Saturday, May 10, 2014

Words With Friends

Now that we've discussed the best of the best of Phoebe's songs, why don't we move on over to the professional musicians? Musicians and bands were clambering to get their songs onto the sitcom superhit so the Friends soundtrack was constantly full of high caliber rock stars. Here are ten of my personal favorites.

Some of them were played in the background during parties and some were featured more prominently in the plot, but all of them hold a special place in my heart. Even some of the ones that are sickeningly 90's.

The Top 10 Songs in Friends

#10 "Every Word Means No" Smash Mouth

Episode: "The One Where Ross Moves In" (S5:E7)

Remember when I was talking about songs that are sickeningly 90's? Well, you should because it was about twelve seconds ago. (If you just skipped past the beginning to get straight to the list, I can respect that. I do that with Cracked articles all the time.) Well, this is the one! This song played at a party, just like many songs featured on the official Friends soundtrack, but it's the only one that ever caught my attention through its sheer cheeseball awesomeness.

#9 "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" Eve

Episode: "The One with the Stripper" (S8:E8)

During one hypothetical conversation with my friends, we all decided on official stripper songs. I of course chose this one because of my long term relationship with this show. I didn't even have to think about it. The beat is just so slinky and smooth, it's hard not to enjoy it. Even with Monica's narration.

#8 "Tainted Love" Soft Cell

Episode: "The One Where the Stripper Cries" (S10:E11)

I obviously love this episode for Danny DeVito's performance as the only stripper who was available on short notice for Phoebe's bachelor party, but it also features one of the best one hit wonders of the 80's, a genre I'm preternaturally fond of. It's also the perfect underscore for the patently ridiculous performance with its bouncy New Wave synth beats.

#7 "Sky Blue and Black" Jackson Browne

Episode: "The Pilot" (S1:E1)

It's time to get serious over here. This song is just plain beautiful. And it didn't take more than a single episode for Friends to announce its incredible musical taste. Much like Scrubs after it, the music of the show served to define the decade almost as much as the show itself would.

#6 "Trouble With Boys" Loreta

Episode: "The One with the Routine" (S6:E10)

It helps that Monica and Ross's dance routine is just the best musical sitcom moment ever, but the song underscoring it is half the battle. It's next to impossible to find this song anymore but it's certainly one of the few buried gems of the 90's worth unearthing.

#5 "Believe" Cher

Episode: "The One with Chandler's Dad" (S7:E22)

I will always love this song no matter what anybody says. I just find it fascinating that the musical artist to introduce Autotune to popular music wasn't T-Pain or Lil Wayne or any of those hippity hoppity guys, but rather Cher, the reigning empress of pop for so many decades. The fact that this song was the introduction to Chandler's father's drag show was just the cherry on top.

#4 "Delta Dawn" Tanya Tucker

Episode: "The One Where Monica Sings" (S9:E13)

There are always a few musical moments in a TV show that will just stick to me instantaneously and never leave my brain until I've purchased the song on iTunes. "Delta Dawn" is one of them. Although the scene itself is funny and Monica's voice isn't even close to the best, this yearning country ballad struck my heart like a bolt out of a clear bright dawn.

#3 "Here, There, and Everywhere" The Beatles

Episode: "The One with Phoebe's Wedding" (S10:E12)

Season Ten was a surprisingly solid run of episodes for a series ender. Although finales will always break out the big guns, usually the season preceding them will be thin and stale, having run out of ideas long ago. Not so with Friends. Phoebe's wedding is one of the most tender moment in the entire show and the steel drum arrangement of a Beatles classic that accompanies Phoebe as she walks down the aisle is a big part of that.

#2 "I'll Be There For You" The Rembrandts

Episode: ALL OF THEM

Do I even need to say anything about this song? This song ignited a new generation of comedy and blasted The Rembrandts into the stratosphere, making them the one hittiest one hit wonder in the country. But for one decade their song could be heard weekly in living rooms across America, people clapping along at all the right times.

#1 "Angel of the Morning" Chrissie Hynde

Episode: "The One with the Baby on the Bus" (S2:E6)

This is the song that got me into music. I first started experience music as a personal phenomenon during the same summer that I tore through every episode of Friends and the first three songs on my iPod were "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton, "Closer to Fine" by the Indigo Girls, and "Angel of the Morning," a beautiful and pained ballad that struck me to my very core. The first and only live performance on Friends, I'm glad they never followed it up because nothing could have compared to Chrissie's magic performance.
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