Friday, February 18, 2011

What happened to theme songs?

Quick: start humming the Indiana Jones theme song!

Or, the Star Wars theme song. Or the theme from Rocky. (duh duh dududduh dududuh dududuh).

Are you older than 40? Then start singing the theme from the Greatest American Hero ("Look at what's happened to me. . ." Can you hum the theme from the A-Team? I know I can still sing the MacGyver song. And then there's the classic theme from Cheers.

Too old for you? Maybe you can join in the chorus of the Friends song?

And yes, I know it got way too much airplay, but I'd bet most of you could start singing along with that Titanic song.

So where did they all go? Are there any movies or TV shows with sing-alongable theme songs? Theme songs that dig deeply into the American conscious? Can you sing the theme song from Avatar? How many people sit around at parties and start singing the theme song from Lost (you'd do better with the Land of the Lost)? It's not like you can really hum the theme tune to The Office. I suppose the theme to Dr. Who is pretty epic, but really, how many times does it pop into your head at random moments? Do you hear people "do-do-dodod"ing to the 30 Rock theme?

So what happened to transcendent, memorable theme songs? Are producers purposely choosing to avoid them? Or are today's composers and musicians just lame?

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