'Sopranos' Creator David Chase Used Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the Finale Because It Pissed Off His Crew
"That was kind of my favourite and it got a reaction of some kind"
Published Sep 21, 2021It's hard to compete with an ending as iconic as that of The Sopranos — characterized by its building tension, a cliffhanger on Tony Soprano's fate, and a cut to black. Of course, the finale will always be associated with the song that plays during the HBO series' final moments: Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" — but that wasn't always the song of choice for creator David Chase.
In fact, the showrunner has just revealed that it had been a toss-up between three songs to end the series, one of which being Al Green's "Love and Happiness." But the reason Chase ended up going with Journey was because of the feedback he got from his crew.
Speaking with Marc Maron on his WTF podcast [via The Hollywood Reporter], Chase revealed that he went with "Don't Stop Believin'" because of the abject reaction it received.
"I didn't know Journey was the answer," Chase told Maron. "In pre-production [for the final season], there was going to be a song at the end [Tony] was going to play in the jukebox. I was in the scout van with the department heads…and I had never done this before. I said, 'Listen, I'm going to talk about three songs that I am thinking about for ending the show.'"
He continued: "They went, 'Oh, Jesus Christ, no. Don't do that! Ugh. Fuck.' And I said, 'Well, that's it. That's the one.' I wasn't saying that just to throw it in their face. That was kind of my favourite and it got a reaction of some kind. So I can make this song lovable, which it had been."
Chase did not go into specifics about the oft-dissected meaning of the series' final moments, but reiterated that several endings were shot in order to prevent leaks.
The Sopranos family are about to be revisited in Chase's The Many Saints of Newark. Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, will step into his father's iconic role for the film. He will join the cast of Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Alessandro Nivola and Leslie Odom Jr in the prequel movie.