Roswell was my second favourite TV show when I was a teenager, beaten only by Buffy. A big part of what made me adore Roswell was the music. I found so many great bands and musicians from watching Roswell that I’d never have heard of otherwise. If you don’t know anything about Roswell, click HERE to read my thoughts on the show.
Unfortunately, much of the original music didn’t make it on to the DVDs, something I was livid about when I got my boxsets of all three seasons. I couldn’t believe it when I read through the leaflet in the boxset explaining that for licensing reasons, some songs had to be changed. I was devastated, and to this day I don’t bother watching those DVDs. Thankfully, I still have my videotapes. I diligently recorded every episode.
Roswell ended more than ten years ago, but when I listen to music from it, I still get goosebumps and come over all nostalgic. The characters felt like my friends and when I watch Roswell, it’s like I’m back in secondary school and 17 all over again.
I’ve chosen a small sample of songs I came to love because of this show.
Amy Hit the Atmosphere by Counting Crows. This song played out against a desert backdrop in season 1. Poor Isabel learned that her brother hadn’t revealed their true identities as aliens to her mother. Isabel desperately wanted her mother to know who she really was, believing her mom loved her unconditionally and would accept them. (I don’t think this song made it on to the DVD)
Fear – Sarah McLachlan. “Fear” played during the pivotal moment in the pilot episode when Max saves Liz’ life by healing her from a gunshot wound.
Crash Into Me – Dave Matthews Band. Max and Liz admit their attraction to each other but don’t see a way forward for them because they’re too different. She’s human, he’s not. Very Romeo & Juliet.
Save Yourself – Sense Field. For all the teenagers facing peer pressure.
In the Air Tonight by Majandra Delfino. I couldn’t find the video on YouTube of Maria performing this on the show. My one gripe with that scene was that Michael (her on/off boyfriend) wasn’t there to see her shine.
Run by Collective Soul. “Run” played out against a heartbreaking and poignant moment between Michael and Maria.
I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow. This would have been Liz and Max’s wedding song, had future Max not time travelled to break them up to prevent the end of the world. One of the most beautiful and heartbreaking scenes of all three seasons.
That’s just a tiny sample of the music featured on the show. Other songs I adored were “Colorblind” – Counting Crows, “Save Tonight” – Eagle Eye Cherry, “On Any Given Day” – Laura Webb, “40 Miles from the Sun” – Bush, “Brave New World” – Richard Ashcroft, “She Cries Your Name” – Beth Orton, “We Haven’t Turned Around” – Gomez and many many more.
Are you running over to Netflix? Just remember many of these songs didn’t make it, but you’ll still love hanging out with all the gang at the Crashdown cafe where Liz, Maria and Michael worked. Are there any Roswell fans in the house?
You are bringing out the memories today! I never saw Roswell, but Counting Crows, collective Soul, I just miss those bands!
They’re so nineties! I need to create a Roswell playlist for my Ipod.
Emma, you know I loved that show, too. The acting and the music was top notch. Thanks so much for sharing these songs…I can’t pick just one favorite as I loved them all. (Oh, and your gripe about Michael not being there to see Maria perform…was also mine. She sounded great!)
I’m so glad I have another friend who adores this show. Most people haven’t heard of it, let alone loved it.
I remember watching that episode with my sister and we were so annoyed he wasn’t there to see what a wonderful and talented girl he had. Bloody men!
LOL! He redeemed himself in the end. 😉
Loving all these songs, they sound great! I often find some of the best songs can be found from TV shows. I’ve started watching Smallville lately and it has some really great music on it, it’s also weird hearing a lot of old songs I had forgotten about like White Flag by Dido.
P.S. wasn’t that guy Max dude in a Buffy episode as one of her old friends from her past school…and he wanted to become a vampire?
I watched Smallville the first few years but wasn’t too invested in it. I might go and treat myself to the boxset. Dido – what happened to her? You know Dido’s “Here With Me” was the theme tune for Roswell? Some trivia there for ya, Becky. 🙂
Yes, you’re totally correct. Max was in a season 2 episode of Buffy. He was her friend from L.A. who agreed to turn her over to Spike so he could become a vampire. Silly man – he didn’t know who he was messing with.
Yeah Smallville takes a while to get into, it took me around a whole season, it’s good but you don’t have to think too hard so it’s nice fluffy brain food. 🙂 Really? I had no idea! I definitely have to look up this Rosewell, I think I’ll like it. I watched Dark Angel because you loved it and I got so into it and was really angry and sad when it had to end. 😦
Ahh, I thought so! It’s bugging me as a Buffy fan who has watched the series over and over that I can’t remember his name. Mind you, season two was my least favourite season…apart from the Spike parts. 😉
I have it on my instant queue on Netflix and have watched one or two episodes. I’m a huge Buffy fan, so when you mentioned Roswell a long time ago, that’s when I queued it up. So far, I’m not feeling it at all. But, never fear, I always give shows several episodes to draw me in. Sometimes, the first one or two don’t do it because you don’t have time to relate to the characters. So I’m still going to give it a shot.
Oh, no. I hate recommending things and then people not liking them.
