10 Great Songs Featured on Yellowjackets

10 Great Songs Featured on Yellowjackets

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Posted 2024-01-07 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow
Lyle, A & Nickerson, B. “Yellowjackets”. Showtime. Link to Image

"We're undefeated b*tches. We are going to mother f*cking Nationals!"
Jackie Taylor, Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets is an American coming-of-age drama and survival thriller drama created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson for Showtime. It features an ensemble cast starring Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress, Ella Purnell, Sophie Nélisse, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sophie Thatcher, Samantha Hanratty, Steven Krueger, Warren Kole, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, Courtney Eaton, Liv Hewson, Kevin Alves, Simone Kessell, Lauren Ambrose, and Elijah Wood. Yellowjackets tells the story of a team of talented female soccer players who survive a plane crash in 1996 and are left stranded in the Canadian wilderness for 19 months. The show follows the team as they struggle to survive and chronicles how the stress of their situation drives them to madness and to embrace cannibalism and form savage clans. It also shows their attempts to move on with their lives 25-years-later and recover from the trauma of their experiences. This article will review some of the music used in the show and will contain spoilers.

1. No Return (Extended Version)
No Return Extended Version (2023). Florence and the Machine. Yellowjackets Season 2 (Music from the Original Series). Image Link.
Click Here To Watch on YouTube
Artist: Alanis Morsiette
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 4, "Old Wounds" and Season 2, Episode 7, "Burial"

"No Return" is the theme song for Yellowjackets. It is an original composition that was composed and performed by Craig Wedren and Anna Waronker. Wedren and Waronker are both well-known American singer-songwriters, musicians, and composers for film and television. "No Return" was written in the style of a 90s-themed alternative punk rock song. Wedren and Waronker knew that for the song to work it had to be rebellious, angry, primal, and very female. The result was "No Return" which was first featured in the opening credits of the episode %%"The Dollhouse."

On 15 April 2023, Showtime released the complete soundtrack for the first season of the show, titled Blood Hive, which featured an extended cover of "No Return" performed by Grammy award-winning singer Alanis Morissette. The extended version was also featured in the opening credits for the episodes "Old Wounds" and "Burial." In a behind the scene video , Alanis Morissette stated that she loved the original version of the song, and thought it was a great performance and the perfect fit for the show. She admitted to being a little nervous at being asked to reinterpret it but felt that there was a lot of overlapping themes between the song and her own work which was all about being loud, angry, and female. She liked that the characters on Yellowjackets were complex and allowed to be as angry or sad as they wanted. Alanis Morissette said that she felt honoured to be the "Musical fairy godmother" of Yellowjackets.

2. Just a Girl
Just a Girl (2023). Florence and the Machine. Dance Fever. Image Link .
Click Here To Watch on YouTube
Artist: Florence and the Machine

"Just a Girl" was the lead single of American band No Doubt's third studio album, Tragic Kingdom, which was released in 1995. "Just a Girl" was written by Gwen Stefani and Tom Dumont. Stefani was inspired to write "Just a Girl" when reflecting on her frustrations growing up a girl with conservative parents. With its sarcastic lyrics and bubble-gum pop-punk style, "Just a Girl" became a massive hit for No Doubt, and is considered to be one of the most prominent feminist anthems of the 1990s. English indie-rock band Florence and the Machine released a cover of "Just a Girl" in March 2023 that was used in the trailer for the second season of Yellowjackets.

In a press statement from Florence and the Machine , lead singer Florence Welch spoke about the impact that "Just a Girl" had on them growing up, and how excited they were to interpret the song in a 'deeply unsettling' way for Yellowjackets. Florence and the Machine did a fantastic job with their cover of "Just a Girl." Their version of the song is vastly different from Gwen Stefani's pop hit. It has a slower pace and is much more melodramatic and eerie sounding. I really loved how they reinterpreted the lyrics of the song to fit the show. Lines like 'Oh, I'm just a girl, what's my destiny? What I've succumbed to is making me numb' read so much differently when you think about the characters on the show and the terrible things that they are forced to do to survive during their time in the wilderness.

3. Last Resort
Last Resort (2000). Papa Roach. Infest. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube
Artist: Papa Roach
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 1, "Friends, Romans, Countrymen"

"Last Resort" was an alternative metal song by American rock band Papa Roach. It was featured on the soundtrack to the 2000 film Ready to Rumble and was the lead single on Papa Roach's second studio album, Infest, which was released on 7 March 2000. "Last Resort" is a song about someone struggling in life, feeling a lot of frustration, and questioning if they want to keep going on. Papa Roach vocalist Jacoby Shaddix described the song as a "cry for help" and said that the song was about a friend of his who was once suicidal. "Last Resort" was a commercial success for Papa Roach, with many people connecting with the song, and the powerful emotions that it stirred in them.

