Jonathan Byers: A 'Stranger Things' Playlist


“You shouldn’t like things because people tell you you’re supposed to. Okay?”


Congratulations everyone. We've made it to Stranger Things Season 2. Like you, I have many questions that have been waiting to be answered. Does Eleven still like Eggo waffles or has she eaten so many that she's sick of them? Have Dustin's missing teeth come in? Are Camels still Joyce's cigarettes of choice? 

Just kidding (kind of). The real question I want answered is what the hell's gonna happen to Jonathan Byers? Back when I watched Season 1----I blew through it in two days----all it took was that scene in his bedroom where he's playing The Clash for Will to instantly make me #teamjonathan (sorry, Steve). His brother goes missing, his mom’s acting crazy, his dad’s a deadbeat, he’s the town weirdo, he’s in love with a girl he can’t have----I mean how many different ways can you say UNDERDOG?!

Is he finally going to tell Nancy how he feels? How's his relationship with Will post-Upside Down? Is he still taking ill-advised photos of people making out in front of windows?! We're a few short hours away from knowing, hours you should fill by jammin' to these tunes that would most definitely get the Jonathan Byers stamp of approval. So here it is, a playlist sendup to the guy with the best music taste in Hawkins. 


Should I Stay Or Should I Go (Live) - The Clash

I mean, obviously.


Pink Frost - The Chills

Jonathan would definitely be into The Chills. Plus, lyrics like “I’m really not lying/I’m so scared/I have to stop crying,” seem pretty story appropriate.


Hanging On The Telephone - The Nerves

This one goes out to all the phones fried in the Byers household.


Girls On Film - Duran Duran

Pretty confident Jonathan would despise Duran Duran, but c’mon. “Girls On Film”? It’s a no-brainer.


Only A Shadow - The Cleaners From Venus

“Lying in my room quite late one night/Something I could see made me check my sight/Something very strange made me walk outside.” #relevant


A Salty Salute - Guided By Voices

Though Alien Lanes didn't come out until 1995, future Jonathan would surely be into this angsty, lo-fi track, and its outsider call to arms. “We are with you in your anger/Proud brothers.”


Marquee Moon - Television

The classic Television track. A mixtape essential for any self-respecting, artsy kid. 


Disorder - Joy Division

Another band Jonathan put on that mix he gave to will. “I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand/Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?” Sound like someone we know?


Nightmares - Jay Reatard

“Woke from my sleep last night/All sweating with quite a fright” coupled with the persistent “I’ll keep searching for you” makes this a Byers family anthem.


Ca Plane Pour Moi - Plastic Bertrand

Though a bit more pop than his usual listening, I'm pretty confident Jonathan and Will would have jammed to this in his bedroom. #feels


Telephone - The Goon Sax

A modern song about the very timeless affliction of not fitting in----and the moments you feel truly self-conscious about it. “I don’t always feel ok with me/So I understand why you wouldn’t be.” Cut to the scene of Jonathan and Nancy in the darkroom.


Fill In The Blank - Car Seat Headrest

If I could only pick one contemporary artist that I'm sure he would love, it’s Car Seat Headrest. “You have no right to be depressed/You haven’t tried hard enough to like it.”


Buick Mackane - T. Rex

Because any cool kid (and by cool I mean, hip, arty, fed up with everyone in their small midwestern town, and maybe dealing with some voyeuristic tendencies) in the early 80’s knew about T. Rex.


There’s A Ghost In My House - R. Dean Taylor

I feel like Jonathan would be a bit of a crate digger? Maybe he would find this at a garage sale or something. It’s a bit glammy, a bit throwback, and the title? Hello, did you see that freaky thing come out of the wall?!


M.e. - Gary Numan

“Why should I care/Why should I try/I turned off the pain/Like I turned off you all/Now there’s only M.E.” #loner am I right?


What Do I Get? - The Buzzcocks

The ultimate Jonathan/Nancy song from some OG punk greats. Also, they all look like him.


Afraid Of The Dark - The Frights

Because hello! Some scary shit went down.


Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers

Proto-punk, early-indie goodness about being in love with the radio. Jonathan would dig it.


Try Me Out Sometime - BRONCHO

The perfect song for when that Steve-Nancy-Jonathan love triangle swings back in his favor


Neat Neat Neat - The Damned

A punk classic. This one’s been blowing teen ennui to smithereens for decades.


Going Underground - The Jam

Going Underground, or Going Upside Down? #puns


Suburban Smell - The Districts

A melancholy deconstruction of suburban America from a teenage perspective. #applicable


Clear Head - Graham Parker & The Rumour

Shoutout to Jonathan always keeping his cool and holding it together for the Byers fam.


Girl U Want - DEVO

Very self-explanatory.


Thank You For Sending Me An Angel - Talking Heads

Most likely what Jonathan played in his car after Nancy shows up at the funeral home. #letsbereal


Teenage Kicks - The Undertones

“I wanna hold her/Wanna hold her tight/Get teenage kicks all through the night.” Would he play this on repeat in his bedroom while thinking about Nancy? #probably


Strange Things - Protex

I nominate this for the show’s alternate theme song. #justsaying