The Cobra Kai Season 5 Soundtrack Is Every Dad’s Dream Mixtape
Much like its protagonist Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), Cobra Kai is only barely concerned with being trendy. While this is a show made and set in the present day, just like you won’t ever find Johnny listening to modern pop music in his car, you won’t ever hear Cobra Kai playing any 2020s favorites like Billie Eilish or Lil Nas X. No, that doesn’t matter to Johnny or Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), so it doesn’t matter to Cobra Kai. What kind of music does matter to Cobra Kai? Stuff that rocks. Stuff that rocked in in 1984 when The Karate Kid first came out and still rocks today. Stuff that you want to sing along to every time you hear it. Stuff like “Eye of the Tiger.”
Yes, “Eye of the Tiger,” the overplayed-to-the-point-of-near-parody song by Survivor. Yes, the theme song from 1982’s Rocky III. Yes, the song that won a Grammy nearly 20 years before Ms. Eilish was even born.
Cobra Kai‘s soundtracks have never been shy about being unapologetically nostalgic for the power jams of the ’80s. And the show hasn’t shied away from featuring those songs in undeniably memorable scenes between our characters. Who can forget Johnny and Daniel finding common ground over REO Speedwagon? Or Miguel and Johnny hitting up a Twisted Sister concert and really bonding? Stranger Things may have proven earlier this year that music can save your life, but Cobra Kai proves that music can build bonds between old rivals or strengthen someone as a a surrogate father figure.
And that all comes by way of old, cold, solid jams. One of Season 5’s most memorable scenes comes in Episode 9, when a drunk Johnny, Daniel, and Chozen cannot help themselves from singing along to—you guessed it—”Eye of the Tiger” in the back of a stretch SUV. It’s such a good moment for the three heroes that they don’t even realize…well, you’ve seen the episode. It involves Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan). And it all turns out OK in the end, right? And even if it didn’t they still got that “Eye of the Tiger” moment. What more do we need?
“Cancion del Mariachi (Morena de Mi Corazon)” from the film Desperado (1995) – Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos
“Villa Coapa” – Moderato
“La Stravaganza, Op. 4, Concerto No. 12 in G Major, RV 298: II. Largo” – Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
“Mony Mony” – Billy Idol
“Playing With The Boys” – Kenny Loggins
“Blaze Of Glory” – Jon Bon Jovi
“Judas” – Fozzy
“Unchained” – Van Halen
“Eye Of The Tiger” – Survivor
“Gonna Make You Sweat” – C + C Music Factory
“You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” – Dead Or Alive
“My Way” – Paul Anka
“Etude Op. 25 – No. 1” – Frederic Chopin
“Runnin’ Wild” – Airbourne
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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