“Woke Up This Morning” really has nothing to do with New Jersey. It was written and recorded by a British band, and inspired by a famous British incident in which an abused woman killed her husband. Yet after a remixed version of it was used as the ominous theme song for the six seasons of “The Sopranos” — heard as mob boss Tony Soprano is seen driving through Northern New Jersey on his way to his home in the ‘burbs — it has become impossible for any fan of that show to hear it and not think of New Jersey.
“It was meant to be about female empowerment, and it ends up becoming a gangster anthem,” co-writer Rob “Larry Love” Spragg once said.
The band included “Woke Up This Morning” on its 1997 debut album, Exile on Coldharbour Lane. “The Sopranos” debuted in early 1999. Alabama 3 is still active; for information, visit alabama3.co.uk.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.