Breaking Bad Franchise Music Tribute / Song of the Day #1982

I have made no secret of my love for the “Breaking Bad” (BB) universe, as I said back on August 15, 2022, “one of the best written, well-acted, finely-plotted television” franchises in the history of television. The five seasons of BB, its sequel film, “El Calmino” (EC), and its prequel-sequel six-season spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” (BCS), are so well integrated, “such that each is an extension of the other and each could not be what it is in the absence of the other.” When BCS ended its magnificent run, these shows, taken together, express a “dialectical sensibility, both constituting and being shaped by the wider context of which they are a part.”

At the end of BCS, I decided to rewatch the entire franchise again, from the beginning, which only reinforced my appreciation of their organic unity.

What also struck me about this franchise was its music, not just its scoring but also its use of source music in ways that both augmented and reflected the plot lines and themes of its various episodes. Back on May 12, 2022, “Song of the Day #1945” highlighted one such song from Season 6, Episode 5 (“Black and Blue“) of BCS: “Georgy Porgy” (by Toto, with Cheryl Lynn). So, this gave me an idea!

On January 20, 2008, the BB franchise kicked off on AMC with the very first episode of “Breaking Bad.” In honor of the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of this franchise, I decided to set up a playlist of some of my favorite musical selections from the entire franchise, arranged chronologically, from BB’s pilot episode to the BCS finale. The musical palette of both shows has enormous continuity, thus underscoring (no pun intended) their integrated character. My only warning is that many of the selections contain spoilers, so prospective readers proceed with caution!

I will be posting one “Song of the Day” each day, from today, New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023, through January 31, 2023. There are many other songs that I could have noted in this tribute, but since I have never repeated a single song in my nearly 2000 featured “Songs of the Day”, I won’t repeat any tracks that I’ve already selected.  (And once this Fifteenth Anniversary tribute is done, my Nineteenth Annual Film Music February Festival will commence.)

Today, we start at the start. Happy New Year and enjoy!

Song of the Day #1982: Breaking Bad (“Main Theme”) [YouTube link], composed by Dave Porter, made its debut in the “Pilot” episode of “Breaking Bad” (Season 1, Episode 1)—the Vince Gilligan-created series, starring the superb Bryan Cranston as Walter White. This AMC landmark television series premiered on January 20, 2008, and this is our first of 31 tracks to mark the Fifteenth Anniversary of both “Breaking Bad” and the franchise it inspired.

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