It’s finally the weekend, and you know what that means: It’s time to curl up with Netflix and do some serious binge-watching. That’s why, for this edition of TVLine Mixtape, we’re going old school.
What follows are some excellent songs from TV episodes past, complete with artist and album information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection.
We chose tunes that stuck in our memories, but we know you’ve got favorites, too. So check out our TVLine Mixtape playlist — Throwback Edition — and then hit the comments with your favorite TV jams from the past! And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions re: TV music on Twitter @rebeccaiannucci.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Gilmore Girls, “Let the Games Begin”
TITLE | “Then She Appeared”
ARTIST | XTC
ALBUM | Nonsuch (2003)
WHY IT ROCKED | Would we ever have expected a genuine, romantic moment from none other than — gasp — Jess Mariano? Maybe not, but he majorly delivers as he and Rory finally get some alone time at the gas station. (Well, maybe that part’s not so romantic.) With XTC’s swelling music in the background, their giddy excitement becomes palpable.
SERIES AND EPISODE | One Tree Hill, “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone”
TITLE | “Within You”
ARTIST | Ray LaMontagne
ALBUM | Till the Sun Turns Black (2006)
WHY IT ROCKED | There’s an odd juxtaposition in the final minutes of One Tree Hill‘s Season 4 finale. While the gang gets together for one last nostalgic turn on the basketball court, Dan is seen in prison attempting to commit suicide. This montage of scenes is a sincerely emotional one, and LaMontagne’s ethereal melody ties it all together.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The O.C., “The Dearly Beloved”
TITLE | “Hide and Seek”
ARTIST | Imogen Heap
ALBUM | Speak for Yourself (2005)
WHY IT ROCKED | In a matter of seconds, the pace of this infamous scene goes from frantic to stunned, due in large part to Imogen Heap’s haunting melody. Sure, the scene may have spawned a Saturday Night Live parody, but that just gives us another excuse to hit repeat on the synth-tastic song.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Lost, “…In Translation”
TITLE | “Delicate”
ARTIST | Damien Rice
ALBUM | O (2003)
WHY IT ROCKED | As Hurley listens to Damien Rice’s peaceful tune, it brings a rare moment of calm and tranquility to the island. Of course, the moment is cut short — as happy moments usually are for the island-dwellers — but the soothing song is enjoyable while it lasts.
SERIES AND EPISODE | House, “Everybody Dies”
TITLE | “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”
ARTIST | Louis Prima
WHY IT ROCKED | It’s not often that an episode of House ends so optimistically; the series finale is a welcome change to that formula. Accompanied by Prima’s toe-tapping melody, House and Wilson riding off into the sunset together is quite a jubilant moment.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Supernatural, “Faith”
TITLE | “Don’t Fear The Reaper”
ARTIST | Blue Oyster Cult
ALBUM | Agents of Fortune (1976)
WHY IT ROCKED | Few songs have more perfectly fit the CW drama’s classic rock-heavy soundtrack. Watching The Reaper quite literally take someone’s life is definitely creepy, but Blue Oyster Cult’s guitar licks are a pleasant distraction.
LINER NOTES | Supernatural has shown BOC some serious love in the past. “Fire of Unknown Origin” was also featured in a later episode.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Fringe, “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11”
TITLE | “Only You”
ARTIST | Yazoo
ALBUM | Upstairs at Eric’s (1982)
WHY IT ROCKED | As Walter walks through the debris and rubble (and lots of wasted CDs), it’s hard not to feel utterly hopeless. But when he finds a CD in an abandoned taxi and hears music for the first time, Yazoo’s mid-tempo ditty raises his spirits — and ours, too.