'Grey's Anatomy' at 300: Music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas on the show's memorable songs

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny, Katherine Heigl as Izzy, and Justin Chambers as Alex in Grey’s Anatomy. (Photo: ABC)

Over 14 seasons, Grey’s Anatomy has been known for a lot of things, from catchy nicknames (McDreamy) and torrid love triangles to tragic disasters befalling the show’s doctors and heartbreaking deaths (RIP, McDreamy).

And it’s been famous for its playlist.

Music is a hugely important part of the show — every episode title is also the title of a song, after all. But Grey’s didn’t rely on just old favorites and standards.

Music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas can be credited with being at least partially responsible for introducing new and unsigned indie bands into the mainstream. She arguably helped make Snow Patrol as big as it is by using their song “Chasing Cars” in the Season 2 finale.

Ahead of Grey’s Anatomy’s 300th episode airing tonight, Patsavas emailed us a quick look back at a few of her favorite song-scene pairings:

“In the Sun,” Michael Stipe featuring Chris Martin
Season 2, Episode 16: “It’s the End of the World”

One of my favorites, in the Season 2 Super Bowl episode, leaves Meredith Grey literally holding the grenade.

This sublime Joseph Arthur track, beautifully sung by Stipe and Martin, was released to benefit Gulf Coast Relief in 2006, and it was extra special to be able to synch this track knowing that the proceeds were helping in that effort.

“Keep Breathing,” Ingrid Michaelson
Season 3, Episode 5: “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?”

We have relied on Ingrid’s singular point of view many times over the years, and this track was no different.

At the end of Season 3, Cristina and Burke’s wedding has been called off and the incredible Sandra Oh’s Cristina has to be cut out of her wedding dress. I can’t imagine this scene any other way.

“Where Does the Good Go,” Tegan and Sara
Season 10, Episode 25: “Fear (of the Unknown)”

Another favorite of mine from Season 10. Shonda knew exactly what song she wanted for Mer and Christina to dance it out to one last time.

Tegan and Sara’s work has articulated our musical point of view on Grey’s Anatomy many times, but this particular song was THE SONG.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Jill Andrews
Season 10, Episode 12: “Get Up, Stand Up”

Love this scene and song in Season 10. We are all hoping that Jackson doesn’t let April go, and it seems like he will.

It was so important to find a song that was concurrently familiar and brand new, and this downtempo version of Bonnie Tyler’s ’80s smash fit the bill beautifully.

“Nothing Compares 2 U,” Prince and the New Power Generation
Season 12, Episode 22: “Mama Tried”

We were all stunned by Prince’s sudden passing on April 21, 2016.

Shonda Rhimes wanted to honor Prince, and through the help and hard work of the estate, management, label, and publisher, we were able to do just that.

Read more of Patsavas’s reflections on 300 episodes of music on Shondaland and listen to her curated Spotify playlist.

The 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy airs Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: