From intense 90’s grunge angst to intense 90’s acoustic angst, Buffy the Vampire Slayer had some pretty memorable and tear-jerking soundtrack moments. Here are some of my many favorites, made possible by the creative genius of Joss Whedon.
8. “Ballad for Dead Friends” by Dashboard Prophets
Episode 1.2 “The Harvest”
This song marks the first time while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I was impressed with the soundtrack and interesting in discovering the artist. Although the only good thing about this song is the first minute, it fits perfectly with the scene. Vampire Darla and her gang are getting ready to attack the Bronze and this song perfectly portrays the pending doom and gloom. There’s so much angst that I’m assuming they were wearing flannel while recording this.
7. “Out of This World” by Bush
Episode 6.13 “Dead Things”
This song is the epitome of major 90’s angst and is brought to an even higher level of cheesy when given the scene’s context. Buffy stands on the other side of the door to Spike’s crypt, fighting the urge to barge in, and he senses her there. Opening the door to ravish her, she is nowhere to be found. All of this end-of-the-world style of drama is welcome when paired so eloquently.
6. “That Kind of Love” by Alison Krauss
Episode 6.18 “Entropy”
Over a montage of lonely lovers and introspective pacing, this song is the sonic representation of Anya and Xander’s troubles, as well as Buffy and Spike’s. Plus, Alison Krauss has a voice that can make you cry at the drop of a hat. This acoustic single tied together the end of the episode beautifully.
5. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Melanie Doane
Episode 5.6 “Family”
The only thing you need to imagine is a sweet moment between Willow and Tara (one of many). Picture slow dancing in the Bronze, featuring loving gazes and resting heads on shoulders.This song is simple and sweet with its use of lilting, romantic guitar riffs. It’s a true tear-jerker.
4. “Displaced” by Azure Ray
Episode 6.19 “Seeing Red”
With the simply sweet voice of Orenda Fink, Azure Ray kills it in this song featured on Buffy. The scene Xander walks away from Anya after he finds out she slept with Spike, (who also slept with Buffy, my oh my), and this song clearly gives the vibe of intense thought and emotional confusion. It doesn’t hurt that this is one of my favorite tracks of of Azure Ray’s self-titled album.
3. “Sugar Water” by Cibo Matto
Episode 2.1 “When She Was Bad”
This song is just weird enough to be on the show, just edgy enough to fit the seductive vibes Buffy is giving out, and poppin’ enough to be playing at the Bronze (it gets really good around 2:40). Although I have never been disappointed with guests that performed at the Bronze, Cibo Matto has to be one of my favorite musical appearances.
2. “Goodbye To You” by Michelle Branch
Episode 6.8 “Tabula Rasa”
In addition the fact that Michelle Branch was one of my favorite artists growing up, this scene is packed with so much drama. Tara is packing her stuff and leaving Willow for abusing magic, Buffy is torn over her feelings for Spike, and Giles is on the plane back to London and leaving the Scooby Gang to fend for themselves. Joss Whedon actually planned to have this song on the soundtrack, but felt it was overproduced, so he asked Branch to perform the song live for the show.
1. “Wild Horses” by The Sundays
Episode 3.20, “The Prom”
Without a doubt, this is my favorite music moment from the series. I am sort of biased because I’ll always root for Buffy with Angel, but there’s more to it. This Rolling Stones cover is perfectly executed all on its own and played when Buffy comes to terms with the fact that Angel is leaving town for good. Basically, the perfect recipe to stake me in the heart (I’m not sorry for that).