Monday, August 16, 2010

Supernatural: Top 10 Songs (Seasons 1-5)

As iconic as the '67 Impala the Winchesters drive is the music they blast from it. While the rest of the shows on the CW play hipster indie pop, Supernatural likes to keep it old school with some classic rock. Since the music has become a sort of character of its own on the show, I figured it could use its own countdown.

As an FYI - each title is a link to a complete version of the song, while the episode title under each image is a link to the specific episode usage. Make sense? Good. I gotta warn you, some of the old videos for the songs are pretty hilarious.

10. Heat of the Moment - Asia

Supernatural: Top 10 Songs by

Normally this song would not have made any sort of countdown, but the way it was used in "Mystery Spot" was pretty great. Every time Sam wakes up again, it's that damn song playing, in exactly the same spot... over and over and over and over. The lyrics, which I hadn't much paid attention to before preparing all of this song hoopla, are oddly apropos as well, because we are constantly opening on Sam's eyes, which vary from normal, to confused, to depressed, to determined. He probably cannot ever listen to that song again, huh?

In the opening to this alternative universe episode, we got to see Dean in a completely different life, which was perfectly illustrated with this Kinks song in the background. The irony compared to the real Dean is what makes it all the more entertaining. You gotta love when he hops in his Prius (!), turns on the radio, and flinches when it's some kind of hard rock song, instead turning it to NPR or something. You definitely know this is not the real Dean. Though, we now have to wonder how much this will actually apply to his new life we'll be seeing at the start of season six next month!

For what would normally be a happy little Christmas song for any normal family, for what's left of the Winchesters, it's rather a bittersweet tune. Troubles miles away, gathering friends and family near to you? Through the years we'll always be together, if the fates allow? I mean, whoa. Just stop. It could not be more fitting in a most depressing way, despite it being a beautiful rendition of the song. I feel like I've used this particular scene so many times in my many lists already, but, well, it's just that good. Sniff.

Another bittersweet moment, which I have also featured in another list! Shh! There's a reason these moments are in multiple lists! But here, I'm talking about the music. Well, again, the lyrics hit way too close to home here, particularly for Dean. It starts out with him working to get Sam in a good mood and singing along to some classic Bon Jovi, but ends with him realizing how he's not going to make it back, and he truly is wanted, dead or alive. By demons. Not great things to be wanted by.

The lyrics of the song here don't fit in quite to the situation as some of the other songs on this list. Well, okay, maybe they do in a sort of literal sense rather than speaking to the underlying stuff. But I felt that the song itself just set the tone so much for the scene and what Sam was being forced to do. It's quiet and sad (at least in the opening bits, which is all we hear in the episode) and I don't think the scene would have been as powerful without it.

He wasn't just knocking on Heaven's door, he was actually in Heaven. Details, details. I dare you to watch this scene and not be both teary and smiley at the same time. It's such a touching little thing that, sadly, gets cut short when Dean starts to remember he was actually shot to death, so this isn't a dream but rather a Heaven memory thingy. But, seeing how happy he was to be there shooting some fireworks with little Sammy, it was a beautiful thing, and again the music just helped it become something even better.

Okay, seriously, this may be my personal favorite of the bunch. I remember I was just blown away by how great the song and the editing and the scenes chosen to mirror each other between the two brothers were when this episode first came on. It is by far one of my favorite openings in the show's history. I fear I may be sort of a weirdo in that respect, but I don't know. I just love it.

Well, what is there to say really? I feel like I'm just repeating myself on some of these. But this was another instance where the song really stood out as fitting to the scene. As you can see from the lyrics in the above image, they are practically patented for Dean and Sam. This was really the first time the boys felt a real sense of dread in regards to law enforcement. They'd had run-ins before, but not with the FBI. They had not a clue how much the FBI had been taking an interest in them already. "We are so screwed." Indeed.

The first time we heard this song was actually in the promo for season five. It was such a popular song with fans that the CW made the full version available for download shortly after the premiere of the promo. I may or may not have been one such fan. They used it a couple more times throughout the course of season five, too. Once, in a promo for the above episode, and then in the episode itself. It kind of lost some of its magic for me by that point because I had listened to it so many times on my own. But it's a very haunting song that totally fit the tone of season five.

