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Iconic TV Theme Songs

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by rocketsjudoka, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    The Magnum PI thread got me thinking about iconic theme songs and that they seem to have died out recently. I'm talking about songs that within a measure or even a first few notes you know what show it is and the feel for the show and were recognized widely in pop culture In some cases, like with Peter Gunn and Rawhide the themes outlived and were more popular than the shows themselves.

    Here's my list by decade:
    1950's:
    Gunsmoke
    Peter Gunn
    Rawhide
    Twilight Zone
    The Andy Griffith Show

    1960's:
    Beverly Hill Billies
    Adam's' Family
    Bonanza
    Star Trek, The Original Series
    Batman
    The Flintstones
    The Jetsons
    Get Smart

    1970's:
    MASH (this is a tough one since it was the same theme from the Movie but the instrumental version in the show is far more popular and recognizable. I wonder how many people even know there are words or that the song is called "Suicide is Painless")
    Rockford Files
    Mary Tyler Moore
    Good Times
    All in the Family
    The Jeffersons
    Sanford and Son
    Hawaii 5-0
    The Love Boat
    Maude
    Welcome back Cotter
    Taxi
    Baranby Miller

    1980's
    WKRP in Cincinnati
    Greatest American Hero
    Different Strokes
    Magnum PI
    Dukes of Hazzard
    Miami Vice
    The A-Team
    Cheers
    The Cosby Show
    Facts of Life
    Hill Street Blues
    The Equalizer

    1990's
    Seinfeld
    The Simpsons
    Friends
    The X-Files
    Twin Peaks
    Law and Order
    The Animaniacs


    2000's
    The Sopranos
    King of The Hill
    Family Guy
    Sponge Bob Square Pants
    Two and a Half Men

    2010's
    Archer
    Bob's Burgers
    Game of Thrones
    Big Bang Theory
    ?

    My own opinion it looks like there has been a real decline in iconic TV Show theme songs. The role that a theme song in setting up a show and creating an identity for that seems less important now. In fact it seems like many shows are not bothering with themes and just going right into the show. Part of this probably has to do with the fracturing of media but I doubt we'll see again something like Miami Vice, Friends or Peter Gunn where an original TV theme song becomes a popular hit apart from the show.
     
  2. jank1434

    jank1434 Contributing Member

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    Brady Bunch
    Gilligan's Island
    Dexter
    The Wire
     
  3. SuraGotMadHops

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h7cUsYXa4yw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  4. NewRoxFan

    NewRoxFan Contributing Member

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    I think partly due to the increase in alternative entertainment (NetFlix, Amazon) and also the huge increase in alternative TV entertainment (reality tv, sports, movie channels, shopping networks) that has weakened network TV. Less iconic shows, less iconic theme songs. And some of the more popular shows didn't feature a theme song.

    You did miss some shows like The Walking Dead.
     
  5. arno_ed

    arno_ed Contributing Member

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    rocketsjudoka How old are you around 45? Because I beelieve that thinking some theme songs are iconic is because we heard them when we were kids. For me most iconic songs are form the 80's. Since you list many from the 70's I expect that you were young during this time.

    Am I wrong?

    That being said I think you list most songs.
     
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Great selections and huge oversight on my part.
    While great shows I haven't really heard their themes as being iconic to being widely recognized such as the Brady Bunch theme is. Also "Way Down in a Hole" wasn't originally made for the show. I didn't want to include themes that weren't original (Wonder Years, CSI Franchise) because there the show is using something those to define it rather than creating something new.
     
  7. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Yes. I'm in my 40's and point well taken about songs that we heard as a kid being more iconic. Even though that list was off of the top of my head I was thinking about themes that have been mentioned in other shows and media.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zv1IDV9Y1ak" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    At the same time though I wasn't alive to see the shows from the 50's or 60's and barely have any memory of seeing the shows from the first half of the 70's. Many of those themes are still very well known. I've never seen and I bet few here have ever seen an episode of Peter Gunn or Rawhide but would recognize the theme.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oysMt8iL9UE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    I'm guessing most people probably recognize that from the video game Spy Hunter but that the creators of a video game in the 1980's chose to use that music shows how iconic the theme was.
     
  8. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    For Me:

    Gilligans Island
    The Addams Family
    Beverley Hillbillies
    Green Acres
    Star Trek
    Hee Haw
    MASH
    All In The Family
    The Jeffersons
    Good Times
    Miami Vice
    Hill Street Blues
    Dukes of Hazzard
    Knight Rider
    The Simpsons
     
  9. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Theme from the television show Rawhide.

    Thank you.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    You have to be a little older but these are classics as well...:eek:

    1. Police Squad
    2. Baretta
    3. Chico and the Man
    4. All in the Family

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NWOrtgiG7EI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0CAfQQTVOuI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k7FISjhfpmc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0d8FTPv955I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    .......
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    #10 BamBam, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  11. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Greatest american hero
    Simon and simon
    Airwolf
     
  12. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

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    If we are going to be including animated shows I would also add:

    Ducktales (90s)
    Transformers (80s)
    Batman: The Animated Series (90s)
    Futurama (90s)


    As for other shows:
    Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2000s)

    Not sure if this would fit in but what about Game Shows?

    Price is Right would probably be my #1
     
  13. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    I really like Game of Thrones but the intro music sucks.

    I like House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul's intro music though.
     
  14. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    Once again you have to be a little older....

    1. Lone Ranger
    2. I Dream of Jeannie
    3. The Monkees

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Td4RHvyAFsM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/98Kx6WJfkKI?list=PLX0QhAqFLAd579hJgpjW7dckbCPCh3CiF" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5X0NzFz8l0o?list=PLX0QhAqFLAd579hJgpjW7dckbCPCh3CiF" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    .......
    .......
    .......
     
  15. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    I love the opening and theme song for Black Sails. Don't know how long the show will be around but they did a damn fine job with that one.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XFTcA4QLHw0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  16. the futants

    the futants Contributing Member

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/r87cIxZXEME" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SUtziaZlDeE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  17. Bäumer

    Bäumer Contributing Member

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    I am going to have to second Dexter and the Sopranos. I caught myself whistling the Dexter theme song this morning after thinking about fried eggs. I think intros are mostly dumb and a waste of time except for a few like the Simpsons that are unique and add to the show. This Is Not Happening on Comedy Central has some cool intros and are now different every episode.

    Don't forget about Weeds, I liked that intro for the first couple of seasons.
     
  18. MoonBus

    MoonBus Contributing Member

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    Mission Impossible
    Looney Tunes
    Scooby Doo

    Not sure about these, but I loved them:
    Tom & Jerry
    Happy Days
    Love Boat
     
  19. what

    what Member

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    The four iconic 80s theme songs, in my opinion, are:

    Cheers
    The Unknown Stuntman (the fall guy)
    Greatest American Hero
    Dukes of Hazzard
     
  20. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

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    Hehe, I almost forgot ...:grin:

    1. The Odd Couple
    2. Mission Impossible (Thx MoonBus)

    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kDrfHj3j398" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    <iframe width="854" height="510" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iq-YeD4L-bg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    .......
    .......
    .......
     

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