Super Soundtrack

Super Soundtrack: “Physical” on Apple TV+

“Super Soundtrack” is a series of features on doing a deep dive into all the songs featured in the top TV series and films breaking down how the songs add to the scene and give a little breakdown of the context of the music. Songwriters, producers, which album the song appeared on, who originally recorded the song, which key lyrics were used in the project; it’s all fair game.

Apple TV+‘s newest series, “Physical,” stars Rose Byrne, Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, and Della Saba and premieres today on the streamer. The half-hour dark comedy is set in 1980s San Diego and follows Sheila Rubin a seemingly dutiful housewife supporting her husband’s state assembly run. The audience gets an inside look into Sheila’s mind as we hear what’s going on in her darkly funny state of mind. In the middle of a battle against her personal demons of her self-image and self-with, she finds solace in aerobics. The series follows Sheila’s journey to confidence while merging videotape technology with her one-of-a-kind business idea.

Season 1 Episode 1: “Let’s Do This Thing”

“Straight On” by Heart (1978)

To kick off the premiere episode with a bang, this song plays as the shot is centered on Rose Byrne’s character’s walk to set to shoot an aerobics video. We then realize this is set in the year 1986 before flashing back earlier in the show’s timeline to 1981.

The song was released on Heart’s 1978 album Dog & Butterfly and was co-written by Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and Sue Ennis. It became Heart’s third single to crack the Top 20.

“Hurdy Gurdy Man” by Donovan (1968)

As Sheila goes downstairs to greet a student that attends the same college where her husband teaches, the student is playing this song on their record player in the living room.

The song was recorded by Donovan in April 1968 and subsequently released the next month as a single. It ended up serving as the title of his of his album, which was released in October 1968. It peaked at #5 in the US on the Hot 100 and #4 in the UK on the UK Singles Chart.

“Imagine Me, Imagine You” by Fox (1975)

The title card appears while this song plays and continues while Sheila is cooking breakfast for her daughter and helping her husband Danny get ready to leave for work.

The song was released in 1975 by pop group Fox on their debut album. It was written and produced solely by Fox founding member Kenny Young.

“Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied)” by B.T. Express (1974)

Sheila is dropping her daughter off at school, this song is playing, and then Sheila runs into Greta while a group of male surfers across the street are packing up their cars to leave.

The song was released by funk group B.T. Express in 1974. It served as the title track from their 1974 album, and it had some considerable crossover success. The Monique Show used the song as the opening theme of the BET late night talk show.

“Sugar Me” by Lynsey de Paul (1972)

On the way home from the grocery store, this song plays while Sheila is driving. The scene involves a jar of honey, a trip to the drive-thru, and a quick stop at a hotel, and that’s all I can say without spoiling a memorable scene.

The song was written by Lynsey de Paul and Barry Green. Lynsey Paul released it as a single in 1972. It had incredible success, particularly in the Netherlands, where it ranks as the 14th best selling single of 1973. Nancy Sinatra notably recorded her own version of the song.

“Space Age Love Song” by A Flock of Seagulls (1982)

While Sheila is walking through the outlet mall and entering the Body by Bunny aerobics center for the first time, this song plays.

The song was released in 1982 by A Flock of Seagulls as their fourth single. The British band’s song was re-recorded in 2018 featuring the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Season 1 Episode 2: “Let’s Get Political”

“Gloria” by Laura Branigan (1979)

This song plays as Sheila (Rose Byrne) sneaks into the class at Body By Bunny. It’s the song that the class is doing their aerobics to at the time.

The song was originally released by Umberto Tozzi in 1979, which she wrote in Italian with Giancarlo Bigazzi. Jonathan King translated the song to English, and Laura Branigan released her cover in 1982, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and is certified platinum.

“Do You Wanna Funk” by Sylvester & Patrick Cowley (1982)

This song starts playing while the class is doing aerobics at Body By Bunny before the scene does a flash forward to show where Sheila ends up in the future.

