Gray Flannel Mixtape: Seinfeld songs
These days it’s commonplace for music to function as an integral part of a television show; think Grey’s Anatomy, Smallville or Dawson’s Creek. With Seinfeld, not so much. Nevertheless, there are more than a few classic moments during the series that can be called to mind with just a few notes. With that in mind I give you the Seinfeld Songs Mixtape.
The following songs were played on at least one episode of Seinfeld, which started featuring much more non-original music during its last few seasons. There are numerous instances of songs being sung by characters on the show, but unless at least a small clip of the song was played or performed, they don’t qualify for my mixtape.
- “Desperado” and “Witchy Woman” (Eagles), heard on “The Checks” – Here’s a classic rock two-fer. “Desperado” is the beloved song of Elaine’s boyfriend, who is compelled to shush her when she talks during it. She tries to pick a song for the both of them, and decides on “Witchy Woman”. You know, Witch-aaay Woman.
- “Downtown” (Petula Clark), heard on “The Bottle Deposit, Part 1” – You’ve got to go downtown. It’s all downtown. Just like the song says.
- “Everybody’s Talkin'” (Harry Nilsson), heard on “The Mom & Pop Store” – This is played at the end of the episode during an homage to Midnight Cowboy (Jerry and Kramer are taking a bus to New Jersey and Kramer’s nose starts bleeding).
- “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (Green Day), heard on “The Clip Show, Part 2” – This was used to good effect during a montage of bloopers and behind-the-scenes clips, in one of the rare instances where the show attempted to convey some genuine heartfelt emotion.
- “Hello” (Lionel Richie), heard on “The Engagement”, “The Invitations”, and “The Voice” – The only musical trifecta in Senfield history, Lionel Richie’s smash 1984 hit accompanied various scenes showing the show’s characters deep in thought or remembrance.
- “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” (Iron Butterfly), heard on “The Slicer” – Elaine blasts this in her apartment to drown out the sound of the neighbor’s starving cat. The performance is cut short when the power goes out.
- “Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)” (Jackie Davis), heard on “The Blood” – Yeah, I didn’t know what the name of this was either when I first heard it. It’s the bouncy little organ number heard while Kramer and Newman are making sausages in Jerry’s apartment. A copy can be found on Volume 2 of the wonderful Ultra-Lounge series, Mambo Fever.
- “Mexican Radio” (Wall of Voodoo), heard on “The Reverse Peephole” – The actual song isn’t played until the very end, during the graphic for the show’s production company, but earlier in the episode Kramer sings it to himself while installing a reverse peephole in his front door.
- “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” (Sheena Easton), heard on “The Bizarro Jerry” and “The Butter Shave” – While not reaching the heights of Lionel Richie-dom, this little slice of pop bliss still holds the rare distinction of being used twice on the show; first on “The Bizarro Jerry” during a montage showing the commuting hassles Kramer endured during his brief tenure at Brandt/Leland, and then on “The Butter Shave” as George revels in the favored status his fake handicap earns him at Play Now.
- “Shining Star” (Earth, Wind & Fire), heard on “The Little Kicks” – I for one never get tired of watching Elaine do her trademark funky dance at her office’s party. This is the song that inspires what George later termed “a full body dry heave set to music.” She later busted a move in “The Slicer” episode to Foghat’s “Slow Ride”.
- “Vesti la Giubba” (from Pagliacci) (Ruggero Leoncavallo), heard on “The Opera” – I’ve never thought to use opera as workout music, but that’s just what Crazy Joe Davola does as he bench presses and weeps while listening to this timeless tenor aria.
- “Adagio for Strings” (Samuel Barber), heard on “The Fatigues”
- Music from The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini), heard on “The Barber”
- “La donna è mobile” (from Rigoletto) (Giuseppe Verdi), heard on “The Maestro”
- “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (Michael Jackson), heard on “The Clip Show, Part 2”
- “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” (C+C Music Factory), heard on “The Little Kicks”
- “O mio babbino caro” (from Gianni Schicchi) (Giacomo Puccini), heard on “The Maestro”
- “Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, op. 13 (Pathétique)” (Ludwig van Beethoven), heard on “The Pez Dispenser”
- “Theme from The Godfather (Main Title)” (Nino Rota), heard on “The Bris”
- “Theme from Superman (Main Title)” (John Williams) heard on “The Race” and “The Clip Show, Part 1”
- “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (The Beach Boys), heard on “The Hamptons”
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