Wire Tuneage

There’s a very cool feature on music supervisor Blake Leyh over on HBO:

… music supervisor Blake Leyh – who, on another show, might compose sweeping themes and clever montages – has to fight the instinct to draw sentimental connections through song choice. “I want to make the scene less emotional, less melodramatic,” he says. “We put music in there as a device to push you away from the people a little bit. It’s something you would so rarely do in a Hollywood movie; you would want to pump up the emotion. But on ‘The Wire,’ so often we’re trying to go against that.”

See also the sidebar (be sure and click on the song titles) featuring songs “you never heard on the The Wire” and why.



  1. I was reading in the sidebar all the cliched “Baltimore” songs that Leyh avoided, and I’m thinking, “OK, but then why do we hear Gram Parson’s ‘Streets of Baltimore’ on the jukebox in S1 or early S2 while Bunk and Jimmy are drinking at the bar?”

    Then I went and listened to the song:

    Well I did my best to bring her back to what she used to be
    Then I soon learned she loved those bright lights more than she loved me
    Now I’m-a-going back on that same train that brought me here before
    While my baby walks the streets of Baltimore

    Bright city lights as metaphor for addiction, and another goddamn train.

    Do I gotta watch Season 1 a third time? You could probably gin up a pretty decent MFA thesis writing about this show.

    Excellent link, VTx.

  2. well, thanks, Ray but I’m just the link farmer, not like I wrote it or anything.

    Did you look at the blurb for Up Up and Away? Funny, about the great bad music and how DS wouldn’t ever let BL use “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” ( he should have tried substituting “Crimson and Clover”…)

    Any thoughts on the final montage?

  3. The Episode 59 ones? Spoilin’ bastards, I stopped it as soon as I realized what it was.

  4. Confused…..

    I wasn’t talking about no spoilers! Up and UP and Away was playing in the background when McNulty bought red ribbon.

  5. I barely could even hear that one. But you see the clip with Sydnor on it? It’s from Episode 59. I saw a few seconds of it. Watch at your own peril.

  6. Just stumbled upon this on youtube:

    Two Wire favorites in one sweet, sweet song.

  7. Wonderful! Steve. Thanks for posting that link.

  8. If it hadn’t already been on “House,” that song would be a great choice for the series finale montage.

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