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Every Song & When It Plays


Every Song & When It Plays


Summary

  • The Continental’s 70s soundtrack sets the tone of the series, enhancing the disco-infused NYC setting.
  • Winston’s origin story is accompanied by iconic songs from the era, adding depth to the narrative.
  • Music in The Continental differs from John Wick films, reflecting Winston’s character and the show’s distinct style.



The Continental has a soundtrack filled with songs from the 70s and the eras before to sell its past setting; here is every song in the John Wick prequel and where it plays in each episode. The Continental is set in the 1970s and tells the origin story of Winston Scott alongside his brother Frankie. In the John Wick films, Winston was played by Ian McShane as the manager of the New York Continental, with Colin Woodell bringing a younger Winston to life.

Given that The Continental is set in the 1970s, it has a distinct visual style in comparison to the John Wick films in order to sell the earlier setting of the story. Alongside the sets, CGI, cars, props, and outfits that help to convey The Continental‘s place on the John Wick timeline, the show also has a stacked soundtrack to further give the feeling of a disco-infused New York City. As such, here is every song in The Continental‘s varied soundtrack and the place in which each one can be heard throughout the episodes.


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Song

Artist

Episode

“I Feel Love”

Donna Summer

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Samba Pa Ti”

Santana

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Strange”

Wire

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Chicken Strut”

The Meters

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“If You Leave Me Now”

Chicago

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Crimson and Clover”

Tommy James & The Shondells

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Dirt”

The Stooges

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“La Grange”

ZZ Top

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Roundabout”

Yes

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Yes Sir, I Can Boogie”

Baccara

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“The Boss”

James Brown

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Daddy Cool”

Boney M.

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Children of the Grave”

Black Sabbath

Episode 1, “Brothers in Arms”

“Bang Bang”

Terry Reid

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Baker Street”

Gerry Rafferty

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Homicide”

999

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Magic Man”

Heart

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Without You”

Harry Nilsson

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Welcome to the Machine”

Pink Floyd

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Seasons Come, Seasons Go”

Bobbie Gentry

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Ole”

The Funkees

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Funky Nassau Part 1”

The Beginning of the End

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Get Up Offa That Thing”

James Brown

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun”

Tom Waits

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Take The Long Way Home”

Supertramp

Episode 2, “Loyalty To The Master”

“Right Place, Wrong Time”

Dr. John

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Oh Honey”

Delegation

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Hip Hug-Her”

Booker T. & The M.G.’s

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Generique de Debut (Play Time)”

Alain Romans

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Popcorn”

Hot Butter

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“One”

Three Dog Night

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Barracuda”

Heart

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Soul Sacrifice”

Santana

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“Baby O’Riley”

The Who

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“What A Difference A Day Makes”

Dinah Washington

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”

“New York Groove”

Ace Frehley

Episode 3, “Theater of Pain”



“Brothers In Arms – Night 1”

Episode 1

Cormac and Winston as seen in The Continental

“I Feel Love” by Donna Summer – The first song that can be heard in The Continental episode 1, Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” is playing at the titular hotel’s New Year’s Eve party. After Frankie begins setting up his heist at The Continental, a tracking shot follows him upstairs, through the party, and out of the hotel. As he does so, the iconic disco song accompanies the scene to truly exemplify 1970s New York.


“Samba Pa Ti” by Santana – This song can be heard shortly after Winston is introduced into The Continental‘s story. After using his affair with a business partner to make a deal with her investor husband, Winston and his lover reunite in their hotel room in London. During this scene, “Samba Pa Ti” can be heard playing in the background to set the loving tone of the encounter before Winston is taken by Cormac’s goons.

“Strange” by Wire – After Winston is taken by Cormac’s henchman, his journey to New York is shown through a series of establishing shots of the city’s skyline. As these shots are shown, the song by Wire can be heard. “Strange” is certainly a fitting choice with the lyrics mentioning strange goings-on within the world, echoing Winston’s sentiments at being dragged back into a world he thought he had left behind.

“Chicken Strut” by The Meters – This song accompanies the scene of Winston being escorted into the titular Continental after being kidnapped. Not only does “Chicken Strut” perfectly capture the funk-infused groove of the 1970s, but it loosely, humorously applies to Winston’s situation. As the song plays, he is being forced to “strut” through The Continental up to Mel Gibson’s Cormac.


