The Music of Mad Men

“When did music become so important?” Don Draper asks Megan in season five. Megan hands him a copy of the Beatles’ Revolver and tells him to start with the final track on the album. Don drops the needle, and “Tomorrow Never Knows” blasts out of the speakers. Don settles back in his chair with a drink in hand. Moments later, seemingly indifferent to what he’s heard, Don removes the needle from the album and leaves the room. It’s a beautifully orchestrated scene illustrating Don’s deepening alienation from the cultural shifts around him.

The final season of Mad Men begins this Sunday. My guess is that season seven will open in 1969, although Matthew Weiner is mum on the details. Fans can look forward to a last look at the gorgeous costumes and visuals, authentic set designs, and fastidious attention to detail that are hallmarks of the show. My anticipation got me wondering what music might be featured on the show if the final season is, in fact, set in 1969, a very inspired year in music. I can imagine Weiner featuring Don in a scene with “One” covered by Three Dog Night or David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” playing in the background. Will the season feature The Zombies “Time of the Season” or “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat, and Tears, both hits on the Billboard charts in 1969? We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, immerse yourself in some of the sounds of 1969.