All The Songs In 'The Politician,' From Indie Faves To Old Classics
Ryan Murphy has yet to return fully to his musical roots since Glee, but that doesn't mean his shows don't have stellar soundtracks. The Politician, his new Netflix satire, certainly does. And not only that, but it stars a Broadway alum: Ben Platt, who plays Payton Hobart, a viciously ambitious high schooler with his heart set on someday becoming president.
Murphy first noticed Platt while attending a performance of Dear Evan Hansen. "[Murphy] was very effusive, he was wearing this beautiful fur, and he said, 'You're fabulous. We've got to work together,'" Platt recalled in an interview with Vogue, thinking maybe he would be offered a part in American Horror Story. Instead, the Pitch Perfect actor was given a much bigger role.
"To me he is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, sort of like the male Barbra Streisand — an actor, a singer, a dancer, a complete performer," Murphy told Vogue. "I think he's a new version of what a leading man can be."
Of course, Murphy had to take advantage of Platt's musical talent for The Politician: the soundtrack includes original songs by him, Zoey Deutch (who plays Infinity Jackson), and Ben Barrett. It also includes music from CHVRCHES, Tama Impala, LCD Soundsystem, and Sufjan Stevens. However, there are just as many classic tunes from singers like Streisand, Donna Summer, and Shirley Bassey — if not more.
See a full tracklist below.
1. "Yes I'm Changing" by Tama Impala
Kevin Parker is the mastermind behind Australian outfit Tame Impala, whose latest album was 2015's Currents. Earlier this year, Parker released two singles off the band's upcoming album — "Borderline" and "Patience." "The way I've dabbled in influences in the past? I've been unafraid to go there all the way this time," the musician told Rolling Stone. "To challenge what Tame Impala is in terms of how wide it can go."
2. "Gestern Noch (Yesterday)" by Knut Kiesewetter
According to the Frankfurter Rundschau, Knut Kiesewetter was born in Poland and raised in Eiderstedt, Northern Germany. He began his career as a jazz trombonist, and in 1960, he played alongside the Beatles at a Hamburg club.
3. "Love With All The Trimmings" by Barbra Streisand
Streisand and Yves Montand perform this song off the 1970 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever soundtrack.
4. "(Where Do I Begin) Love Story" by Shirley Bassey
Bassey's other songs featured in The Politician include "This Is My Life," "With These Hands," and "If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)." However, the singer is best known for performing the original James Bond theme song, "Goldfinger," from the 1964 film starring Sean Connery.
5. "Clearest Blue" by CHVRCHES
CHVRCHES is a Scottish band fronted by singer Lauren Mayberry. They're known for their bubbly, electronic tracks like "Clearest Blue," which is from the 2015 album Every Open Eye.
6. "I Feel Love (12" Version)" by Donna Summer
Anyone who's watched Pose knows that Murphy has a penchant for pop divas like Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Donna Summer. "I Feel Love" was released in July 1977 and quickly became a disco club favorite. "Even now, millions of gay people love Donna and some say 'I was liberated by that song,'" one of the track's producers, Giorgio Moroder, told Pitchfork. "It is a hymn."
7. "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone
While viewers may be more familiar with the LeAnn Rimes version, it was Boone who originally recorded "You Light Up My Life." The song is from the 1977 film of the same name, which starred Didi Conn. "I can't say how many weddings I've sung that song at," Boone told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. "I've had a lot of DJs over the years saying, 'I got so sick of playing that record.'"
8. "The Way of Vikings" by Amon Amarth
This track is by the Swedish death metal band Amon Amarth, whose aesthetic is all about Viking imagery — hence the title.
9. "Love Is Blue" by Claudine Longet
Although Claudine Longet is a French singer, she's perhaps best known for accidentally killing her boyfriend, skier Spider Sabich, in March 1976 when a gun went off while he was teaching her to use it, as the Washington Post reported. Longet was convicted of criminally negligent manslaughter and sentenced to 30 days in prison and two years of probation, according to the outlet.
10. "Between the Bars" by Elliott Smith
11. "Chicago" by Sufjan Stevens
Remember when Sufjan Stevens vowed to write an album based on each state? "Chicago" is from his 2005 Illinois-themed album, which followed 2003's Michigan. But fans shouldn't hold their breath for the other 48 states. "The whole premise was such a joke," Stevens told Paste back in 2009, "and I think maybe I took it too seriously. I started to feel like I was becoming a cliché of myself." The track itself, however, has stood the test of time.
12. "A Woman a Lover a Friend" by Jackie Wilson
Rolling Stone called Wilson the 69th most influential artist of all-time back in 2010, writing the he was "key in helping bridge the gap between an old-style R&B and a new incarnation of soul. Even Elvis Presley knew why Wilson was called 'Mr. Excitement'."
13. "Pretty Pimpin" by Kurt Vile
Vile founded The War on Drugs with Adam Granduciel, per his Spotify bio, but he soon left the band to pursue a solo career. In addition to his own projects, the musician has also collaborated with Courtney Barnett on the 2017 joint album, Lotta Sea Lice. His most popular song on Spotify, "Pretty Pimpin," appears in The Politician.
14. "He Would Have Laughed" by Deerhunter
According to Deerhunter's Spotify bio, they formed in 2001. Since then, they've released seven albums. Their 2010 record Halycon Digest features the song "He Would Have Laughed," which is still one of their most popular songs.
15. "Pictures of You" by The Cure
"Pictures of You" is from The Cure's 1989 album, Disintegration, though they're better known for tracks like "Friday I'm in Love" and "Boys Don't Cry."
16. "I Am the Changer" by Cotton Jones
17. "oh baby" by LCD Soundsystem
Fans likely remember LCD Soundsystem's songs like "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" and "Dance Yrself Clean," but "oh baby" comes from their 2017 album, american dream.
Add in the cast's original songs for Politician, and that's a lot of music to add to your next playlist.