Expect the Unexpected

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Breaking Bad: The Music Lives On


Day 5 of Breaking Bad withdrawal program.

Notes: Blog therapy is working. Today going to write about the show’s music. Then going to a Red Sox playoff game in Boston. Might watch Homeland on Sunday night.

There was a lot of fun music in Breaking Bad. It was artfully crafted into scenes, sometimes making the song a character in and of itself.

The original score by David Porter was eerie and haunting and brought hazy life to the show’s opening featuring the now iconic periodic table.

The show didn’t stick with one generation of music, giving the sries mass appeal.. Old was mixed with new. Teens could relate to it along with old mamas like me.

There were a number of familiar tunes from my era, Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James & The Shondells, Lee by Stan Getz, A Horse With No Name, by America, El Paso by Marty Robbins, and of course Baby Blue by Badfinger which became an overnight hit again after all these years thanks to Breaking Bad. Sadly, Badfinger had a tough go. They were robbed mercilessly by their managers and two bad members committed suicide.

The show introduced me to some new songs that were really terrific — Who’s Gonna Save My Soul by Gnarls Barkley, Out of Time Man by Mick Harvey, Didn’t I by Darondo, Truth by Alexander Ebert, and Nine Years by TickLah, to name a few.

Then there was music for the Jesse generation — rap, hip hop, and some stuff… I have no clue what it was. But those songs gave the show a contemporary mood, brilliantly used to express chaos and frustration.

Here is a good clip of a “Jesse tune,” Money by D/R Period, turned into a montage.

For comic relief, the beloved Gale Boetticher got some hysterical musical choices, as quirky as his personality. He liked quick little Asian tunes and the novelty Italian song Crapa Pelada (Bald Head) by Quartetto Cetra. And who could forget Gale’s karaoke version of Major Tom?

Finally, one of the writers outdid himself by creating a great original song for the show — Negro y Azul (The Ballad of Heisenberg) written by John Shiban. What better tribute for Heisenberg than to be immortalized in a Mexican outlaw folk song. Performed by Los Cuates de Sinola, subtitles and all, the song made an unforgettable opening for episode 7 in season 2. Here it is performed in a clip from Conan O’Brien. Stay tuned to the end for a little extra surprise.

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2 thoughts on “Breaking Bad: The Music Lives On

  1. hellkell on said:

    Quartetto Cetra is the band, Crapa Pelada is the song.

  2. Thanks for the correction. That’s what I get for studying Italian at Boston University over the summer. Non ricordo.

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