Quick! Does anyone recognize these three television shows? Okay, now how about these specific scenes? If you’re still with me, here is the real test; do you remember what song was playing as these scenes unfolded? If you managed to recall at least one of these songs, then good on you!
For me anyways, nothing makes a scene more memorable than if it was backed by a perfectly selected song. Music can invoke and inspire a bevy of deeply emotional sentiments and has the power to rocket the performance to new heights. Time and time again, music has that special ability to rouse the senses, encapsulating every tingling goose-bump, pulsating heartbeat and breathless moment. Music generates that added emotional punch and provides considerable depth to an otherwise well written and acted scene. A song can simply be that little “extra” that transforms something ordinary, to something extraordinary.
So how can you determine the greatest music moments on television? Well, frankly you can’t because they way I see it, it’s all up to the individual. It is how they felt at that moment in time. How did they react when that ‘oh-so-perfect’ song kicked in. It is also largely based on how memorable the entire performance was; from the acting, to the script, and to the music.
Having said this, here are some of my all-time favourite music moments on television. Of course there are certainly many more out there and you are very welcome to share your own favourites!
Grey’s Anatomy “Now or Never” / Greg Laswell – Off I Go
Although this episode aired in 2009, this fantastic combination of song and scene has been burned into my memory. To me, the level of frantic chaos and sheer intensity of the scene left my heart racing. In the shows fifth season finale, two prominent characters are faced with what looks like insurmountable tragedy and the episode ends with a major cliffhanger. Talk about drama! What makes this scene so special in my book is the incredible music provided my the talented singer/songwriter, Greg Laswell. Written specifically for the episode, “Off I Go” definitively showcases Laswell’s chilling and emotionally heavy vocals. Combined with a gentle stream of piano notes that swells into an explosive chorus, “Off I Go” is the perfect complement to this particular scene and is sure to induce chills with every view/listen.
Friends “The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break” / U2 – With or Without You
Oh the infamous scene that started it all! After Ross and Rachel unwittingly “take a break” from their relationship, Ross finds himself in a sticky situation as he finds himself dancing in a bar with a foxy run-of-the-mill copy girl. What began as an innocent “I like this song” quickly turned into an all-out lip lock which of course led to series long ‘We Were On a Break!’ dispute. Now, that song Ross was referring to is the U2 classic “With or Without You”. It’s jaded, aching vocals and troubled lyrics about love is perfectly fitting to the scene as well as, in my mind at least, unforgettable.
How I Met Your Mother “Come On” / Bloc Party – This Modern Love
This killer track by British indie rock band Bloc Party does an incredible job in encapsulating the anticipation, anguish, elation and ultimate heartache of the scene in question. In the show’s first season finale, Ted comes back to his apartment the morning after spending a night at Robin’s (in which they finally kiss!), but instead of celebrating with his roommate Marshall, he finds him sitting on the stoop with his now ex-fiancé’s engagement ring. What looked to be a joyous season ending turned out to be something completely the opposite. To quote the scene, “in just one night, everything had changed”. As a huge fan of the series, I will never forget that moment when Ted rides home in the back of a cab, soaking wet from the rain, just carelessly smiling at what had just happened the night before, all the while as “This Modern Love’s” euphoric-like instrumentals resonate in the background. Pure TV magic.
There you have it, some of my favourite music moments on television. Any scenes/songs come to mind for you? Feel free to share your own favourites!