The Most Popular Music from Better Call Saul: A Farewell with Thomas Golubić

Better Call Saul has showcased its drama-infused charm since 2015 when its pilot premiered on AMC. A spin-off, prequel to the popular Breaking Bad series, Better Call Saul, has shown audiences how Walter White’s ace attorney became Walter White’s ace attorney. Tunefind lists songs from all six seasons of Better Call Saul, including the fan favorites. 

Thomas Golubić, music supervisor of Better Call Saul

A series with deftly placed needle drops, we have compiled our list of the most popular songs from every season and each season premiere and spoke with Better Call Saul music supervisor Thomas Golubić. In 2017, Tunefind spoke with Thomas Golubić about the first three seasons of Better Call Saul and the details behind how he built the series soundscape. Tunefind was able to sit down with Golubić once again, this time to discuss the details behind the last three seasons of the series.



*Spoiler alert: this article will discuss the series up to the finale. Parts of this article may contain spoilers for fans who have not finished the entire series.*

When asked about how the series soundscape was constructed from beginning to end, Thomas Golubić explained to Tunefind how Better Call Saul was never going to be a “Breaking Bad 2.0.” Instead, the showrunners focused on telling Jimmy McGill’s story and explored what kind of problem Jimmy could have had that the solution was to become Saul Goodman.

Thomas Golubić: That was such a great way of phrasing the journey. The questions we asked ourselves was “Who is Jimmy McGill?” and “What makes him tick?”  We recognized that he was eager, he was hardworking, he was very improvisational.

Jimmy McGill is talent meets improvisation under pressure. To me, that’s a great way of looking at what music feels right for him.”- Thomas Golubić

Golubić explained how from early on in the series, it was clear that the music team was painting a view of the kind of man Jimmy McGill thought he could be, rather than the kind of man Jimmy actually was. 

TG: We used sophisticated jazz as him presenting the version of himself that he thought that he could be. As he evolved as a character, we started bringing in more and more of what we thought Saul Goodman would be, and he would, to some degree, be the truth of who Jimmy is. The music was funkier, and it was dirtier; he’s a chaos agent. 

TG: The Little Barrie song that we commissioned for the main title, that to me, is really who Jimmy is. Barrie is an incredible guitar player; he has this way of being able to throw things away that sound like they are rough and ragged, but they are incredibly precise, and he’s incredibly comfortable. Jimmy’s mind just moves so quickly that the words just tumble out of his mouth, and you get lost in the magic of what he’s saying even though it could be utter nonsense and frequently, for a terrible reason. 

We asked Thomas to name some of his favorite placements from the series, an almost impossible task considering the amount of music that was featured in the series over six seasons. Thomas first highlighted a sequence from season five as he explains how he got the idea for the unexpected song choice.

TG: For instance, there was this sequence last season where there are ants crawling over ice cream and I remember when I found that song, it was 3 in the morning and I was just running out of ideas. I was brainstorming and I realized, “Oh, they’re like these little mountaineers. The ants are climbing this mountain as we’re trying to show the descent of Saul Goodman into the underworld. The red of the ants represents the red of the underworld, and the danger as they are getting caught in the sticky stuff,” it’s such a great metaphor. I landed on this sort of crazy, Swiss yodeling song that was kind of beautiful and wonderful. I don’t know why it works but it shows the bravery of our showrunners. 

Another of Thomas’ favorites also happens to be a fan favorite from season 4 (see list below) that was commissioned specifically for the series. The song is a cover of a well-known, and often beloved Sinatra classic. Thomas gives insight into the grueling process behind the track and explains that while these pieces can be very labor intensive, it’s important to respect the time and energy of everyone involved. 

TG: The ‘Something Stupid’ sequence is one of my favorites. We had an impossible task. It was the right song with the right sentiment and feeling, but the Frank and Nancy Sinatra version was too short for the montage. It was also very expensive and at that point we had a tight budget, so we decided to commission something. We received over 85 cover submissions and were able to short list 23 of those. We took the short listed songs to our editors and after a long session, we landed on 2 different approaches. We ended up selecting the Lola Marsh version, it’s wonderful and I love that song. Part of the fun of this creative process is when we get excited, the audience gets excited and you can feel that energy. 

When looking at the list of fan favorite songs from the series, Golubić explains that a lot of the tracks were placed in scenes that create emotional moments for the audience. Thomas highlights a specific emotionally charged scene and explains why the juxtaposition between the song and the on-screen action resonates with viewers. 

