Wednesday, 24 July 2013

My Top Twelve 80s TV Themes (Live Action) Part One

Because I couldn't narrow it down to just ten.....

Criteria:  The show must have started in the 1980s.
                The theme chosen must have debuted in the decade.
                No theme songs, especially written instrumental themes only
                My love or hatred for the show must not influence the list.
               The credits sequences are not getting judged either, only the music.

12.  Casualty (1986)
Composed by Ken Freeman
Set in the fictional Holby City Hospital, Casualty is a the longest running medical drama in the world. And it's British. Ever since it first aired on the BBC in 1986, the show has featured a catchy tune by Freeman who, at the time, was more well-known for performing the synthesiser on Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds. The use of hospital equipment on the theme was also employed by James Newton Howard almost a decade later for American medical drama, ER. 

11. Sledge Hammer! (1986)
Composed by Danny Elfman
Fresh off of scoring his first movie for Tim Burton (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), Elfman was asked to write a theme for this spoof cop show. Obviously based on Dirty Harry, the show also resembled the show Hunter that was airing at the time. Which, sadly, outlived Sledge Hammer! by 5 seasons. Seemed people weren't ready to make fun of those types of shows yet (Police Squad being another example).

10. Macgyver (1985)
Composed by Randy Edelman
Already boasting excellent survivor skills and great hair, Macgyver also had the honour of having a rather fun theme tune. You can sing the title character's name along to it. His surname, of course, the least said about his first name, the better (it's Angus). Randy Edelman went on to become a very prolific movie composer, creating the music for Twins, Ghostbusters 2, The Mask and Dragonheart among many others.

9. Dempsey And Makepeace (1984)
Composed by Alan Parker
A British cop show with American sensibilities (they carried guns), and an American lead in Michael Brandon. Hugely popular on UK TV on a Saturday evening, the show thrived on the chemistry of its lead stars who, incidentally, are still married to this day. Oh, and its theme tune is fun, too.

8. ALF (1986)
Composed by Tom Kramer and Alf Clausen 
When I was a kid, I loved ALF, I bought he comics, I had the soft toy, I watched the show every Saturday on ITV, I thought it was great. All of this, despite the fact that the title character (real name Gordon Shumway) was an annoying, cat eating little shit. Still, the theme tune was jaunty and I find myself singing it in my head at times.

7. Knight Rider (1982)
Composed by Stu Philips
A theme that is so catchy, it has been sampled by many artists over the years. It is also a ringtone favourite and was featured as the tone for the lead human character, played by Marky Mark, in the movie Ted. It is one of those tunes that makes you excited for the show more like that in part two.....
Full versions of many of these themes are available on Youtube.

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