50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

No great TV show is without its share of brilliant music moments, whether poignant or played for laughs. Here's 50 of our favourites (no spoilers, obvs) - starting with Michael Jackson's cameo in The Simpsons. When Homer is admitted to a mental hospital, he meets a man who believes he's Michael Jackson, voiced by Jacko himself. On release, MJ helps Bart write a song for Lisa’s birthday.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: AMC

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

‘Baby Blue’ by Badfinger at the end of Breaking Bad:

“I guess I got what I deserve,” chimes this forgotten '70s classic over the meth drama's final scene, perfectly (and emotionally) surmising the show's overarching theme of action and consequence. Also used in Scorsese’s The Departed, its appearance here led to a 2981% increase in sales of the track.

Photo:
Added: 25 Sep 2013

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Morrissey appears in Brookside:

Yes, really. The Smiths man was offered a cameo in the Merseyside soap after telling press he'd become "hopelessly addicted" to the show. Appearing in spin-off series Brookside South, Morrissey plays himself in the scene and comedy gold ensues: “I know who you are!” Tracey Corkhill screeches. “So do I,” replies the singer, coolly.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Radiohead guest on South Park:

One for the ages, this. Appearing in the show's infamous 'Scott Tenorman Must Die’ episode, the Oxford group are lured to the Colorado town by Cartman as part of a scheme to torment a school mate. When Jimbo does not know what "a radiohead" is, Cartman and Ned sing him part of “Creep". Not quite as good as the original, but a decent stab.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Don Draper listens to The Beatles:

The Fab Four's music is rarely licensed to TV but such is the might of Mad Men, the group's surviving members allowed the show use 'Tomorrow Never Knows' for $250k. Soundtracking a powerful season five scene as Don contemplates his grip on youth culture slipping, it was worth every penny.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Leslie Knope raps ‘Parents Just Don’t Understand’ on Parks and Recreation:

In which Leslie performs the entire third verse from Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith's 90s gem after co-worker Ron inadvertedly uses its first line ("Okay, here's the situation"). After the two minute rap, it turns out that the "situation" is someone on fire in a local park. Classic Leslie.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

'Don't Stop Believing' soundtracks the end of The Sopranos:

The pioneering HBO mob drama couldn't have picked a more fitting song to close with - embodying the 'can do' spirit of modern USA, the Journey rock anthem neatly mirrors the excesses of the American dream showrunner David Chase and co spent six seasons exploring.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

David Bowie mocks Ricky Gervais in Extras:

"Pathetic little fat man," serenades Bowie in this excellent sequence in Gervais's follow-up to The Office, writing an impromptu song about the funnyman's hapless protagonist. A rare, hilarious glimpse into Dame Dave's seldom-seen devilish sense of humour.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Press

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Tom Waits' The Wire theme tune:

Five different versions of Waits's 'Way Down in the Hole' were used as the opening theme to David Simon's Dickensian drug epic, with the bluesman's original (from ‘Frank's Wild Years’) used throughout season two. The other renditions were performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama (S1), The Neville Brothers (S3), DoMaJe (S4) and Steve Earle (S5).

Photo:
Added: 23 Aug 2011

Photo: Press

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Don goes to a Rolling Stones show in Mad Men:

Harry and Don take a Saturday night trip to a Rolling Stones gig to meet with Stones manager Allen Klein about appearing in a commercial. Instead, they end up on a memorable trip following two young female fans of the rockers, getting a glimpse into a bohemian world they don't understand.

Photo:
Added: 26 Mar 2012

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Beastie Boys cameo on Futurama:

The rap trio perform at "Madison Cube Garden" where there’s “an old-fashioned moshpit, just like 1999... again!". You've gotta love Bender's live review of the show: “I think this qualifies as ‘ill’ - at least from a technical standpoint.”

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Pretty much the entire Twin Peaks soundtrack:

Not a week seems to pass in the NME office of late without us discovering a new band who credit the eerie synth noises of David Lynch's famously warped whodunnit drama as an influence. Listening back now, it's easy to understand why - the series' soundtrack is haunting as ever.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Stan becomes obsessed with My Morning Jacket on American Dad:

When the normally straight-laced Stan actually listens to daughter Hayley's favourite band My Morning Jacket, rather than trying to ban her from listening to their "weird" music, he discovers a new side of himself. The episode ends with a live performance of ‘Wordless Chorus’. Surreal and awesome.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Flight of the Conchords' 'Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros':

Has there been a show funnier than this HBO story of a Kiwi folk duo trying to make it in New York since it finished five years ago? This rap sketch is an undoubted highlight of the show's two season run, thanks to ingenious lines like: "They call me the Hiphopopotamus! My lyrics are bottomless!... err...um..."

