American Horror Story: The Best Music in the Anthology Series American Horror Story has provided amazing musical moments throughout the series.
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American Horror Story is known for more than just their innovative themes, disturbing imagery and creative casting choices. Each of the 9 seasons that have aired so far have all contained either an excellent soundtrack, full-on musical numbers performed by the cast, or both.
From the 80s soundtrack in Season 9: 1984, to the 1950s style covers of modern-day songs throughout Season 4: Freak Show, the series knows how to use music to its advantage. But the musical aspects don”t stop there: the series even features appearances by famous singers, whether they”re actually singing in the episodes or not. Here is a comprehensive list of all the best musical moments so far in the anthology series.
Possibly the most notable musical appearance in the entire series is Stevie Nicks in Season 3: Coven. Not only does she perform a beautiful piano-only rendition of “Rhiannon” in the episode entitled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” but she even plays a version of herself as The White Witch, a more senior member of the Coven. The song “Seven Wonders” also plays a large role in the season, as the seven wonders are a test performed by witches in the Coven to determine the new Supreme, or leader. The final episode in the season is entitled “The Seven Wonders”, and the song plays a key role. Throughout Season 3 a number of Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks songs are used, including “Edge of Seventeen”, and “Sara”.
Stevie returns in Season 8: Apocalypse, as this season is a crossover that includes Coven. Stevie Nicks returns as The White Witch and sings “Gypsy” in Episode 5, “Boy Wonder”.
Season 5: Hotel
Season 5: Hotel stars Lady Gaga, but unfortunately ,she doesn”t sing during the season, although she does give a Golden Globe-winning performance. The soundtrack for Hotel is very notable and fun, using dark wave 80s bands like Joy Division, The Cure and She Wants Revenge. In fact, “Tear You Apart” by She Wants Revenge is playing when The Countess is introduced and is shown getting ready with her lover to go out and kill. Other noteworthy inclusions on the Season 5 soundtrack are Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Rammstein, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Season 9: 1984 is another season with an incredible soundtrack, but sadly no actual musical numbers. With the entire season taking place in the 1980s, it”s expected the soundtrack will follow suit, and it certainly delivers. Some noteworthy musical moments include Billy Idol”s “White Wedding” playing during a massacre at a character”s wedding ceremony, as well as The Night Stalker Richard Ramirez”s undying love for Billy Idol. A few other notable artists on the Season 9 soundtrack include quintessential 80s bands Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran, The Go-Gos, Bananarama and Hall and Oates.
It”s worth pointing out that the 80s music used in Season 9 varies strongly from the 80s music used in Season 5. While the artists on the Hotel soundtrack are more alternative choices such as New Order and Rammstein, the 1984 soundtrack is much more pop-oriented, reflecting the aesthetics and mood of the two seasons.
Season 4: Freak Show
Season 4: Freak Show is a controversial season, with one of the most debated aspects being the modern songs performed in the 1950s circus setting. Ringleader Elsa Mars, played by Jessica Lange, is an aspiring performer and places herself as the headlining act each night. She performs “Life On Mars?” and “Heroes” by David Bowie, “Gods and Monsters” by Lana del Ray, and “September Song” by Frank Sinatra.
Other characters perform covers as well, including Evan Peters as Jimmy singing “Come As You Are” by Nirvana and Sarah Paulson as Bette and Dot performing a number of songs including “Criminal” by Fiona Apple and”Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Doris Day.
Season 2: Asylum
Season 2: Asylum contains many memorable songs, including “Dominique” by Soeur Marie, which is played over and over in the asylum”s common room to drive the patients (and viewers) mad. In Episode 6, “The Origins of Monstrosity,” Sister Mary Eunice dances in Sister Jude”s bedroom to “You Don”t Own Me” by Lesley Gore — a vital scene as it demonstrates the strong changes in Mary Eunice”s character as she dances to a secular song wearing lingerie and playing with lipstick. But possibly the most notable musical scene in Season 2 is Jessica Lange”s character Sister Jude slipping into a fantasy sequence in Episode 10, “The Name Game”, singing “The Name Game” by Shirley Ellis as she escapes her own growing madness.
Season 1: Murder House isn”t known for its music, except for a few instances where the soundtrack makes the actions on-screen even more haunting. In the first sequence of the first season (and therefore the entire series) a set of twin boys vandalize the murder house, ignoring the warning from a young Adelaide who stands ominously outside. The song “Tonight You Belong to Me” by Patience and Prudence plays during the entire scene which is hauntingly unsettling, especially to be played during the brutal murder of the young boys by the horrific creature living in the basement.
Finally, during one of the most disturbing sequences of the season, and arguably the entire series, Evan Peters” character Tate”s dark past as a school shooter is revealed, and “Twisted Nerve” by Bernard Herrmann plays throughout the flashback. The happy-sounding whistling on the track stands in stark contrast to the events playing out on screen, and is likely recognized as the music from the Kill Bill movies.
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Alex is a Toronto-based writer/professional nerd. She has a degree in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, and has seen just about every horror movie ever made. Alex is obsessed with all things DC, The Simpsons, Legend of Zelda and the Fallout series, to name a few. If she isn”t busy re-playing Breath of the Wild, she can be found writing YA novels in her spare time.Follow