The Walking Dead and music aren't really synonymous, except for an unforgettable episode in season seven (in a bad way). Of course, we're referring to Daryl's imprisonment at the Sanctuary, and the fact that he was forced to listen to "Easy Street" on repeat, deprived of sleep to the frustratingly jovial tune.
However, going back to the earlier seasons of the series — back when it was actually good — AMC did release an original soundtrack for the show, with the wholly original title "The Walking Dead (AMC's Original Soundtrack Vol. 1)." How does it stack up? Well, it's mostly grungy tracks that, quite frankly, work within the confines of a post-apocalyptic zombie drama.
Here's how the eight tracks of the original soundtrack rank, from worst to ... better.
"Main Title Theme (Unkle Remix)" — Bear McCreary:
The main title theme for The Walking Dead isn't much to write home about, but it's miles ahead of this remix AMC elected to include in their soundtrack. It takes Bear McCreary's original, unsettling theme and gives it an unnecessarily clunky remix. Maybe Unkle is a zombie?
"You Are the Wilderness" — Voxhaul Broadcast:
The little-known Indie band gets a nod from The Walking Dead (they like to do this, considering "Easy Street" was a complete unknown). Unfortunately, despite the band's claims that the track is about humanity and human scent — "You just smell somebody and they just smell bad sometimes" — it falls flat with a generic, rock n' roll tune.
"Love Bug" — Baby Bee:
The upbeat, quick tempo of "Love Bug" is an excellent addition to the everyman's workout playlist. Or, for Rick and the group, killing zombies.
"Lead Me Home" — Jamie N Commons:
The soulful piece from British artist Jamie N Commons compliments the episode in which the song is featured, "Clear," quite well. This is The Walking Dead's first check-in with Morgan since the series' pilot, and Commons' crooning, wistful vocals fit Morgan's anguish at the loss of his son, as well as his bitter, premeditated isolation.
"Running" — Delta Spirit:
"Running" comes in at the height of Rick and the group's conflict with the Governor, and it's swooning, gritty vocals are an excellent complement to the rising tensions between the prison and Woodbury.
"Warm Shadow (Dactyl Remix)" — Fink:
Another season three track that focuses on the Governor and Rick, "Warm Shadow" is, as described by WhatCulture, a "gearing up" for their bloody, impending confrontation. The narrative between Rick's group and the Governor was one of the best parts of the show; it's not surprising it also featured some of its best music.
"Sinking Man" — Of Monsters and Men:
This is pretty easy: It's Of Monsters and Men, so AMC couldn't really go wrong.
"The Parting Glass" — Emily Kinney and Lauren Cohan:
"The Parting Glass" cover feels like a necessary (and deserved!) number one because the hypnotic vocals are sung by two familiar faces: Emily Kinney and Lauren Cohan. AKA, a duet from The Walking Dead's Beth and Maggie. Kinney's post-Walking Dead work has seen a fair share of new music, and both of the actresses sound great on a track made specifically for the show.