The music for Chris Colfer’s upcoming episode of “Glee” is decidedly 80s in nature, although he swears that wasn’t a conscious choice. The 23-year-old Colfer wasn’t even born until 1990, which makes his penchant for acts like Eddie Money a surprise — but not a surprise for “Glee,” which often dives back into the 1980’s to complement their more recent pop covers.
Listen to the cover of Madonna’s “Lucky Star” before its appearance on Tuesday’s episode, exclusively on Billboard.com:
Tuesday’s “Glee” will be the best-selling novelist’s first time penning an episode of the Emmy-award winning show that he’s starred on since its premiere in 2009. Colfer gave Billboard the rundown on the songs that made the script, if he’s cut out for penning musicals, and which number he hopes shows up on the playlist of at least one gay bar in the near future.
Billboard: Not a single one of the songs in your episode is newer than 1986. Did you realize that?
Colfer: No, that definitely was not a conscious thought! I chose the songs for the Kurt storyline, and the other writers had a handful of songs they had been wanting to incorporate into the show for a while, and the storylines for different characters. I’m just responsible for the Kurt songs.
So “I Melt With You” and “Werewolves of London” were from the writer’s room?
Those were their ideas, but when you see the episodes they were perfect for the storyline. For the songs for me, it was very much what was the most appropriate song to the scene.
“Glee” tends to have two different styles of musical numbers — big performance pieces or pure fantasy scenes. Do you err toward one side over the other?
I think I liked it more as a performance, I enjoy the performance more. With this particular episode I think, because the whole episode is about putting on a show, I focused more on the them performing aspect of it more than a fantasy. But I do love a good fantasy sequence for sure.
You’re duetting a lot this episode with June Squibb, who is an Academy Award nominee.
I cannot wait for the world to see and hear her sing. She is incredible. She made me cry. At 83 years old, she was on her feet 14 hours a day, keeping up with the singing and the dancing. She just blew everyone away. I don’t think she even messed up a line once. She was just perfect from the get-go. She sings on “Memory” and then on “Lucky Star.” “Lucky Star” was so difficult for me to sing! She sounds so much better than I do on it. I’m so excited for people to hear those.
Where does “Lucky Star” fit in?
When we do “Lucky Star,” it’s because Kurt has joined an assisted living home’s production of “Peter Pan.” In the story, he convinces them to update the production. He convinces them to use modern music to tell the story. So when he’s singing “Lucky Star” he’s singing about Neverland. The only thought I had was I wanted the music to fit. I didn’t want anything to seem arbitrary. I wanted it to be there for a reason.
You’ve done Madonna before to much fanfare. Is this a favorite track?
It definitely is one of my favorites. I’m a big Madonna fan. It was a win-win. I was really happy with June and my version. I convinced her if the song is successful we could go on the road together.
An all-Madonna revue, perhaps?
I think that’s a great idea, and I don’t know who wouldn’t buy tickets to that. I’m for it. If June’s and my version of “Lucky Star” plays at one gay club, we’ve made it.