Music is one of the many strengths of the Netflix series Cobra Kai. The martial arts fights and interpersonal drama are complemented by some stellar needle-drops that heighten the mood and strike the perfect, ’80s-infused tone.
Jon Hurwitz, co-creator, writer, and producer on the hit TV series, has commented on a particular musical white whale that’s evaded the Karate Kid sequel since the beginning. “We had ‘Thunderstruck’ written into the script,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “We’ve written ‘Thunderstruck’ into the script several times over the years, and we’ve never been able to afford it in that moment or to make that choice [to spend the money on it] right now.”
One of the biggest songs from Australian rock troupe AC/DC, ‘Thunderstruck’ would fit right into the classic riffage Cobra Kai has deployed thus far. Journey, Foreigner, Motley Crue, Ratt, the show’s covered a lot of ground in turns of Dad rock, and yet AC/DC has evaded them. To compromise, Airbourne’s ‘Breakin’ Outta Hell’ was chosen, another Australian group, whose sound owes more than a couple of drinks to AC/DC’s distinct swagger.
“Michelle Johnson has done an amazing job. She’s been phenomenal in understanding the tone of the show,” Hurwitz says of the music supervisor who suggested Airbourne. “She’ll pitch us many, many songs or send music to our editors, and we’ll narrow it down. There’s nothing we love more than finding the right song for a montage.”
Following on from the cult classic Karate Kid family movies, Cobra Kai picks up over 30 years later, with many of the original cast, including Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, playing older versions of their characters. The plot examines the story of those original films and martial arts and masculinity on a deeper level. Now that season 4 is out, we can turn our attention to season 5, which Netflix confirmed in August 2021.
Maybe that’s when the filmmakers will finally score that AC/DC number. In the meantime, you can watch all four seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix now.