Dave Porter – Breaking Bad Main Title Theme (Extended)

Breaking Bad
Year :
RJD2 / Moby / Massive Attack

(Note: Minor spoilers ahead for those not caught up through Season 4.)

There are three reasons that would explain why you are reading this right now. One, you are a loyal follower of The Daily Soundtrack, and you are here to see what wonder we have in store for you today. (Also, tell your friends!) Two, you found your way here accidentally, but are highly intrigued by what is clearly an excellent website. (Also, tell your friends!) Or three, you are out of your mind with excitement over the fact that we are just hours away from the first of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad, arguably the greatest television show of all time, and in that excitement you are scouring the internet for any show-related morsels you can get your grubby little hands on.

Based on the fact that I’ve chosen to write about this song, you’ve probably already figured out that I am a pretty big fan of the show. I am. It might be a little tough to say this considering the complete picture is still eight episodes short at this point, but this is my favorite show of all time. There are a lot of shows I love, and a few shows I consider excellent, but Breaking Bad is at the top of the list for me, and has been for some time now.

Now, there a plenty of reasons why I feel this way about the show, but I’m not here to tell you about all of them. I’m here to tell you about the music.

Vince Gilligan and company have used music for some terrific montages, and even for hysterical bonus features, but it’s the work of Dave Porter as the show’s composer that really carries a lot of the emotional weight. The final scene from the episode Crawl Space is one of the most well known in the series, and with good reason. Without getting too into the details of the plot, the situation is so dire that Walter White is ready to disappear, leaving behind his blue empire to find safety, only to find that the money he planned to use for this escape is missing.

It’s a scene so filled with tension that you can almost feel the weight of the house that sits above Heisenberg but, even here, without the context of the entire episode, the clip still holds up. The talent responsible for keeping you from being able to exhale during that scene is abundant: Director Scott Winant, the outstanding performances of Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn, and the writers of the episode and the series as a whole work to bring the audience to that point. But, a big part of what makes it work as a stand-alone segment is the palpable dread created by the music of Dave Porter. The way he uses sound and volume as Walter slowly realizes his situation, the discomfort growing until all that is left is the devolved white noise in your ears, makes for one of the best scenes you’ll ever see, film or television.

There will almost certainly be a handful of moments over the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad that are made all the more vivid thanks to Dave Porter, adding to everything he’s contributed to the show over it’s first four and a half seasons. As I said before, there are a lot of factors contributing to the overall excellence of Breaking Bad, and even on shows that don’t have the top-to-bottom workforce that Breaking Bad has, the role of composer isn’t often mentioned. Just keep that in mind as we sit slack-jawed through the final chapters of one the greatest stories ever told.

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Matthew Belair (@14Belair42) grew up on the classic rock of his parents and the 90s alt-rock of his older sister before discovering other genres to love, all of which are cool, hip, and in no way embarrassing to admit publicly.

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