“If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago – While not playing an instrumental part of The Continental‘s soundtrack, this song can be heard briefly after Winston’s interrogation by Cormac. As the exterior of The Continental is shown, the iconic soft rock song can be heard. If only for a few seconds, “If You Leave Me Now” serves as a transition between Winston’s exit from the hotel and the first introduction of Detective KD and Mayhew.

“Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells – KD and Mayhew are first introduced in The Continental via a love scene. After this, KD leaves Mayhew’s apartment to go to work as the radio plays in the background. Heard on the radio is “Crimson and Clover,” the 1960s song by Tommy James & The Shondells, with the song’s lyrics selling the relationship between the two Continental characters.


“Dirt” by The Stooges – After KD leaves Mayhew’s apartment, she begins staking out a sale of contraband between Lou, Miles, and a buyer representing The Continental. After the buyer flees the scene injured, KD is shown taking pictures of his car before tailing him back to the eponymous establishment. During KD’s tailing of the buyer, “Dirt” by The Stooges can be heard playing.

“La Grange” by ZZ Top – After Winston is told to find his brother Frankie by Cormac, he travels to Uncle Charlie’s, a childhood companion of the brothers. There, Charlie gives Winston a gun and a car before telling him to travel to a dojo in Chinatown that is a front for Lou and Miles’ gun-running operation. As Winston pulls away in the car and travels through New York in The Continental episode 1, ZZ Top’s “La Grange” plays.


“Roundabout” by Yes As Winston pulls up in Chinatown, another iconic, early 1970s song is played. “Roundabout” by Yes accompanies Winston’s journey out of his car and into the dojo. The song fades out shortly after Winston begins speaking to Lou.

“Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” by Baccara – The scene that follows introduces the villainous John Wick universe character, the Adjudicator. The Adjudicator and her henchman are interrogating the man with whom Frankie pulled the heist in The Continental episode 1’s opening. As the henchman begins beating on the man towards the latter half of the scene, “Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” marks the transition between scenes.

“The Boss” by James Brown – The next scene in The Continental after the Adjudicator’s features KD investigating the titular hotel. As the detective enters the grounds, “The Boss” by James Brown begins playing. The song perfectly captures the high-end, extravagant vibe of The Continental with the lyrics about being the boss and having money to burn. It matches with the smooth, suave beat as KD enters a world of luxury.


“Daddy Cool” by Boney M. – Toward the climax of The Continental episode 1, Winston returns to Charlie’s with Frankie and Yen in tow. As they enter Charlie’s compound, “Daddy Cool” can be heard playing as Charlie and his friends play cards. The scene quickly takes a more serious tone, with “Daddy Cool” only briefly being heard before Frankie and Yen have a heart-to-heart conversation.

“Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath – Much of The Continental episode 1’s third act utilizes orchestral score rather than soundtrack, with another song not playing until the end credits. As Winston returns to Lou and Miles’ dojo, “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath fades in and plays over the first episode’s credits. The song’s lyrics are about fighting until you win with hate in your heart, something that perfectly applies to Winston’s character in The Continental episode 1’s ending as he vows revenge against Cormac.


“Loyalty To The Master – Night 2”

Episode 2

Winston and Charon in The Continental

“Bang Bang” by Terry ReidThe Continental episode 2 opens with a flashback to Saigon, Vietnam during the war. Yen is tasked with entering a U.S. Army-controlled building with a bomb vest on, yet the vest does not explode after the mechanism fails. There, she meets Frankie for the first time. Throughout this entire scene, “Bang Bang” can be heard playing.

“Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty – As is the case with many The Continental soundtrack choices, “Baker Street” is used as a transition between scenes. After the opening with Yen, “Baker Street” can be heard before the switch to a scene in KD’s apartment. The song goes from non-diegetic to diegetic with the reveal that “Baker Street” is playing on KD’s kitchen radio with the song serving as another transition into her investigation of Chinatown.


“Homicide” by 999 – A new character named Gene is introduced in The Continental episode 2. The character is first introduced taking out a criminal using a sniper rifle, with the song “Homicide” playing over it. This song certainly fits with Gene committing a homicide during the scene, no matter the criminal nature of his target.

