There are many reasons why The Sopranos is the greatest television show ever, with the musical selection being one of them. Coming from multiple genres and artists large and small, there really is something for everyone. As for me? Read on for my list of 10 favorite songs from The Sopranos (which is in chronological order and NOT listed as first through tenth favorite).
"Fired Up" by Funky Green Dogs - "Pilot" (Season 1, Episode 1)
First, one of my favorite songs from The Sopranos appears right in the Pilot with “Fired Up” by Funky Green Dogs. It comes on at The Bada Bing, a topless bar run by Silvio Dante, Tony’s loyal consigliere. Though it wasn’t on The Sopranos where I first heard “Fired Up.” I actually recall hearing it quite often on the radio when I was younger. This was probably right around the time that they shot the Pilot, so that timing makes sense.
After the extraordinary success of season one, The Sopranos season 2 had a hard act to follow. Sure enough, they outdid themselves with the season two opening featuring Frank Sinatra’s “It was a Very Good Year.” I know I speak for many people when I say I think The Sopranos season two is the best season of any television show, period. In any case, the “It was a Very Good Year” opening displayed an interesting mix of characters and behaviors, just as we saw all throughout that season.
You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders - Season 2, Episode 11, "House Arrest"
Later in season two, one of my favorite songs from The Sopranos—”You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory“—plays at the end of “House Arrest.” What makes this song by Johnny Thunders one of my overall Sopranos favorites is the foreshadowing we see with Tony and Agent Harris making small talk while Big Pussy’s walking back into Satriale’s.
After “You Can’t Put Your Arms Round a Memory,” we arrive at “Free Fallin‘” by Tom Petty in “Funhouse.” The song starts playing as Tony announces to A.J., Meadow, and Carm that he bought a new boat. After Tony breaks the news, Meadow also announces she’ll be attending Columbia University for college. But the most special moment for me is the instant transition to Tony waking up in the backseat of Sil’s car just as the word “Freeeee” plays in the song. In addition to playing in one of the greatest Sopranos episodes, “Free Fallin‘” has personal sentimental value. I remember listening to this song by Tom Petty quite often while on car rides with my dad to travel soccer games and tournaments.
Next, “Thru and Thru” by The Rolling Stones in “Funhouse” takes goosebumps to a whole new level. The episode’s final seconds with the drum beat accompanied by the majestic ocean waves evokes a special feeling that’s impossible to put into words. As a fellow Sopranos fan, you probably understand exactly what I mean.
Further, I had actually never heard “Little Bird” by Annie Lennox prior to watching The Sopranos. Better late than never! For some reason, this song always gets me in an upbeat mood, though Carmela was surely far from upbeat while it was playing at the end of “Eloise.” Why the long face on Carmela? Well, it’s because her crush, Furio Giunta. had just gone back to Italy without any warning (at least, I think he went back to Italy?)
Evidently Chickentown by John Cooper Clarke - Season 6, Episode 14, "Stage 5"
The Sopranos Music - Conclusion
Finally, I should note that these music choices are totally a personal preference. Truthfully, it was very difficult to pick just 10. What are your favorite songs from The Sopranos? Stay in touch and subscribe to Sopranos Blueprint, and here’s the Sopranos Blueprint playlist in case you missed it!
P.S. Some particularly honorable mentions: I’m a Man, White Rabbit, Inside of Me, Dirty Work, Living on a Thin Line, State of Main, World Destruction, Vesuvio, Kentucky Fried Flow, Eclipse, Rock the Casbah, and American Girl. I told you it’s hard to pick just 10!