In the early 2000s, TV went through a transformation to become a medium capable of artistic achievement on par with film. The power of television has not always been harnessed when it comes to music, but the change in TV coincided with its emergence as a platform as powerful as radio in breaking new artists to the masses. Today the game continues, with music supervisors being courted by labels as much, if not more, than tastemaking rock writers. The power of TV is such that it can both break new artists and reinvent old hits like “Baby Blue” and “Don’t Stop Believin'” for new generations. And so, we’ve put together a list of ten music moments on TV in the last ten years that were not only memorable, but that actually altered an artist’s career in some way.
Mad Men: The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows”
The Beatles need no help in selling music, but this 2012 sync was ground-breaking in the music licensing world. Rarely, if ever, has a Beatles master track been used on TV. You hear Beatles covers often in TV and film, but with the exception of “Revolution” in a 1991 Nike ad (thanks to Michael Jackson’s purchase of the Beatles’ publishing rights), the Fab Four have kept their originals off the airwaves. Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner courted Apple Corps for years, and the show paid roughly a quarter of a million dollars to use a Beatles song in “Lady Lazarus,” an episode from its fifth season. As the episode closes, Don Draper decides to give The Beatles’ Revolver a spin. After hearing closing track “Tomorrow Never Knows,” he is decidedly not impressed.