By Mastermix Label Manager Richard Lee
A TV theme can be as memorable as a classic track from a well known artist – it has the same power to evoke memories of times and places in our lives and, played at the right time, can work well in many DJ sets.
In fact, the popularity of a good theme tune is reflected in the fact that, over the past 50 years, some of the best have even made it into the UK charts during their time on screen.
One of the greatest TV themes of all time…in my humble opinion…was performed by Scottish singer Jim Diamond. He penned the song, ‘Hi-Oh Silver’, in 1986 and it climbed the charts to reach number 5 in the UK. Wonderful track that is always worth adding to a set list for an 80s Theme Night.
At a time when the charts included hits from Elton John, Carpenters & Paul Simon there came a TV theme, ‘Eye Level’, performed by the Simon Park Orchestra that, in 1973, topped the charts against all the odds and sold over 1 million copies and was one of the 12 biggest selling singles of the 70s. I’ve been told by a few people that there’s no such thing as a ‘Guilty Pleasure’ but if there was…this would be one of mine!
One of the best-loved themes of all time was a huge hit in the UK when it reached number 3 in 1995. The track was performed by the Rembrandts and called ‘I’ll Be There For You’. It remains a great party tune and a must-play for any 90s Theme Night!
There’s something magical about this theme tune and I’ve played it many times mainly at the request of the Groom who, along with his Best Man & Ushers, can’t wait to strip off to the waist, top half of course, and perform their homage to the show. The track, ‘I’ll Be Ready’, was written & recorded by Jimi Jamieson and for the right audience it can be a real show-stopper. For the record the original theme didn’t chart in the UK but a cover version by Sunblock reached number 4 in 2006.
The theme song for both the TV series & film was called ‘Suicide Is Painless’ and reached number one in the UK in 1980. The movie was directed by Robert Altman who asked his 14 year old son, Michael Altman, to write the lyrics to Johnny Mandel’s music. The song was covered in 1992 by the Manic Street Preachers when it reached number 7 in the UK.
Composer Mark Snow created this iconic theme, ‘The X-Files’, that was remixed in 1996 and raced up the UK chart to peak at number 2 beating a ‘Dream Trance’ version by DJ Dado that peaked at number 8 in the same year.
The TV show first aired in 1970 and the theme, performed by Jackie Lee, was to reach number 14 in the UK in 1971 when it was simply entitled ‘Rupert’. Jackie was to achieve a UK top 10 hit with another TV theme, ‘White Horses‘, in 1968.
In 1992 it was actor Nick Berry who took his version of the Buddy Holly classic, ‘Heartbeat’, to number 2 in the UK charts. It was the theme to the smash-hit programme of the same name that regularly attracted audiences of over 10 million.
Remember this show? No!…me neither…but you’ll know the theme tune! The show starred S Club 7 and the theme was called ‘Bring It All Back’ which gave the band their first hit single when it reached number one in the UK in 1999.
In 1983 one of the greatest TV shows ever was to air in the UK. The show became a huge success and went on to spawn numerous series but it’s the original series that many consider the best and with it the theme tune. It was performed by singer Joe Fagin and released as a double-A side single – ‘Breakin’ Away’ / That’s Livin’ Alright’ – and reached number 3 in the UK in 1984.
At some point or another I’ve played all of these tracks at DJ events and they’ve gone down a storm! How do you incorporate TV themes into your setlists? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
Check out this mix for a quick fix of TV themes seamlessly mixed with other 80s guilty pleasures!
The greatest collection of original TV themes available to professional DJs. Each theme has been carefully selected, digitally remastered & compiled firmly with the DJ in mind. This Collection features 200 of the biggest TV themes of all time from the 50s to Present Day. Relive the golden era of television with the ultimate compilation of classic TV themes. For DJ Use Only.