Supernatural is well known for it’s memorable, musical moments, most notable being that of classic rock, as Dean has always been obsessed with the genre. I’m going to break down the songs that I loved hearing on the show, and I thought accompanied the story on screen so incredibly. There’s no theme to the tunes that I have singled out but I have never been a heavy rock fan so the majority are country and pop. You wouldn’t imagine many pop songs in a sci-fi show like Supernatural, but the series can be unexpectedly cheesy at times.
Trust me, the right song in the right scene can move mountains. Most Supernatural fans now cry at the mere mention of Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas (which is the closest thing the show has to a theme tune) all because the complementation was done right all these years.
This was one of the few songs that I had already heard prior to watching the show but this didn’t take away from the impact it gave to the episode. The episode being, of course, 2.16 “Roadkill“, a Season 2 highlight. Going back to the first couple of seasons brings nostalgia of when Supernatural was a spooky, ghost story every week, and this episode is no exception. In short, Sam and Dean are hunting a ghost who haunts Highway 41 in Nevada and, in investigation, discover a second ghost who doesn’t know that she is dead. The eerie guitar notes of that opening section of the song definitely contributes to the mystery and darkness of the story and direction. We first hear the music at the beginning of the episode, in a car which later crashes, killing the guest star. Then when the song makes a re-appearance on Sam and Dean’s car radio, we all get a terrified feeling that something bad is going to happen, and, indeed, it does. By the end of the episode, the song is used as a warning code that “He’s coming”, when it is repeated in the creepy house in the woods on a radio that is not plugged in.
This stunning song appears throughout an epic opening scene of Season 6. Music that can open a Season, that potentially had to re-invent the story of Supernatural after the 5 Season story arc ended, had to be a good one and this song did not disappoint. 6.01 “Exile on Main St.” begins by establishing what Dean has been doing since the explosive climax of Season 5 and Beautiful Loser manages to add to the contrast of Dean’s current lifestyle and his past. The song plays alongside a day in the life of Dean and his present normal life and accompanying black and white images of past seasons when his lifestyle was hunting. The lyrics of this country tune really relates to Dean’s situation and that he “just can’t have it all”. Although he appears to be settling into normal life, the end of the song, and Dean going to sleep, reveals a gun and holy water underneath Dean’s bed showing that Dean still hasn’t let the hunting life go and that he probably can’t because it is all he knows. A very, very powerful opening.
Everybody just loves Charlie Bradbury and her first appearance was blessed with the up-beat sounds of Katrina & The Waves. I can’t listen to this song without wanting to dance (and apparently neither can Charlie). In 7.20 “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”, the computer genius waltzes into work with her usual bubbly attitude and, finding herself alone in the lift, jumps around with joy to the beat of her headphones. This is the first time we see Charlie and it’s one hell of a great and funny first impression. I will forever associate Walking on Sunshine with Charlie and her positive and quirky personality. The character always acts like she is actually walking on sunshine so the song seems fitting.
9.18 “Meta Fiction” is a highly-praised episode and is important to the myth-arc of Season 9 as it sets events in motion for one of the better Supernatural finales. The song (although I prefer the more famous The Walker Brothers version) plays at the closing of the episode, as we see Metatron’s manipulative plan fall into place and Castiel at the start of creating his own little army, suggesting almost a loss of hope. The lyrics are appropriate too: “Loneliness is the coat you wear” referring to Castiel being against Metatron alone, and also of the wedge that divided Sam and Dean throughout Season 9, forcing Dean to face his struggle with the Mark of Cain without support. The slow and melancholy melodies are brilliant to accompany the inevitable foreshadowing the show makes here, and it induces a bittersweet feeling.
A classic comic moment in 7.06 “Slash Fiction” that every fan remembers fondly (which may be due to the extended out-take that Jensen and Jared filmed of Dean passionately and loudly singing along to the song). However, the actual scene is funny too as Dean secretly enjoys the cheesy pop song on the radio, which freaks Sam out massively. It’s hilarious and cute, as we all know that Dean has his softer side and is tolerant to the average pop song (letting Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off play in the Impala in Season 10). Dean is also very passionate and knowledgable on pop culture references which makes him even more interesting. Despite being laid-back and care-free most of the time, every Winchester has his guilty pleasure, and this song choice made a very memorable moment.
Yet another brotherly moment in the Impala scene and using an (almost) classic rock tune. It’s a highly acclaimed scene in Season 3’s 16th episode and finale “No Rest for the Wicked” in which Dean is running from the deal he made that puts his soul in Hell. With it being Dean’s last day of his year-long contract, Sam attempts to say goodbye but Dean refuses to make his last day soppy, cheesy and “socially awkward”. Putting the radio on to Bon Jovi, Dean persuades Sam to sing along with him and it’s a very sweet moment. Whilst it being the last time the brother’s get to bond for a long time, it’s also obvious that Dean is holding back showing fear for Sam’s sake. The constant repetition of the title line “Dead or Alive” resonates with Dean’s situation as he has a bounty on his head and is “Wanted”. It’s a very powerful, pivotal scene that gives the finale that bit more of an impact.
Another Bob Seger song but they’re just so good! Playing to the opening of 9.10 “Road Trip”, this is definitely the most emotional moment in this list. After Kevin is murdered by Gadreel and waltzes off with Sam’s body as a vessel in the previous episode, Dean is now left to cope with his loss alone. Dean’s anger and self-hatred for trusting Gadreel is emphasised here and he smashes the bunker up in frustration. The sorrowful music really does highlight Dean’s heartache and suffering and it’s very well produced. It’s a moment I will never forget.