Songs We Wish Were On 'Glee'

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hide captionWhen Quinn's had enough of Puck's wandering eye, who will Puck turn to? Better yet, what song will he sing?

Matthias Clamer/FOX
Glee

When Quinn's had enough of Puck's wandering eye, who will Puck turn to? Better yet, what song will he sing?

Matthias Clamer/FOX

More than performing on the White House lawn, inspiring choreographed "flash mobs" around the world or making our high-school memories somewhat brighter, Glee has helped bring music back to prime-time television. (At the very least, in shines a light on the kind that doesn't ask viewers to vote at home.) Right from the pilot episode, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " was plucked from '80s arena-rock glory and made relevant all over again — not that it ever wasn't, mind you.

There are more than a few Gleeks around the NPR offices, some in places you wouldn't expect. Weekend All Things Considered's Rick Holter, for example, is not only a fan of the TV show, but also a former president of the Middletown High Glee Club in Maryland. (Go Knights!) We all love the songs the show picks, but wonder if it couldn't dig a little deeper than the current Top 40.

What song do you wish were on Glee? Tell us the song, set the scene, pick the singers and — why not? — orchestrate the choreography in the comments below. We put together our own picks to get you started.

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Songs We Wish Were On 'Glee'

Cover for Oranges & Lemons

Linda Holmes, Monkey See Blogger

  • Artist: XTC
  • Album: Oranges & Lemons
  • Song: Mayor of Simpleton

Finn never said he was a genius. But when he finds out that Rachel has thrown him over for the president of the Latin club, it's too much. After she flounces out of rehearsal again, he busts out XTC's almost pathologically catchy "The Mayor of Simpleton," pleading to have his academic shortcomings forgotten in light of his overwhelming earnestness. As is Glee tradition, all problems are briefly forgotten, washed away by the sound of pure late-'80s radio pop distilled to its manic essence. Kurt and Artie, of course, perform the critical backing function.

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  • "Mayor of Simpleton"
  • Album: Oranges & Lemons
  • Artist: XTC
  • Label: Geffen
  • Released: 1989
 
Cover for Twin Cinema

Amy Schriefer, NPR Music

  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Album: Twin Cinema
  • Song: Bleeding Heart Show

At regionals, New Directions face their indie choral counterpoint: The New Pornographers. The two power-pop powerhouses trade "hey la/hey la" choruses in a faithful rendition of "The Bleeding Heart Show." Rachel goes alto-to-alto with Neko Case. Mike and A.C. Newman have a pop-and-lock battle. New Directions' earnestness prevails over indie ennui, and a slowed-down, modulated encore performance of the song at the end of the episode proves to solidify New Directions' solidarity.

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  • "Bleeding Heart Show"
  • Album: Twin Cinema
  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • Label: Matador
  • Released: 2005
 
Ultimate Collection

Rick Holter, NPR Supervising Senior Editor

  • Artist: The Commodores
  • Album: Ultimate Collection
  • Song: Brick House

Finally fed up with Puck's wandering eye (among other body parts), Quinn unceremoniously and publicly dumps him. Puck, hurt but still prone to wandering, trades his Mohawk for a vintage 1977 'fro and sets his sights on the Glee member who's shown plenty of pipes, but little romance so far: Mercedes. His lovestruck ballad of choice? The Commodores' thumping, bumping anthem from 1977: "Brick House." An unforgettable bass line provides plenty of opportunity for some choreography that will make those girls from the correctional school in Episode 11 blush. She's mighty mighty, indeed.

Hear "Brick House" on YouTube.

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  • "Brick House"
  • Album: Ultimate Collection
  • Artist: The Commodores
  • Label: Motown
  • Released: 1997
 
Essentials

Jess Gitner, NPR Music

  • Artist: Tommy James & the Shondells
  • Album: Essentials
  • Song: I Think We're Alone Now

Glee's midseason finale had audiences on the edge of their seats, desperately rooting for two impending couples to finally consummate their romantic feelings (with a kiss, of course). I cheered when Mr. Schuester, the lovable Spanish teacher and Glee Club leader, left his pregnancy-faking wife Terri; squealed when Emma, the school guidance counselor, called off her wedding to football coach Ken Tanaka; and just about died of happiness when Mr. Schuester and Emma shared a kiss at the end of the episode. This season, I'm hoping I can experience the same TV-inspired ecstasy with the coupling of Finn and Rachel. Preceding their long-overdue and fumbling kiss in a practice room, Finn and Rachel will duet on "I Think We're Alone Now" in an arrangement similar to the original. Tiffany's 1980s cover? No, thank you.

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  • "I Think We're Alone Now"
  • Album: Essentials
  • Artist: Tommy James & the Shondells
  • Label: Rhino
  • Released: 2002
 
Riot!

Lars Gotrich, NPR Music

  • Artist: Paramore
  • Album: Riot!
  • Song: Miracle

Not that we've seen any scripts or heard any spoilers (though Glee creator Ryan Murphy can barely contain his excitement), but we're going to wager that New Directions wins regionals in some outlandish, last-minute display of OMG. To celebrate, I say the kids one-up themselves in the parking lot right outside the auditorium. Running out the doors, the cast gears up to Paramore's pop-punk anthem "Miracle." The leads trade verses, per usual, but it's a full ensemble rock-out as the dancers go Chinese fire drill atop the yellow school bus and shout the bridge's call and response. In the final 30 seconds, clenched fists raise skyward in triumph and the screen fades to black.

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  • "Miracle"
  • Album: Riot!
  • Artist: Paramore
  • Label: Fueled By Ramen
  • Released: 2007
 

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