My Top 10 TV Show Themes

Category: , , , , , , , , , By Rev/Views

A while back I put up a three parter about my favourite opening sequences (the first part of which can be found here and it will link to parts two and three). Today - inspired by a day spend playing TV Themes on guitar for no reason other than it was raining I'm going to write about my favourite TV Show themes, while there might be some crossover between the two lists it's more about the music rather than the entire combined credits this time.

They're in alphabetical order by show names rather than order of preference:

A-Team - The A-Team Theme

Oh come on, seriously - are you even surprised? It's fun, it's iconic, and it even gets people going nuts when it's played in a club. And while you can't dance to the original version you certainly can dance to the Guy Pratt remix as featured on Spaced - there's a full length version of it here, annoyingly Channel 4 haven't released the excellent video of Mike dancing - which is what I originally wanted to put up here. Gits.

Blackadder II - Closing theme

Surprise! At least I hope this inclusion is a little bit of a surprise - I love the closing theme to Blackadder II, the entire series has great music but it's the closing ditty for each episode in the second series which seals the deal.

Bones - Bones Theme by The Crystal Method

The full version of the song from the most excellent (and difficult to find) Crystal Method is here it's a kind of crappy video but the music quality is good.

Chuck - Short Skirt/Long Jacket by Cake

It's a great little tune which almost sounds purpose made for the series with it's funky spy like guitar riff but in truth it's a boiled down version of Cake's Short Skirt/Long Jacket. This is the theme which inspired the list and it's an excellent choice for the show, fitting pretty much perfectly into place.

The full music video can be seen here. I think I actually prefer the stripped down Chuck Theme.

Friends - I'll Be There For You by The Rembrants

Another one which I'm sure won't the least bit surprising to see on here. It was pretty much the TV show theme for a while. But I don't think The Rembrants produced a single other song of consequence apart from this one, pretty much the definition of a one hit wonder.

Rescue Me - C'mon C'mon by the Von Blondies

Filled with energy and punch the theme seems to echo the life and experiences of Tommy Gavin, it's one I find myself huming for a while during and after watching an episode of the show.

You can catch a live rendition on Letterman here.

Scrubs - Superman by Lazlo Bane

Using the banjo to great effect the full song is a melancholy tribute to the difficulties of life, the shortened version works well as the opener to Scrubs and served it well for eight seasons. It's the extended version used in the video here - they decided to scale back to the short orignal version after a few episodes. Keep it punchy, more time for gags that way.

Sugar Rush - One Way or Another by Blondie

The shortened version of this song is so well edited that it almost feels like a complete entity by itself, I know I often find myself surprised with the length of the original version when playing it on RockBand or listening to it on CD.

That 70s Show - In the Street by Cheap Trick

Say what you like about That 70s Show, the opening theme is pretty awesome.

There's a lowish quality version of the full song/70s show video here.

The Wire - "Way Down in the Hole" By Tom Waits (Steve Earle version).

There are five renditions of the song "Way Down in the Hole" used in The Wire, one for each season. But it is the version from the fifth season performed by Steve Earle (who appears as Waylon in the series) which does it for me. Here's the man performing it live.

Where's Wallace? Where's Wallace? (There he is at 0:55 in the video!)

Honorable mentions go to the themes from Monty Python's Flying Circus, Boston Legal, House (Teardrop - Massive Attack), Top Gear (Jessica - The Allman Brothers) and The 4400 (Amanda Abizaid - A Place in Time) .

Might I just write before I go, these posts might look rather 'filler' but the honest truth is they take longer than written ones. Sigh.


1 comment so far.

  1. MysterLynch 16 July 2009 at 07:24
    I love the Neville Bros version of Down in the Hole, but I am a NB fan.

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