TG: So much of it is the emotional resonance moments. Something I have learned about the field of music supervision is to shy away from making intellectual choices and pursue choices that speak to emotional truth. Another favorite is the ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’ sequence where miners are going into the super lab. One of the things I love about that sequence is that Burl Ives has such a warm voice and has almost an ‘America’s Grandpa’ quality to it; but these miners are literally going into a cave to build a crystal meth lab. Being able to add a sweetness or warmth to the process of watching a beautiful poison being made and giving it a human feeling, engages the audience and highlights some of the complexities of our characters’ moral dilemmas.

Big Rock Candy Mountain

by Burl Ives

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 4 · Episode 7 · Something Stupid

Mike visits the construction compound to check …

Thomas explained another one of his favorite moments where this specific episode included two noteworthy syncs. 

TG: A powerful moment I love very much is when Jimmy leaves a voicemail message for Kim and he sings Bali Ha’i’. You hear the vulnerability in his voice and the sweetness of his soul, as you see Kim soften. I think that Better Call Saul is a love story and those moments between Kim and Jimmy are really important to me. At the end of the series, Jimmy’s salvation is based on his desire to be worthy of Kim’s love and respect. That journey to me, is always worth it. 

TG: We closed out that same episode with a really fun Australian Indian Bollywood type of song. When Kim and Jimmy are simply going to work, the grand form of an Indian musical sets a hopeful tone. They are together again and the viewer is invested in the future of their relationship.

Henna Henna

by The Bombay Royale

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 2 · Episode 6 · Bali Ha'i

Jimmy and Kim say goodbye, he gets in his car a…

Oftentimes, the fans and Thomas have the same favorite songs. This was the case with a song from the final season (see list below) which comes from the Emmy nominated episode ‘Black and Blue’. 

TG: ‘In Stiller Nacht’ is originally a Brahms piece with a real serene beauty to it. It has a sadness that runs through it and it’s used as an elegy for a character that’s gone. We really sense the love for this character and the pain for those left behind. The Pink Martini and The Von Trapps version of this German song is featured over a montage in a clinical environment and highlights an interesting contrast between cold and warm, human and mechanical. It’s such a strange combination of visuals and music, but it seems to work.

TG: Having an Emmy category has made a huge difference toward people realizing how hard this job is and what excellence can be. For a long time nobody knew what we did and in a field like ours, awards are a beautiful thing. As music supervisors, working in the trenches, we’re happy that people can see what we’re doing and celebrate with us.

If we do our job well, it’s invisible. If we do our job well you don’t think about the mechanics, you’re just swept by the emotion, by the feeling, by the visceral energy of it. In a way, it’s our job to make it look easy.”- Thomas Golubić

TG: Most of the music decisions for Better Call Saul are done in post-production. For example, we don’t use temp music in editorial, so when we get a cut of the episode to review there is no temp score or songs except for those sequences edited to a song that we provided early on. That means that every episode has to editorially stand alone without help from music and for us it is a blank canvas to work from during our music spotting session. These sessions can run 4 or 5 hours or longer and are incredibly creative and detailed. We then have maybe two weeks, and often less, to deliver on the ideas discussed. It’s incredible pressure, but at the same time you’re working with the most talented people who strive to put forward their best work. There is no greater feeling than figuring out how to take something that seems impossible and somehow make it work.


The most popular songs from every season of Better Call Saul

Season One

Tune Down

by Chris Joss

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 7 · Bingo

(00:31) Mike's surveillance of the Kettlemans.

Season Two

A Mi Manera (My Way)

by Gipsy Kings

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 2 · Episode 5 · Rebecca

Kim's desperately calling various people in ord…

Season Three

Season Four

Season Five

Toma Toma

by Taino

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 5 · Episode 3 · The Guy for This

Nacho takes Saul to see Lalo.

Season Six

In Stiller Nacht

by Pink Martini, The Von Trapps

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 6 · Episode 5 · Black and Blue

Opening montage; A technician constructing a tr…


The most popular songs from each season premiere of Better Call Saul

Season One Premiere

Address Unknown

by The Ink Spots

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 1 · Uno

(0:00) Gene works at a shopping mall Cinnabon i…

Season Two Premiere

Funny How Time Slips Away (Single Version)

by Billy Walker

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 2 · Episode 1 · Switch

Gene (aka Jimmy aka Saul) works and closes up s…

Season Three Premiere

Can't Leave the Night


from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 3 · Episode 1 · Mabel

(0:19) Mike takes apart his car looking for a t…

Season Four Premiere

The Shadow of Your Smile

by Oscar Peterson

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 4 · Episode 1 · Smoke

Jimmy wakes up and makes coffee.

Season Five Premiere

Season Six Premiere

Days of Wine and Roses (Remastered)

by Jackie Gleason

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 6 · Episode 1 · Wine and Roses

Opening sequence; Saul Goodman house is dismant…


Series composer, Dave Porter, released the season six score on August 16th, 2022 on Better Call Saul – Original Score – Vol. 3. 


The season six finale wraps up the series and aired on AMC, August 15th, 2022 to 1.8 million viewers. 

Bonus Tracks

Tapioca Tundra – Demo Version

by Michael Nesmith

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 6 · Episode 11 · Breaking Bad

Gene and crew scam a few unsuspecting victims.

This bonus track is one of the most popular of season six and while there are a few different versions of the song, the version used in the series is unreleased. Thomas Golubić shared the story behind this needle drop. 

TG: Early on, showrunner Tom Shnauz mentioned to me that he loved this Mike Nesmith song. Tom had only heard it live, but there was no recorded version. It didn’t exist anywhere. We lucked out when we went through my collection of old box sets. Sure enough, all the way at the end of the Monkees discs, there was this early demo version of ‘Tapioca Tundra.’ Tom confirmed that was the song he wanted and then the challenge was figuring out how to license it. 

Smoke On the Water

by Deep Purple

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 4 · Hero

(0:03) Marco hums the opening riff as he and Ji…

This Deep Purple classic can be heard in four different episodes throughout the series. This recurring placement has caused fans to speculate on whether there is some hidden or symbolic meaning for the usage. So we asked Thomas to spill the tea. 

 TG: There was something very appealing about Jimmy going back to that riff and it had an interesting through line for him. It’s simple, effective, uncomplicated, and iconic. For Jimmy, it ties into some of his creativity and the idea of himself as an artist. It’s the song that Jimmy will use to build confidence. Smoke on the Water is an iconic, first time guitar player song. The first time you play those chords you realize that it is a simple riff. It’s immediately accessible to everyone in a fun way.

Banzai Pipeline

by Henry Mancini

from Better Call Saul Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 10 · Marco

Jimmy and Marco run scams in the Chicago bar.

Golubić explained his love for the collaborative process and how this track was suggested for the placement by a member of the Better Call Saul music team.

TG: I love working with a team! I know how hard the team works and I know the sacrifices they go through to make it work which is why it makes me excited for them. When you get a chance to pitch a song that you thought of and found, like music coordinator Garrett McElver did with this track, it means a lot to be able to present it to everybody and be embraced for it. In the song selection process, we start with hundreds of options and then we go through multiple stages of narrowing it down to present only 5 or 6 options to the showrunners before the final track is chosen.

Tunefind asked Thomas about these popular unreleased songs, and how in a technology-driven society that is prone to instant gratification, why it’s important to have patience when it comes to art. 

TG: Unavailable music makes a great argument for holding onto your tangible music collections because these things disappear and there is something valuable about keeping the physical object. It’s a great gift too, I love it when people come over and ask if they can listen to a particular record. If you take care of it, why don’t you take it with you and bring it back when you’re ready. 

TG: Because music is generally available everywhere, it has collectively lost its specialness. Slowly but surely, we become very passive listeners rather than actively putting on a record or CD to listen to an album in its entirety. I think that is a very valuable thing to do because it rewards you with patience, I think in the same way Better Call Saul does too. It’s a slow show, but every detail is there for a reason and every department is doing the best work of their careers. If you like storytelling, it’s worth every patient moment. 

I think that is a very valuable thing to do because it rewards you with patience, I think in the same way Better Call Saul does too. It’s a slow show, but every detail is there for a reason and every department is doing the best work of their careers. If you like storytelling, it’s worth every patient moment.”- Thomas Golubić

Better Call Saul has featured so many memorable music moments across its six successful seasons. All that’s left are Thomas Golubic’s final thoughts on what he’ll miss the most about music supervising such a special series.

TG: I love this job so much! It’s a joy working with these people, we’re so lucky. We have such respect and genuine admiration for each other, so I think that is the part that I will miss the most. This is my favorite group of people to see. I loved watching Rhea Seehorn (who plays Kim Wexler) do a scene and thinking “how can I help or is it helpful to stay out of her way while she does something magical?” Being able to surprise the greatest filmmaker of my generation, [series creator] Vince Gilligan, along with [series creator] Peter Gould is one of my favorite things in the world. Vince and Peter are excited and amused by ideas that are counterintuitive to them. When I can surprise them I feel like I’m servicing their vision. We all like working together and I have a feeling we’ll work together again on something else.


Q&A: Thomas Golubić and the Music of Better Call Saul

2022 Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Music Supervision

〉Full list of songs featured in the Better Call Saul soundtrack

〉More music by series composer Dave Porter

Find a movie, TV show, video game or artist