69 Times Rock Music Made ‘Stranger Things’ Even Stranger
The Netflix sci-fi drama Stranger Things gets its inspiration from all things '80s, including fashion, lingo and music. In fact, the era's songs have played a big part in the show's narrative over the years.
The Emmy award-winning series follows a group of four boys: Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Will. Their lives, and the lives of everyone around them, get flipped upside down when supernatural events begin occurring throughout the small town of Hawkins, Ind. The boys befriend a mysterious girl named Eleven, who they later discover has psychokinetic abilities due to testing she received while held at Hawkins Lab. Are you keeping up so far? Good. Because we haven’t even mentioned the disturbing parallel universe, inter-dimensional monsters, on-again off-again romances and unexplained disappearances that all intertwine within the show’s ever-thickening plot.
Part of the hit show’s enduring appeal can be tied to its selection of music. The series, set in the ‘80s, plays up the nostalgia factor, and songs from the period are used as a powerful device toward that goal.
In a 2016 interview with Complex, the Duffer Brothers, who created the show, emphasized the importance of music in the series. “It was really important to get the music right,” explained Matt Duffer. “We knew it would make or break the show.” Ross Duffer further revealed their process, admitting that it was “definitely trial and error” when selecting the songs for Stranger Things. “Obviously, we played around in terms of what would actually be played around 1983," he said. "For us, it was more about the tone and the feel, and the stories these songs were telling.”
The result goes far beyond a “greatest hits of the 80s”-type soundtrack. Instead, the Duffers and their fellow producers found a balance between well-known songs and underground tracks from the era.
UCR scanned al three seasons of Stranger Things and assembled this list of 69 featured songs.