We’ve pulled together a collection of songs from recent TV episodes, complete with artist and album information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection. Spoilers abound, and we chose songs we liked – but we always want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
So peruse our playlist, and then hit the comments with your favorite TV jams! And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions about TV music on Twitter @kimroots.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Americans, “Pilot”
TITLE | “Tusk”
ARTIST | Fleetwood Mac
ALBUM | Tusk (1979)
WHY IT ROCKED | Someone got knifed, Phillip had a lung-buster of a chase and in the end, the mission was a bust. But thanks to Fleetwood Mac’s driving drums and the festive horns, the whole shebang felt like a party. (A party with serious consequences, comrades, but a party nonetheless.)
SERIES AND EPISODE | Private Practice, “In Which We Say Goodbye”
TITLE | “No Diggity”
ARTIST | Chet Faker
ALBUM | Thinking in Textures (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | Mid-’90s R&B/rap fusion isn’t exactly up there with Wagner and Pachelbel in the pantheon of popular wedding music, but Faker’s cover of the Blackstreet joint was the perfect accompaniment for Addison’s pomp-free stroll down the aisle.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Following, “Pilot”
TITLE | “Sweet Dreams”
ARTIST | Marilyn Manson
ALBUM | Smells Like Children (1995)
WHY IT ROCKED | Wanna evoke creepy right from the get-go? Start your serial killer-thriller with the ominous opening bars of the Eurythmics classic — as interpreted by goth rocker Marilyn Manson – and then bring it back at the end to drive home Claire’s rising panic as she frantically searches for her missing son. Well (and frighteningly) played, The Following.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Nashville, “I’ve Been Down That Road Before”
TITLE | “Emmylou”
ARTIST | First Aid Kit
ALBUM | The Lion’s Roar (2012)
WHY IT ROCKED | Deacon finally kisses Rayna, and when she recovers, she texts him to “talk” – wouldn’t it have been nice to see what actually would’ve happened? — and waits for him to show up while this folk-infused tribute to famous country-music lovers plays in the background. (Notice how abruptly it stops when buzzkill Teddy shows up at her door — ha!)
SERIES AND EPISODE | Criminal Minds, “Zugzwang”
TITLE | “Infinity Street”
ARTIST | Richard Walters
ALBUM | Young Trees (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | Reid gives a masterful performance of not caring about Maeve as Diane holds them both at gunpoint, but he just can’t fake a passionate kiss while the true object of his affections cowers in fear nearby. One terrible shot later, Walters’ mournful ballad provides the soundtrack for the genius’ irrevocable heartbreak.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Neighbors, “Space Invaders”
TITLE | “Dirty Rain”
ARTIST | Ryan Adams
ALBUM | Ashes & Fire (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | As long as there are adolescents like Amber and Reggie – who pine for each other in mutual obliviousness – there’ll be a place for songs like Adams’ yearning melody. (Though we will miss the empty-headed hunk Amber dumps at the end of the episode: Tell us again about your car-waxing method, Jeremy?)