I didn’t know Roswell was even on TV until episode 6 of season 1, “285 South”. I’m sure it was the bickering between Michael and Maria in that episode that reeled me in. I loved it on the spot and watched it to the very end after that.
I hope you’ll enjoy it after a while.
I loved Roswell too! I was the only one of my friends who liked it at the time, which was sad. I even bought some of the Roswell books! Music was a big part of it for me too, it was really great. I also recorded every episode 🙂
I got some of the books too. I have the original stories that were the basis for the TV series and a couple of the novels that came later.
I miss VCRs. 🙂
I miss VCRs too. I can’t watch all the episodes i taped now because I no longer have one in my house. I’ll have to get the DVD’s, too bad some of the music isn’t on there. I really did love that show.
I’m loving all the songs! My husband watched the show, but I never really got into it. Commitment issues, you know. 🙂 I’m such a freak. Anything that lasts longer than a season, I’m out. I should get them all on Netflix and just zip through them. We’re doing that right now with Chuck and I’m loving it, but if it was on TV, I’d be super frustrated. Now I need to know how she got Michael to turn away from her! You’re very good at doing that, you know Emma? Pulling me into books and TV shows that I normally wouldn’t read or watch. Clever girl.
I think I missed The X-Files so much that I latched on to Roswell! It lasted 3 seasons so not a huge commitment, Tameri – maybe you’ll get through it this summer, one episode per evening or something. 🙂
I loved this show and the music was wonderful. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.
You’re welcome, Sheena. The music brought me right back.
Loved this show, Emma. I was actually quite bummed that when my son went to the States last year, they drove past Roswell but never got the chance to stop! He took a photo nonetheless of the street sign! LOL
Love all the music, too. Yeah, a definite trip down memory lane. 🙂 I must say that I get goosebumps when Phil Collins sings ‘In the Air Tonight’, although Majandra does a pretty awesome job of it, too.
If I get anywhere near Roswell, I’m stopping by. Even though I realise there’s not going to be much to see I’m still visiting. Good idea with the street sign though.
Phil Collins’ voice and the drums always give me goosebumps.
I know, right? I was beyond shocked when they drove right by!
Yay. So glad someone gets the goosies, too.
Hope you’ve had an awesome weekend. 🙂
Sadly, I missed this show growing up but I remember a lot of my friends watched it. Sounds like I missed a really good series though. I will have to check it out on Netflix.
If you end up watching and liking it, come back and tell me. 🙂
Lovin the tunes Emma! Sure does bring it all back!
Never watched Roswell.
I’m going to replay all these again after work on Friday.
Sounds good. I’ll meet ya here!
thanks it was great going down memory lane with the Roswell cast; I was a working Mom but never wanted to miss any of the series!
Glad you enjoyed the memories, Lucy. Listening to these songs makes me so nostalgic .
Ok is there any way to watch with the original music? I am a fan from the first day it aired on tv. I was never so angry and disappointed when I was finally able to replace my worn vhs tapes with dvd’s only to find out they changed the music. Some scenes make zero sense with the new music like when Alex does his “dance” to the ride the train song fits perfect, then new music makes him seem almost mentally challenged. I for one would pay good money for the original version! Any ideas?
The only way I can watch it with the original music is on my videotapes. I recorded most of the episodes back when they originally aired.
I don’t think you can watch the originals anywhere these days. Sorry, Karen.
And yes, that Train dance looks stupid with the new music.
Is it possible to watch with the original music? ANYWHERE?
Great post! I am re-watching Roswell now and still very annoyed by the replaced music. Have you transferred your copies to DVD yet? I transferred only a few episodes, but I would like the full series. If you have, I would definitely pay for a copy! Thanks for reading!
Did you ever transfer your VHS tapes to digital? I’m in the middle of Season 3, recreating the episodes with original music in DVD quality. A few episodes need a little something here or there I can improve on, if I had another person’s copy of the original episodes digitally. The copies I was given in April were recorded from the exact same source my VCDs came from (some are no longer readable) some 7 or 8 years ago.
Found your article since I was searching songs featured in Roswell TV not in DVD. I love “The Way You Are” by Mackabella. This song is too heartbreaking for me 😦
The best scene/song match ever was Radiohead’s “How To Disappear Completely” played for the scene when Max is being tested to see if he is the true king in episode 9, season 2 (“Max in the City”). They filmed that scene to match that song so well. It was beautiful ! I watched that episode recently on Hulu, and it had no impact what so ever without the original song. So frustratedly disappointing.
I got here because I’ve been searching the web for any postings of THAT scene with the Readiohead track. I enjoyed watching Roswell when it aired, but that scene is the one that’s always stuck with me over all the rest, and there are some really good music scenes in the show as noted here.
Are you planning on watching the new series…The original Roswell was my favorite TV show and guilty pleasure…I’ve been rewatching – it’s not the same without the original songs… 😦 This show did to me what it did to you – it introduced me to music that I normally wouldn’t have known about… I hope they don’t make the new series full of pop music…
I finished recreating the episodes with the original music in August. It’s the only way to watch Roswell. The DVD version is akin to the Special Editions of the 3 original Star Wars.