Jeff Sadecki is a character on Yellowjackets who is portrayed by Warren Kole as an adult and Jack DePew as a teenager. As a teenager, Jeff was in a relationship with Jackie Taylor, the captain of the WHS Yellowjackets soccer team. While the two of them were still together, Jeff was secretly having an affair with Jackie's best friend Shauna Shipman, who he got pregnant just prior to her being stranded in the wilderness with Jackie and the rest of the Yellowjackets. 25 years later, Jeff and Shauna are married, and parents to a teenage daughter named Callie. The two of them are in couples therapy and struggling with guilt and trauma over Jackie's death in the wilderness and the loss of their first baby 25 years ago. Jeff has become popular among fans due to Warren Kole's performance of him as Shauna's devoted husband. In the season two episode "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" Jeff lets out his frustrations over the state of his marriage to Shauna by rocking out to "Last Resort" alone in the car. The song was a perfect fit for the character in that moment who was feeling very helpless and like his life was out of control.

4. Zombie
Zombie (1994). The Cranberries. No Need to Argue. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube
Artist: The Cranberries
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 9, "Storytelling"

"Zombie" was an alternative rock song from Irish rock band The Cranberries that was written by lead singer Dolores O'Riordan in protest to the escalating violence from The Troubles in Northern Ireland. "Zombie" was released on 19 September 1994 as the lead single on The Cranberries album No Need to Argue which would go on to become the band's best-selling album. O'Riordan wrote the song in a moment of outrage after hearing about two children who had been killed in a bombing in England. There is so much grief in her voice as she sings. She is so devastated that children were pulled into a world of violence and now she can't get the image of their dead bodies out of her head.

"Zombie" has been called "one of the defining songs of the alternative rock era" and is considered to be one of the most iconic songs of the 1990s. It is featured in the Yellowjackets episode "Storytelling" moments after the girls return to the cabin after turning to cannibalism and completing their first ritualistic hunt. You see them walking slowly back to the cabin carrying the dead body of Javi with his arms and legs tied together. This was such a heartbreaking scene. I thought that "Zombie" was a great choice to mirror what happened in the episode. In the music video for the song a group of children armed with sticks chase down another child and push them to the ground. What happens to Javi in Yellowjackets was very similar. The girls gave into violence and a child's life was taken was taken as a result and now nothing will be the same ever again.

5. Good Vibrations
Good Vibrations (1991). Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Music for the People. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube
Artist: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
Episode Featured:Season 1, Episode 1, "Pilot"

"Good Vibrations" by American hip-hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and Loleatta Holloway was a chart-topping hit that was released as the lead single for their 1991 debut album, Music for the People. The song became a number-one smash hit in the United States, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland. It spent a staggering 20 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been ranked as one of the top songs of the 1990s and one of the greatest dance songs of the 1990s. "Good Vibrations" is featured in the pilot episode of season one when the Yellowjackets are introduced at a pep rally. It is a great song choice for the scene because it is so peppy, happy, and infectious and shows how normal the girls looked before the time they spent lost in the wilderness.

6. Mother, Mother
Mother Mother (1996). Tracy Bonham. The Burdens of Being Upright. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube
Artist: Tracy Bonham
Episode Featured: Season 1, Episode 2, "F Sharp"

"Mother, Mother" was a song released by American alternative rock musician Tracy Bonham for her 1996 debut album, The Burdens of Being Upright. The song features lyrics that resemble a young woman making a telephone call to her mother. The song starts off pleasant enough, asking about the weather and how the family is, but then becomes more heated with Bonham screaming in frustration at her over-protective mother. "Mother, Mother" was a massive hit for Tracy Bonham.

"Mother, Mother" was used as the music in the title card sequence in the season one episode "F Sharp." The episode begins moments after the plane crash that stranded the Yellowjackets in the wilderness. After finding their coach pinned under some wreckage, Misty Quigley (played by Sammi Hanratty) picks up a piece of jagged metal and chops off his leg to free him, unfazed by his screams and the blood that splatters. As the camera focuses on her face, we cut to the Yellowjackets title, and we hear Tracy Bonham sing the line "I'm hungry, I'm dirty, I'm losin' my mind, everything's fine" followed by an angry scream. I love the unabashed female rage in "Mother, Mother." It is the perfect fit for Misty's character who has sociopathic tendencies and is incredibly dangerous when slighted.

