Mad Men tells the story of Don Draper, the creative director at Sterling Cooper (and later a founding partner of Sterling Cooper Draper Price). Set in the 1960s on Madison Avenue in New York City, the show has received critical acclaim for it’s authentic aesthetics and historical accuracy, and has won a range of awards including fifteen Emmys and four Golden Globes.
The show also features excellent music from the period, including genres such as Jazz, Country, and Pop. For episode 8 of season 5, the producers paid $250,000 to play the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows” at the end of the episode. It paid off.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the top 5 music moments on Mad Men:
5. Band of Gold (Don Draper’s Introduction)
Episode 1, Season 1 (Click on the picture to view on Youtube)
This song plays in the very first episode of Mad Men, as we are introduced to Don Draper. Don’s talking to an employee at the bar as he tries to come up with something for Lucky Strike. After the conversation, Don scans over the bar, and we’re shown just how big smoking was at the time. Click here for the clip.
4. My Special Angel (Betty’s Target Practice)
Episode 9, Season 1 (Click on the picture to view on Youtube)
Betty returns to modelling only to be accused of neglecting her kids, who have gotten in trouble after their dog attacked the neighbour’s pigeons. When Betty finds out she didn’t get the modelling job she trialled for, she vents her disappointment by shooting at the pigeons. See it here.
3. Charleston (Pete and Trudy Charleston)
Episode 3, Season 3 (Click on the picture to view on Youtube)
Pete and his wife Trudy take to the dance floor to perform what is undoubtedly a thoroughly rehearsed Charleston. During the dance, Pete constantly surveys his Sterling Cooper superiors in hopes of approval. Here’s the video.
2. Tomorrow Never Knows (Don’s First Listen of The Beatles)
Episode 8, Season 5 (No video)
Earlier in the episode, Don asks “when did music become so important?”. Following this, Megan buys Don the latest Beatles album in order to fill Don in. Despite his best attempt, Don fails to connect with the music and swiftly turns it off mid-track.
1. You Only Live Twice (Don’s Possible Return)
Episode 13, Season 5 (Click on the picture to view on Youtube)
“We have to come back next season and we don’t know how he’s going to answer but we know he’s in a different place. But you recognize that guy when he looks up. We haven’t seen him in a while.” – Matthew Weiner