1. "Knocking on Heaven's Door" from "Dark Side of the Moon" - Without a doubt, if anyone were to ask me my favorite, I would immediately and unquestionably list as my TOP FAVORITE EVER "Knocking on Heaven's Door" from "Dark Side of the Moon." I adore this whole scene so much. Dean wakes up in the Impala with the song playing kind of muted, as if it's on the radio.
Then young Sam and the fireworks; the hug; and then the music coming back in as the fireworks continue, only to be interrupted with gunshots. Cas comes on the radio (I love Dean's confusion about why he's in Heaven and then how he immediately switches to concern for his brother - "Where's Sam?!!"), and then the Impala drives off under that impossibly huge full moon. Arggghhh!! It's so great!
My other favorites, in no particular order, not counting three that were on Karen's list, are as follows:
2. "O, Death" from "Two Minutes to Midnight" (5.21) - Such a cool song and such an awesome intro for the character as Death so imperturbably walks through the windblown streets of Chicago.
3. "Man in the Wilderness" from "We Need to Talk about Kevin" (8.01) - For me, this song is perfect as Dean, battered and weary from Purgatory, walks lonesome back roads alone: He literally is the man in the wilderness, the creature from the dark woods frightening the campers.
"I'm a lonely soldier off to war, sent away to die, never quite knowing why." A perfect fit.
4. "Can't Find My Way Home" from "Do You Believe in Miracles?" (9.23) - At first, the song itself didn't grab me, but the more times I watched it, it became really poignant. It begins partway through the scene as Hannah and Cas talk outside Metatron's cell, and he plaintively (though still stoically) says, "I only wanted to be an angel." Then we see Sam lower Dean's body onto his bed, and we think of how they never wanted to be angel vessels, responsible for saving the entire world. "I can't find my way home" seems to stand for Cas fallen from Heaven, the Winchesters' broken home, and Dean, dead and no longer able to join Sam in their home, the bunker.
5. "Behind Blue Eyes" from "Book of the Damned" (10.18) - The song so accurately conveys the sadness underlying Sam's outward positivity as he tries to stay upbeat about Dean's chances against the Mark, all the while planning on going behind his back, desperately trying to find a cure.
6. "Crystal Ship" from "Born Under a Bad SIgn" (2.14) - I'd never heard the song before, and it was so CREEPILY perfect. It begins to play as Jo comes back to consciousness after demon-possessed Sam attacked her in the bar. It's gentle but weird, reflecting Meg's assumed friendliness and casual tone, belied by her threatening moves with the knife at Jo's face.
7. "Night Moves" from "Baby" (11.04) - This is the Sam and Dean I love to see, laughing, relaxed, teasing each other, on another of the road trips that characterize their lives. Like with "Wanted Dead or Alive" seasons earlier, Dean starts singing, but eventually Sam joins in, even altering some lyrics so it matches their own lives.
8. "All Out of Love" from "Slash Fiction" (7.06) - Dean singing along to this heartfelt ballad made me laugh, especially because this song was one of the songs on the first mix-tape my then boyfriend, later husband, made me. It was both silly and adorable.
9. "God Was Never on Your Side" from "Moriah" (14.20) - While I don't ascribe to the philosophy of this song, the way the message matched what was happening on the screen made me gasp the first time I saw it. The mournful opening stanzas play as Jack awakens in the Empty; then the powerful beat comes in as the scene switches to the cemetery and the dead souls are let out of hell, the song's intensity reflecting the violence of the earth being ripped apart.
The message of "God was never on your side" applies not just to Sam and Dean and Castiel but to all of humanity as we see a man in a car, a family at a birthday party, and girls at a sleepover all being menaced by what Chuck has turned loose. That horrifying phrase is repeated again and again, as the evil undead surround the Winchesters and the screen fades to black with the final melancholy "never on your side" quietly closing the episode and the season, leaving us filled with dread and questioning the past 15 years.
I thought Chuck liked them. I thought he wanted them to succeed. I thought he zapped them onto the plane after Lucifer rose and brought Castiel back to life. Was it true that, all along, he had never been on their side? It was a sobering thought with which to end the season.
Had Karen not already mentioned these in her article, I would have listed the following as well:
10. "Wanted, Dead or Alive" from "No Rest for the Wicked" (3.16) - the brothers laughing and singing in the face of death. Heartbreakingly perfect!
11. "Renegade" from "Nightshifter" (2.12) - awesome! They've escaped but at a heavy cost.
12. "Spirit in the Sky" from "Good God, Y'All" (5.02) - I loved how it switched from background music to music from a radio
Runners - Up:
1. "Carry on Wayward Son" - both the traditional version and the one sung in the musical versions.
2. "Eye of the Tiger" - it still makes me laugh!
3. "Shake It Off" - such a funny and unexpected way to end "About a Boy." Who ever would have thought Dean would play that song in Baby!
These songs stuck with me, from the moment I first binge-watched seasons 1-8 in 2014 until now. They are songs that made me laugh or gasp or cry. They are songs that, whenever I hear them, I will always associate with Supernatural.
Many of you already listed your favorites under Karen's article. What do you think of the ones I picked? Iconic? Forgettable? I'd love to hear your opinion!
Editor's Note: Robbie Thompson wrote three of the episodes featured in Emberlast's Favorite Music Moments. He recently shared his behind-the-scenes knowledge of all of the music in his stories in an exclusive interview with Nightsky. In "Details are What Make A Story Great", he explained why he wanted specific songs inserted into his stories, then in the interview's "Music is Magic" segment, he talked specifically about how and when music was chosen for each episode, giving us a rare glimpse at the process that goes into making Supernatural's musical score. Go deeper into the music of our show by reading his insights!
Play through Supernatural's other musical feature articles, listed in WFB's Music Tag,
Enjoy more Top Ten Highlights of Supernatural, including best (and worst) episodes, running bits, creepy kids, grossest scenes, classic rock scenes and so much more!
Emberlast is WFB's brilliant episode recapper! Find more of her work on WFB's Writers' Page!