- The Fargo season 5 soundtrack has a ton of great needle-drops in between pieces from its foreboding original score.
- The use of licensed music in FX’s Fargo ties back to the classic Coen brothers movie it was based on, which featured songs by Merle Haggard and Boy George.
- Fargo season 5 includes songs by such renowned artists as Yes, Rush, and Marilyn Manson.
The Fargo season 5 soundtrack is full of great needle-drops. The original Coen brothers movie is remembered for its creepy, foreboding score by regular Coen collaborator Carter Burwell, but it had its fair share of licensed music, too. “Big City” by Merle Haggard can be heard in the King of Clubs when Jerry meets with Carl and Gaear. Boy George’s cover version of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” is playing in the garage while Shep works. Carl and his escort watch a live nightclub performance of “Let’s Find Each Other Tonight” by José Feliciano.
Noah Hawley, the creator of the TV adaptation of Fargo, has kept that spirit alive with a bunch of awesome needle-drops. The latest season of Fargo, which stars Juno Temple as a Midwestern housewife with a dark past and Jon Hamm as the crooked lawman on her tail, has a terrific soundtrack. In Fargo season 5, Hawley has featured rock ‘n’ roll hits by Yes and Rush, classic tunes performed by Ralph Stanley and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and even a catchy number from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Fargo Season 5, Episode 1, “The Tragedy Of The Commons”
- “I’ve Seen All Good People” by Yes
- “Gloryland” by Ralph Stanley
- “Hey Joe” by Charlotte Gainsbourg
“I’ve Seen All Good People” by Yes – This prog rock hit plays over the opening titles and into the opening scene of Fargo’s season 5 premiere. Dot is arrested for unwittingly tazing a police officer during a brawl at a meeting of the town’s fall festival planning committee.
“Gloryland” by Ralph Stanley – This song is playing when Dot is processed at the police station and thrown in a holding cell. The lyrics present America as a land of hope and glory, which adds an ironic bite to the show’s depiction of America as a lawless wasteland where something as unsuspecting as a small-town fall festival planning committee can descend into violence.
“Hey Joe” by Charlotte Gainsbourg – Charlotte Gainsbourg’s cover version of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Hey Joe” plays as Dot dreams about Sheriff Tillman. The lyrics are all about a man who plans to kill a woman for cheating on him. This is similar to Dot’s connection to Sheriff Tillman, who wants to track her down for betraying him.
Fargo Season 5, Episode 2, “Trials And Tribulations”
- “Working Man” by Rush
- “Paranoid” by Grand Funk Railroad
- “This is Halloween” by Marilyn Manson
“Working Man” by Rush – This rock ‘n’ roll gem plays as Sheriff Tillman takes a bath in a big barrel outside and puffs on a cigarette. The use of this song reflects how Tillman sees himself and presents himself to the community: an honest, blue-collar working stiff (when the reality is that he’s an iron-fisted tyrant).
“Paranoid” by Grand Funk Railroad – This song can be heard as Dot and Scotty rig the house with gruesome Home Alone-style booby traps; they glue broken glass to a door handle and suspend a sledgehammer over the front door. The funky beat adds to the hilarious juxtaposition of the creation of grisly deathtraps with a heartwarming mother-child bonding experience.
“This is Halloween” by Marilyn Manson – Marilyn Manson’s cover of this spooky Halloween-themed ditty from The Nightmare Before Christmas plays as Gator pulls into the gas station where Dot’s standoff with Ole Munch took place. This song ties into the fearmongering tactics that Gator uses in his attempts to enforce law and order. It also sets up the horror-like sequence of Gator finding his partner murdered.
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