The Crown, a show on Netflix about the British Royal Family, is something of a phenomenon here in the United States.
Series Four has recently arrived and has been labelled as the best yet, with top American actress Gillian Anderson turning in a compelling performance as beleaguered Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The big stars of the new series are the Prince and Princess of Wales, with the 10 episodes tracking their relationship from start to what is very nearly the finish.
The show might be about a monarchy from another country, but it has a big fanbase around the world. It is perhaps the most popular dramatization of the British Royal Family to ever hit our TV screens, and it satisfies a deep interest in their saga here in the United States.
Their influence spreads across pop culture, not only through the show but also other films and games. The Queen was a huge hit at the cinema in 2006, whilst they have even found their way into gaming, too. There are two titles based on the Windsor family on Foxy Games, Crown Gems and Royal Family, whilst Buckingham Palace is a playable location in recent release Watchdogs: Legion, as well as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Away from gaming, the Royal Family is becoming more popular over here due to Prince William and his wife, former Suits actress Megan Markle, becoming US residents.
Another strong aspect of the show’s current season is the representation of the eighties, from the despair, felt in London over Thatcher’s policies, to the iconic soundtrack accompanying the plot. Many of the songs featured were popular during the eighties, and are being brought to a younger audience for the first time. With that, hopefully, comes a desire to play them on your own instruments, which is exactly where we come in. We have selected four of the best tracks from the current series and gathered videos on how to play them yourself.
Blondie – Call Me:
In episode one, we see a young Diana dancing in her room, before receiving a call from her suitor, Prince Charles. The background music is Blondie’s ‘Call Me’, first released in 1980 as part of the soundtrack for the film American Gigolo. The song remained at number one for six weeks in the US charts following its release.
The Specials – Monkey Man:
One episode deals with the infamous moment an intruder, Michael Fagan, breaks into Buckingham Palace and meets the Queen. In another scene, an angry Fagan meets his former wife in a pub, and the jukebox is playing the song ‘Monkey Man,’ by Coventry band The Specials. This version is a cover of the original performed by Toots and the Maytals, and as well as the Specials it has been covered by Reel Big Fish and Amy Winehouse.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Frankie Valli
Perhaps the best moments of the relationship between Charles and Diana come briefly on their tour of Australia. That is in episode six and in one tender moment, they are seen sharing a dance to Frankie Valli’s 1967 hit. It has featured in films and TV for many years since release, on Bridget Jones’s Diary and the 1999 Heath Ledger flick Ten Things I Hate About You.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
Another happy moment for the troubled Diana comes when she is seen enjoying a song in her car with both sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They are enjoying Queen’s 1979 release ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, a hugely popular track which reached number one here in the United States, as well as Canada, Netherlands and Australia. Curiously, it only reached number two in the UK, kept off the top spot by Dr Hook’s ‘When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman’.