List o’ 14 Cool Versions of Classic TV Theme Songs

retro-classic-tv Nostalgic – absolutely. Self serving – possibly. Indulgent – likely, but they were all popular shows, so there must be others out there in TV-tropolis world who will enjoy this trip down theme-song memory lane also. Fun and maybe even interesting (a stretch?) to post cover versions of these classic TV themes, which still get airplay somewhere along the 1000-channel strong digital dial.

14. Theme From Swat (Church Band)

This is awesome – a church band playing the theme song from one of the quintessential action cop shows. They do a great job of playing this classic TV tune about a bunch of police commandos who raid and bust drug dealers, murderers and generally bad people. The church must have loosened up the eligibility criteria for its play list. Check out the original version here, as recorded for what was at the time the ABC record label (yeah, pretty 70s sounding all right).

13. The Simpsons (Tal Zilber)

Yeah baby! I can see Homer driving right through the garage and into the house, this is so well done. Nice job – this must be fun to able to play this, definitely good for parties.

12. Pink Panther (Cesar Amaro, The “M” Ventures)

Two great versions of this song, which has many covers, but cleanly played tracks like these really bring out the melody lines nicely, which is what this theme is all about. One unplugged, because everything sounds so good on a Spanish guitar, and this classic tune is no exception. And one plugged with a cool retro-60s sound, so mod, so retro-cool.

11. Gilligan’s Island (Bowling For Soup)

This song lends itself so well to a punk band. It just fits, bringing out all that pent-up screaming that we all wanted to unleash on Gilligan!

10. Green Acres (Donald Trump, Tina Fey)

Does anyone remember this series? Donald Trump in overalls singing up a storm, trading in the fountain pen for a pitchfork and getting about as far away from the boardroom as you can get. “The Donald” absolutely towers in his rendition of the classic theme song, singing the Eddie Albert part with reckless abandon! It is good to see that he has a sense of humour and doesn’t mind letting it all hang out for the sake of getting some laughs. The stuffed shirt apparently is OK with being traded in for a t-shirt (at least now and then).

9. Scooby Doo (Moonspray)

A masked man with a lightening bolt on his shirt playing a loud version of the Scooby Doo theme on a Gibson SG in his bedroom. Seriously, what’s not to like?

8. Beverly Hillbillies (Weird Al)

We all know this song, whether or not you have seen the actual show. We know about a man named Jed who had trouble keeping his family fed, we all know about Jethro and Ellie May don’t we? There are ton of covers of this tune, so here is one that is a little interesting. Keep listening, it does come…

7. Spiderman (The Distillers)

This great theme song has been covered by the Ramones (retro cartoon theme compilation album) and Aerosmith (the movie), so this is another take on the classic that is normally so much fun to hum along to, although this partivular interpretation is a darker punky version that inspires more desperation than hums.

6. Flintstones (Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis)

This is cool, way cool, as a couple of very talented jazz masters take the Flintstones theme to new heights. It grooves all the way through, and makes a lot of sense, given the jazz style of the original. You almost expect Wilma to come rolling onto the stage doing pirouettes.

5. Looney Tunes Theme (ljte007)

Short, sweet and to the point. Here is another example of a regular, everyday person sitting in their bedroom making great music. This is a wonderful arrangement and a fun interpretation – thanks. Just need the badeep-badeeep- badeep that’s all folks!

4. Road Runner (Boris the Sprinkler)

A punk-rock cover of the 1960′s Road Runner theme performed by punk band Boris the Sprinkler. The original can be heard here for that old time feeling.

3. Star Trek (The Original)

This is one of the most followed and popular series ever on TV, and naturally there about a bazillion covers of the theme song floating around (no pun intended!). So here a couple that are interesting and at different ends of the musical possibilities, one soft cool jazz guitar and another that is, well, not. Not too often you hear the old mouth trumpet in space, and as bizarre as it is, the guy really pulls it off.

2. Rawhide (Blues Brothers)

Rawhide was one of the first television series about the old west. This TV cowboy show ran for eight seasons, covered 217 episodes, making it the fifth-longest-running American television Western, beaten only by nine years of The Virginian and Wagon Train, fourteen years of Bonanza, and twenty years of Gunsmoke. Rawhide, in addition to having a legendary theme song, also featured a newcomer to the screen who would make his way to fame in other edgier cowboy roles, a young actor by the name of Clint Eastwood. This cut from the classic Blues Brothers movie brings the Rawhide theme as only they can do it. Check out a very young Paul Shaffer on the keyboard at the start of the clip.

1. Mission Impossible (Bugotak)

Starts off quite different – you have to give this a minute to hear what the band is doing. This version is done by a group called Bugotak, from Novosibirsk, Russia, who play the theme with traditional Siberian instruments and arrangements. The main idea of Bugotaks art is that it is only those traditions that develop with time that stay alive; static traditions quickly lose their interest and relevance. Therefore, the group and their work play in many styles and genres, thereby keeping native Siberian spirit alive, relevant and thriving. If you like this, you can find out more about them here.

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September 27, 2010 at 11:13

4 Responses to "List o’ 14 Cool Versions of Classic TV Theme Songs":

  1. Captain33 September 26, 2010 at 10:02

    That throat singing version of Mission Impossible – wow! I have never heard anything like it before – took some getting used to – but flippin’ awesome and totally original.

  2. Digger September 26, 2010 at 10:00

    wow this list brings back some memories of coming home and watching several of these shows after school, or getting home in time at lunch to watch the Flintstones. Love the jazzy version of Flintstones theme – and the guy on piano with the Simpsons theme is really cool.
    I don’t know how you thought of this list or how long it took to put it together but it is one of your better ones – IMHO. Can you do another?

  3. WorkerB September 26, 2010 at 06:04

    Greatings blog-ling. Nice site! Pink Panther theme is one of the best ever – FYI

  4. Ashburnite September 23, 2010 at 11:40

    I think it’s Megan Mullally in the Green Acres song with the Donald, not Tina Fey….