What happens when you get Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Boardwalk Empire writer Terence Winter on the same email chain? The HBO series Vinyl starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, and Ray Romano that’s gritty, dramatic, and man, does it ever have a great soundtrack. If you’re going to cover New York and music in the 1970s, there’s no better pair to plan your playlist than Scorsese and Jagger.
Vinyl follows Cannavale’s Richie Finestra, a record executive who’s at a number of crossroads in his life. Sell his label or pursue artists he believes in? Stay sober for his wife (Wilde) and children, or return to his past life as a drug user? As Richie tries to right his wrongs and save his company and his marriage, he’s met with more than a few obstacles that shine a light on one of the greatest times in music history.
With a soundtrack that boasts Jagger as its Executive Producer, one thing that is certain in Richie’s life is that whatever he does, there’s going to be a great song playing in the background.
Vinyl features a number of iconic songs from the 1970s, but it also features new songs and covers that feel like they could top the charts today and in 1973. These are the 10 musical moments you don’t want to miss as you immerse yourself in Vinyl.
1. Woman Like You
Vinyl features faux punk band The Nasty Bits, fronted by charismatic and troubled frontman Kip Stevens. Jagger didn’t have to look far to cast Stevens, with his son James Jagger giving a pitch perfect performance as the punk rocker. Not surprising, Jagger Jr. has some serious pipes, too.
2. Stay With Me Baby
Chris Cornell and his band Soundgarden may have helped create grunge in the early 1990s, but that doesn’t mean Cornell’s raspy vocals are only good enough for Seattle. The rocker may have been a frontman in a 1970s band in a past life.
3. Life on Mars?
Following David Bowie’s tragic passing in January 2016, the cover songs of the late Ziggy Stardust started rolling in. One that stands out among the rest is Trey Songz’s “Life on Mars?.” Jagger tapped Songz to perform the song for Vinyl’s sixth episode and we’re so happy that he did.
4. Hannibal We Want You Back
In an ode to Sly and the Family Stone, the over-the-top character of Hannibal is introduced as one of the only successful artists still remaining on Richie’s label. Played by Broadway actor Daniel J. Watts, Hannibal’s persona is just as big as his pipes.
5. Run Run Run
The Strokes are one of the most successful bands to ever come out of New York City, which is saying a lot. With Vinyl set in the Big Apple, scoring The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas for multiple songs on the soundtrack was a match made in Empire State heaven.
6. My Time’s Coming
Alison Mosshart was born in 1978 and the two years she spent in the 1970s seems to have seeped into her DNA. The Kills and Dead Weather singer was an easy choice for the Vinyl soundtrack, with Mosshart’s ominous growl inhabiting the frenetic pace of the ’70’s.
7. I Wanna Be With You
Nate Reuss splits his time between recording as a solo artist and as the front man of .fun, but his delivery of The Raspberries’ “I Wanna Be With You” makes us hope Reuss adds ‘cover artist’ to his resume.
8. Danny’s Song
Kenny Loggins’ sweet ballad “Danny’s Song” received a second life when it was recorded by Canadian songstress Anne Murray. The love song was given yet another revival burst when singer Neko Case covered the track for Episode 3 of Vinyl.
9. Yesterday Once More
In Episode 2 of Vinyl, singer Natalie Prass appears as Karen Carpenter singing The Carpenters’ “Yesterday Once More,” which is covered by Aimee Mann. We know, it’s a bit confusing, but all you really need to know is that this cover is pretty enough to make you want to cry (in a good way).
10. Kill The Lights
The 1970’s weren’t all rock and the forming of punk. Disco was also having its day, and this cover of “Kill The Lights” with Alex Newell, Jess Glynne, DJ Cassidy and Nile Rodgers makes us want to throw on a pair of bell bottoms and boogie woogie.