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The Real Reason Ted Lasso Has Such A Killer Soundtrack

"Ted Lasso" gives us a lot to love: An infectiously optimistic protagonist, characters trying to do their best with all their flaws, and an underdog association football team you cannot help but root for. 

Then there's all that music. From the opening credits — courtesy of Marcus Mumford and Tom Howe (via The Hollywood Reporter) — to the myriad songs that accompany the laughs, the excitement, and the tugging of our heartstrings, to even the closing credits. Over the course of two seasons, we've heard everything from the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen," to Alanis Morissette's "One Hand in My Pocket," to Edith Piaf's dramatic "Non, je ne regrette rien."

For sure, there's no substitute for a good original score, as the recent tragic death of Vangelis reminds us all. But that connection that a viewer makes with a character over a recognizable and beloved song is truly unique, revealing a different dimension of a scene and often of the song itself. In fact, "Ted Lasso" makes such good use of a wide catalog of songs that it raises a question — why aren't more shows doing the same thing? And yes, there is a reason.

Apple and Warner Bros. have been willing to pay for good songs

At an Apple FYC panel discussion with the main cast of "Ted Lasso," Jason Sudeikis –- Coach Lasso himself -– praised Apple and Warner Bros. for how amenable they have been to paying the often steep licensing fees for the use of iconic songs. He also pointed out that while most streaming services are quick to ply viewers with a "skip to next episode" icon over the credits, Apple has been willing to let the music hold viewers' attention.

"You know, we've had to pay a big chunk of change for some of our final songs that are maybe only five, six, seven seconds," said Sudeikis. "And Apple's always been cool with it. Warner Bros. has always been cool with it." There is also, of course, a relationship between Apple TV and Apple Music, meaning that the former has potential access to a very deep catalog of songs. Indeed, Apple Music has a whole two-hour playlist of songs from "Ted Lasso."

Sudeikis has been open about the importance of music in the past. Appearing on "After School Radio with Mark Hoppus" in 2021, he spoke about how Foo Fighters' "My Hero" influenced not just his portrayal of Ted, but his whole creative process, including his writing (via Consequence of Sound). In Sudeikis' words, "I pay attention when a song becomes a muse, whether you end up using the tune or not. I saw a beginning, middle and end to a story in that song for me."