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"The greatest hits of mullet rock." Promotional image from 1.01 Pilot.


The Winchesters

CUE MUSIC And you can take your anemic alternative pop and shove it up your ass. Dean plays bass thumping, pile driving Zeppelin, and he plays it loud.

– Eric Kripke, from an early draft of the Pilot

  • See bottom of page for all the entries in this Category
  • See Jensen and music for information about Jensen's singing.

Music is integral to Supernatural, whether it is the classic rock or the scary scoring. Eric Kripke had a clear vision from the start about the music he wanted on the show:

That was something that was really important to me, coming into the Pilot. I’m from a small town in Ohio and this is the music I listen to. I was a huge Zeppelin fan. So when it came time to write and produce the Pilot, it was so important to me, with all due respect to my beloved network, not to have music that is usually on that network. I was so rabid about it that in the original draft of the pilot, I even wrote in the script, “Cue music. And you can take your anemic alternative pop and shove it up your ass.” And the reason I wrote the scene in the Pilot, where they’re talking about tapes – AC/DC, Motorhead, Metallica – if we shoot that and it gets in the pilot, then we have to use my music because it’s already in the show. We had a great time in post-production, figuring out these songs and calling in one morning, “Billy Squire, what about Billy Squire?” I think it is a real signature to the show and it is Midwestern, two guys from Kansas and a muscle car and this is the music they listen to. I love it. The other night there was Joe Walsh and I was laughing, “Yay, Rocky Mountain Way on WB.”

– Eric Kripke, at the Paley Panel 2006

In the Official Supernatural Companion, Season 1 Eric adds another reason for using this music on the show:

"There's a real energy in the Midwest to miles and miles of flat farmland and two-lane blacktops that stretches into infinity and you're jamming classic rock as loud as it can go. There's something so mythic, so American about that), and that's the energy I wanted the show to have."S1Com, p. 11

In the Pilot, Sam and Dean have the following exchange:
Sam: ...I swear man; you gotta update your cassette tape collection.
Dean: Why?
Sam: Well for one they are cassette tapes, and two— {Pulls out a few cassette tapes} Black Sabbath? Motorhead? Metallica? It’s the greatest hits of mullet rock.
Dean: {Grabs a cassette from Sam and pops it in the player} House rules, Sammy. Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole.

In 2007, Kripke reiterated his commitment to mullet rock at a post-Comic Con interview.

(Kripke) sees himself as a sort of School of Rock missionary. Sadly, the gospel according to Zeppelin won't be preached since the group won't sell their songs for under a billion dollars. "That's a rough estimate," Kripke adds.
Other dream songs and bands on Kripke's list are Traveling Riverside Blues, Ramble On," and Aerosmith, which he also had to pass on because the songs were too expensive. Still, he has managed to procure an incredible collection of classic rock tunes that have become anthems for the show's fans and there's nothing Kripke likes better than a convert.
"One of the best pleasures I've had with this show is when I'm online checking out the blogs and there's this 14-year-old kid who says, 'What is this band, Foreigner and this song, Hot Blooded? I really liked it and I went out and bought the greatest hits of Foreigner' and I'm like, ah, I'm doing God's work! I'm introducing people to Foreigner, now if I can get people on board with Triumph! Spreading that sick obsession of mine has been very very gratifying."

In 4.18 The Monster At The End Of This Book Dean says that his favourite songs are a tie "Between Zep's "Ramble On" and "Traveling Riverside Blues."

In 4.14 Sex And Violence the Siren disguised as Nick Monroe bonds with Dean over classic rock.

We know nothing of Sam's music tastes, although Kripke gave some clues at another post Comic Con interview in August 2007.

Interviewer: Okay, and since we’re talking music, what in blazes is Sam’s problem with Dean’s music? And given the chance, what music would Sam play?
Kripke: (laughs out loud) We have interesting debates about that all the time; about what Sam’s music would be, and you know, I hope that Sam listens to whatever cool modern music is. I don’t know any of them because I don’t listen to anything after 1980, so, you know… Green Day, I guess? I don’t know! Who is cool these days? Is Green Day cool? What band is cool these days?
Interviewer:Maybe Red Hot Chili Peppers…
Kripke: Yeah, so he listens to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Fall Out Boy and maybe The Killers? I am so a stranger in a strange land when it comes to those bands that that’s why you never hear Sam’s soundtrack, cos I don’t know that music and I’d choose the wrong songs. All my friends call me “Old Man Kripke” because I don’t listen to any bands after 1980; that’s why Dean’s music always wins out, because I hate so much modern music that I can’t bear to listen to it in the editing room. (laughs)

In an interview in 2008, Jared said Dean's rock had probably grown on Sam but that he was probably a more "bluesy, emo Jackson or Death Cab For Cutie kind of guy."

The only time on the Show we get a glimpse of what Sam might listen to, is in when Dean discovers while he's been in Hell, Sam has installed an iPod into the Impala. When Dean starts the car Vision by Jason Manns starts to play. Dean rips it out in disgust. Interesting trivia: the iPod was a product placement and was hugely successful in terms of recall among broadcast network product placements. Source.

Of course Sam does sing along enthusiastically to "Dead Or Alive" by Bon Jovi in 3.16 No Rest For The Wicked. But let's face it Bon Jovi does rock - on occasions.

In 6.08 All Dogs Go To Heaven Sam tells Dean that he still likes the same music he always has. This is probably a bit of an injoke by the writers as given how much of a mystery Sam's musical tastes have remained.

The cost of the music has always been an issue for the show, as Kripke explained just before Season 3 started:

There’s a lot of classic rock that’s too expensive. My dream of dreams, because classic rock is my obsession and it’s the reason I care so much about it on the show, is Led Zeppelin. I’d love to use anything from Zeppelin, like “Traveling Riverside Blues” or “Ramble On. But, Zeppelin will not sell their songs to anybody except Cameron Crowe because he traveled with them when they were on tour, and they’re also a billion dollars a song. That’s just a rough estimate. We’ve tried to get Aerosmith, and Aerosmith is actually a little expensive. And, there have been a couple others. But, the songs that we are able to get, that are within our budget range, are songs that I grew up on and loved. There’s nothing better than finding an obscure Foreigner song. One of the best pleasures I’ve had with this show, and one of the most gratifying moments, was when I was when I was online, checking out the blogs, and there was a 14-year-old kid who said, “What is this band, Foreigner, and what is this song, ‘Hot Blooded’? I really liked it, and I went out and bought The Greatest Hits of Foreigner.” I feel like I’m doing God’s work. I’m introducing people to Foreigner. To be able to spread that sick obsession of mine has been very gratifying. This music isn’t disposable. I hate every other song that’s on every other show on the network. I like music that stands the test of time. It’s cool, and cool is undeniable. People will hear it and, wherever they’re from, they’ll think, “That’s cool. That’s got soul to it.” I think that adds to the texture of the show. I hope it does. Source

From that Season onwards as other budget demands didn't leave room for it, fans noticed a marked decrease in the amount of classic rock used on the Show and complained long and loudly. At Salute to Supernatural L.A. 2011 Jensen explained that the complaints had been heeded, and that efforts were being made to bring more rock back into the soundtrack.

External links

See Meta Essays for discussions on the use of music in the episodes.

Pages in category "Music"

The following 106 pages are in this category, out of 106 total.

Media in category "Music"

The following 13 files are in this category, out of 13 total.