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The Simpsons Soundtrack Goes Punk (Well, New Wave…).

The Simpsons Soundtrack Goes Punk (Well, New Wave…).

Above Photo: Mary of the Fourth Form? Bart Simpson in Punk Resuscitation Shock.

Originally shown in the US in 2011-2012, I’m only now getting around to watching Season 23 of The Simpsons on DVD, and I have already noticed some interesting things about its musical direction.

The Police: Walking on the Moon.

The Police: Walking on the Moon.

It immediately surprised me in Episode 1, when Homer Simpson began singing a song to the music of Walking on the Moon by The Police, which was released off the band’s Reggatta de Blanc album in 1979.

This is an extract from You Tube:

I wondered if this was a one-off, or had the composers gone for the older Punk and New Wave audience, much as advertisers (and credit cards) have recently done.

Then in the very next episode, they had music from Simple Minds, using Don’t You Forget About Me, which was recorded a little out of my usual time frame, in 1984, but they were a solid New Wave band, and I saw them perform back in 1979.

Jim Kerr perfects his Bart Simpson colouration whilst shivering in a cold London park in the 1980s. (Virginia Turbett)

Jim Kerr perfects his Bart Simpson colouration whilst shivering in a cold London park in the 1980s. (© Virginia Turbett)

This really made me sit up and wonder had the selectors of Simpsons’ episode music gone in a different direction, because two songs from British New Wave bands in two episodes seemed to be more than a coincidence.

The single cover.

The single cover.

And then in Episode 4, another Brit New Wave icon, David Bowie, also made his appearance with a track from 1975, Golden Years, which was originally on Bowie’s Station to Station album.

All three of these bands and people receive mentions in my Punk and New Wave memoir Bombed Out!, for their influences on my own musical (and other) directions, but it now seemed odd seeing them appear so quickly after each other on episodes of the Simpsons.

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