Top Billions Songs: Gingersnap’s Playlist

The genius behind the musical palette of Billions is strategically placed epic songs we all know balanced out by meaningful lesser-known artists, all the while lyrically feathered in flawlessly to the content of each episode, scene, or character we see before us. Music is such an integral part of the Billions landscape that we’ve seen concert t-shirts as part of the wardrobe. These past five seasons Bobby Axelrod has worn band shirts for Metallica, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Motörhead and Rainbow. It was no surprise I’ve been rooting for Iron Maiden to make an appearance since season two! Okay rooting is not a strong enough word…I’ve sort of stalked Brian Koppleman about it, who is the co-creator of Billions:

On the 2/21/19 episode of Brian Koppelman’s podcast The Moment with Brian Koppelman, he answered a question of mine regarding the creative process of choosing which heavy metal band t-shirt Axe will wear in a particular season. Take a listen to his answer here, at about 24:00 in.

As for Billions season five? Well, it turned out there was no chance in hell Axe would be sporting an Iron Maiden tee. Asked and answered in 2020:

And in season five episode three ‘Beg, Bribe, Bully’ Axe sported a Rainbow metal band concert tee.

So I’ll never see Axe wearing Iron Maiden. Ever. BUT, thanks to Dudley Mafee I did get an Iron Maiden reference in season 5 episode 10 ‘Liberty.’

Dollar Bill says to Victor, “Yea, except it’s not just the legs. Iron Maiden.”

Mafee chimes in, “Number of the Beast!” Absolutely what this whole thing feels like, whole pandemic. Devil’s work.”

Dollar Bill clarifies, “No. The torture implement. Like the boot, but full body.

Mafee thinks Dollar Bill is referring to the band Iron Maiden, but really he’s referring to the spike-covered iron-made torture device. But I’ll take it! Beggars can’t be choosers.

Here is my Billions ultimate playlist season 1 – season 5:

Season 1

Season 1, Episode 8 – Boasts and Rails
Cover Me Up by Jason Isbell

Season 1, Episode 12 – The Conversation
Pedestrian at Best by Courtney Barnett

Season 2

Season 2, Episode 2 – Dead Cat Bounce
Top Shelf Drug by Ryan Bingham

Season 2, Episode 6 – Indian Four
Goddamn Lonely Love by Drive-By Truckers/Jason Isbell

Season 2, Episode 10 – With or Without You
With or Without You by U2

Season 2, Episode 11 – Golden Frog Time
Even the Losers by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Season 2, Episode 12 – Ball in Hand
Homecoming by Josh Ritter

Season 3

Season 3, Episode 1 – Tie Goes to the Runner
Troublemaker Doppelgänger by Lucy Dacus

Season 3, Episode 2 – The Wrong Maria Gonzalez
Round Here by Counting Crows

Season 3, Episode 4 – Hell of a Ride
Mr. Bojangles by Sammy Davis, Jr.

Season 3, Episode 5 – Flaw in the Death Star
The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen

Season 3, Episode 11 – Kompenso
Wicked Game by Chris Isaak

Season 4

Season 4, Episode 1 – Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game
Short Dick Man (170 Mix) by Spyro

Season 4, Episode 1 – Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game
King of New York by Fun Lovin’ Criminals

Season 4, Episode 3 – Chickentown
Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty

Season 4, Episode 7 – Infinite Game
River by Joni Mitchell

Season 4, Episode 10 – New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day by U2

Season 5

Season 5, Episode 1 – The New Decas
Bad Company by Bad Company

Season 5, Episode 4 – Opportunity Zone
Home Sweet Home by Mötley Crüe

Season 5, Episode 5 – Contract
Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn/the Blind Boys of Alabama

Season 5, Episode 5 – Contract
Old Man by Neil Young

Season 5, Episode 11 – Victory Smoke
Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones

Honorable Mentions

Season 1, Episode 1 – Pilot
$4 Vic / Nothing but Me and You (FTL) by El-P

Season 3, Episode 1 – Tie Goes to the Runner
Born in San Antone by Garrett T. Capps

Season 3, Episode 7 – Not You Mr. Dake
Street Punks by Vince Staples, 6LACK & Mereba

Season 3, Episode 12 – Extreme Sandbox
Behind Blue Eyes by Pete Townshend/The Who

Season 5, Episode 12 – No Direction Home
Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

Combining my playlist with the Honorable Mentions, it looks like Season 3 is the winner! And which band made my list twice? That would be U2.

Author: Gingersnap

Management Analyst, part-time Adjunct Professor and Computer Software Consultant by day and Damian Lewis aficionado by night.

2 thoughts on “Top Billions Songs: Gingersnap’s Playlist”

  1. GREAT list! All three playlists we’ve published so far are very different and I LOVE IT! There are two songs that I don’t remember from your list and I will check them! It seems “Even the Losers” is the only song that is on the three playlists we published so far. And “Behind Blue Eyes” too if we take into consideration the honorable mentions.

    One observation: Even though you like Hard Rock and Metal, you don’t have any in your playlist or am I missing anything?

    I checked my list after I saw in your post that Season 3 is the winner. For me, Season 3 and 4 are even and if we take Honorable Mentions into consideration then Season 4 wins!

    1. That is correct, I like many different genres of music. When I was younger I was into hard rock, metal and 80’s hair band rock. My first 8-track (lol my stereo had both 8-track and cassette combo) was AC/DC. Then there was the Madonna phase. Then probably from 16-22 I was super into Prog Rock, New Romantic, British band invasion, punk, which I talked about in my DID post. The Cure is probably my all-time favorite band. Also, I find myself listening to First Wave channel 33 on Sirius XM a lot in my car. I don’t like country for the most part, but there is some 70’s/80’s/90’s country songs and certain bands (Tim McGraw, Dixie Chicks) that I will listen to. Probably the ‘newest’ country I like is Chris Stapleton. And of course anything 70’s and 80’s I like, which are the other top two Sirius XM stations I listen to. My iTunes is all over the place! I have a Classical playlist, too. Just yesterday I BLASTED classical music in the house while I cleaned and had candles lit all over the place to decompress from quarantine and all the CoVid-19 information overload. Like Helen, and like you and I both spoke about on Twitter, I go from hope to despair. Classical music speaks to my soul when I’m needing to chill and clear my thoughts.

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