Listen to ‘Bolero, M. 81’ from The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Ep 3 and the orchestra of walkers

With the ongoing drama The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon being named by critics as one of the best series in the franchise so far, it probably isn’t surprising that the ongoing horror series also features some pretty cool music on its soundtrack.

Music like that iconic piece of music — ‘Bolero, M. 81′, this time performed by Neeme Jarvi and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and a piece that showed up on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Season 1, Episode 3 as Daryl and Isabelle are in the theater.

The piece is first heard on the vinyl record the man is playing as the two arrive at the Paris theater, and then continues as he takes them into the theater itself and begins to conduct the music accompanied by an orchestra of walkers.

When was ‘Bolero, M. 81′ first released, and who composed it?

The now-iconic piece of classical music was written in 1928 and published in 1929.

The orchestral piece was written by French composer Maurice Ravel, and has thus since been mainly known as “Ravel’s Bolero“.

The piece was originally commissioned by Russian dancer and actress Ida Rubinstein.

She was from one of Russia’s wealthiest families, which means, while she was largely known as a ballerina, an actress and the owner of a dance company, she was also hugely wealthy and so able to commission works from just about any composer she liked.

That is why she not only commissioned ‘Ravel’s Bolero‘, she also eventually starred and danced in it.

Ravel’s Bolero’ was one of the French composer’s last compositions, as he retired soon after it was published.

It has since become an often performed composition by orchestras around the world, but leapt into the general public’s attention when it was used in the 1979 film 10, starring Dudley Moore and Bo Derek.

(And yes, I remember how popular the piece became back then, and how much it was played on national and international radio stations around the world).

Listen to ‘Bolero, M. 81′, aka ‘Ravel’s Bolero’ as heard on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, Episode 3 in the video, and via the Roussel: Symphonie No. 3, Bacchus et Ariane – Ravel: Boléro, La Valse album, which came out in late 1991 via Chandos Records.


About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered K-drama, K-pop, J-pop and music news for over a decade.