Don’t think, don’t worry, everything’s just fine… because it’s time for an all new TVLine Mixtape!
What follows is an array of songs recently featured on your favorite shows, including artist and album information in case you want to add them to your personal collection.
Spoilers abound, and we chose songs we liked — but we always love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
So peruse our playlist, then hit the comments with your favorite TV tunes. And remember: You can always submit questions or suggestions about TV music on Twitter @RyanSchwartz.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Last Man on Earth, “Alive in Tucson”
TITLE | “Apeman”
ARTIST | The Kinks
ALBUM | Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970)
WHY IT ROCKED | The sophisticated homosapien spoken of in this classic Kinks tune is nowhere to be found in Fox’s Will Forte starrer. This folksy, mid-tempo anthem juxtaposes the lonesome, anarchistic life led by the unkempt Phil Miller as he moves himself into a giant mansion along with his stolen artifacts and a filled-to-the-brim margarita pool utilized for bathing and libation.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Community, “Ladders”
TITLE | “Sweet Emotion”
ARTIST | Aerosmith
ALBUM | Toys In the Attic (1975)
WHY IT ROCKED | Before Leonard ever spent his days rating frozen pizzas in a series of online videos, he was a free-spirited, frisbee-tossing student at Greendale Community College (fka Greendale Computery College). The resurrected sitcom didn’t shock us by tacking on such a peculiar flashback, but by being able to afford an Aerosmith song to accompany it. More like #SixSeasonsAndAnIncreasedBudget, am I right?
SERIES AND EPISODE | Hindsight, “Auld Lang Syne”
TITLE | “Numb”
ARTIST | U2
ALBUM | Zooropa (1993)
WHY IT ROCKED | The aptly-titled song not only fit the scene as a heartbroken Becca wandered the streets of New York after a devastating spat with Lolly, but it was also a fond reminder of a simpler time when we enjoyed U2. You know, before Tim Cook and Bono decided it was A-OK to plant entire albums on our Apple-powered devices without even asking us first.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Empire, “Die But Once”
TITLE | “Nothing to Lose”
ARTIST | Empire Cast
ALBUM | Nothing to Lose (feat. Terrence Howard and Jussie Smollett) – Single (2015)
WHY IT ROCKED | It was a battle for the ages, and not a single fist was exchanged. The openly gay Jamal and his homophobic dad replaced fighting words with expressive lyrics, trying to one-up each other as they banged out verses for Lucious’ potential comeback single. Jamal’s palpable daddy issues ignited the fire, but it was a shared love for the music that made their melodic duet an absolute winner.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Scandal, “The Lawn Chair”
TITLE | “I Shall Be Released”
ARTIST | Nina Simone
ALBUM | To Love Somebody (1969)
WHY IT ROCKED | The Ferguson-inspired hour culminated in the arrest of a bigoted police officer. The exquisitely matched tune sings of a man who stands alone, hollering to a crowd that they’re to blame. In Officer Newton’s eyes, he was the innocent bystander in a larger problem despite the havoc he caused by shooting an unarmed black teen in cold blood.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The 100, “Blood Must Have Blood Pt. 2”
TITLE | “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”
ARTIST | RAIGN
ALBUM | Knocking on Heaven’s Door EP (2015)
WHY IT ROCKED | The melancholy song is lyrically driven by the fear of a circumstance becoming too dark to bare. It’s no wonder the dystopian drama chose this song to accompany Clarke’s exit from Camp Jaha. She had reached a point of no return after putting to death countless innocents to save her own people.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Cougar Town, “Yer So Bad”
TITLE | “Unclear”
ARTIST | Kodaline
ALBUM | Coming Up for Air (2015)
WHY IT ROCKED | The bittersweet lyricism of an unclear but hopeful future perfectly exemplified the status of Laurie and Travis’ coupledom. Though she isn’t quite ready for holy matrimony, Laurie promised Travis that a day will come when she happily accepts his marriage proposal… a proposal not even Taye Diggs could jeopardize.