7. Kiss From a Rose
Kiss from a Rose (1993). Seal. Seal II. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube
Artist: Seal
Episode Featured: Season 1, Episode 9, "Doomcoming"

"Kiss from a Rose" was a pop ballad that was released by British singer-songwriter Seal on 19 July 1994 on the film soundtrack for The NeverEnding Story III and on Seal's second self-titled album. It was re-released in 1995 as a track on the Batman Forever film soundtrack where it climbed the charts and achieved commercial success. In the season one Yellowjackets episode "Doomcoming" the survivors are starting to run out of food and are beginning to fear that they will never be rescued or survive the winter. They decide to host their own version of prom that they call 'the Doomcoming' so they can have fun together one last time. They put on their best clothes and start singing "Kiss from a Rose" together as a group. It is a sad and sweet scene that shows just how young and scared the Yellowjackets are.

8. Climbing Up the Walls
Climbing Up The Walls (1997). Radiohead. OK Computer. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube .
Artist: Radiohead
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 2, "Edible Complex"

From the moment that Yellowjackets premiered fans have been anxious to find out when the characters would turn to cannibalism to survive the harsh wilderness. We finally saw that happen in the season two episode "Edible Complex" when the Yellowjackets feast on Jackie's dead body after an attempt to cremate her accidentally results in her corpse being cooked. The scene where they give into hunger plays out like a fantasy where they picture themselves dressed up in robes and enjoying a feast.

The song "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead plays hauntingly in the background while the scene flickers between the imaginary feast and the ugly truth of what is really happening. English rock band Radiohead released "Climbing Up the Walls" on 16 June 1997 as a track on their third studio album, OK Computer. Vocalist and songwriter for the band Thom Yorke drew on his experience as an orderly in a mental hospital for inspiration in writing the song. The song uses strings, guitar and metallic percussion to create a very creepy, ethereal vibe, that fits well into the dream-like scene showing the Yellowjackets picturing themselves at an elaborate feast.

9. Song 2
Song 2 (1997). Blur. Self-Titled Album. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube.
Artist: Blur
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 6, "Qui"

"Song 2" is a punk-rock song that was released by the English rock band Blur on 7 April 1997 on their self-titled fifth studio album, Blur. With its cheeky "Woo-hoo!" chorus, banging and clashing drums, slamming guitars and room shaking amplifiers, the song instantly became a commercial hit. "Song 2" features in the opening scene of the Yellowjackets season two episode "Qui." The episode begins with a flash-back showing the Yellowjackets at school being taught a sex-ed lesson about childbirth. As the flash-back nears the end, the opening drum solo of the song starts playing softly in the background. It slowly builds in volume and then cuts to the cabin in the wilderness at the first "Woo-hoo!" in the chorus and we see Shauna screaming in pain about to give birth. I loved the transition from the school flash-back to the cabin. The timing was used so well to show how desperate Shauna's situation was.

10. Bullet with Butterfly Wings
Bullet with Butterfly Wings. (1995). The Smashing Pumpkins. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Link to Image.
Click Here to Watch on YouTube.
Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Episode Featured: Season 2, Episode 8, "It Chooses"

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings" is considered among many to be one of the best hard rock songs of all time. The smash-hit was released by American alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins as the lead single on their 1995 album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The song would go on to become the band's first top-40 US hit and would win the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock performance in 1997.

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings" is featured in a very disturbing season two Yellowjackets episode called "It Chooses." After enduring months of starvation, the survivors have started hallucinating, and have formed a religion focused on the wilderness. The group come up with a plan to survive that involves selecting someone who will be offered as a sacrifice and cannibalised so the rest of them can live. They pull cards and Natalie is selected as the sacrifice. She breaks away from the group and flees from the cabin into the snowy white wilderness. The rest of the team follows her in pursuit and armed with weapons.

It is a terrifying scene which is made all the better with "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" playing in the background. For two seasons we have seen the Yellowjackets slowly unraveling as isolation and starvation pushed them to the brink of madness. Their situation has become so bleak and desperate at the end of season two they have become a shadow of their former selves. They are like animals fighting desperately to survive. "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" works so well during the chase scene when the spotlight is on Natalie. For a while now, Natalie has been thinking that death would be a release from the horror of their situation. When she faces the prospect of dying during the hunt, she realises that she doesn't want to die, and feels guilt and selfishness when she lets Javi die in her place.

More TV Show Reviews by Marisa
10 Great Songs Featured in The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
The Best Captain Janeway Episodes From Star Trek Voyager
FROM TV Show Season 1 & 2 - Review

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221002 - 2023-06-30 10:35:13

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