Everyone's been going pretty crazy for Netflix's 'Stranger Things' soundtrack lately, and who can blame them? It's pretty awesome. Here at House of Noise we love synths, 80's synths especially have a place in our hearts and we use a lot of them on our productions. Let's go in depth with the original music heard on the show.
The Music from Netflix's 'Stranger Things'
What is the Stranger Things Intro theme?
Here's the main 'Stranger Things' theme written by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein from the band S U R V I V E. The directors of the show were big fans of the Austin based band, and used a song from there first EP in the original mock trailer when they were pitching the show to Netflix.
Stranger Things Episode 1 Soundtrack
There's some great tunes in the first episode, first up we hear 'She Has Funny Cars' by San Francisco's finest psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane, followed up by their classic 'White Rabbit'. Toto's 'Africa' followed by 'Can't Seem To Make You Mine' by The Seeds make up the last pre-existing tracks. Check out the playlist here:
Stranger Things Episode 2 Soundtrack
Starting with one of The Clash's most recognisable tunes "Should I Stay or Should I Go" moving into the lesser known Modern English lovingly titled "I Melt With You" a new wave band from Colchester, Essex. The last 2 tracks come from The Bangles with "Hazy Shade of Winter" and The Dawn with "Tie a Yellow Ribbon".
Stranger Things Episode 3 Soundtrack
David Bowie's classic "Heroes" has been covered many times, by many people but Peter Gabriel's cover, taken from his 8th studio album "Scratch My Back", has to be one of the best. Slightly less pre-existing tunes in this episode, last up we have kings of the power ballad Foreigner with "Waiting For A Girl Like You".
Stranger Things Episode 4 Soundtrack
Starting off with Joy Division's iconic "Atmosphere" we hear a glimpse "Should I Stay or Should I Go" again being sung by Mike. We then hear "Color Dreams" by The Deep in the bar as Hopper buys O'Bannan a beer and starts questioning hm about the quarry. Ending again with The Clash Joyce tries to call Mike out by playing the song.
Stranger Things Episode 5 Soundtrack
New Order's "Elegia" is the instrumental music on the morning of Will's "funeral" then later we hear Tangerine Dream's "Green Desert" as Hopper tears apart his trailer. The ending credits song is "Nocturnal Me" by Liverpool's finest Echo & The Bunnymen.
Stranger Things Episode 6 Soundtrack
Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" is heard when Steve and his palls try to sneak into Nancy's room. Concerto for Violin by J.S Bach is heard in the background when Scott Clark receives a visit from a lady about the creation of the AV club. "Brahm's Lullaby" we hear when Terri's sister tells Joyce and Hopper about Terri's involvement with MKUltra's experiments. Dolly Parton's "The Bargain Store" is the obvious choice for Nancy and Jonathon's trip to get monster hunting supplies. Last up we have "Exit" by Tangerine Dream when Steve and Jonathon fight in the alley.
Stranger Things Episode 7 Soundtrack
When the children explain 'The upside down' to everyone we hear the synth master Vangelis with "Fields Of Coral".
Stranger Things Episode 8 Soundtrack
The last episode of series 1 has more Tangerine Dream with "Horizon" for the flashback of Hopper and his dying daughter. A slightly more modern tune by Moby "When it's cold I like to die" which is heard as they bring Will back to life from the underworld. "Carol of the Bells" is heard when Chief Hopper takes food into the woods to leave in a box and "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby is heard when the Byers family sits down for Christmas dinner.
Who is the composer of the Stranger Things theme?
Austin based band S U R V I V E quit their day jobs when they got the offer to write the music for the show. Kyle Dixon was working as a software designer and Michael Stein was working in an electronic music store doing repairs. They had some tunes on the 2014 indie hit "The Guest" which is also available to view on Netflix, and apparently the band wrote over 13 hours of music for Stranger Things which was whittled down to fit into the 8 episodes. Here's a stream of all the original music heard in the show, which now has a vinyl release!
Pretty awesome right? Well SoundCloud user killerkabob has uploaded a pretty rad playlist of new 'Synth Wave' artists doing similar things to the soundtrack if you wanna hear more music like Stranger things:
We thought we'd do a little post paying tribute to some classic tracks that clearly influenced the production of the 'Stranger Things' soundtrack. Starting with, of course, the true king of the "80s synths in film" crown John Carpenter.
John Carpenters' classic soundtracks are some of our favourite Movie OST's: Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York and a poersonal favourite 'Assualt on Precinct Thirteen":
Next up, how could we talk about synths and not mention Vangelis. A greek composer, best known for winning as Oscar on his score to Chariots of Fire. The most like 'Stranger Things' of his soundtracks has to be for Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' made almost entirely on the Yamaha CS-80. Here's a little post about THAT SOUND.
So as you can see there's been a whole lot of awesome synth soundtracks long before stranger things, too many to try and list in fact. So, if you wanna take it up a notch and check out some modern day artists who are doing some really great 80's inspired music, check out Power Glove from Australia, making some epic 80s synth inspired grooves, and or course French house artist Kavinsky who featured all over the 'Drive' OST:
As a side note to finish on, if your a total 80s film nerd, like most of us, you may have noticed all the nods and references in the visuals. Here's a link to a Vimeo compilation of all these references: CLICK HERE TO CHECK THEM OUT
House of Noise is a music production & supervision company.