American Horror Story Hotel Song list for each episode
American Horror Story Hotel creates a fabric of warped time by integrating various techniques into its design and most notably - the soundtrack. The wonderful art deco hotel is a purpose built set (sadly the hotel does not exist) but the sense of lost time is also created by using songs mainly from the 80s while setting the series in a modern time. In particular the 80s songs are rarely used in flashbacks (except one to 1984), but feature heavily in the present-day scenes.
Before delving into the episode-by-episode song lists, it is also worth noting the general background music. This relies on a distinctive synthesizer sound that marks a period from the early 80s and in particular the style of an artist who goes by the name of Vangelis. He was the composer responsible for soundtracks to movies such as Gallipoli, Chariots of Fire and - the movie score that closely resembles to American Horror Story Hotel - Bladerunner. He was not the only artist creating scores in the early 80s but there is strong sense that the score follows his style with long layered synth notes that change slowly over the scenes, rather that more varied and faster tempo tracks seen in modern films and TV shows.
You can hear elements in this Bladerunner trailer, particularly the way the long notes weave in and out of the dialogue.
Songs by episode for American Horror Story Hotel
Tear You Apart - She Wants Revenge (2006): Elizabeth does cocaine while Donovan takes a bath
Heartbreak Hotel - Heidi Feek (2013, cover of Elvis song): Elizabeth and Donovon sex scene
The Eternal - Joy Division (1980): the Swedish girls Vendela and Agnetha check in.
Body and Soul - Benny Goodman Trio (1930): Song playing on the radio.
Never Land (A Fragment) - The Sisters of Mercy (1987): Gabriel gets attacked
Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus (1982): Will Drake and Lachlan Drake are shown around the hotel, the songs returns in a later scene.
Downtown - Petula Clark (1965): Flashback, initially on the radio, then merges into the soundtrack
Hotel California - The Eagles (1976): At the end of the episode John checks into the Hotel Cortez
Flower Duet - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (composed 1883): Elizabeth and Donovan are given the children's blood by Iris.
Body and Soul - Benny Goodman Trio (1930): Song playing on the radio (again), and repeats later.
In A Lonely Place - New Order (1981): Elizabeth is driven to the museum
Do What? - Ralpheus (2014): Played while hotel lobby is being prepared for the fashion show.
Don't Stop the Dance - Bryan Ferry (1985): track used during the very 80s looking fashion show
I Want Your Love - Chic (1978): Flashback, 70s disco
Spellbound - Siouxsie and the Banshees (1981): Song plays over multiple scenes, mainly when Tristan starts making out with a guy he has just picked up and later kills with the countess
Additional note: there is a sample from the 1987 movie, The Lost Boys. It plays as the countess walks up the stairs
Body and Soul - Benny Goodman Trio (1930): Yet again this song appears, this time it is playing on a phonograph as Tristan enters Patrick's room.
Simple Death by Chelsea Wolfe (2015): Detective John and his wife Alex talk in the bar.
Siamese Twins - The Cure (1982): Donovon returns to the hotel and talks to Liz.
Just Like Honey - The Jesus and Mary Chain (1985): Donovon sees Ramona Royalea and is later attacked by her.
Atlanta Get Down - Tommy Stewart (1976): Appears during a montage of Ramona's 70s movie posters.
Miarches - Forest Swords (2010): John walks to the hotel bar where his wife Alex tells him he is a control freak.
Carnival - Natalie Merchant (1996): A song written about New York, so it's at odds with LA setting for the series. In this scene Aileen dances through the halls as she heads down to the bar where John buys her a drink.
Your Love - Frankie Knuckles (1982): John goes back to his room armed, in an effort to confront Aileen.
Moonglow - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (1934): John turns up to dinner and is joined by various recent serial killers.
Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies (1988): Ramirez puts on a record as Ms. Evers is summoned to bring out the amuse-bouche. This phrase adds an extra level of darkness as it is normally considered a complimentary 'off-menu' present by a restaurant and means 'mouth amuser' - in this case it is a young junkie.
Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode (1981): Probably the most 80s of the episodes, this song is playing during the start of the Liz Taylor flashback to 1984 and tells the story of how he/she came to live at the hotel.
Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes (1981): Another song to feature in Liz's flashback, this time it's when he starts to wear makeup and adopt his feminine persona.
One Caress - Depeche Mode (1993): Tristan and Liz sex scene. The song repeats later when he receives a text from Elizabeth.
Candy Walls - TR/ST (2011): Romano and Liz talking at the hotel bar.
Jack the Ripper - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds(1992): The Swedish girls start seducing John.
Detroit - Disasterpeace (2014): John checks out of the hotel with the monster child of the countess in his suitcase. This track has a strong 80s soundscape despite being released in 2014. The song also featured in the 2014 movie 'It Follows', a nice nod to the movie title given the nature of the scene.
La canzone dell'amore - Beniamino Gigli (1925): Flashback scene where The Countess, Elizabeth, arrives for dinner with Valentino (in the American Horror Story timeline, this the real-life legend Rudolf Valentino, called Rudy for short).
Apasionado - Pepe Motta Quartet (year uncertain): flashback scene where The Countess dances Tango with Valentino then has a threesome, as you do. This track is actually quite modern, written some 70 years after the scene was to have taken place.
Lullaby - The Cure (1989): Elizabeth gets married at the Hotel and the song continues into the montage that follows.
Isn't It Romantic? - Chet Baker (1964): Elizabeth arrives for the monthly dinner with James and recalls what he had done to her lovers.
Circles - The Soft Moon (2010): A revitalised Rudy and Natacha leave the Hotel Cortez.
Love Cliche(Nickodemus Remix) - Soulstice (2014):James and the Countess have dinner together when Donovan and John interrupt.
The (New) Call of the Freaks - Luis Russell and His Orchestra (1929): 2010 flashback when John first comes to the hotel and heads to the bar.
Blue Monday - New Order (1983): Song plays during the shoot of a porn film in the hotel.
Fade to Grey by Visage (1980): Will makes himself a drink when James arrives to supposedly congratulate him on his marriage to The Countess.
Zutty's Hootie Blues - Zutty Singleton (feat. Pee Wee Russell's Rhythmakers)(1940s): Hazel (the maid) arranges a meeting for Liz and his son
Lucretia My Reflection - The Sisters of Mercy (1987): Split sean where Donovon kills Rudy and The Countess kills Natacha.
Lost Boys and Girls Club by Dum Dum Girls (2014): Hazel is at the bar and tells Liz his son, Douglas, has arrived. Douglas and Liz talk over a few drinks. This marls a turn in the episode where the the music takes a more contempary feel.
Son - Warpaint (2014): It's a little later and Liz and Douglas continue talking
I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack (2000): The background track to Iris's memorial video
Hotline Bling - Drake (2015): After having killed Rudy, Donovon drinks and dances solo, awaiting for The Countess to return (the song plays again a little later)
Seconds - Human League (1981): Opening scene where Liz Taylor and Iris prepare their guns and shoot The Countess and Donovon (the son of Iris)
Go - Shana Falana (2015): This song is clearly inspired by 80s shoegaze bands and plays during the flashback threesome between the junkie Sally and her two other band members..
I Wanna Be Adored - The Stone Roses (1989): Slow build of the song that starts when The Countess and Ramona hook up and features in the following scene where John shoots the Countess at the lift entrance.
American Horror Story Hotel: song list for each episode