[TV] Breaking Bad Music Supervisor Explains Why They Chose Badfinger's "Baby Blue" To End The Series
Posted by Joseph Lee on 10.02.2013
They definitely wanted a "blue" song...
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Breaking Bad music supervisor Thomas Golubic explained why they chose Badfinger's 1972 song "Baby Blue" for the final moments of the episode. The song choice was originally creator Vince Gilligan's idea. Golubic's music team kept suggesting other "blue" songs but Gilligan declined.
He said: "When he said, 'I think this is the right song for the closing of the finale,' I didn't really hear it. I thought it was an odd little love song. But in came the dailies, with that wonderful crane shot moving over Walter White, and once we played the song, [we thought], 'Oh, I get it now'. This is a love-affair story of Walt and his love of science, and this was his greatest product – his greatest triumph as a chemist. It wasn't about Walter White as a criminal or a murderer or an awful person. It was him ending on his own terms. It felt creatively right."
The song was inspired by late Badfinger singer Pete Ham's ex-girlfriend (Dixie Armstrong). It was a #14 single and the last top 20 hit in the band's career. It previously appeared in Martin Scorsese's 2006 film The Departed. While previously not as well-known as songs like "No Matter What" and "Come and Get It", it has had an increase of Spotify streams (9,000% in the first eleven hours after the finale) and iTunes sales (5,000 copies on Sunday night alone). Previously it never sold more than 1,000 in a week.
Gilligan is a fan of the band and said he didn't realize Scorsese used the song until it was too late. He added: "I thought, 'Oh dear God,' this song was in the Departed soundtrack. If someone uses a song in an incredibly iconic and wonderful way, the last thing I want to do is utilize it again."
The band's label (Apple Records, home of the Beatles) rejected its album Straight Up until George Harrison and later Todd Rundgren finished production. Ham committed suicide three years later at the age of 37. Golubic said: "To me, it was a lovely nod of respect to a band that had a very hard time of it."
Meanwhile, Golubic said that Marty Robbins' "El Paso", the song Walter listens to on a glove-box cassette tape as he's driving his Volvo back to Albuquerque, was written into the script. He said the show's title "Felina", is not only an anagram for finale, but a reference to the song. The 1959 ballad is about a gunfighter and a woman named Felina who kisses the narrator's cheek as he dies.
Golubic said: "It seemed like the perfect song to end Walt's last ride into town."