List o’ 14 Cool Versions of Classic TV Theme Songs

retro-classic-tvRetro TV – the shows had such awesome theme music!

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 Theme (Pantera)

Crazy, fun, totally rocked out head banging hair flying heavy metal version of the MI theme by Pantera. This just kicks ass, plain and simple.

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September 6, 2010 at 21:46

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

  1. stevelanza June 6, 2010 at 19:08

    no.10 is Megan Mullally not Tina Fey

  2. listmaster December 22, 2009 at 20:14

    Hay man – good to see you back!

  3. EJB December 22, 2009 at 00:36

    I think I meant to say Limp Bizkit on the MI theme – not Korn.

  4. EJB December 22, 2009 at 00:33

    Great list! Wouldn’t change a thing……..although…..I really love the MI theme by Korn.