Thirty years ago this month, America’s favorite animated family made their debut as part of The Tracey Ullman Show. To celebrate, CoS will be broadcasting live from Springfield all week with a slew of Simpsons features. Today, we’re re-posting Philip Cosores’ ranking of the 10 best songs from the show’s history. Note: This article was originally published in January 2010.
The Simpsons has literally been on for as long as a decent portion of Americans can remember. From its impressive list of guest stars to its often timely critique of politics and social values, the cartoon has become more than a TV show. Books have been written on it. College courses have studied it. Children bear names of popular characters featured on it. You get the idea.
The music featured on The Simpsons is an integral component to the show. Like most television programs, it opens with a theme song — an iconic theme song most of us have heard as many times as such classics like “Happy Birthday” and “The Wedding March”. Show creator Matt Groening has made his mark on the indie community through his work with ATP. The show has also had numerous music-themed episodes and some completely musical episodes. It has even spawned the release of a series of soundtrack albums, which include Songs in the Key of Springfield, Testify, The Yellow Album, and more.
Musical guests are also commonly featured on The Simpsons, beginning with Ringo Starr in an episode about Marge’s devotion to the Beatle and continuing through the years to include R.E.M., Aerosmith, Sonic Youth, Green Day, and a festival lineup’s worth of others. But, it’s the original numbers that are the most memorable (not to say that the melodies aren’t parodies of other songs, but the content of the songs is original). These are 10 musical moments that capture The Simpsons at their best.