Sylvester and Patrick Cowley wrote and released the song in 1982. Its success was mainly in Europe, especially Switzerland, Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and Australia. The song has also been featured on the soundtracks for the 1983 comedy movie Trading Places, the 1989 drama Longtime Companion, the 2001 miniseries Further Tales of the City, the 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, the 1990 film version of Sandra Bernhard’s stage show Without You I’m Nothing, and the 2021 limited series “It’s A Sin.”

Season 1 Episode 3: “Let’s Get Down to Business”

“Point of No Return” by Exposé (1984)

Rose Byrne’s character Sheila is getting everything ready to kick off her career as an aerobics instructor in an eventful montage as “Point of No Return” is playing.

The song was originally released in 1984 by the group Exposé, but it was re-recorded in 1987 with Jeanette Jurado as the lead vocalist in 1987. The original vocal mix hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1985 before the re-recorded version reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1987.

“Take Care of Your Own Business” by Dave Hamilton

Sheila and her husband are having guests over, and “Take Care of Your Own Business” soundtracks the transition to this scene while she is splitting duties between being a mother, wife, and budding businesswoman.

Dave Hamilton was an R&B/jazz musician from Detroit. The majority of his material was recorded between the 1960s and the 1970s, much of which went unreleased for quite some time. This song appears on the 2011 album Dave Hamilton’s Detroit Soul.

“Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode (1981)

It’s Sheila’s first time leading an aerobics class, and she “Just Can’t Get Enough” of the newfound confidence it gives her. There couldn’t be a more appropriate song to play during this scene.

Depeche Mode released the song “Just Can’t Get Enough” in 1981, and it appeared on their album Speak and Sell released a month later. It was the group’s final song to be written by founding member Vince Clark before leaving the band. It was adapted as a football chant by the fans of the Celtic F.C. in 2009 before other football fans and rugby fans decided to adapt it as well.

“Harden My Heart” by Quarterflash (1980)

Sheila’s husband has to get up in the middle of the night to take care of their daughter as “Harden My Heart” by Quarterflash starts to play. It continues on as the credits roll.

The gold-certified song appears on the rock group’s 1981 album Quarterflash. Before changing their name to Quarterflash, they were known as Seafood Mama. In 1980, they originally released this song as a single under that band name, but re-released a new version of it as a single that went on to achieve considerable success in several markets.

Season 1 Episode 4: “Let’s Get This Party Started”

“All Your Love Tonight” by Richard Myhill

This Richard Myhill hit plays while we flash forward to see a glimpse into Sheila’s future. Myhill released the song on his 2012 album, History of Rock 1955-1965.

“We Belong” by Pat Benatar (1984)

Sheila falls back into her old habits, and the scene is soundtracked by Pat Benatar’s iconic song “We Belong.” It continues to play on into the credits. Benatar recorded and released the song in 1984. The song was one of Benatar’s most popular, going on to achieve great chart success and a Grammy nomination.

Season 1 Episode 5: “Let’s Agree to Disagree”

“Drivin’ My Life Away” by Eddie Rabbit (1980)

The episode kicks off with this song playing, and we see Bunny driving around going about her daily errands. Eddie Rabbit wrote the song as the story of a truck driver who feels like they are “Drivin’ My Life Away.” This song, which was released in 1980, marked the beginning of Rabbit’s popularity as a crossover artist from country to pop and was one of his greatest hits. 

“Got To Find You Girl” by Kalapana (1978)

While Sheila plays back the footage they filmed on the beach, it becomes evident that they recorded over something she wasn’t supposed to see. Kalapana, a Hawaiian pop band, released this song in 1978. 

“My Love Is So Strong For You” by Geater Davis (1971)

This song plays in the background as Danny preps for his TV appearance. Geater Davis released “My Love Is So Strong For You” released the song in 1971 with its B-single “Can’t Hold My Own”.

“Sweet Dreams” by Air Supply (1981)

Sheila locks eyes with Greta as she’s driving home, and this Air Supply song plays. The English/Australian soft rock duo released “Sweet Dreams” on their 1981 album The One That You Love, and by early 1982, it was a considerable hit for Air Supply.