“Magic Man” by Heart – Another John Wick connection in The Continental episode 2 comes from the introduction of the Bowery, the criminal organization run by Lawrence Fishburne’s Bowery King in the film series. When the Bowery are first introduced in The Continental, the song “Magic Man” by Heart plays over numerous shots of the Bowery’s operations.


“Without You” by Harry Nilsson – With the ending of The Continental episode 1 revealing that Frankie hid the coin press, The Continental episode 2 features Cormac’s workers searching Charlie’s trailer for the real item. While Cormac’s henchmen are tearing apart Charlie’s place, “Without You” is heard. The song continues into the next scene which shows Yen grieving Frankie’s death with the lyrics of “I can’t live if living is without you” resonating much harder given the context the song is used in.

“Welcome to the Machine” by Pink Floyd As Winston is escorted out of the Bowery, this song plays in The Continental episode 2. The lyrics and title tie into the overall theme of Winston’s journey, that being that he is slowly getting sucked into the machine of the criminal underworld.

“Seasons Come, Seasons Go” by Bobbie Gentry – One of the scenes in The Continental episode 2 takes place in the family home of Mayhew. To transition into this scene, Bobbie Gentry’s “Seasons Come, Seasons Go” song is used.


“Ole” by The Funkees The Continental season 2 focuses more on the character of Charon, with one scene showing him picking up a letter from his father. As this scene plays out, “Ole” by The Funkees can be heard. While also capturing the funk-infused sound of the 1970s, the song also has African influences to link to Charon’s heritage and the presence of his father who lives back home in Africa.

“Funky Nassau Part 1” by The Beginning of the EndAfter Charon retrieves the letter from his father, he goes to a bar to read it. Once there, the proprietor of the bar asks Charon for recommendations to which the Continental concierge replies for his friend to surprise him. The barman then changes the vinyl record playing from “Ole” to “Funky Nassau Part 1.”


“Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown – One of the standout action sequences in The Continental episode 2 comes from Lou’s battle with a rival gang in the streets of Chinatown. The action scene is accompanied by “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown marking the second appearance from the artist on The Continental‘s soundtrack after “The Boss” was used in episode 1.

“A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun” by Tom Waits – After Lou returns to her dojo near the end of The Continental episode 2, this song is heard. This song’s lyrics reference a girl’s dreams turning into a more unsatisfactory reality, something that can apply to Lou. Lou dreams of her father’s dojo to stay in business while upholding his no-guns rule, yet she is being dragged into a different life by Miles and Winston’s vendetta against Cormac.


“Take The Long Way Home” by Supertramp – This song accompanies the end scene of The Continental episode 2 and the end credits. The composer of the song, Roger Hodgson of Supertramp, was credited as saying that the song is about self-discovery and finding your way home to your heart. This certainly applies to Charon, whom the final scene in The Continental episode 2 surrounds. Winston tells Charon earlier to find who he really is, linking to the song being used in The Continental episode 2 as he finds his friend Thomas’ dead body.

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Theater Of Pain – Night 3″

Episode 3

Winston, Charon, and Cormac as seen in The Continental epsiode 2's ending


“Right Place, Wrong Time” by Dr. John –The Continental episode 3 opens with someone taking pictures of Winston, Lou, and Miles’ operation accompanied by “Right Place, Wrong Time.” At first, the show makes audiences think the person behind the camera is KD continuing her investigation of the Scott brothers. However, it is later revealed to be Mayhew who is spying on KD as a means of keeping her away from The Continental.

“Oh Honey” by Delegation – The scene after Mayhew’s investigation shows the detective getting into KD’s car. On the car radio, “Oh Honey” can be heard to provide a backing soundtrack to the scene.

“Hip Hug-Her” by Booker T. & The M.G.’s –The Continental episode 3 centers on Winston’s heist of the titular hotel. As the heist begins, “Hip Hug-Her” sets the tone for the 70s-infused action sequences to follow. The song accompanies the opening stages of Winston’s plan before chaos ensues.


“Generique de Debut (Play Time)” by Alain Romans – A subplot of The Continental involves Lou’s troubles in Chinatown with a local gangster. As Lou’s dojo is being trashed by her rivals, “Generique de Debut” is heard playing. This transitions into Cormac being shown on The Continental’s cameras warning guests of Winston’s invasion and truly proving “Play Time” as a fitting song to accompany the action that follows.

