Too excited for Comic-Con? Anxiously awaiting the fall TV season? Stuck marathoning your favorite shows of yesteryear? So are we. 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 about TV music on Twitter @rebeccaiannucci.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Alias, “Truth Be Told”
TITLE | “No Man’s Woman”
ARTIST | Sinead O’Connor
ALBUM | Faith And Courage (2000)
WHY IT ROCKED | Is there anything more badass than Sydney Bristow with pink locks? Alias’ edge-of-your-seat pilot had us hooked right away — even more so after Sydney completes her latest mission with the aid of Sinead O’Connor’s girl-power melody.
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SERIES AND EPISODE | Grey’s Anatomy, “Losing My Religion”
TITLE | “Chasing Cars”
ARTIST | Snow Patrol
ALBUM | Eyes Open (2006)
WHY IT ROCKED | By now, Snow Patrol’s tune is a mainstream radio staple. But paired with Izzie’s heartbreaking sobs after Denny dies, her resignation from the surgical program and Meredith’s romantic woes, the song becomes a swelling anthem for love gone wrong. (Uplifting stuff, huh?)
SERIES AND EPISODE | Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “The Prom”
TITLE | “Wild Horses”
ARTIST | The Sundays
ALBUM | Blind (1992)
WHY IT ROCKED | The moves might belong to Jagger, but alt-rock band The Sundays have a particular way of softening this classic Rolling Stones song. As Buffy accepts her Class Protector award (and gets lost in a dance with Angel), the soaring melody makes for a picture-perfect prom.
LINER NOTES | If The Sundays’ lilting notes aren’t your taste, rock out to the Stones’ original version.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Friday Night Lights, “Gut Check”
TITLE | “Runaway”
ARTIST | The National
ALBUM | High Violet (2010)
WHY IT ROCKED | After kind of an awkward goodbye, Matt runs after Julie and promises her that they’ll sort out their problems because they love each other. You’ve gotta say this for Saracen: He’s good in the clutch.
SERIES AND EPISODE | The Good Wife, “Closing Arguments”
TITLE | “Any Other World”
ARTIST | Mika
ALBUM | Life in Cartoon Motion (2007)
WHY IT ROCKED | With every ding of the elevator doors, the tension mounts between Will and Alicia. All it takes is two spoken words and the quick rhythm of Mika’s sensitive tune to release the pressure, and the result is an elevator kiss that Good Wife fans won’t soon forget.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Six Feet Under, “Everyone’s Waiting”
TITLE | “Breathe Me”
ARTIST | Sia
ALBUM | Breathe Me (2006)
WHY IT ROCKED | Claire speeds off to New York, and Sia’s hushed, broken voice carries us through the lives and deaths of each major character in the years that follow. The series’ final minutes may have been hard to watch, but Sia’s eerie lyrics make listening wonderfully easy.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Everwood, “Home”
TITLE | “Cathedrals”
ARTIST | Jump, Little Children
ALBUM | Magazine (1998)
WHY IT ROCKED | There’s a strange sense of foreboding that takes over as Colin bravely gets his head shaved in preparation for surgery. Or maybe it’s just the haunting chords of Jump, Little Children’s refrain, which underscores a supremely sad season finale.
SERIES AND EPISODE | Dawson’s Creek, “The Kiss”
TITLE | “London Rain (Nothing Heals Me Like You Do)”
ARTIST | Heather Nova
ALBUM | Siren (1998)
WHY IT ROCKED | Ah, young love. Ah, guitar-driven ‘90s hits. Combine the two, and you can’t help feeling giddy as Dawson and Joey fumble through their first real date. Is Joey’s comment about “going at it like porn stars” with Dawson totally awkward and weird? Yes… but we were all a little clumsy back then, and the tune sweetly captures the thrill of teenage infatuation.