Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Top 10 TV Theme Songs

My last post evoked the theme song from House, inspiring me to make a list of my top 10 favorite TV theme songs, listed by show. I've missed a lot of TV over the years so any omissions may be simply a function of never having heard it, or just as likely having forgot it. You can find most of these on Youtube in case you need a refresher.

  1. ER (Unequaled composition by James Newton Howard, whose other many works include co-authorship of the Dark Knight soundtrack, a fantastic work in itself. The first seasons of ER were the best, not only for the drama but also the theme song. They later shortened the dramatic bridge before the release, which took away the best part. In the very last seasons they took away the theme song altogether, which I never understood. But for the final episode -- and this was one reason I watched it, to see if it would happen -- they brought back the song. I had hoped it would be the original with the extended bridge -- it wasn't -- but I was willing to settle).
  2. Rockford Files
  3. Peter Gunn (I never saw the show but have the Mancini composed soundtrack, which is fabulous in its entirety)
  4. House (O*Barr will be upset it isn't higher because it is Massive Attack)
  5. Mission Impossible
  6. Dragnet (I have this on 78, see the picture, and after the familiar dun da dun dun opening theme it turns into a very different swinging tune that makes me light up).
  7. Hill Street Blues
  8. Barney Miller
  9. Raw Hide
  10. Welcome Back Kotter (Susan and I saw John Sebastian open for Steve Martin at the BJCC Concert Hall many moons ago).

Honorable Mention: Dan August (homage to Gar Underwood), Branded (homage to Bill Jones), Taxi, Northern Exposure, Cosby Show, Doctor Who, St. Elsewhere, Hawaii Five-0, Bonanza, High Chaparral, The Big Valley, Perry Mason, Twin Peaks (O"Barr will be upset it's not higher because it's David Lynch), Sanford and Son, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, Seinfeld, Cheers, S.W.A.T., I Love Lucy, Batman, Magnum P.I., Mary Tyler Moore, Sesame Street, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, Andy Griffith, Miami Vice, Green Hornet, Dark Shadows, I Dream of Jeannie, X-Files, Get Smart, The Monkees, The Partridge Family.