Rather than using April 1st as a day to post something that is complete and utter bullshit, I’d thought I’d rather use it as an opportunity to post the most absurd Top 5 list in history. Sure it would have been funny to write a post apologizing to any artist and fan I may have ever offended with my opinionated posts, but I didn’t want to do anything to stop the hilarious array of hate-mail from Jackie Greene lovers flooding in. Seriously people, what does the fact that you saw The Grateful Dead in 1982 have anything to do with the fact The Black Crowes made the worst hiring decision of their careers? And as I always say, whatever floats your horrible taste in boats…
Anyway, Disney had a great run in the late 80′s with afternoon TV shows – so great that the majority of them got translated into like 12 other languages. If you really want to waste an afternoon, you can Youtube the numerous Russian and Japanese versions of intro-songs out there, but believe me – hearing them in Dutch is the absolute best. It’s just a ridiculous sounding language, that’s all there is to it. Enjoy.
2) Gummi Bears
3) Darkwing Duck
5) Rescue Rangers
So to recap the first half of the list…
22) Facts of Life
21) 21 Jump Street
20) Just the Ten of Us
19) My Two Dads
18) Gimme a Break!
17) Diff’rent Strokes
16) Who’s the Boss
14) Family Ties
13) Greatest American Hero
12) Knight Rider
…and now, the greatest TV theme songs from the 80′s continue…
11) Valerie/ The Hogan Family – Sure they pushed Valerie off a cliff at one point, but that didn’t change the dark groove on the Hogan’s verses.
10) The A-Team – C’mon, if this shit doesn’t pump you up then nothing will.
9) Night Court - One of the foundational grooves of slap-bass. Killer friggin’ track.
8) Charles in Charge – It wasn’t just Scott Baio’s dreamy eyes that made this show great…
7) Perfect Strangers – Again, an epic moment of inspiration.
6) Magnum P.I. – In all actuality, this tune gets me way more pumped than the A-Team groove. God, I love this cut.
5) Chipmunks Go to the Movies - Now I’m basically saving cartoon themes for another list, but this oft forgotten show had the most bad-ass, escalating intro out there.
4) Silver Spoons – This is what I truly call a theme of all themes.
3) Punky Brewster - Straight up, this is probably the most well composed song on the list. So killer.
2) Alf – Again, someone is slapping the shit out of that bass. Another example of the song far surpassing the quality of the show.
1) Kidd Video - Sadly, nobody ever remembers this amazing fucking cartoon, that opens with one of my favorite songs ever.
Grand Champion - Growing Pains – It’s the go-to theme, hands down. It’s so perfect in all it’s glory, it doesn’t even deserve a number on the list. Just stand alone magic. Sorry for the fuzzy version, but I needed the full version.
If you know me personally, then you know that this subject is perhaps my greatest forte. I’m so confident that I have the predominant grasp on all the best TV theme songs of the 80′s that I stay awake at night praying for Remote Control to come back on the air – just so I could dominate in it. Now my two defining factors in this list are songs that are undeniably bad-ass, and songs that are so kitsch and innocent that they blow your fucking mind in their epicness. And of course, a few tunes that straddle the threshold of both. And before anybody complains, there are 3 notable absences here – 1) Taxi – A killer groove, but it’s a holdover from the 70′s and has much more of that decade’s feel. 2) Cheers – One of the greatest theme songs ever. It’s timeless, and that’s the problem. It could work in any decade and has little to no defining qualities of the 80′s to it. 3) Pee-Wee’s Playhouse - Again, too timeless for this list. And Jesus, it’s 2 and half minutes long. I knew there was a reason I’d get extra antsy waiting for it to start. But without further ado…
22) Facts of Life – Oh Tootie, we could never forget you.
21) 21 Jump Street – Obviously this list had to stretch to 21 for this tune. The slow build intro really gets you pumped for earring-clad Depp busting some local dopers.
20) Just the Ten Of Us – Damn, that synthed out bass and killer lyric hook portends to true magic from the Growing Pains spin-off.
19) My Two Dads – A little too much talking on the start, but once that sax starts backing up the groove – look the fuck out dance-floor!
18) Gimme a Break - Very few stars sing their own themes, but Nell Carter wasn’t gonna let her dominating soul growl go to waste.
17) Diff’rent Strokes – What a powerful message this tune exudes…
16) Who’s the Boss – Oh, Milano…
15) MacGyver – The tense buildup into the orchestrated release makes you believe that even you could make a bomb with chewing gum.
14) Family Ties – Maybe the most heartwarming cut on the list.
13) Greatest American Hero – Constanza’s favorite really has the power to inspire.
12) Knight Rider - In hindsight, the theme stand the test of time much better than the show actually does. Except for those awesome episodes with Goliath.
Like myself, every child of the 80′s has their go-to artist that transcends any feelings of irony or manufactured nostalgia. You know, that band or song that instantly makes you feel like it’s 1987 and you’re about to go ride your big-wheel down suicide hill. For me, that guy is mother fucking Peter Cetera. Love the guy – can’t get nearly enough of the man. And when it comes down to the raw meat of the situation, “Glory of Love” is my jam and a friggin’ half. It’s one of my Top 3 favorite songs of all time, probably much due to its’ inclusion on the soundtrack of the fabulous film, Karate Kid II. C’mon, the end fight in the pit of fire, then this track comes on… and then to get you all psyched up for the beginning of Karate Kid III which they knew was kinda gonna blow, they just show still clips of the fight scene from Part 2 and play the song again – Oh man, that was flippin’ radical.
But you show me another cat who owns the high end better than Mr. Cetera and I’ll show you a dingo on fire. Before I post my Top 5 all time Peter Cetera songs though, I’ll let you in on a little secret. The man is such a class act on top of being a quality artist, that he will send you a personalized autographed picture if you send him a self-addressed envelope. I know right? Sometimes your heroes really are golden. Go here for further instructions, but careful his main-frame may get overloaded when word really gets out.
1) Glory of Love – The hot shit. The song. THE song. And what a touching video with the lovely scenes of Okinawa.
2) Next Time I Fall in Love – Both of these first 2 tunes were released in 1986 – good God, what a year. The duet with super-Christian “Amy Grant” is a friggin’ banger – careful what it’ll do to your heart’s inner core. The classic 80′s key change will own you.
3) If You Leave Me Now – Next we go back another 10 years to Chicago‘s prime years. I always thought their horn-driven jazz-rock was incredibly lame, but when they let Cetera step up for the ballads, I held the proverbial phone. Probably the best “Ooooh Ahhh” song ever.
4) You’re the Inspiration – Still Chicago but from 1984, and ironically the inspiration Peter probably needed to realize his potential as a solo artist.
5) Little Dancing Man – My geeky love for the completely absurd Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job boiled over when they brought in Cetera to record this epic jam for their new TV show about Ted Danson getting shrunk down to 6 inches. Sometimes life gives you amazing gifts.
And here’s the end-fight from Karate Kid II in case you forgot how incredibly epic it really is.