If you haven’t checked out Netflix’s hugely popular show Stranger Things, seriously do it. It’s awesome. If you have, you know that the music totally makes the show. For those of you waiting patiently for season 4 of Stranger Things to hit screens, you may find that having a listen to the series soundtracks may help pass the time.
For that reason, we’ve pulled together a guide to the music of Stranger Things across seasons 1, 2 and 3 and where you can listen to it all.
Stranger Things soundtrack
When it comes to the real-life ’80s songs used in the show, Stranger Things lifts from beloved sources like Jefferson Aeroplane, The Clash and Foreigner. The playlist below, created by Netflix itself, even kicks off with the now-heart-wrenching ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’. Thanks, Netflix, for making this fun song tragically emotional for me now.
Additionally, there is also the compilation album Stranger Things – Ost (Music From The Netflix Original Series) which you can buy on vinyl if you so choose. It blends dialogue tracks with tunes like ‘Africa’ by Toto and ‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper.
If you’re after official soundtracks, however. Keep on reading.
Stranger Things season 1
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of Austin based synth band Survive created the official soundtrack for season one of Stranger Things which was made up of tracks from the series including the theme song. This album, Stranger Things, was released in two parts (Vol.1 and Vol. 2) in 2016.
Notable tracks include ‘Kids,’ ‘Hawkins’, and Eleven’s theme ‘Eleven’.
According to reports, the release of this initial album came due to an “overwhelming amount of fan requests”. Eventually, Netflix decided to go ahead with a digital release followed by a physical CD and vinyl version of the soundtrack for the popular show.
Stranger Things season 2
Stranger Things 2 followed in 2017 with another soundtrack from Dixon and Stein. This one was obviously composed for our return to Hawkins in season 2 of the series and Rolling Stone called this soundtrack “majestic”.
Stranger Things season 3
In 2019, Dixon and Stein returned once again for Stranger Things 3, the official soundtrack for the third season of the show.
In a statement on the soundtrack release, quoted by NME, they explained that:
“With the season three soundtrack, we’ve made an album that doesn’t feel like a ‘score’ necessarily, but one that feels more like a stand-alone record than a collection of brief cues. We’ve incorporated the main narrative elements of the series and stayed true to the original sound while at the same time expanding on our musical palette – we often pushed it to the limit.
“We’ve really made an effort to curate this album to showcase the moments we think are really special.”
Oh, and if you’re in need of a sweet little musical moment memory from the earlier days of Stranger Things (no spoilers, don’t worry) check out this video of Nancy and Dustin dancing to ‘Time After Time’.
This article on Stranger Things soundtracks for season 1, 2, 3 has been updated since its original publish date.