The fall television season is almost upon and we here at Playmaker Magazine are going to be blowing out our coverage with recaps and lists this fall. This is our first: Top 10 Songs We Want to Hear on the How I Met Your Mother soundtrack.
A soundtrack for the popular CBS show, which could be starting it’s final season this month, will be released on September 24, the date of the season 8 premiere. That got us to thinking about what songs should appear on the album. In the spirit of Barney Stinson, we decided to put together a mix CD with the best songs we think belong on the soundtrack. Thankfully there will be more than 10 when it comes out.
We considered songs that the cast performs (there are actually enough to fill out it’s own top 10 list), but also songs that played during great (and often emotional) moments on the show. So here are the songs we want on our 10-track How I Met Your Mother CD in the order they should appear.
Not every song could make the cut and some of these were tough. You Just Got Slapped gave us a preview of Jason Segal’s work on The Muppets, but falls short on this list. Sandcastles in the Sand doesn’t get on our mix CD because, as described on the show, it was a disappointing attempted follow-up to her awesome hit. Although we love the return of the robot. Sea Green, See Blue is a wonderful song that encompasses the show perfectly… but sadly it’s played as Lily is barfing into a trash can on her and Marshall’s wedding day. Finally, The Wind by Cat Stevens is the toughest omission because people were in tears at the end of last season watching Ted drive off into the sunset with Victoria and then seeing Robin in her wedding dress as Barney’s bride. Now on to the list!
1. You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Any How I Met Your Mother fan knows that it had to begin this way. As Barney so memorably taught us, any mix CD should be “all rise.” In the season one episode “The Limo,” Barney brings the perfect mix CD to accompany the gang’s New Year’s Eve party and it begins, epically, with this song. And whenever the group needs to pick up the mood, Barney plays the song as they head to a new party. The first few seconds of the song are also used hilariously at inappropriate times by Barney, but it awesomely accompanies Marshall’s miracle save, finding their limo just before midnight in time to kiss Lily.
2. Let’s Go to the Mall – Robin Sparkles
You had to know this was coming.
Among the top 10 moments in the show’s history, the revelation that Robin was once a Canadian pop star with a hit called “Let’s Go to the Mall” featuring a music video has to make that list. Fans of the show immediately flocked to CBS.com to watch the full music video and then downloaded the song on iTunes. The song haunts Robin to this day. Marshall once sang it at a Canadian bar for karaoke. Ted once had it as his cell phone ringer. And you’d better believe someone is going to play this at Barney and Robin’s wedding reception.
It’s also a great workout song, too. I speak from experience. Robin Sparkles can rock my body all year, not just Canada Day.
3. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
I considered having the whole top 10 list consist of just this song, but my editor overruled that decision saying that the list wouldn’t be as fun and would obviously be pretty short. This song belongs on the list because of Marshall’s car that he drove in college. The tape with just this single was stuck, meaning that if you wanted to listen to music on a drive from New York to Ohio, this was the only song playing. You’d think this would get old… but Ted and Marshall found a way to make it entertaining.
Photo courtesy Cliff Lipson/CBS
4. Good Feeling – Violent Femmes
Good Feeling is Marshall and Lily’s song. It played during their first kiss when they were freshmen in college and was featured in the season one episode “Best Prom Ever.” Marshall and Lily need to hire a band to play their wedding and Marshall suggests a great band that played parties when he was in college called The 88 (they’re a real band, check them out). Lily doesn’t want to hire them until she hears them play their song so she, Robin, Ted, and Barney all go to a gig they’re playing that night: a high school prom. The girls only get in when they get some socially inept high schoolers to escort them in, only to find that the band has gone on an extended break… and they’re pretty loaded, so they need the sheet music.
The song’s prominence on the show has given fans of the show a newfound appreciation for the Violent Femmes.
5. Voices – Cheap Trick
This is such a great song, and surprisingly great live. I saw Cheap Trick open for Aerosmith back in 2004 and they played this to the delight of the crowd. How I Met Your Mother fans love it because in the legendary season one episode “The Pineapple Incident,” Ted sings this song to Robin while drunk over the phone. At first he’s dancing and eventually stands on a table, drawing attention from the bar patrons until he falls down.
