The 411 Music Top Five 10.02.13: The Top 5 TV Theme Songs
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 10.03.2013
From Man Men, The X-Files and The Jeffersons to Star Trek: The Next Generation, the UK version of The Office and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 TV theme songs of all time!
THE TOP 5 TV THEME SONGS
Criteria: This past week Breaking Bad came to a close and this month in general TV is all the rage as new shows come in and returning shows make their...well, return! So this week for the music top 5 we're crossing over a bit and covering the best TV theme songs. A good theme song can make or break a show; for my part I gave up on Enterprise as soon as I heard that terrible pop theme they used instead os standard orchestral. Any TV show was acceptable, but the song had to be a main theme.
Honorable Mentions: Neon Genesis Evangelion - I've not seen many animes, but this is the one whose theme song I have gotten in my head the most. It's a lovely song, that is much more upbeat than the series.
King of the Hill - I feel like such a damn redneck for having this theme here, but my love for the show and the fact that I have done that, "YEEHAW" in the song for many a friend who is playing this song is a testament for my love.
Metalocalypse - Had to include this, Dethklok rule.
5. Megas XLR -"Chicks Dig Giant Robots"
I had forgotten about this theme, and this show, until I was doing research for this and landed upon a cracked article that had this song. All the memories I had of watching this show came back to me and I immediately had to listen to the song another time, and I must say it is pretty cool. It fit the show perfectly, this big, dumb stoner rock song about living in Jersey in your giant robot car. Plus the main character is named Coop, LIKE ME!
Damn you j-rock, you are very very catchy, and great to drive to! This is the Sentai series (it's the source footage for Power Rangers, yes I am man enough to admit I'm a fan) I'm watching, and while the series is solid, the theme song is by far one of my favorite things about the show. It gets me amped for the show, and it doesn't even matter if I speak the language (though the subtitles do a good job of telling me what the song says)or not, it's a really fun song that will have you telling, "CHAN CHAN BARA CHAN BARA", for a very long time.
3.Mighty Morphin Power Rangers -"Go Go Power Rangers"
This song is probably the most metal thing about my childhood. Yes, this show is cheesier than a mouse's wet dream, but I still love it, and you have to admit that the theme is pretty damn great. Ron Wasserman is a talented man, and was one of the better parts of the early parts of Power Rangers, with his amped up fight songs that sing about heroism, among other things. Make sure you last until the end for a great guitar solo!
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Main Theme"
It was a real struggle between inner critic and inner fanboy on my top two picks, and fanboy won the battle, but it's not like this song isn't already one of the greatest metal songs of all time. The opening riff is nothing short of legendary, any metalhead worth their weight in guitar picks knows the riff by heart, and Ronnie James Dio's performance is superb, which is a given, but it had to be stated. The song, it has an epic questing feel to it, but honestly, I can't quite tell you what the song is about, I'm sure if Ronnie were around, he could tell us, but I can't!
1. The Jeffersons - "Movin' on Up"
Fun fact, I've never watched a full episode of this show, I just tended to get the theme song stuck in my head. So here I am, gushing about how damn catchy it is, and it doesn't matter where I am, the song can strike at anytime. There have been time where I'm mowing the lawn, and I just bust out, "OH, WE'RE MOVIN' ON UP", and keep going until someone throws a flower pot at me. But in all honesty this is a really nice theme that tells the story of the Jeffersons well enough to be remembered by all for a very long while. Oh, and Nelly quoted the song once in one of his songs, so there you go, another reason for it to be numero uno. (Actually that would be a reason for it not to be, but that's a different subject for a different day)
5. Twin Peaks – Instrumental
A TV theme song has to be more than just a great piece of music, it has to convey a tone and ring true to the show itself. The Twin Peaks instrumental is sublime because it conveys, both, what the show is satirizing (sterility, corniness, faux-tranquility, and the ridiculous smultz of soap operas) and its darker undercurrents (eeriness, stuttering hope, icy distance, and the sense that something just isn't quite right). Placidity is a good thing in this case; it's comic, it's unsettling and it lulls you into a false sense of security – job done and then some.
4. The Bridge (Denmark) – "Choir Of Young Believers"
Over here in the UK we were treated to the Danish version of The Bridge before the recent US remake. The theme, while a flawed pop song, has a wonderfully icy indie drift that churns, seethes, and floats frustratingly like fog over the Swedish/Danish border. It lingers and unnerves deliciously, just like the drama.
3. The Office (UK) – "Handbags And The Gladrags (instrumental)"
For a comedy-drama that put the mundane, the embarrassing, and, quite frankly, the depressing nature of existence into the spotlight, The Office needed a theme that was dull as dishwater and harsh in its realism, but also strangely optimistic – and a solemn lyric-less blast of "Handbags And The Gladrags" proved perfect.
2. The X-Files – "Theme Song"
Ah those odd pitter-patter pulses, that lonesome searing whistle, all that synthetic static - it was all so gloriously alienating. Paranoia lay at the heart of the X-Files and that sense of mistrust and approaching, but uncertain, terror is captured sublimely in this theme. More than just chills however, the theme works as a triumphant dichotomy; it's a lone voice that could belong to either the shady figure celebrating quietly to himself as he slips away into the shadows, or the sole independent thinker standing out against the all consuming darkness.
1. Mad Men – "A Beautiful Mine"
This is a double whammy of feeling perfectly period but also conveying that sense of smoky backroom drama – it's all slip of the tongue intrigue, emotional reserve and the slow and solemn descent. "A Beautiful Mine" is a storm in a teacup. It's slight, but still oppressive and overwhelming. It plays on and within the subconscious. It suggests a flawless façade masking darker conceits, perfect for a drama full of bitter internal machinations.
The Final Word
As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:
5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it