Monday, June 15, 2009

New poll: Best TV theme song for an action show

The poll for the Highlight Reel for Mr. T is winding down, and a large plurality believe his career so far has been jibber jabber. Let's change gears. This week's poll is for favorite TV theme song for action shows, which include cop shows, detective shows, westerns, spy dramas, what have you. Here are eleven choices, listed from oldest to most recent. There are links to youtube if you don't know some of the songs, or have just forgotten them. If you know them, there's a good chance you haven't forgotten them. Most are very catchy.

Dragnet As a cop show, it really wasn't an action show, much in the same way Law & Order isn't an action show. But those first notes put it on the list.

Peter Gunn This is Henry Mancini at his coolest, and Henry was pretty damn cool.

Bonanza Music by David Rose. Lyrics exist, but your life is better if you never hear them. Both my brother Michael and Namaste Nancy voted that this be on the list, and here it is.

Rawhide Music by Dmitri Tiomkin, sung by Frankie Laine. It's my personal favorite of the western themes. He-yaaaaa!

Secret Agent Sung by the very under-rated Johnny Rivers.

Spider-Man This one is on the list because it was nominated by Karlacita! It tells a great story in one minute and one second.

Mission: Impossible The video is from the 1988 version of the show. I chose it because it has the best sound quality. This is the cool of Henry Mancini taken to its logically cool conclusion by Lalo Schifrin. This tune and Brubeck's Take Five are the most natural sounding songs in 5/4 that I know.

Hawaii 5-0 Another great late sixties action theme.

The Rockford Files I like this one, but besides that, I felt like I had to include at least one tune by Mike Post, who wrote about a jillion TV themes.

Miami Vice Here's a theme written by Jan Hammer with almost no recognizable tune. It's all about the rhythm and that 1980's synthesizer feel.

Venture Brothers (closing) The Venture Brothers is my favorite show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim by a considerable distance, and the music of J.G. Thirlwell is a big reason why.

It's possible to vote for more than one theme and I'm going to leave the voting open for a little more than a week. In a perfect world, people could recommend other theme songs and I could add them to the list, but once votes are cast, I'm not allowed to change the list. If I ran my own website, that's one of the first things I'd change.

UPDATE: If you have any favorite action show theme songs that aren't on the list, post a comment. Next week, the leading vote getters from this list of ten will be pitted against favorites from the commenters.


Salvage Bot said...

Fine choices all, but [=sigh=] now that it's too late, I suppose it's time to mention The Avengers and Simon & Simon.

More "oh drat" moments to follow, no doubt.

Karlacita! said...

Oh, the Avengers!!!

Emma Peel catsuit!!

Matty Boy said...

Excellent choice, SalvageBot. I was going to say, "Oh, I'll just start over", but the post already has 25 votes. Amazing! That's more people than voted on Mr. T career in a whole week!

What I'm going to do is take the top vote getters from this poll and put in the most nominated other choices from the comments and have a run-off election next week.

namastenancy said...

I voted for Miami Vice but all of the other songs are superb. Thanks for including Bonanza but when push came to shove, I changed my vote. What can I say? I'm an artist. It comes with the temperament.

Matty Boy said...

You can vote for more than one song, Nancy.

I'm going to get three to four times more traffic than usual today, but I fear internet fame is as fleeting as the other kind, if not more so.

Karlacita! said...

This one:

trinket999 said...

Thanks for the blast from the past! I watched a lot of crappy TV in my youth, but that Hawaii Five-O opening credits sure gave a kick start to my heart. From a pure excitement point of view, with the jumpy pans and zooms, especially the one into McGarrett on top of the roof, nothing beats Hawaii Five-O's opening sequence.

It's funny to see how much it influenced the Miami Vice opening credits although I never noticed at the time.

Splotchy said...

Sanford and Son is quite lovely.

Lockwood said...

This was a toughie; several up there that I really like. In the end, I'm going with Peter Gunn. I'm not actually sure I ever heard the original version, but there have been many covers, and I love them all. My two suggestions (neither of which compares to the ones you've listed), are The Ballad of Ned and Granny Clampett (Beverly Hillbillies), and the original Adams Family theme song.

Matty Boy said...

I have to say to both Splotchy and Lockwood... it's action show TV themes. The Hillbillies, Addams Family and Sanford and Son don't count. Comedies will be a future category.

Karen Zipdrive said...

I gotta say, "I Wanna Do Bad Things With You," the theme song for HBO's True Blood works for me.
Oooh, it's nasty.

Matty Boy said...

I think an HBO show theme song category might be in order.

Splotchy said...

Because I am not going to admit I can't read, I am insisting that Sanford and Son is an action show.

That was the one with Michael Douglas and Karl Malden, right?