TV Themes You Can Listen To Anywhere
This is a piece I’ve always wanted to write and with the current state of the world I figured it’s the best time. As we’re stuck indoors most of us are binging more shows be them new or rewatching old favorites. Behind every show is a theme song/tune and some of those are so good they have a life outside the shows they’re from. Here is my list of the best theme songs you can listen to anywhere.
(Disclaimer: This list is my own personal opinion. It’s okay if you disagree, in fact, I’d love to know your lists in the comments to this article.)
The criteria for this list are themes that you can listen to anywhere so this means iconic themes like Scooby-doo, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Spider-man and X-men animated shows (90s versions) will not feature in this list regardless of how catchy they are.
They Might Be Giants – Boss of Me
Malcolm in the Middle was one of the best sitcoms of the early 2000s and the theme was a gem of a track. Titled Boss of Me, the track captured the essence of the show, and the full track by They Might Be Giants is a blast during and away from the show.
I Fight Dragons – Rewind
The Goldbergs, a modern equivalent to Malcolm in the Middle also features a kick-ass theme song. Written by the show creator’s favorite band I Fight Dragons, especially for the show. The track titled Rewind like Boss of Me captures the essence of the show but the lyrics have a larger impact away from the show.
I Wanna Be Famous – Graeme Cornies and Dawna Toews
Now to many this track wouldn’t meet the criteria for this list. However, I do listen to this outside of the show. Total Drama Island was an animated cartoon series that parodied popular reality shows, mainly survivor. The theme was written by Graeme Cornies and Dawna Toews. This is a short fun track that has repeatability.
Huntik – Huntik Go
Another controversial pick but the flashy synths and catchy lyrics make this a cheesy theme song a gem. I, however, enjoy this track and find appeal in the track outside of the show. I also enjoy the instrumental ending theme.
Greenback Boogie – Ima Robot
Suits as the first show where I actively looked for the artist to the theme song. Greenback Boogie has a sophistication that works perfectly with the show, but when played in its full glory the sophistication oozes everywhere. The track is also helped by an incredibly captivating music video.
Deadboy & The Elephantmen – Stop I’m Already Dead
Some themes grow on you over time while others instant hits. The theme to the CW show iZombie is one of those themes. When I first tuned in to the show, I knew this would be a theme I had in my playlist. Preformed by Deadboy & The Elephantmen, this is a song that can stand the test of time.
Materia Primoris: The X-Files Theme – Mark Snow
Time for a theme that’s purely instrumental and iconic. This is one of my all-time favorite instrumental pieces from one of my favorite shows, The X-files. Composed by Mark Snow this theme is the perfect track to have in the background while relaxing, working, or just when your feeling spooky.
The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You
Friends perhaps one of the most popular sitcoms ever has one of the most recognizable themes ever. While this is a track that can get tedious due to how much the track is replayed. There is no denying the feel-good sensation this track has.
Hey Beautiful – The Solids
Like Malcolm in the Middle, Friends also had a ‘modern’ equivalent in the form of How I Met Your Mother. Now the show only played a small section of the song that never highlighted how good the track is. Hey Beautiful by the Solids is a classic American rock track that’s perfect on those energetic days.
Superman – Lazlo Bane
A show that defined what it was like to be a medical intern in the early 2000s. Scrubs was a show that explored friendship in all its forms and has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to the new podcast. Fake Doctors Real Friends which relives the series one episode at a time. The brilliance of this show all started with the theme, Superman by Lazlo Bane. What makes this track enjoyable is the relatability of the lyrics and the message that we can’t do everything on our own.
ButterFly – Kōji Wada
Anime has been absent from this list but this entry changes that. I was going to put Band-Maid’s Glory which was the ending theme for Yu-Gi-Oh Vrains from episode 77. I instead went with a track from an anime that’s been with me since childhood, Digimon. The theme to Digimon is a thing of beauty and I don’t mean the American dubbed version. I’m talking about the original Japanese opening Butterfly by J-pop star Kōji Wada.
Stranger Things – Kyle Dixon &Michael Stein
Stranger Things the hit Netflix show was inspired by the greatest works in horror and has gone on to inspire future generations of horror properties. Everything about this show during its first season was perfect including the score by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein. Part of that score is the iconic opening theme that on the soundtrack was extended. This is a perfect composition of 80s synths that’s hard to match.
Midnight City – M83
One artist who could match the 80s synths is M83 and Midnight City. Taken from the album Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, this euphoric track finds it’s self the theme to the reality show Made in Chelsea. I love this track for the synths that overwhelm with a sense of calm and the sax during the outro is everything I want from an M83 track.
Short Skirt/ Long Jacket – Cake
I wanna end this list with Short Skirt /Long Jacket by Cake. This track is taken from their album Comfort Eagle and would become the theme of the American comedy Chuck. The show only uses the instrumental sections but the lyrics also work perfectly for the show. This was also the track that introduced me to Cake with their brand of spoken lyrics and the use of saxophones.
Okay, that’s my list. I hope you enjoyed this journey and if you want to hear these tracks again, I have a Spotify playlist below. The list doesn’t contain all the original versions of the tracks mentioned but has some amazing covers. If you disagree or want to add so of your own, I’d love to know in the comments.