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Louis Theroux learns to rap:

Speaking of dodgy rap - if you've never seen Brit documentarian Louis Theroux's attempts to drop bars in a gangster rap special of his Weird Weekends show, you really haven't lived.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The National sing in Game of Thrones:

Florence and the Machine had been HBO producers' first choice to sing this haunting nocturne in the show, but it's hard to imagine the English singer bringing the same sinister edge as Matt Berninger and company managed. Chilling stuff.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Friday Night Lights score:

Trail of Dead, Outkast, Explosions In The Sky, Jose Gonzales... the soundtrack to 2007 TV sports drama Friday Night Lights is as eclectic as it is excellent. Great show too.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Walkmen join the long list of artists to appear in the OC:

The NY indie janglers confirmed their status as teen heart throbs with an appearance on The OC, performing live at the Bait Shop in 2004.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Boy George appears on The A Team:

Boy George's appearance on the A-Team was pretty off the wall. He performs to a crowd of rednecks who don't really get his Karma Chamaleon vibes. This clip ofter turns up on 'worst' lists but we think it's kinda genius.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Madness appear on The Young Ones:

Early '80s British comedy The Young Ones launched the careers of Rik Mayall and Ben Elton. Every episode featured a performance from a live band but Madness's cameo is probably the most memorable, their chaotic version of 'Our House’ going down in infamy after broadcast.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Pet Shop Boys turn up on Neighbours for no real reason:

1995 saw Chris Lowe, one half of British music group, The Pet Shop Boys, appear on Ramsey Street. He played himself and let's just say he shouldn't give up his day job.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The True Detective theme tune

No wonder the Handsome Family have been packing out venues around the globe since their track ‘Far from Any Road’ was picked by T Bone Burnett as the theme to this gritty crime thriller - its twisted spaghetti western sounds encapsulate the show's malevolence adroitly.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Press

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Chas and Dave appeaer in Only Fools and Horses:

Although they are frequently miscredited as writers of the iconic theme song, this was actually written and performed by the shows creator John Sullivan. The ‘rockney’ duo did appear in the show later though, performing ‘Margate’ during the credits of the episode Jolly Boys' Outing in Margate.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Beth sings Waxahatchee on The Walking Dead:

Beth covers a bit of the song ‘Be Good’ on piano while sitting next to an open casket in a funeral home. Katie Crutchfield tweeted happy a verse of a song i wrote about shotgunning beer was just on national television!” The scene was originally meant to be accompanied by a Neutral Milk Hotel song but licensing issues stood in the way.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Louie theme:

"Louis, Louis, you're gonna die" - simple but off beat with gloomy shades of despair, Louis CK's theme song for Louie captures the show's dark, esoteric humour superbly.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

’Rappers Delight’ on Scrubs:

As JD wakes up for his last week as a resident the Sugarhill Gang appear on top of his alarm clock rhyming to ‘Rappers Delight’. “Hear my rhyme, it’s wake up time so get your white ass out of bed” they shout before JD clicks snooze, they all nod off…

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Ed Norton pretending to be Spandau Ballet in Modern Family

Claire is notoriously bad at arranging gifts for Phil, so organises a private performance by "Izzy LaFontaine" (Ed Norton), bassist in Phil's favourite band, Spandau Ballet ("between Richard Miller and Martin Kemp"). One snag: turns out Phil isn't actually a fan of Spandau Ballet at all. But he can't let on...

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Mr G's musical in Summer Heights High

Arguably the best moment of Chris Lilley’s mockumentary Summer Heights High, as eccentric teacher Mr G tries to stage an elaborate musical with an anti-drug message to fund a lavish performing arts centre named after himself. The enormous building which would likely eclipse the school in height would be able to host "arena spectaculars."

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Treme's entire soundtrack:

Let's face it - David Simon's The Wire follow-up was never not going to feature great music, being set in New Orleans, the home of jazz.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Dylan's song 'In The Moonlight' (Do Me)' in Modern Family:

"Maybe, maybe, maybe I just wanna do you/do you wanna do me?" That Dylan, what a charmer.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Jeremy and Super Hands' bands in Peep Show:

Worthy of a shout-out for their band names alone: Man Feelings, Danny Dyer's Chocolate Homunculus, Momma's Kumquat and Various Artists (“just to fuck over people with iPods”) are our favourites. Hans also says that the Chemical Brothers “nicked our sound" and that Mumford and Sons “demanded the Ramsgate blowjob," whatever that means.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Gob Bluth dancing to 'The Final Countdown' in Arrested Development:

