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The Ten Best Music Cues on The Sopranos

Sara is big into reading and writing fiction like it's her job, because it is. That doesn't mean she isn't real as it gets. She loves real stuff like polka dots, indie rock, and underground fight clubs. I may have made some of that up. I don't know her that well. You can tell she didn't just write this in the third person because if she had written it there would have been less suspect sentence construction.

In early March 2020, a coworker asked me what I might do if Chicago instituted a two-week lockdown to fight Covid. “I don’t know,” I joked. “Maybe finally watch The Sopranos?” It was a huge gap in my television viewing history, if an understandable one. I was twelve when it first began airing in January 1999, and while my family had a free year of HBO thanks to a cable deal, I was clandestinely absorbing the antics of Sex and the City rather than Tony and the gang. Despite later enjoying, to varying degrees, shows that owed the series a debt, from Mad Men to Breaking Bad to The Americans, I was always daunted by the idea of taking on The Sopranos. It felt like a project. Is it really worth it? And when would I find the time? Still, as Twitter flooded with sourdough starters and Duolingo prompts in the ensuing months, I resisted the modest goals I set for myself. I felt too unmoored and confused to accomplish even something as simple as watching a show. It wasn’t until a full year into the pandemic, the same year that Sopranos movie prequel The Many Saints of Newark was scheduled to release, that I pressed play on the premiere, but I was surprised at how quickly the show’s characters began to feel like companions. (Living alone will do that to you.) It can be easy to forget now, but The Sopranos truly was a game-changer, and one made with more care than the contrarian in me anticipated. The music is a huge part of that, much of which creator David Chase handpicked himself, to the point where even a casual fan of the show could come up with a unique top ten list. As a recent convert, I humbly offer mine on the occasion of Many Saints of Newark hitting theaters and HBO Max this week.

The 10 Best Music Cues on The Sopranos According to a First-Time Viewer in 2021

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