Music has played an integral role in the success of Ted Lasso from day one, with each season combining an eclectic mix of musical theater numbers, classic needle drops, and custom songs.
Here, we catch up with Ana Lenuzza Ross, VP – Creative Sync, Licensing & Soundtracks at Warner Music’s 300 Elektra Entertainment, to discuss the creation of two bespoke tracks for the show’s third season – Sam Ryder’s “Fought & Lost” and Brandi Carlile’s “Home”.
How did the opportunities first come about?
Sam Ryder’s “Fought & Lost”
Tony Von Pervieux, the music supervisor of Ted Lasso, knew he had some pivotal moments and scenes that he would need great songs for in season 3.
Back in the summer of 2022, he gave some creative direction to the show’s composer Tom Howe, who enlisted his friend Jamie Hartman to help him write a bespoke song for the show. Tom and Jamie got together and started writing the foundation of “Fought & Lost” – the opening verse and the chorus – then recorded the demo with a scratch vocal.
The song just kind of existed in this state for a while, until September 2022, when Jason brought Tom to the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium. Sam Ryder was also at the show, performing “Someone To Love” with Brian May, Roger Taylor and the Foo Fighters.
Tom and Jason were blown away by Sam’s vocal performance and ended up meeting him backstage. Later, Tom called Jamie and said Sam was the guy – the voice they needed on their song!
But what’s wild is that Jamie and Sam were coincidentally, if not serendipitously, already scheduled for a writing session together a few months from then! When Sam and Jamie finally got together, they finished writing the song, tweaked a few bits, then recorded a new demo with Sam’s vocals on it.
Brandi Carlile’s “Home”
It was actually Jason Sudeikis’ idea! He asked Brandi to cover “Home,” for the scene himself. Diana Ross made the song famous in the 1978 film The Wiz, so it fit seamlessly within the musical DNA of the show, as anyone who watches knows, they love to feature songs from musical theatre.
What did the process look like?
After Sam and Jamie finished writing “Fought & Lost,” Tom put in the finishing touches, added strings and cut it to picture. The whole song took about a year from start to finish.
“Home” was really a collaboration between Brandi and Jason. They worked on the creative direction together and of course Tony had to secure the publishing rights to make it all possible. Brandi then enlisted a band and string section, they recorded at ShangriLa Studios, and Brandi produced the final track.
What were the biggest challenges involved in making it happen?
We didn’t know if “Fought & Lost” was going to make the final cut until a few weeks before the episode aired, so we only had a couple weeks to get all the deals done, clearances in place, and our marketing plan figured out. There were many layers and parties involved but at the end of the day, we got it done and I’m so glad we did!
“We didn’t know if “Fought & Lost” was going to make the final cut until a few weeks before the episode aired, so we only had a couple weeks to get all the deals done, clearances in place, and our marketing plan figured out.”
What makes them great placements?
“Fought & Lost” soundtracks a pivotal montage at the end of the penultimate episode of the series.
There is minimal dialogue so the music becomes the driving force of the spot, soundtracking the emotional rollercoaster Ted has been grappling with, both personally with his son and family, as well as professionally with his job and the team. Sam’s vocals shine through and the lyrics give a glimpse into the mind of Ted Lasso.
Brandi’s rendition of “Home” and its placement in the same episode also helped move the story along in a fun and clever way.
The last scene ends on a cliff hanger, but the song kicks in at the last second, the screen goes to black, then the credits roll while the song continues.
Without giving away any spoilers, the song gives the audience an easter egg, a clue, for what’s to come in the series in the finale.
What impact has it had?
Both songs are featured on the Ted Lasso season 3 soundtrack.
Everything Brandi records is incredible and her rendition of “Home” came out beautifully. The song hit #19 on the US Shazam charts and the fact that she covered a Broadway song delighted her fans.
“Everything Brandi records is incredible and her rendition of “Home” came out beautifully … ‘Fought & Lost’ exploded overnight and became Sam Ryder’s highest debuting US single and his most Shazam’d song to date!”
“Fought & Lost” exploded overnight and became Sam Ryder’s highest debuting US single and his most Shazam’d song to date! Following the episode’s premiere, “Fought & Lost” became the #1 most Shazam’d song in the US, UK, and Canada, and reached #10 Globally.
The Ted Lasso sync introduced Sam’s music to a whole new audience of fans all around the world. Helping people discover new artists is one of the most rewarding parts of my job, so I’m thrilled that we were able to make it happen!
Enjoyed this article? Why not check out:
- Client Spotlight: Warner Chappell Production Music’s Alec Sharpe on Industry Challenges and Tech Innovation
- “Sync’s Never Static”: Concord Sync Execs Discuss the Global Market and New Trends
- 5 Media Industry Trends and Their Impact on Music Licensing and Clearance