After only two episodes I’m already giddy for “Glee.” This new musical comedy gem from FOX focuses on the talents and travails of a group of glee club misfits and their earnest teacher, Will Schuester. The characters are swishy (glee club member Kurt) and dishy (Mr. “Shoe,” star QB Finn, badboy Puck) and the musical numbers (which so far have included takes on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It,” Rihanna’s “Take A Bow” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger”) are outstanding.
The show’s soundtrack album, “Glee: The Music, Vol. 1,” is already slated for release, Nov. 3. It will contain 17 tracks, including the aforementioned minus “Push It.” It’s probably a spoiler to list the remaining tracks here since they’re from future episodes, so I won’t. Just rest assured that there are plenty of cool cuts to come throughout this debut season.
When it’s out, I’ll definitely add a copy of “Glee: The Music” to my soundtrack collection. It already contains a handful of compilations from TV shows so this latest release will fit right in. In fact — since you asked so nicely — here’s a list of my favorite TV show soundtracks.
“Ally McBeal”: Cabaret singer Vonda Shepard was only slightly known until a recurring role (as a lounge singer, natch) on this hit show made her famous (for a time anyway). She performs all the tunes on this companion album to the series that gave us Calista Flockhart, Lucy Liu and the dancing baby. The original songs are just as good as the classic covers.
“Moonlighting”: Squabbling co-stars Bruce Willis (David) and Cybill Shepherd (Maddie) both have great songs on the soundtrack to this started-with-a-bang-ended-with-a-whimper battle of the sexes whodunnit, though the standout cut is Al Jarreau’s silky performance of the earworm title song. Shepherd’s deliciously vampy turn on “I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out” isn’t behind by much.
“Miami Vice”: This classic crime drama is a love letter to the ’80s written in pastel-colored neon. Detectives Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (the other guy who wasn’t Don Johnson) cruise the wet and shiny streets of Miami at midnight accompanied by the computer-synth sounds of Jan Hammer’s “Billboard” chart-topping theme song and Glenn Frey’s drug-running opus “Smuggler’s Blues.”
“Queer As Folk”: As one would expect, the Gayest. Show. Ever. spawned an ass-kicking, party-starting dance compilation that could have listeners shirtless with their hands in the air in their own living rooms. “Dive In The Pool” by Barry Harris and Pepper Mashay was the choice drums-n-diva cut from this digital disco, while Heather Small’s “Proud” was a certified gay anthem.
“Friends”: This soundtrack is a veritable time capsule of pop circa the mid ’90s. In addition to The Rembrandt’s smash hit theme song, there’s tracks from R.E.M., Hootie and the Blowfish, Toad The Wet Sprocket and Barenaked Ladies. It’s like Grunge never happened. Yay! Bonus: Play this album with your circle of friends and try to decide who’s the Phoebe of the group.