There are many, many reasons why I love Supernatural. You can guess most of them. High on the list is the outstanding rock music that was infused into the signature sound of the show. From the songs you can’t stop singing, to the heavy bass that adds intensity to the action, to the lyrics which echo the characters’ hearts, music is an integral part of this show. The music also add a familiarity that makes this show more personal. It makes it my show (a sentiment repeated by the other million fans who identify with the classic sounds of rock music’s breakout era!). So what is behind the music we love so much and how exactly can a Supernatural fan make sure their collection is complete?
From the beginning, two composers, Christopher Lennertz and Jay Gruska have shared responsibility for creating the incredible scores behind Supernatural. Christopher Lennertz’ official website is a testament to the amazing talent of this musician. His biography states that he has scored music for 43 feature films, 7 network series (including Eric Kripke’s Revolution) and a multitude of video games and short films (including most recently Marvel’s Agent Carter). He has won 12 major music awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock Alternative Album 2004. Close to the hearts of all Supernatural fans, in 2006 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music for a Series for Supernatural’s first episode, “Pilot”. Christopher can be found on Twitter at @CLennertz.
Jay Gruska’s resume is similarly impressive. By my count he has received ten major awards plus three Emmy and one Grammy nominations for his music. Without knowing it, we have all probably hummed his music as we watched our favorite TV shows. To his credit are the scores of 16 Films and 39 TV series or shows, including Charmed, Lois and Clark The New Adventures of Superman, and Wildfire. His work on Supernatural has also been recognized with two awards for Score from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. His official website also plays some wonderfully smooth excerpts of his own compositions.
Just last month, on Sept 17, 2014, Jay officially joined the Twitter ranks. It seems than an imposter had been posing and tweeting as Jay for over a year! (Correct ID is @Jaygruska). His first few tweets contained some tantalizing information about the music for the 10th season, including teasers about the 200th episode! Next time you are on Twitter you might want to sneak a peek at his account to read his spoiler!
Together, Jay and Christopher have chosen, written and mixed the music that has underscored nine (and now ten!) incredible seasons of Supernatural. While they work in the background, their wonderful sounds haven’t been overlooked by Supernatural fans. One such fan, Shannon, has extensively cataloged and analyzed the Supernatural scores on her Live Journal blog. She links to MP3 downloads for the scores of Supernatural seasons 1, 2, 3 and 4, plus “Dean’s Family Dedication” theme. She also includes a link to Lennertz’ complete compilation of season 1 music (there’s a link on Superwiki as well. See below).
That album was never officially released but was leaked on the internet so it can be rather hard to find.
Music from the first five seasons of Supernatural can also be obtained from the one Supernatural album that was officially released: The Original Television Soundtrack for Seasons 1-5.
Buried in track 6, “Americana”, is the music that Jay confirmed to The WFB on Twitter he uses for the “brothers theme”. He also tweeted to us: “I try not to do it the same way every time I use it. Needs to be scene and dramatically appropriate.” Several of the other tracks will also sound eerily familiar from the show. The Soundtrack is available from Amazon if you haven’t already added it to your music collection.
Of course, the song most identified with Supernatural is its adopted theme song. I’m guessing that every fan has some version of “Carry On Wayward Son” on their YouTube or iTunes playlists by now!. Have you seen, though, an original concert version from back in 1976? Let me add to your cultural sophistication!
The video’s description recites some of the great history of the song: “a hit progressive rock single recorded by Kansas and written by Kerry Livgren for their 1976 album Leftoverture. In 1977, the song peaked at #11 on the Billboard pop singles chart, becoming their first Top 40 hit. The 7″ single has been certified Gold by the RIAA. This song was also selected among the best 500 rock songs by Rolling Stone.” (this also happens to be verbatim the first paragraph of the song’s history in wikipedia.com!)
If you prefer a more current version with slightly better acoustics, here is Kansas performing their now iconic song sometime in this decade!
“Carry On Wayward Son” performed live:
The song has become so popular, there is now a lullaby version as well! Every fan should have at least one version of this song in their playlist!
Besides the music that underscores all of the Supernatural episodes, several bands have also gained in popularity thanks to use as Supernatural background and/or recommendations from Jared and Jensen. Supernatural fans have funded Stageit concerts, flocked to live appearances and bought downloads or CDs of the Brian Buckley Band, Steve Carlson and Jason Manns. Rob Benedict’s band, Louden Swain, is now appearing at all Supernatural conventions in the U.S. While not all specific to the series, these bands round out a fan’s collection of Supernatural-related music!
If you wish to branch out even further, another great source for learning everything there is to know about Supernatural music is the Music Library page on Superwiki. Included on their page is a long list of original songs inspired by Supernatural, written and performed by fans.
I’m sure I’m missing several other sources of Supernatural music that fans have found over the years. So other than replaying entire series of Supernatural episodes through DVDs and on-line streaming, how do you get your fix for Supernatural music? Have any recommendations for fellow fans?