The Best TV Theme Songs You Don’t Remember

It’s a bonus blog post! Or we can go the Blossom route and say it’s a Very Special Blog Post.

Blossom is a good place to start, because going over a recent 40 Best TV Theme Songs of All Time, there are some glaring omissions. Well, maybe not omissions, because it’s hard to argue with any of these theme songs making any best of list. 

Unless you’re talking about Dr. Who. Then it’s OK to say what a stupid inclusion that is on what should be a semi-serious list.

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I could fight for the inclusion of Family Ties or Growing Pains — easily two of the most famous TV themes of the 80s — but I can see why they’d be ignored. Really though, how many of the entries on that list really surprise you? It’s basically same old, same old. Before I clicked on this thing, if someone told me it would be a pretty standard TV theme song list, I would have bet $100 that if you have me 50 guesses, I would have come up with 30 of the entries on the list in some type of order. After I looked at it, I’m pretty sure I would have been $100 richer. I would have missed some (Star Trek TNG? A theme to a Summer Olympics? Dr. Freakin’ Who? Get real) and been surprised others weren’t on the list (Buffy, Who’s the Boss, Taxi, LA Law, Dallas, Knight Rider, Charles in Charge), but we’re not exactly treading new ground here.

Anyone who watches as much TV as I do would have been able to nail at least half of the entries here without breaking a sweat. What’s the fun in that?

So instead of just going off and getting angry about all the ones that got missed, let’s go another route with five underrated, forgotten or maybe never-even-noticed great TV theme songs (these are all on the PopRox YouTube pagewith others, btw):

Just the 10 of Us. What a weird career Bill Medley’shad. He made millions in the Righteous Brothers in the 60s, disappeared as a solo act, had a career resurgence in the mid 80s thanks to Top Gun’s Lost that Loving Feeling scene, had one of the biggest hits of 1987 with (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, but then a year after that he’s back on career Skid Row, singing the theme song to a spin-off. Never mind that it’s a great TV theme — it’s work that should have been beneath him. I wonder if he fired his agent the second he stepped out of the recording booth that had him belting out Doing It the Best I Can:

Phenom. Speaking of weird, where would you expect to find one of the biggest female acts of the 70s to turn up in 1993? “Singing a one-season TV theme song” probably would have fallen somewhere between “astronaut” and “TV divorce court judge,” but there was the familiar voice of Carly Simon singing the very underrated The Promise and the Pride on the ABC sitcom that somehow failed despite good ratings, funny episodes and  good star power:

Kids in the Hall. One of my favorite KITH trivia questions that you can still stump even the show’s biggest fans with — name the title of the ultra-catchy, punk-infused rock theme and the name of the band that sang it (Having an Average Weekend by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, and no, I didn’t have to look that up). From the second you hear that opening bass line, you knew exactly what kind of show you were going to get: An off-kilter, high-energy delight filled with stuff you may have never seen before. There are very few theme songs that fit its show more than this one.

Blossom. Let’s not kid ourselves, there was no excuse for watching Blossom no matter what age you were in 1991. I tried ’em all: “Six is hot.” “Anthony is actually funny.” “I was already watching Fresh Prince and couldn’t find the remote.” But the only thing that came close to a legitimate excuse was, “I can’t turn off the theme song.” If it weren’t for the train wreck of having to watch Blossom dance, I actually would be fighting for this song to be included in any list of top TV themes.

Love Monkey. We’ll likely never see Teddy Geiger again, and that’s probably a good thing. But three months before his song For You I Will hit the charts, it was the theme to yet another failed Tom Cavanaugh project:

Two Saturday morning bonuses:

Kidd Video. Yes, I’m the only one who remembers this Saturday morning cartoon TV show that focused on a teen band that gets trapped in some alternate, animated universe because … well, I can’t even remember why. What I can remember is making sure I was in front of the TV to watch the theme of this show every week, then turning it off.

OK, watching it now, I can safely say this is one my most embarrassing things I’ve ever supported in my life. So one more:

California Dreams. Rightfully overshadowed by its bigger, better brother Saved By the Bell, California Dreams, however, had the better theme song. By far. Good thing since this gang was supposedly a professional band rather than SBTB’s two part-time, when-they’re-convenient bands Hot Sundae and the Zack Attack. At the very least, I can pretty confidently say this is the best Saturday morning theme songs, cartoon or otherwise. Equally embarrassing to admit I like, but at least there’s hot chicks in this.

I was equally as miffed with two exclusions from the site’s list of 12 great current theme songs, especially since there are about 13 shows right now with actual theme songs:

Rescue Me: Honestly, I might have bailed after about three episodes of Rescue Me if it wasn’t for the theme song. It was that haunting and it kept me coming back every week until the show grew on me to become a can’t-miss-it hour in the summer and one of the best shows on TV.

Entourage: Maybe the list was made with the qualification that it had to be an original song, because these are two of the make-no-mistake-there-shows-will-be-cool theme songs even if they weren’t specifically written for their shows. Up there with Kids in the Hall as theme songs that perfectly fit the show, no matter who it was written for.

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