We all know how important the final song on any Mad Men episode is. We can hear the music starting as soon as each episode comes to a close and without a doubt, we know the song chosen by the Mad Men crew will be integral to the mood and meaning of the episode's final moments. It's why the series was willing to drop a pretty penny to The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" for the Season 5 episode "Lady Lazarus." And undoubtedly, the song that played during the Mad Men Season 7 premiere, the "You Keep Me Hangin' On" cover by Vanilla Fudge, was just as painstakingly chosen to convey just the right tone.
Of course, you may have recognized the song — originally performed by the Supremes — but not the singers, a psychadelic rock group from Long Island. The late 60s sound and slowed tempo take the song's sweet, young message of a crush who just won't let a young girl go reaches to a graver place and one that truly matches Don's sense of desolation and Peggy's sense of futility.
The cover is also Vanilla Fudge's most famous song, acting as the anchor for their presence at the turning point between psychadelic rock and heavy metal, two genres they famously balanced between. As we near the end of the 60s and head into the 70s on Mad Men, our characters are entering a new era and a new way of living. It's something this seemingly silly cover of a 1967 Motown song actually helps articulate rather well.