“Popcorn” by Hot Butter – As the assassins of The Continental are preparing for war, “Popcorn” can be heard playing. The song’s synth tones set the tone for the scene with the title of “Popcorn” linking to the episode title “Theater of Pain” and the show that is about to explode into life between Winston and Cormac.


“One” by Three Dog Night – After Cormac has been separated from his allies, he travels alone to the secret floor thirteen of The Continental. The feeling of Cormac being alone against Winston and his army is sold by the song “One” playing.

“Barracuda” by Heart – As Winston and Charon find the latter’s stash of weapons, “Barracuda” fades in. Not only is the song fitting for being about vengeance and defiance as Winston is enacting on Cormac, but a repeated lyric is “burn to the wick.” This links to The Continental‘s place in the John Wick universe.

“Soul Sacrifice” by Santana – This song accompanies the fight between Yen, Miles, and the twin assassins. The primarily instrumental song fits the action unfolding onscreen to perfection before transitioning into the ensuing action sequences given the song’s long runtime.


“Baby O’Riley” by The Who – This song plays shortly after Winston and KD defeat Cormac and the former stops the self-destruction of The Continental. Aside from the feel-good nature of the song that solidifies the euphoric feeling of Winston’s victory, the lyrics are about rebelling without needing to prove one is right or needs forgiveness, linking to Winston’s story.

“What A Difference A Day Makes” by Dinah Washington – After the battle for The Continental subsides, Winston and Charon strike up their partnership. This scene is accompanied by “What A Difference A Day Makes” with the lyrics nicely summing up how the state of The Continental as well as Winston and Charon’s lives has changed drastically in such a short time.


“New York Groove” by Ace Frehley – As The Continental‘s ending montage begins, “New York Groove” can be heard playing. This links to the location of The Continental while also applying to Winston’s story. As the camera shows Winston atop The Continental in his new position of power, the lyrics of the song can be heard stating “Here I am, and in this city with a fistful of dollars, and baby, you’d better believe I’m back, back in the New York groove.”

Where To Stream The Continental Soundtrack

Fans Can Stream Or Buy The Soundtrack

Young Winston in front of The Continental in a promotional image

The Continental soundtrack might come alive within the show, but there are plenty of fans who are eager to listen to these songs outside of the series. Luckily for them, The Continental soundtrack is readily available with plenty of streaming and purchase options for fans. These include the typical music platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.


How The Music Of The Continental Compares To John Wick

The Continental Sets Itself Apart From The John Wick Movies

While The Continental captures a similar vibe to John Wick‘s movie universe overall, the soundtracks between the movies and the show are noticeably different. John Wick‘s soundtracks have earned as much praise as the action in these movies with the stylish and fun techno rhythms that take the audience on these violent and thrilling odysseys. The Continental goes for a more appropriate period style of music with a lot of 70s rock, club disco songs, and soul music highlighting the story.


While the distinct time periods of the John Wick movies versus The Continental can be pointed to as the reason for the difference in music, it actually has more to do with the protagonists of each of these stories. John Wick is a relentless man on a mission in his movies and the music mirrors the propulsive energy of him as a character. It is pulse-pounding and energetic.

Winston, on the other hand, is a more slick and sophisticated main character who plans, maneuvers, and slides his way through the story, making the cool 70s music vibes more in keeping with his character. The Continental recognizes that music was a big part of the John Wick movies and maintains that formula, but also chooses its distinct soundtrack in order to stand on its own in the franchise.

The Continental TV Series Poster

The Continental

The Continental is a spinoff series set in the John Wick universe. The Peacock show follows the origin of the hotel for assassins, with the leading character, Winston Scott, headed back there to face his past. The Continental is set in 1975 and sees an underworld group trying to take over the hotel. The series is a three-night special event, with each episode running for 90 minutes.

Cast
Jessica Allain , Colin Woodell , Hubert Point-Du Jour , Nhung Kate , Ben Robson , Mel Gibson , Mishel Prada , Jeremy Bobb , Peter Greene , Ayomide Adegun

Release Date
September 22, 2023

Seasons
1

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