on the band’s Best Friend EP (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | “Death changes everything,” Mer said. “This song makes us want to hug our person very tightly,” we say. RIP, Mark.