Season 4 of Stranger Things came out in mid-2022. As always, the show made excellent use of period-appropriate music. Something that made already memorable scenes that much more so. Knowing the context for these songs might enable interested individuals to get even more enjoyment out of the whole thing.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Stranger Things Season 4 songs:
10. “Travelin’ Man” – Ricky Nelson
“Travelin’ Man” has a catchy, upbeat tune. Once upon a time, people might have seen the narrator in a more positive light. Now, he comes off as being rather scummy. Funny enough, that made “Travelin’ Man” an even better choice for the season. After all, it played during not-so-positive moments in Joyce and Murray’s storyline, which isn’t even to mention its compatibility with the traveling they did during it.
9. “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” – Dead or Alive
“You Spin Me Round (Like a Round)” also worked well for several reasons. First, it played during the roller rink scene, which was a good choice because roller rinks were popular places to have fun for high school students during the 1980s. Second, while the song isn’t necessarily set at a roller rink, it does talk a great deal about going round and round. Third, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Round)” is about wanting to join in on someone else’s fun, which is very much in line with Eleven’s initial thoughts in the scene.
8. “Fire and Rain” – James Taylor
Many people feared that Steve or Nancy would die during the season when “Fire and Rain” came on. Primarily, that is because the song expressed James Taylor’s feelings about the death of a childhood friend. On top of that, Steve and Nancy were talking about their dreams for the future, which can be a death flag because it is an easy way for storytellers to make someone’s death more poignant. Fortunately, both characters made it. Despite this, the song still works because it comes from the same kind of vulnerability they showed in the scene.
7. “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads
As the story goes, “Psycho Killer” was meant to depict the thoughts of a serial killer with a disturbed mind. It isn’t a 100 percent perfect fit for its moment in the season. However, “Psycho Killer” still worked quite well for a group of jocks intent on visiting some mob justice on someone they believe to be a depraved murderer.
6. “Rock Me Amadeus” – Falco
“Rock Me Amadeus” is meant to depict Mozart as a rock star before the age of rock stars. There is some truth to that, considering the man’s fame. That said, some people have a more cynical interpretation because they think his lifestyle contributed to his early death. In that context, the song worked well in the show because Angela was flying high until she suddenly wasn’t.
5. “Detroit Rock City” – KISS
“Detroit Rock City” worked well for a sequence meant to introduce viewers to how the characters have changed. Furthermore, it was an excellent setup for the season’s moral panic themes. Nowadays, it is rare for people to see rock and roll as the Devil’s music. Such sentiments were much stronger during the 1980s. KISS was singled out as one of the bands to blame, as shown by the oft-repeated but always-denied rumors that the name stood for “Knights in Satan’s Service.”
4. “Every Breath You Take” – The Police
People have been pointing out that “Every Breath You Take” is supposed to be sinister for decades. Despite that, many still treat it as one of the most romantic songs ever released. In Stranger Things, it is used for a fittingly creepy moment.
3. “Master of Puppets” – Metallica
“Master of Puppets” is one of those songs that inspire ominous interpretations. Sometimes, listeners point to people with wicked intentions. Other times, they suggest more supernatural possibilities. The song is more down-to-earth than interested individuals might expect. That is because it is about the destructive effect that drug addiction has on people. Regardless, “Master of Puppets” played during one of the season’s finest moments when Eddie distracted the Demobats so the rest of the group could launch a direct attack on Vecna.
2. “Separate Ways (World’s Apart)” – Journey
“Separate Ways (World’s Apart)” is a post-breakup song. The narrator is still in love with his ex. Despite this, he respects her enough that he isn’t scrambling to get her back however possible. Instead, the narrator promises he will still be there for her if she is hurt without anyone to turn to. As a result, the song is a powerful declaration of the bonds that tie people together. “Separate Ways (World’s Apart)” saw more than one use during the season. The last is particularly fitting because the main characters are together in spirit even though they are separating to carry out their parts of the plan.
1. “Running Up That Hill” – Kate Bush
Kate Bush wanted to call “Running Up That Hill” the name “Deal With God.” That didn’t happen because she was told that the song wouldn’t be allowed on the air in the more religious countries of the time. As for why Bush wanted to call it “Deal With God,” the entire idea was that the song would be about a deal with God to let a man and a woman in a relationship switch their roles to develop a better understanding of each other’s perspective. “Running Up That Hill” saw so much use during the season that it might as well be its theme.
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