Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday's Top Ten: TV Theme Songs Ever

Just let me say this before somebody gets fresh with me in the reply box or something...this is the list. It may not be your list but this right here is the undisputed, unquestioned best ten theme songs in the history of television shows. Believe me, you don't have to agree with me, you don't have to like the list when you see it at first, you might not have even seen an episode of some of the shows listed and that's okay. I'm not advertising for the greatness for each individual show. I don't even give a damn about M.A.S.H. Probably a generational show that missed mine for some reason but still I can't front on the theme. Anyway, so here are the top ten television show themes of all-time. I'll have to up a folder with all the songs because they are quite good. Anyway, here goes. Check them out, even the ones you've never heard of, just press play and understand why they're here.

10.) The Jeffersons

If I didn't put this song on the list, I'd get a letter in the mail from the National Black Delegation saying I had 24 hours to turn in my black skin, lose my grievences and start watching Friends reruns.

Needless to say why this song is here. Just something that whenever it plays you smile and either sing along or clap along. Even if you do neither you definitely gain more energy than you had coming into the song. Every damn time without fail. In fact, funeral homes probably have a ban on this song because if played the body in the casket might literally pop up out the casket, do a little dance and then George Jefferson strole itself back up out that bitch. (Yes I avoided some 'Moving on up'/afterlife/heaven joke there too.)

9.) Hawaii 5-0

One of those shows I haven't seen minute one from. I couldn't tell you a character's name on the show if one was in my room with a shirt on that said "My name is (his/her name)" but that song can't be denied. It's definitely superhero music. It just oozes sports highlight reel replay. Obviously a song that's the soundtrack of success.

Matter of fact, next time you cut off someone on the highway or catch a girl looking at you, tell me this song isn't applicable. Just won't you please do that much for me?

8.) The Sopranos

I confess that this was an actual song that wasn't made for the television show but rather swaggerjacked for the television show. I get that, but be clear: this song is not known if not for Tony. I mean this song is on a level of obscurity that they wouldn't even dare ask you a question about at the end of Jeopardy. That said, it was used on the show, it is gully, and I like it.

7.) Knight Rider

Try and front on this...I dare you.

6.) M.A.S.H

The guitar riff on this is nasty. In fact I'm shocked, that Hip-Hop hasn't prominently featured a sample of this on some commercially accepted hit song in the past decade. Could be big.

Oh yeah, I know why, the royalties would be monstrous.

5.) Cosby Show Theme Season 6

Bill Cosby is a lot of things. By that I mean he's a lot of things that aren't necessarily positive to be looked at as and known as but for all the laundry lists of shortcomings he sure knows how to pick a television show intro. Obviously he was working with that NBC bread which is a common thread amongst so many other themes on this list but still this J.R. Walker & The All Stars 'Shotgun' sample is a thing of beauty; another of those black classics that if you don't know anything about or can't appreciate, then definitely leaves you in bad standing with the black delegation. Anyway, there's a lot of win in this intro both visually (LOL @ Malcolm Jamal Warner getting it in) and audibly. I love this one.

4.) Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

There's no excuse to not like this. None. I'll tell you a quick story...there's this foreign girl I knew and who came to this country speaking little to no english when she first got here. She's been here since like first grade and we're about the same age so as the story goes she got picked on and struggled with the language here but she learned from this show specifically. She told me the first english she mastered and felt confident enough to recite in public with any confidence was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.

Moral of this story: the theme saves lives.

3.) Cosby Show Theme Season 5

This intro was my favorite Cosby intro of all time. Definitely creative. Cos at his best.

2.) Taxi

My personal favorite show of all-time but more than that just an all-time great theme. Bob James is the most soulful musical instrument playing white man I've ever heard. I've gone back and forth over the years about this because there's the argument that everything was better back in the 70's but in the end I can't penalize him for being born when he was plus I can't say I've heard a theme better than this since then or before then so do yourself a favor if you haven't heard this and press play on the video.

1.) Sanford & Son
In the history of black people there has never been a song that fully encapsulates our swagger in relation to other peoples of the world more so than this theme does. It's funky, rhythmic and cool. If there was ever a song that was the music embodiment of black people it's this song. Even white people like it. It's liked by every age group and gets love across the spectrum. This is the Barack Obama of theme songs. Quincy Jones will get props from here until eternity for this.

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