Alias fans, are you ready to rock (like Will on an undercover assignment to Graz)?!
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the ABC spy series’ finale, we’ve gathered a bunch of the tune-filled drama’s best musical moments. What follows is a curated selection of some of the most poignant, peppy and provocative songs used on Alias‘ five-season soundtrack.
But before you go on this musical mission, a bit of a briefing. First, we’ve focused on the songs originally paired with each episode, which (for rights reasons) may differ from the ones you’ll hear when watching the series on a streaming video service. Second, you’ll notice there are a lot of Sydney-Vaughn songs on here; that’s because the pair constituted much of the show’s emotional content, and yeah, we ‘ship it.
Finally, we’re ready for the cries of “How could you not include ___________!” Winnowing our favorites was tough, but that’s where you come in: Scroll down for our selections, then fill the comments with the Alias musical moments that sent you scrambling to download.
EPISODE | “Truth Be Told,” Season 1
TITLE | “No Man’s Woman”
ARTIST | Sinead O’Connor
ALBUM | No Man’s Woman (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | Sydney Bristow, you’ve just escaped a deadly assassin, stolen a mysterious device, dyed your hair neon red and brutally lost a tooth: What are you going to do, aside from march into and out of SD-6 with O’Connor’s defiant anthem as your personal soundtrack? “I’m taking the week off,” she informs a gobsmacked Sloane. “I’ve got midterms.”
EPISODE | “The Passage: Part 1,” Season 2
TITLE | “Walk On”
ARTIST | U2
ALBUM | All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | The family that spies together… takes down the bad guys with a hail of machine-gun fire and Bono crooning about personal growth in the background?
EPISODE | “The Phase,” Season 2
TITLE | “Back in Black”
ARTIST | AC/DC
ALBUM | Back in Black (1980)
WHY IT ROCKED | Everything about the scene — the opening beats, that sultry strut down the hall, the familiar guitar riff, Jen Garner’s killer bod and Sydney’s killer moves — is emblematic of the show at the top of its game.
EPISODE | “Double Agent,” Season 2
TITLE | “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face”
ARTIST | Coldplay
ALBUM | A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
WHY IT ROCKED | Pretend all you want that this is just dinner, Syd and Vaughn. It’s clear to everyone who’s been rooting for you that tonight’s going to be the night spy dreams come true. And when Chris Martin starts singing before the meal is even on the table, is it any wonder that you two hit the sheets so quickly? (We’re just impressed Sydney has the presence of mind to close the oven door.)
EPISODE | “The Telling,” Season 2
TITLE | “Bleed to Love Her”
ARTIST | Fleetwood Mac
ALBUM | The Dance (1997)
WHY IT ROCKED | In this sweet calm before the Evil-Francie-Gonna-Eff-Ish-Up scene, let us please have a moment of silence for the Syd and Vaughn That Were, Michael Vartan in appealingly sweaty hockey wear, the ill-fated weekend in Santa Barbara and, of course, the giraffe with the crooked neck.
EPISODE | “Repercussions,” Season 3
TITLE | “Kenny Rogers Pharoahe Monch Dub Plate”
ARTIST | Wyclef Jean
ALBUM | The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | Yeah, this one’s a little on-the-nose — it plays in the background as Marshall and Syd sit down at a casino run by very dangerous people — but Marshall gets so few chances to go out in the field, we’ll allow it.
EPISODE | “Blowback,” Season 3
TITLE | “Song 2”
ARTIST | Blur
ALBUM | Blur (1997)
WHY IT ROCKED | As Blur says, “Woo-hoo!” Yes, Lauren Reed was a cancer on Sydney’s life/relationship whose heinous acts included trying to blow up the office and getting Vaughn’s dad’s watch repaired. (How very dare she?!) But this car chase, which we’d seen from the good guys’ vantage point just moments before, gives us Lauren and Sark at their peak hotness. After all, naughty girls need love, too.
EPISODE | “Authorized Personnel Only,” Season 4
TITLE | “Bad”
ARTIST | U2
ALBUM | The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
WHY IT ROCKED | Putting two Vaughn-Syd sex songs on this list makes us feel a little pervy, but we figure it’s not quite as bad as Evil Francie watching them via spycam. Also: Lauren is finally gone, and these two have finally made their way back to each other — a moment that should be honored for the counterintelligence miracle that it is.
EPISODE | “Solo,” Season 5
TITLE | “The Water Is Wide”
ARTIST | Karla Bonoff
ALBUM | Restless Nights (1979)
WHY IT ROCKED | The whole episode, right down to its title, is about a very pregnant Sydney learning to move on and be OK on her own in the wake of Vaughn’s death. Still, the singer/songwriter’s take on the haunting folk tune gives our mourning mama-to-be a little comfort as she plays recordings of Vaughn’s voice for their unborn child.