In general, The Golden Globes are a pretty great time for TV lovers.
We get to see our favourite shows and stars celebrate right alongside their silver screen counterparts. We get to see all of them get silly and tipsy on all of that notorious champagne at their tables. And, when we’re really lucky, as we are again this year, we also have the chance to watch some of our faves, like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, preside over the whole shebang.
Despite the fine quality of television in this day and age, the medium isn’t quite equal to movies at the Golden Globes just yet. Sure, The Hollywood Foreign Press doles out statues to best actors and actresses across the board and both film and television’s best dramas and comedies get their moments in the golden sun. But other categories, like Best Score and Best Original Song, for example, are still the sole property of the film world.
In other words, this means that U2 (“Ordinary Love” from "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"), Justin Timberlake and company (“Please Mr Kennedy” from "Inside Llewyn Davis") and Taylor Swift (“Sweeter Than Fiction” from "One Chance") all have a shot at walking away with a "Best Original Song" trophy this Sunday at the 71st Annual Golden Globes, but the geniuses behind the Fantastic 4 musical from "Arrested Development" don’t even get to enjoy the honour of just being nominated.
While we might not be able to change the ways of the Golden Globes overnight – or ever – we did want to do our small part to celebrate the undersung heroes who have written and sourced the scores that have creeped us out on shows like "Twin Peaks", the songs that have set the mood for period pieces like "Life On Mars" and the numbers that made a show like "30 Rock" even funnier than it already was.
Here are our picks for the all-time winners for Best TV Soundtrack are:
The Wire: And All The Pieces That Matter - "Five Years Of Music From The Wire"
The best drama in the history of television (sorry, "Breaking Bad" fans) is almost as good in soundtrack form with a mix of songs that appeared in the show (including four of the five versions of “Way Down In The Hole” used in the opening credits) and clips of some of its most famous quotes. Sadly, Senator Clay Davis’s trademark “sheeeeeeiit” is not among those clips. Featured Track: "Way Down In The Hole" -- Tom Waits
Music Of "Twin Peaks"
This soundtrack for the early-nineties cult classic features the show’s iconic theme song by Angelo Badalamenti and that alone is enough to earn it a spot on this list. The rest of the disc -- a mix of other Badalamenti themes and songs that Julee Cruise performed on the show -- are just icing on the cake. Or ice cream on the good cherry pie. Featured Track: "Audrey's Dance" -- Angelo Badalamenti
"Yo Gabba Gabba!" - "Music Is ... Awesome" (Songs From The TV Show)
Just like the show itself, this collection of songs from the "Yo Gabba Gabba!" cast and YGG friends and visitors like The Shins, Chromeo, The Roots and of Montreal appeals to hipsters and music nerds of all ages. Featured Track: "Nice N Clean" -- Chromeo
"30 Rock" Original Television Soundtrack
Tina Fey’s beloved sitcom had a slew of brilliant musical moments thanks to Fey and her composer husband Jeff Richmond and many of them are captured on this double album. "30 Rock" classics “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” “Tennis Night” and Muffin Top” are all on there. So are the cast’s inspired takes on “Midnight Train To Georgia” and “I Will Always Love You.” Featured Track: "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" -- Tracy Jordan
"Life On Mars": Original Soundtrack
Songs like “Live And Let Die,” “Whisky In The Jar,” and, of course, “Life On Mars” were such a huge part of this strange and brilliant time-traveling cop drama (the UK version, of course. Let us never speak of the American remake again) that listening to the soundtrack is almost like being in 1973 with Sam Tyler and crew. The bits of dialogue featuring the show’s dreamy star, John Simm, are a nice touch, too. Featured Track: "Live and Let Die" -- Paul McCartney and Wings
"Flight Of The Conchords"
The debut album from Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement features a number of songs that also appeared on their HBO show, including “Bowie,” “Robots” and “The Prince of Parties.” It’s all very charming and funny, but it probably wouldn’t be on this list if the far superior musical comedy duo The Mighty Boosh had ever released a proper album or soundtrack. Featured Track: "Most Beautiful Girl" -- Flight of the Conchords
"Buffy The Vampire Slayer" -- "Once More, With Feeling"
Plenty of shows have played with the musical episode gimmick, but only Buffy has managed to turn the concept into a genuine work of art. The soundtrack for "Once More, With Feeling" can easily hold its own with the Cabarets, Avenue Qs and the Les Mizes of the world. And “Under Your Spell” features the best sexual euphemisms that the musical theatre world has seen since Pippin. Featured Track: "Under Your Spell" -- Amber Benson
"The Simpsons" - "The Simpsons Sing The Blues"
This is more a novelty than a soundtrack, seeing as how “The Moaning Lisa” is the only song that ever officially appeared on the TV show (the video for “Do The Bartman” debuted after an episode, but wasn’t part of the show proper), but it’s still a magical part of the greater Simpsons oeuvre. I’m still not sure why or how anyone thought that it was a good idea to have the whole Simpson family perform a collection of original pop songs and blues covers with help from BB King and DJ Jazzy Jeff, but I’m glad that they did. Featured Track: "Look At All Those Idiots" -- J. Montgomery Burns (Jeff Martin, Sam Simon, Jai Winding)
WWF/WWE - "The Wrestling Album"
The first musical release from the WWF/WWE empire is a downright inspired collection of wrestler’s theme songs (“Real American,” “Hulk Hogan’s Theme”) and original performances from wrestlers and personalities like “Captain” Lou Albano, Jimmy Hart, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Junkyard Dog. Vince McMahon and co. have tried to replicate this magic a number of times over the years with similar collections, but nothing has ever come close to the cacophonous genius of the entire WWF roster trying to sing “The Land of a Thousand Dances.” Featured Track: "Real American" -- Rick Derringer
BONUS: "Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits"
Don’t let the semi-questionable roster of mid-nineties modern rockers on this disc deter you. This collection of cartoon theme song covers is almost uniformly perfect and packed with unironic joy. Highlights include Liz Phair’s blistering reimagining of The Banana Splits’ “Tra La La Song,” Tripping Daisy’s version of “Sigmund and the Seamonsters,” The Murmurs doing “H.R. Pufnstuff” and The Ramones’ take on “Spider-Man.” Featured Track: "The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)" -- Liz Phair and Material Issue
Did we miss one of your favourite TV soundtracks? Let us know in the comments below.
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