Every magician needs theme music and Gob's is a cracker - Europe's synthy fists-in-the-air anthem 'The Final Countdown'. Watching him trap himself in a coffin in front of funeral guests just wouldn't be the same without it.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Death Cab For Cutie on the OC:

Seth's favourite band in the show, Death Cab are featured heavily on the teen show's soundtrack. Ben Gibbard and co even perform live on the show, performing tracks like 'Title and Registration' and 'Sound of Settling'.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Bob Dylan appears on 'Pawn Stars':

After years of TV exile, Bob Dylan made a return to our screens with an unexpected turn in 'Pawn Stars' in 2010, essentially America's Antiques Roadshow. Didn't see that coming.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

'It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding' in The Sopranos:

Bob Dylan's classic also made its way into the finale episode of the mafia drama, cleverly alluding to mob boss Tony's troubled relationship with his mother.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

CJ does 'The Jackal' on The West Wing

Politics isn't such a serious business after all, it turns out - just ask the characters at the heart of US White House drama The West Wing, who gather to watch CJ give a performance of this Ronny Jordan rap funk classic in one unforgettable sequence.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Troy McClure's Stop The Planet Of The Apes, I Want To Get Off musical:

"Can I play the piano any more?" "Of course you can!" "Well I couldn't before!" The Simpsons' Broadway spin on The Planet Of The Apes is hands down one of its funniest musical moments.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The girls of Parks and Recreation sing 'Time After Time'

Even Cyndi Lauper would have to hand it to Rashida Jones, Retta and Aubrey Plaza - their version of her pop staple is delightfully harmonious.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

'I Will Wait For You' at the end of Futurama's Jurassic Bark episode'

One of the sci-fi cartoon comedy's hardest hitting scenes. As a montage shows the rest of Fry's dog's life after the delivery man is frozen and sent into the future, 'I Will Wait for You' from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg plays, stirring emotions in even the coldest of hearts. Not a dry eye in the house.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Chris Martin on Extras:

Who knew the Coldplay man's comic timing was this good? Filming an advert for charity about starving children, Martin's self-promotion is hilarious. "We've got a new album coming out... Can [the children] be holding the album?"

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Roger Daltry appears on the Mighty Boosh:

The Who man is seen hoovering the desert at the end of an episode as a karmic consequence of leaving Woodstock early and not helping to clean up. Who saw that coming?

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

'Wonderwall' on Girls:

Hanna sings the Oasis classic in the bath. Britpop reaches Brooklyn.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Press

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The Curb Your Enthusiasm theme:

Thanks to Larry David's sitcom, it's not impossible to have an awkward social encounter without this jolly theme popping into your head.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

The David Brent dance:

Need we say more? Getting down to "Flashdance fused with MC Hammer shit" made a superstar of Ricky Gervais.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Press

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Regina Spektor's Orange Is The New Black theme:

With all the wit and charm of the show it soundtracks, Regina Spektor's Orange Is The New Black theme is a cracker.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Kim Gordon appears on Girls:

Your show is already one of the best-loved sitcoms in years and your new series is anticipated by millions. How do you up the ante even further? Why, by getting former Sonic Youther Kim Gordon involved of course, playing Mindy, a cranky member of support group in a rehab facility attended by Jessa.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

St Vincent turns up on Gossip Girl

Teen soaps always often have musical guests (Gossip Girl had already had Lady Gaga appear on the show before Annie Clark guested) - but rarely are they noise aficionados who count arty racketmakers The Pop Group among their influences.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Michael Scott and Dwight sing 'American Pie' to a dead model:

After claiming to fall in love with a women from a chair catalogue, Michael tracks her down - only to discover she died in a car accident. Depressed, he and Dwight visit her grave - where they sing Don Maclean's 'American Pie' till its dark in a strange bonding moment. Hilarious.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

'Zou Bisou Bisou' on Mad Men:

Megan introduces herself as a main character with a seductive rendition of Gillian Hills' hypnotic 1960s single. Stylish and effortlessly cool.

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Photo: Youtube

50 Awesome Music Moments In TV Shows

Paul McCartney guests on The Simpsons:

The Beatle's cameo in the touching episode 'Lisa The Vegetarian' is among the show's best (and that's saying something). With wife Linda, he helps Lisa reunite with Homer after an argument - as well as letting her in on a Fab Four secret: "If you play 'Maybe I'm Amazed' backwards, you'll find a recipe for a ripping lentil soup."

Photo:
Added: 8 Apr 2014

Comments

Please login to add your comment.