Tim Jones’ Official Soundtrack Keeps the Chuck Flame Burning

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By Karen Valenzuela, @VictoriaNoir89

It has now been over three years since the “Chuck” series finale aired on NBC, after five way-too-short years of superb television. It had everything anybody could ever want in a show: romance, comedy, action, adventure, drama, mystery, nerds, and spies. And it had one of the best soundtracks on television. I know I’m not alone when I say there are certain songs and musical artists that will forever make me think of the show when I hear them. (“Chuck” simultaneously made me a fan of and ruined Bon Iver for me, and don’t even talk to me about “Rivers and Roads” because I will sob right there on the spot.)

What we rarely talk about, though, is the soundtrack under the soundtrack. When “Chuck” creators Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak weren’t rubbing their amazing musical taste in our faces, they had composer Tim Jones creating some incredibly fun and heartbreakingly beautiful themes for action sequences and for quiet, romantic moments between the main couple of the show: our beloved nerd, Chuck Bartowski, and kick ass ninja spy, Agent Sarah Walker.

For years “Chuck” fans have been wondering why the show never released an official soundtrack. I mean, who could forget the high-spirited, wacky music that played behind a lot of the sequences with Chuck and Sarah fighting bad guys? And of course, being that “Chuck” is at its heart a spy show, there was plenty of nifty music that sounded like it belonged in a James Bond flick or “Mission: Impossible.” Most importantly, at least in my fangirl heart, was the gorgeous Chuck and Sarah theme that played oh-so-softly behind the couple’s warmest and most emotionally intimate scenes.

Tim Jones probably received a lot of tweets and messages asking when an official soundtrack for the show was being released. If you’re familiar with the numerous movements by fans to keep “Chuck” on the air throughout its run, then you probably understand what I mean when I say “Chuck” fans have a way of getting what they want where their beloved show is concerned.

Well we did it again, “Chuck” fans! Lo and behold, the official television soundtrack for “Chuck” has been released under Varese Sarabande Records’ label, composed by Tim Jones and with guest appearances by none other than our favorite “friggin’ yahoos,” Jeffster! There are 16 tracks in all, but if you purchase the iTunes version, it comes with 4 bonus tracks. Which is…let’s all say it together…awesome.

Here’s a list of tracks for you before I dive into just how awesome this soundtrack is:
1. Bryce Larkin Super Spy
2. Chuck And Sarah The Beginning
3. Action Theme
4. Charlie Foxtrot Shaw
5. A Question And A Spy
6. Ellie Rescues Chuck
7. It’s Not All Work
8. Mission Time
9. All In A Day’s Work (For Sarah)
10. Backstories And Secrets
11. Tangos And Hot Dogs
12. Buy Morons Vs. Emmet
13. Take On Me (Orchestra Version), Performed by Jeffster
14. Fortunate Son, Performed by Jeffster
15. Fat Bottomed Girls, Performed by Jeffster
16. End Titles + Surprise

iTunes special bonus tracks:
17. Leaving On A Jet Plane, Performed by Jeffster
18. Mr. Roboto, Performed by Jeffster
19. Morgan Big Mike and the Gang
20. Chuck Vs. Rafe

Right off the bat, let’s talk about how ecstatic I am to finally have Jeffster in my music library—so ecstatic. Because I’m overly emotional about “Chuck” in the first place, it took quite a bit of preparation to listen to “Take On Me,” because it was Jeffster’s final bow in the show. Which, to me, is just…unforgivable. (Why did you end, show? Why?) Not that this is surprising, but Vik Sahay and Scott Krinsky are out of this world in this soundtrack. (In a different way than Lester Patel and Jeff Barnes were out of this world in the show, it has to be said.) The Jeffster covers on the album perfectly capture the cheesiness of the 1980s (with the exception of “Fortunate Son”), while also giving those songs a particular Jeffster twist. I give major props to Tim Jones, and especially Vik and Scott for their contributions to the visionary cover band that is Jeffster.

Welcome back from Germany, Jeffster. You were missed.

Welcome back from Germany, Jeffster. You were missed.



Tim Jones’ compositions take up the rest of the track list, from the music we heard at the end of each episode while the credits rolled, to the “Action Theme.” Even Agent Daniel Shaw—the bane of Charah shippers’ existence throughout much of season 3—has a theme, “Charlie Foxtrot Shaw.” It’s a little saucy at first, and then it goes straight into the music that we heard once Shaw went full-on bad guy.