“She’s Gone Hollywood” by All-Night Newsboys (1982)

Sheila and Bunny talk together in the aerobics studio while this song plays. The All-Night Newsboys released “She’s Gone Hollywood” as a single in 1982 along with its B-side “American Bandstand.”

Season 1 Episode 6: “Let’s Get It On Tape”

“Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran (1982)

Sheila and Bunny are practicing together at the studio while this Duran Duran hit plays. “Hungry Like The Wolf” was released in 1982 on the British band’s second album, Rio.

“You Just Can’t Win” by Them (1965)

This song from Them plays in the background while Sheila, Danny, and Jerry are talking. It appears as track seven on their album, The Angry Young Them.

“We Got The Beat” by The Go-Go’s (1981)

We see a montage go what Sheila is up to balancing the juggling act of a life she is living, and playing over the montage is The Go-Go’s hit “We Got The Beat.” Originally released as a single in 1981, a newly re-recorded version of the song was later re-released on their debut album Beauty and the Beat in 1982. it ended up being the group’s signature song, and it was a considerable hit on the charts in the US and Canada.

Season 1 Episode 7: “Let’s Take This Show on the Road”

“Kiss You All Over” by Exile (1978)

While Greta is watching her husband Ernie’s tapes, Exile’s 1978 hit “Kiss You All Over” is playing. Released on their album, Mixed Emotions, the song went on to become a #1 single in the US, where it stayed for four weeks.

“Atomic” by Blondie (1979)

As Sheila leaves the party and drives off, the rock song starts to play. “Atomic” was released on Blondie’s 1979 album, Eat to the Beat, an ironically fitting title in relation to Physical. Written by Jimmy Destri and Debbie Harry, they were aiming to do something similar to “Heart of Glass” before going a different direction with the song.

Season 1, Episode 8: “Let’s Not and Say We Did”

“Midnight Blues” by Charlie Rich (1962)

While John is in the pool, Charlie Rich’s 1962 hit song “Midnight Blues” plays. The song is about a person up at midnight with the blues, which works perfectly with this scene.

“If We Can’t Trust Each Other” by Ann Peebles (1974)

Playing while Greta and Ernie are downstairs talking is Ann Peebles’ song “If We Cant Trust Each Other,” which is featured on her 1974 album, I Can’t Stand The Rain

“Forty Second River (Alternate Version)” by The Folklords (1968)

At the end of Sheila and Danny’s difficult conversation, The Folklords’ 1968 song “Forty Second River” is playing in the background. It appears on the group’s album, Release The Sunshine.

“It’s Not Today” by The Gay Intruders (1966)

The Gay Intruders’ song, “It’s Not Today,” plays over the end credits for this episode. Marc Johnson recorded this song with his teenage garage band in 1966, but it was only recently released.

Episode 9: “Let’s Face the Facts”

“Year 1” by X (1981)

While Tyler is surfing, this song by punk band X is playing. “Year 1” is the last song on their 1981 album, Wild Gift.

“Shadow of the Night” by Andwella

Danny and Simone are having a conversation at his house — before a change of pace — while this song by the Irish psychedelic rock band, Andwella, plays.

“Take Me To Heart” by Quarterflash (1983)

Soundtracking the final scene before extending on into the end credits is Quarterflash’s “Take Me To Heart.” It appears on the rock band’s 1983 album, Take Another Picture.

Episode 10: “Let’s Get Together”

“Holding Out For A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler (1984)

Sheila and Bunny lead an aerobics class in a mall with Bonnie Tyler’s 1984 song, “Holding Out for a Hero,” playing in the background. Tyler originally recorded the song for Footloose in 1984.

“Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks (1982)

Danny and Jerry hang out after finding out election results, and Sheila is at the mall with John. Stevie Nicks’ iconic hit song, “Edge of Seventeen” soundtracks the final scene of the season.

Season 1 of Physical is now streaming on Apple TV+. The show has also been renewed for season 2, so stay tuned!


2 replies on “Super Soundtrack: “Physical” on Apple TV+”

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