I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t also sung this song drunk to a friend who happens to be a big fan of the show. I didn’t know she was a fan of the show when I did it. Luckily, the coincidence bailed me out.
6. Barney Stinson is Awesome – Barney Stinson
In this tough economy, with big corporations being the job creators, we should all look to Barney for how we should build our resumes so that we can get hired to do a high-paying job that involves doing nothing. Such a resume should include a great song about yourself the way Barney worked that into his video resume. The song shows expertise and genius… EXPERTINIUS!
In case you’re wondering, that’s not Barney Stinson singing the song. That would be really lame.
7. Murder Train – The Foreskins
This really wouldn’t be the How I Met Your Mother soundtrack without the hard core death metal band The Foreskins. The fictional Canadian band that once shared a tour with Robin Sparkles has a song called “Murder Train” that actually appears on the show more than any other song on this list. Although it’s first appearance was the funniest as Robin agreed to play the song on her show to help the band’s leader played by James Van Der Beek. But she could only find room for it during a pet adoption segment.
8. Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit – Barney Stinson
In the 5th season episode “Girls vs. Suits,” Barney is desperate to hook up with a hot bartender, but she hates guys in suits because her previous boyfriend worked on Wall Street. So close to closing the deal at his apartment, she sees his suits and makes him decide between her and the suits. And that’s when Barney breaks out into song.
If you’re a fan of Broadway, have watched the Tony Awards, or even remember the 2nd season of Glee, you know that Neil Patrick Harris is one hell of a performer as a singer and a dancer. So it was great to see him show that off in this episode. The dancing by NPH and the cast is as impressive as the music itself. Thankfully, as you’ve seen from this list, music is a much bigger part of the show than you might have previously realized.
9. Best Night Ever – Marshall Eriksen
This song is easily the catchiest original song that’s ever come out of the show. “Best Night Ever” was a song that Marshall wrote and posted online following a couples dinner date with Barney and Robin. The song was accompanied by awkward pictures of the evening plus graphics letting Barney and Robin know that they’re free to do it again… any time.
This actually isn’t the only song and photo montage that Marshall has put together. He was addicted at one point, writing songs and posting videos about Chinese food, cat sitting and the unfortunate ensuing cat funeral. It’s a shame that he hasn’t made more because Marshall is clearly a talented song writer.
10. Thirteen – Elliott Smith
The last spot on the soundtrack had to be reserved for a great, sappy, romantic moment on the show. That’s why it was so tough to eliminate “Sea Green, See Blue” and “The Wind” from the list. The were perfect moments with great music. But ultimately, one was about Marshall and Lily and the other is really more about Robin. How I Met Your Mother is about Ted’s journey. And in a couple of weeks, we’re finally going to start coming close to finding out who the mother is. Next week will actually feature a list where we name the girls that appear on the show that we wish were the mother.
Near the top is Stella, played by the wonderful Sarah Chalke. Stella resisted Ted’s advances for the longest time until Ted finally realized a way that he could fit some time with her into her busy schedule: by taking her on a two minute date.
If you want to make a girl that’s a fan of the show cry, play this song or have her watch the two minute date scene. Along with making it rain, it’s likely the most romantic thing Ted has ever done on the show. It was accompanied by a perfect song, and it’s a great way to round up this soundtrack.
Secret Bonus track: Bangity Bang
That is, a great way to round up the official soundtrack before the bonus track at the end.
It’s a shame that we don’t have secret bonus tracks anymore, basically because we don’t listen to tapes or CDs anymore where a track could be hidden a minute or two after the last track on a CD was over. I still remember the first time I found one. I was listening to the Barenaked Ladies (CANADA!) album Rock Spectacle. After the final track was over, I was busy doing something else so I didn’t notice that the timer was still going on my CD player. A minute passed and I heard a part of the CD that I’d never heard before in the many years of owning and listening to that CD.
So we’re bringing the bonus track back for a great How I Met Your Mother song that has no official name. You’ll hear fans refer to it as “Bang” or “Bangity Bang.” The song is created by Marshall and, by the end of the episode, everyone is singing it.
I can confirm having heard this song sung several times by friends that are singing the song for the same reason that everyone else sings it. I’ll just leave it at that.