There are many noble quests in life. Trying to cure cancer. Trying to end poverty. Trying to rank the best television theme songs of all-time. This article is primarily focused on the third of those things. TV theme songs are becoming increasingly less relevant. This is due to the fact that television episodes are seeing more and more time stolen away for ads, and cutting down theme songs is the easiest way to make that time back up. The TV theme song is a cultural touchstone that should not be lost, however. Here are the 25 best of all-time.
A quick note of explanation before we get to the list. In order to be considered, a song had to be primarily thought of as a TV theme song. As such, shows like Bosom Buddies and Dave’s World, with their Billy Joel cover theme songs, were not considered. Additionally, this is not a list of the best songs, but the best TV theme songs. That is to say, while some of these songs would feel odd to listen to in a vacuum, before watching an episode of television, they just make sense. If they can evoke the essence of the show, so much the better.
25. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
This parody of a talk show was the giant leap for Cartoon Network that paved the way for Adult Swim. In addition to setting the stage for absurdist, anti-humor on the network, it also gave its theme song over to free jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock. The song, “Hit Single,” was a real rocker, and, unfortunately, one of the last things Sharrock recorded before he died. In his honor, Space Ghost Coast to Coast did an episode that was just 15 minutes of his music. It was far from the weirdest thing they ever did.