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The Ten Best Musical Moments In 'Breaking Bad' History

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | September 28, 2013 | Comments ()


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This week’s excellent episode of Breaking Bad ended with one of the world’s greatest TV musical moments. And though it’s hard to know what, exactly, the showrunners have in store for us next week, I don’t see how they could possibly top what when on last night. But they could prove me wrong. They’ve done it a million times before. So here, without the benefit of the season finale, are the ten best musical moments in the show’s five (six?) seasons. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, I seriously regret not being able to squeeze “Bonfire” or f*cking Todd’s ringtone on here. Also, if you’re interested in going deeper into the musical world of Breaking Bad, I suggest you check out our interview with the show’s composer, Dave Porter, and keep your ears peeled for our upcoming interview with the musical supervisor Thomas Golubić. Together they’ve created some truly amazing art.

10. “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” by The Peddlers S5 E3 Hazard Pay: One of many cooking montages in the show’s history, this smooth number from The Peddlers chronicled the last time Jesse and Walt cooked together.

9. “Black” by Danger Mouse and Norah Jones S4 Ep13 “Face-Off”: A truly memorable and intense song to chronicle one of Heisenberg’s most triumphant moments.

8. “Crapa Pelada” by Quartetto Cetro (feat. Gale Boetticher) S3 E13 “Full Measures”: What a supremely great insight into poor Gale’s inner life.

7. “Gas Can Rage” by Dave Porter S5 E12 “Rabid Dog”: This is my favorite new musical cue from the season. I love the way Porter incorporated the sound of Jesse’s screeching tires.

6. “Major Tom” by Gale Boetticher S4 E4 “Bullet Points”: I gotta come right back to Gale with this pathetic and heart-wrenching video that Hank plays for Walt and Flynn’s amusement.

5. “Windy” by The Association S3 E12 “Half Measures”: I mean, I’m not sure a blow job montage has ever had a peppier soundtrack.

4. “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy John And The Shandells S5 E 8 “Gliding Over All”: The whole creative team admitted they had been waiting a long time to pull the trigger on this moment. This is Walt and Todd’s first cook and spans the controversial 3 month gap at the end of last season.

3. “Crawl Space” by Dave Porter S4 E11 “Crawl Space”: Chronicling one of Walt’s lowest moments, the most compelling part about this cue is the sound of Walt’s pounding pulse.

2. “Enchanted” by The Platters S2 E11 “Mandala”: Just lovely. One of the show’s loveliest and most portentous moments.

1. “”Breaking Bad Main Title Theme (Extended)” by Dave Porter S5 E15 “Granite State”: How killer was the ending to last night’s episode? And what an impressive use of the main title song. This is the first time they used the familiar tune in the context of the episode and I imagine it will be the last. Amazing work from Porter, Gilligan and Cranston. As ever. I cannot wait to see what comes next.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • Claudio

    Surprised "Line of Fire" (Junip) not listed ... Obviously 10 is 10 and not every song can make it ... But I felt the mood of this song captured the series conflict; the moral dilemma we all confronted thru the 5 seasons ... why some people love Walt or Hank or Skyler or whatever ... WHAT YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IN ... Very powerful ... Feels like ti would be the ONE song to tell the story??? What say you Joanna???

  • djkokes
  • Keith

    Los Pistoleros - When Walt first introduces himself as Heisenberg to Tuco; Who's Gonna Save My Soul - Ending of Season 1; Zungguzungguzzunguzzang - When Jesse inflates his suit in the Super Lab; Line of Fire - the trailer for the Series Finale

  • Enrique del Castillo

    I know it's been said before, but it's worth saying again. DLZ and Negro y Azul. Good list, but it needs those songs, otherwise, it's incomplete

  • Thor

    DLZ by TV on the Radio! STAY OUT OF MY TERRITORY!

  • Dan Lock

    I would definitely have to go for Anita Tijoux's 1977! Great song, great scene!

  • Seriously missing Anna Tijou's 1977, from Jesse's ride-along with Mike.

  • the dude

    The ending of crawl space is the best ever

  • What about "Stay on the Outside" by Whitey, when Jesse's tearing up his pad for the ricin cigarette? It was too perfect and I've had it on repeat since then.

  • the new transported man

    My 2 favorites are Apparat in Gus Fring's last scene, & Darondo when Walt blows up that asshole's BMW in season 1.

  • Negro y Azul is absolutely my #1.

  • That Guy

    You mean Tommy James and the Shondells. Tommy John is the pitcher for whom the surgery is named after.

  • Captain Ron Swanson

    I believe it was Tommy James and the Shondells. Tommy John was a different guy, altogether.

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    haha come onnnn no Negro y Azul? A narcocorrido for El Heisenberg? i mean yeah, gimmicky, but way way relevant to this show given the cartels. ahhhh it's ok, these are all good to.

    And yeah, that extended theme. I mean after what Walt had just gone through in the last episode and the last scene plays out in the episode, i started to notice motifs from the main theme as you could see a resolve building that swells with the resolution of the main theme, loud and bold, with Walt looking like he was a volcano of wounded pride about to erupt and melt the cancer out of his body with his seething pride lava as he gets ready to go on a pride rampage with his pride m60.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

  • Carlos

    Unbelievable. No Negro Y Azul (Los Cuates de Sinaloa) from season 2. Perhaps the greatest musical moment from the whole show. Not even in the top ten. *shakes head* White people.

  • junierizzle

    My personal fave.

  • Lauren_Lauren

    I would add the Taalbi Brothers "Freestyle" during the lab destruction. It was so perfect.

  • What about Negro Y Azul (the Heisenberg song)? That was when the show hooked me. I thought the song was good, it helped tell the story, and it has Danny Trejo in it. It also is a nice touch of levity in the very heavy season 2.

  • Qualtinger

    I was convinced it had to be #1. Fuck this list.

  • That was my favorite. I really don't care for any of this music, but that one was appropriately perfect and hilarious if you understood the lyrics and the inspiration.

  • apsutter

    This show does montages better than anyone and they always pick great music. Windy is my favorite but I'm also a fan of Crystal Blue Persuasion. Oh and I loved Gale's music and I wish we could have seen more of his record collection.

  • Artemis

    Windy is my favorite. Everything about that sequence was perfect.

  • Jack Read

    After last night, I'm realizing that every time Heisenberg takes over, Dave Porter's extended theme of the show is playing in his head.

  • DamnYankees

    You're missing DLZ in the "stay out of my territory scene", and the incredible cold open mariachi band!

  • chanohack

    Yay!!! Great list! Fun fact, I drive past the Crossroads Motel all the time, and I always, often unconsciously, sing, "Everyone knows it's Wen-deeee..."

  • mclbolton

    how about Walt sitting in the back of a City bus in the dark listening to The Be Good Tanyas singing "Waiting Around to Die" ??

  • KyleDove

    how did DLZ by TV on the Radio not make it into this when Walt finally let's Heisenberg out of the cage during that scene at Home Depot... "stay out... of my territory..."

  • Evolve Today

    This right here. That's my favorite television moment, musical or otherwise.

  • Socket Tume

    I was just about to comment about this too. Such a great use of music.

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