If you listen to the soundtrack in full, there is quite a bit of fun spy stuff—like in “It’s Not All Work,” which transitions from heroic We-Just-Saved-The-Day music, to intense choral Going-To-War music, to Sneaking-Through-Enemy-Headquarters music, and finally into music I like to call Hacker’s Delight. “Mission Time” has similar themes running through it.

Not to be neglected, of course, are the Buy Morons. Those lovable green shirts. Oh, Fernando. They have their own silly, fun theme in “Buy Morons Vs. Emmet.”

And then we have what many (I say many, but I mostly mean me) deem to be the heart of the show. Chuck and Sarah. This is also my favorite part of the soundtrack. Because while I knew Chuck and Sarah had their own theme—I seriously get emotional during rewatches every time I hear those soft piano notes start—I never quite got the extent to which Tim Jones really understood the growth of Chuck and Sarah’s relationship until I listened to this soundtrack. He weaves their piano theme into different tracks so brilliantly. Honestly, part of me suspects it’s just to screw with my emotions. And those moments when the notes begin—so quiet, so moving, so simple—you really feel those same emotions you got watching Chuck sitting in his underwear holding a plastic guitar, asking Sarah once and for all if she loved him. Or watching Sarah give Chuck her spy will.

Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski as Chuck and Sarah

Zachary Levi and Yvonne Strahovski as Chuck and Sarah



Once again, hats off to Tim Jones for really capturing the characters and their struggles, and for exploring the relationships between the characters, as well as the relationships fans of the show formed with the characters. If you’re a fan of “Chuck,” this is an absolute must-have. Besides the emotional ups and downs, it truly is so much fun.

This was well worth the wait. After three years of missing the weekly episodes, three years of missing this show and these people on my television, listening to this soundtrack made my “Chuck” heart beat again. And oh is it beating!

Thank you, Tim Jones. Thank you for everything.

Rating: 6/5
(Extra credit given for Tim Jones’ incredibly heartwarming words of acknowledgement and gratitude in the booklet.)
Buy it now on Amazon. Or you can buy it from iTunes to get those 4 extra bonus tracks. And let us know in the comments what you think of the official “Chuck” soundtrack!

CHUCK OTS TNM PIC 3

Buy it now on Amazon. Or you can buy it from iTunes to get those 4 extra bonus tracks. And let us know in the comments what you think of the official “Chuck” soundtrack!


    4 Comments

  1. PrinApril 16th, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’m so glad this soundtrack has finally come to press, and is also widely available. In addition to Amazon (which also carries the MP3 version with extra tracks) and iTunes, it’s at other retailers (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Deep Discount, FYE) as well as directly from the label (Varese Sarabande).

    I’d been waiting with bated breath since Tim Jones announced the project was a go last summer, and this did not disappoint. He’s also been very generous in the past with sharing out some other tunes from the show via SoundCloud for folks to enjoy (timjonescomposer); he also features his work from other shows like Cult there, and a few personal pieces too. If any Chucksters here were at Wondercon and got a signed CD, I’d love to see pics. 🙂

    The return of Jeffster! was a special treat, especially for those of us who didn’t have the privilege of seeing them perform Fat Bottomed Girls live at San Diego Comic Con. Not to mention the surprise at the end of Track 16 – now the folks on YouTube who’ve been trying for years to backwards-engineer a clean version of that can rest easy. 😀

    I’d love it if this were only Volume I of a multiple-disc release: the best way to make that happen is to make sure it’s a best seller, and rate and review!

  2. JayneApril 16th, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Lovely review Karen … And I agree with the 6/5 rating! I’m so pleased we got this soundtrack!!
    I have the iTunes version but was thinking I might need the physical CD as well

  3. NiallApril 16th, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I completely agree with your words on the Chuck and Sarah theme Karen. It’s one of the only TV themes that make me shed a (manly) tear.
    At the same time, I want to cheer when I look at that one particular scene 🙂

  4. LokiMay 13th, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I love the soundtrack and Chuck!
    Started rewatching last week and I’ve almost finished season 1 already 😀
    And I agree with you on Rivers And Roads, first time a TV show has made me shed a tear..
    Long Live Chuck!

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