The 10 best songs from popular TV shows
If you discover a lot of your new music from songs you hear on popular TV shows, you are not alone. Even as a music journalist, I still come across songs I have not heard before, or artists I was not familiar with until I heard them on one of the many TV shows I watch.
So, today, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the best songs from popular TV shows, just in case you missed these, and you can catch up.
You never know, you may come across an exciting new artist that creates the type of music you just love.
These 10 songs are not in any particular order. Just songs I think were brilliant choices for the shows they were featured on.
Best songs from popular TV shows
10. ‘Human‘ — Rag’n’Bone Man
British singer songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man‘s debut album skyrocketed to the top of the charts last year in a slew of countries, including the UK.
One of the reasons was ‘Human‘, one of the singles from the album, is such a powerful and emotional anthem song, and one Rag’n’Bone Man sings with seemingly hardly any effort at all.
The song was so popular, especially for inclusion on soundtracks, ‘Human‘ has already been used on several TV shows including last week’s episode of Suits, The Good Doctor, Into The Badlands and Oasis. The song currently has more than 503 million views on YouTube, and views are still climbing.
‘Human‘ even sparked a fabulous cover version, and a gorgeous black and white music video from Austrian singer Conchita Wurst. And yes, she really delivered.
9. ‘Fickle Games‘ — Amber Run
This is one British indie rock band I completely missed until last weekend, when I heard Amber Run‘s stunning song ‘Fickle Games‘ on Suits.
Since then, I have bought the album it came from — For A Moment, I Was Lost — and listened to ‘Fickle Games‘ well over a hundred times since.
And, of course, sent the band a tweet saying “How on earth did I miss you?”
Because it is lead singer Joshua Keogh’s plaintive and utterly gorgeous vocals that make this song stand apart. And, of course, the fact that, once you have heard of them, you learn the entire album is just as fabulous as this song.
8. ‘Out Of My Head‘ — John Newman
The USA network show Suits has introduced me to so many artists or songs, I have lost track. All I can say is whoever, that show’s Music Supervisor is, man, they are doing a good job.
‘Out Of My Head‘ from British singer songwriter John Newman‘s debut album has to be my favorite song from that show, though.
Because Newman’s vocals are stunning, the song is incredibly powerful and, oh yeah, he is from a small town in the UK about 15 miles from where I grew up. So he makes a Yorkshire lass proud.
7. ‘Sound of Silence‘ — Disturbed
Alternative metal band Disturbed released a gorgeous cover version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence‘ back in 2015. A version that quite shocked fans at the time, as it is so far removed from what Disturbed usually produces.
To me, Disturbed’s ‘Sound of Silence‘ is far more powerful than the original too, as it moves away from the mostly calm and quiet Simon & Garfunkel classic, into a song full of power, anger and rage.
Disturbed’s version of ‘Sound of Silence‘ was recently featured on The Blacklist. Another show with a stellar Music Supervisor if the truth were told.
6. ‘Hell To The Liars‘ — London Grammar
Another of the 10 best songs from popular TV shows is ‘Hell To The Liars‘ by the British indie pop trio London Grammar. The shorter single version was the song featured in an episode of The Royals.
There is a longer album version, however, that is even prettier, due to a 2-minute musical intro that is absolutely gorgeous.
‘Hell To The Liars‘ is from London Grammar‘s second studio album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, released in 2017 via the Ministry of Sound label.
It was a very successful album for the trio, debuting at number one on the UK charts, selling 43,403 in just the first week.
5. ‘Praying‘ — Kesha
The Kesha power track ‘Praying‘ showed up as one of the many fabulous songs from the ‘Grey’s Anatomy‘ soundtrack back in February of this year.
The song is from Kesha’s third studio album Rainbow, and is also a Grammy-nominated song along with the album.
‘Praying‘ is a song Kesha wrote about her ex-producer Dr. Luke, aka Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, who she accused of sexual assault and abuse, and who she eventually filed a lawsuit against.
The song itself is one of the biggest power anthems you will ever hear, and a true indication of how strong Kesha has now become after her experience with #MeToo. Not surprising, though, as Kesha herself has said she is now all about taking control of her life.
And while the music video for ‘Praying‘, with its more than 83 million views, is superb, Kesha has also performed some stunningly powerful live versions of the song. Including this one at the YouTube studios.
4. ‘California Sun’ — The Ramones
Of course, there has to be an oldie but goodie on the list of the 10 best songs from popular TV shows. A song I had completely forgotten about until a TV show reminded me. And this one is a beaut.
It’s the Ramones track ‘California Sun‘. Their cover version of the 1961 Joe Jones song of the same name.
The Ramones version was released in 1977 on the band’s album Leave Home, and if you listened to any music in that time period, it should be instantly recognizable. The only thing that wasn’t recognizable to me is how short the song actually is.
‘California Sun‘ has been featured in Jackass: The Movie, as well as on the latest version of The X-Files — Season 11. And it is rocking.
3. ‘The Way I Do‘ — Bishop Briggs
The Bishop Briggs’ song ‘The Way I Do‘ has one of the best openings I’ve heard in a contemporary pop song. Starting as it does with a rich gospel/spiritual sound, and then an abrupt vogue into what is essentially a massive power song, but still with that fabulous clap beat and gorgeous spiritual backing track.
‘The Way I Do‘ was featured on the FOX medical drama The Resident. It has also shown up on two episodes of Empire. Yep, the Music Supervisor liked it that much.
It was only the third song British singer songwriter Bishop Briggs released, and was still an enormous hit.It was also re-released for Briggs’ debut EP in 2017.
2. ‘Best Friend‘ — Sofi Tucker
The pop duo Sofi Tucker’s ‘Best Friend‘ is one of those songs you listen to once, and then you’re dancing around your house to it for the next hour.
‘Best Friend‘ is what is called jungle-pop, and is a track that was featured on the Freeform comedy series Alone Together back in January.
The song features NERVO, The Knocks & Alisa Ueno, and comes with a high energy music video you will soon have on repeat as well.
Sofi Tucker, by the way is Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern. They have a debut EP out called Soft Animals, and are currently working on their debut album.
Watch the video for ‘Best Friend‘ below then, when you’re done, do watch other videos on the duo’s channel as well, as what they do is artistically brilliant, and so much fun to watch.
1. ‘No Roots’ — Alice Merton
I had heard German singer songwriter Alice Merton‘s brilliant song ‘No Roots‘ when she gave a superb live performance of it last year in my home town, Vienna, at one of Europe’s biggest charity events — Life Ball.
So, I was thrilled when it showed up on the soundtrack of The Blacklist earlier this year.
Merton’s ‘No Roots‘ made it to the Top 10 on the charts of eight countries. It hit the number one spot in France.
Merton said she wrote the song as she moved around so much as a child — from Germany to the U.S., then on to Canada, then back to Germany — she has always felt like she really has no roots.
Finally. if you love contemporary songs from TV shows, there are tons more of them, along with information about the songs and the artists. And, of course, the music videos.
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