Well, this was sort of obvious, wasn't it? You may give me crap for choosing this song as it has only been used in the end of season recaps, but hey. Hey! It is something of a Winchester anthem. Sons and weariness and manly tears! I remember at the end of season two wondering whether they'd use the song again after the reception it had after the first season (when it was actually played before the second to last episode, rather than the last! Fun fact!), and lo, they did! And it has been a tradition ever since. Imagine if they ever decided not to use it! That would be sheer travesty. I contemplated using some sort of montage of photos for the series for the above image, decided that was too much, and just kind of did a montage-y thing of the opening title cards. Incidentally, in case you are wondering, my favorite title card is season five's, followed by season two's. Just a little Jen trivia for you.

Honorable Mentions: Back in Black - AC/DC, Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum, God's Gonna Cut You Down - Johnny Cash, Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (simply for Jensen's awesome riff)

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  1. Renegade, hands down, followed by Wanted Dead or Alive. They always manage to find just the perfect song for the scene, but with these two songs as well as Carry On, there's nothing better.

  2. I wish they had a larger music budget so we'd get awesome songs more often!

  3. My favorite song cue of the whole series was the Impala hitting the road for the first time after being hit by the semi to Back in Black by AC/DC.

  4. You're totally not a weirdo -- the intro to 5x3 with "Simple Man" is one of my all-time favorite openings too. I admit that I've watched it many, many times.

  5. @ Anonymous - yep, that was a close honorable mention for me! I know a lot of people love that one.

    @ ladyelektra - yay! I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

  6. Love "Back in Black" for sure...that was such a joyous moment!

    I had been thinking of "You Shook Me All Night Long" as well...

  7. Yeah Back in Black seems to be a popular comment!

    Was "You Shook Me All Night Long" from a recap? I seem to be remembering a recap just off the top of my head.

  8. Man, I can't believe you didn't include Don't Fear the Reaper from Faith (1.11, I think?)

    The slow build of the song when the woman in the woods is being chased by the reaper while Sam and Dean discuss what they're up against, and they figure out what it is as the chorus kicks in and the reaper takes the woman and we see it for the first time with the DON'T FEAR THE REAPER line and man. So good.

    I remember watching that episode and just losing my shit at that part, and that was the first time that I thought the show could be something special, you know? I mean I know I liked it, and thought it was great, but that was the first time that I really felt like the show was something ELSE, you know? Especially coming on top of Asylum and Scarecrow.

    Ha ha anyway. My vote clearly goes for Don't Fear the Reaper.

  9. Ha, yeah, I re-watched that episode recently, but maybe it was a little too on the nose for me?

  10. Silent Lucidity was by far the best song, in my opinion. It seemed like this was one of Dean's Moment of Truth where he realized there was no way to fix what was going to happen, which meant he was alone once again. Although I agree completely, Jensen's performance of Eye of the Tiger was a moment to never forget <3

  11. My favourite is 'Don't Fear the Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult from Faith in Season 1, with 'O Death' a very very close second.

  12. I've got to agree with a few of you, 'Dont Fear the Reaper' by BOC is one of my favourites, along with Back in Black with the rebuilt impalla hits the road all 'back in black'. However I really love your pick: A Well Respected Man, Simple Man, Knocking On Heavens Door, Renegade - great!

  13. the episode "Weekend at Bobby's" season 6, the final scene when bobby's about to eat but gets a call... what is that song called? it was played in other episodes for sure. not "the gambler", but the one played during that final scene. help pls?

    1. I'm pretty sure that's not an actual song, just part of the score their composer comes up with. It's similar to Dean's Dirty Organ from their soundtrack... you can find that on youtube at the part I think you're looking for starts at about :25.

      Hope that helps!

  14. what is the song (if you could call it that) or music they put whenever sam and dean have a sad family moment, it plays basically in every scene in the season 5 finale

  15. Season 8 Episode 1 when Dean gets out of the pickup truck and starts walking my favorite song is played by Styxx - Man In The Wilderness. What an awesome song to be played at that moment...

  16. I know I read this list a long time ago, but just a few months ago I caught "Nightshifter" on TNT in passing and it gave me the goose bumps how amazing this show uses songs. I canwatch the last 5 minutes of that episode over and over again just to marvel at how well Renegade was used. Thanks for the list and for reminding me of one of the many reasons I fell in love with this show.

  17. Carry on my wayward son is the perfect song for this show I've watched it since it came out in 2005 and will continue to watch till it's over which I hope is never