Supernatural, The Musical: Why The Music Makes This Show Fly
Music has always been a form of expression, a way to get one’s voice out in the world and a way to really bring a movie, scene or television show come to life. In a horror movie the music adds suspense giving audiences a warning that something big is about to happen. In romances the music will alert viewers as to whether or not their will they, won’t they couple will get together. Music is always a secondary character however, on the hit CW series, Supernatural music plays a starring role.
The series follows two wayward brothers destined to hunt and kill every supernatural creature they can find. A job they grew up living thanks to their now deceased father. It’s a show about friendship, fear, and the love of family and fans can’t get enough.
Since the very first episode of the show it was very clear that creator, Eric Kripke, had a specific path in which he wanted to take his cult hit and this was evident with the music he chose. The music sets the scene, yes, but it also adds to the character’s personality, mainly in Dean Winchester played by Jensen Ackles. His music tastes ride in the classic rock genre, which Kripke also likes. Whereas his brother, Sam, played by Jared Padalecki, preferred the softer side of music, which this show rarely featured.
Although every song added its own sprinkle of sugar to the show, there were a few that have defined the series for the last twelve seasons. Fans recognize these select few songs as the ones that can only be associated with their favorite demon hunting brothers.
Season 1, Episode 1 – Back in Black, by AC/DC
This rock band was already a hit with fans of their generation however, the moment the first few chords began as Dean’s 1967 Chevy Impala glided down the open road with the amped up Winchester smiling for ear-to-ear, the band gained millions of new fans. Episode one would not be the last time this classic welcomed the car, later named, “Baby,” onto the scene. It practically became the car’s theme song.
Season 2, Episode 2 – Carry On My Wayward Son, by Kansas
If ever a song defined a series and captivated the characters who drove it, it would be this song. It appears at the beginning of every new season of the series and has become the theme at many Supernatural fan conventions. Additionally, it describes the boys’ lives almost as if it were written for the Winchesters themselves. Plus, it’s a really great song!
Season 2, Episode 16 – House of The Rising Son, by The Animals
Sam and Dean hunt and kill all things supernatural, including spirits and ghosts however, in this particular episode they find themselves helping a woman named Molly fight a ghost who has had her trapped for weeks. As if the concept of the episode weren’t creepy enough, fans were scared all the more when the opening words of this song crept into their ears. It was a sign that the evil spirit was about to cause Sam and Dean more trouble than they’d hoped for.
Season 3, Episode 11 – Heat of The Moment, by Asia
In one of the best episodes of the series, this song was used on repeat when Dean became trapped in the worst form of a time loop one can think of. Day-after-day Sam would have to sit back and watch as his brother was killed in one wacky way or another and every time he was, poor Sammy would be awoken by Dean blasting, Heat of The Moment, as though nothing had happened. Although no one wants to see a Winchester die, the sequence of scenes that depicted Dean dying one after another was quite hilarious.
Season 5, Episode 21 – O’Death by Jen Titus
This has become known as one of the best and most chilling scenes of the series thus far. Throughout the show’s fifth season the Winchester’s were faced with their biggest battle ever, taking down the Devil himself. In order to do so they needed the rings of the four horseman and although they had three they needed the final piece, Death’s ring. This is where this incredible song came into play and introduced the character, played by, Julian Richings, as he carelessly strolled down the street as though the world wasn’t ending around him, which it was. The song must have been written specifically for this scene because everything about it from the lyrics to the chords amplified the character’s fear factor.
Creator, Eric Kripke designed the show to last only five seasons because he had a very specific path and plan for the Winchester brothers and although the series continued well past season five, Kripke has stepped down and allowed others to maintain the series. A concept that, at the time, seemed great for fans but with the end of Kripke’s reign came the end of the character called, music.
Supernatural continues to be a fantastic series however, the music that once drove scenes and gave the show an edge, has all but disappeared. Find the complete list of songs from Supernatural on WhatSong here.