Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00

Throwback Sync Series: Top 5 Placements from "Freaks & Geeks"

Posted by

Over the weekend, AMC aired a Molly Ringwald marathon, which included classics like Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. It also made us quite nostalgic. These films, among many others, are all united by a common thread: great music.

To celebrate and pay homage to this music supervision niche, we’re going to explore some of these legendary soundtracks. Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing our favorite syncs from our top “coming-of-age” films and TV series, beginning with (now superstar director) Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks.

Freaks & Geeks Top 5 Syncs

Freaks and Geeks

Do you remember the glory days of TV? Okay, maybe not glory days, but glory show, certainly. We’re referring to Freaks and Geeks. The wonderful show that expertly captured the quintessential high school experience on film...in the '70s.

It covers every clique, every car, every hairdo, every awkward high school moment, and of course, every.single.classic song of the decade. According to MentalFloss.com, the show’s music took up most of the production and featured mega acts like Van Halen, KISS, and The Who.

In fact, and also according to MentalFloss, Fox “removed most of the music when it picked up Freaks and Geeks re-runs to avoid paying extra fees.” Considering the music was that vital to the F&G narrative, it’s assumed the music supervision and clearance team would be comprised of seasoned pros.

Headed by the music supervisors behind Mean Girls, Garden State, and Erin Brockovich, Buck Damon and Amanda Scheer-Demme, the duo was assisted by at least five additional supervisors. Below are our five favorite examples of their handiwork!

1. Bad Reputation - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Not to be obvious, but Joan Jett’s title track can’t be overlooked. Listed as “composer” on IMDb.com Jett’s title track literally screams teenage angst, and couldn’t be a more perfect opener for the series. With recognizable cut-to-commercial cues as well as a full placement as title track for each episode it’s only logical Jett be considered a composer on the series.

2. No One To Depend On - Santana into Jesus Is Just Alright - Doobie Brothers

This one’s a two-fer, so it’s kind of cheating, but not really because we had intended to only feature the unavoidable Doobie Brothers track and then realized that the series actually segues from Santana seamlessly to “Jesus Is Just Alright.” What more could you want?

This one is a stellar sync because everyone remembers Millie sitting at the piano during the Halloween party flatly belting “Jesus Is.Just.All.Right.With.Me. Jesus is just alrighttt” joined shortly after by a “drunk” Jason Segal. It’s an incredible integration of a perfectly awkward pop track and the diegetic film world.

3. Gonna Raise Hell - Cheap Trick

This was a cool placement because it was featured throughout the episode a few times as a feature with lyrics, and other times as just instrumental background (not to be confused with non-diegetic underscore).

This one’s also from the Halloween episode, as is the next track only because that episode was loaded with major placements and seemed to act as a mid-season finale. Anyway, this track accompanies the characters “raising hell” in various ways throughout the show, and matches the angst associated with Lindsay’s clique and with the title track.

4. Janis Joplin - Maybe

Again from the Halloween episode, this track was perfectly placed to depict Lindsay’s heartbreak. For a character like Lindsay, there can’t be a cheesy break-up song; it has to be hip and cool, but not too badass (as we would expect for Daniel’s character). So casting a powerful female rock voice singing about heartache is about as good as it gets.

5. Squeeze Box - The Who

We borrowed this one from MentalFloss because they had a great clip demonstrating the prominence and plot-interaction of this track with Lindsay and Sam’s parents. The scene is a full-blown feature where the focus is actually on the music, and where we get somewhat of a title card with Mr. Weir holding and folding over the album on a close-up.

It’s an iconic song and fit perfectly as a signifier of the changing music landscape during the '70s - the parent’s reactions to the “noise” are hilarious and the acting is absolutely on-point to support the narrative.

Phew, those are our top five favorite syncs from Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks.Whether or not you are an existing fan, a new fan, or an on-the-fencer, we hope our top five at least get you started on an excellent series that features stellar music throughout every episode (Led Zeppelin opens the series as a character intro soundtrack!). Stay tuned to MusicSupervisionCentral.com over the next several months where we’ll be bringing you loads more of our favorite syncs from all those, now legendary, coming-of-age films.


Search MS101

Buy The Book On Amazon

SCH10174 Music Supervision

Twitter Feed @MusicSupervise

For Content Producers

Need the perfect song for your visuals?
Try our FREE service!

The SongHunters

Do you need a Music Supervisor for just an hour?
Try the HourlyMusicSupervisors

SongHunters Testimonials

  • "I'm one of the top Indie songwriter/producers in Canada with a catalog of over 250 songs. The SongHunters - Doug Diamond, Dave Weiss & Dave Hnatiuk, are always emailing me asking for submissions for their placement opportunities. They listen attentively to each of my submissions and end up getting me a synch license every so often - the last one with Airwalk Shoes. These guys are professional, helpful, and prompt with communication, working hard to get my music placed.  And they're nice guys too! Thanks SongHunters!"
    Mark Zubek

Newsletter Sign-up

Subscribe to our Music Supervision 101 / SongHunters Newsletter!
(Not the same as our SongHunters'
Providers List)

Our Book:

Music Supervision 2: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games, & New Media

SCH10174 Music Supervision

Available at Amazon.com

The newly revised, definitive book on music supervision, which guides you through real-world scenarios and legal landmines, explores sound design, and profiles key players.

Music supervision, or matching music to all the different mediums from films to ring tones, is one of the fastest-growing careers in the music industry, but finding the winning song for a national ad campaign or compiling a platinum movie soundtrack takes more than just good taste. Music supervision today requires serious multi-tasking and the ability to navigate licensing, relationships, and cultural trends with ease. This book guides you through real scenarios and legal landmines you might encounter; it explores sound design and profiles key players with insightful interviews, while providing project form templates that will save time for seasoned music supervisors.

This is the only guide to the career of music supervision and is ideal for the music student, musician, industry executive and of course, for those who want to break into the field of music supervision. Authors David Weiss, Ramsay Adams and David Hnatiuk are all renowned figures in the procurement and supervision of music and they apply their combined knowledge and experience to give the best possible advice and tell you how to get the job!