Ever since the rise of the OTT services, we’re in the habit of reaching out to grab the remote to immediately hit “skip intro” as soon as a show starts. However, some opening sequences/theme songs are so good, you simply can’t miss them!
Most of you are going to feel nostalgic as we walk down memory lane to take a look at some of the most popular and loved TV Show opening sequences/theme songs you should revisit.
I’ll be there for you – The Rembrandts (F.R.I.E.N.D.S.)
There is no way we could start a listicle of Popular TV Theme Songs without the most epic and legendary opening songs of all time. It is also one of the most widely recognized songs from a television series. ‘I’ll Be There For You’ is the song The Rembrandts performed for one of the most epic sitcoms – F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
But did you know that the band wished to stay anonymous while working on the tune after watching the pilot? “In those days, it was uncool for a band like ours to be involved in television,” Phil Solem, a member of The Rembrandts explained while speaking to Variety.
Soon enough a Nashville radio station started playing the 42-second track looped to meet listener demand and the band was urged to extend the track into a full song for their 1995 album ‘L.P.’ The song skyrocketed on the charts globally and the album went platinum. It also peaked at number 17 on Billboard Hot 100!
Fun fact: Though many people including Courtney Cox think the song has five claps, there are actually four of them. A kick drum comes in and plays one which is what makes most believe it’s five.
That’s So Raven Theme Song by Raven-Symone ft. Orlando Brown (That’s so Raven)
In the theme song of Disney’s 2003 sitcom ‘That’s so Raven’, Raven sings about how her character Raven Baxter’s psychic visions and good intentions get her entangled in the strangest of situations. This is one of the best of Disney’s theme songs and makes us sing at the top of ours lungs. The song is also on the show’s soundtrack album ‘That’s So Raven (Soundtrack)’ that debuted as well as peaked at number 44 on the Billboard 200 and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.
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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ is one of the most notable theme songs from the NBC Sitcom of the same title – ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’. Another great thing about the song is that the protagonist, Will Smith himself raps the entire premise of the show on the song. It was written by both Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff and composed by Quincy Jones who has won 28 Grammy Awards throughout his career.
Before acting, Will was part of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, who had a Grammy under their belt. However, the Fresh Prince took their careers to the next level as millions of people around the globe can be heard singing the rest of the words to the song as soon as they hear “In West Philadelphia born and raised”.
While reflecting on the tune Jazzy Jeff told Entertainment Weekly that the song was made in just about fifteen minutes. “When it was time to come up with a theme song I was like, “We’re basically doing the hip-hop Beverly Hillbillies here. Let’s not run away from that — let’s just go for it,” Andy Borowitz- the series creator said.
Everywhere You Look – Jesse Frederick (Full House)
The opening song of the 1987 sitcom ‘Full House’ has been sung by Jesse Frederick who also composed the tune with Bennett Salvay. The duo was also involved with the theme songs of other series such as ‘As Days Go By’ from Family Matters, Step by Step, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now’ for Perfect Strangers, and Going Places. ‘Everywhere You Look’ underpinned the nature of the show and the characters (warm and lovely family and friends) who are always there to hold each other’s hand – be there for one another.
Since the original show stole the hearts of many, Netflix launched their own series ‘Fuller House’ in 2016 featuring characters from ‘Full House’. It even incorporated the same theme song but this time around it was performed by the ‘Call Me Maybe’ and ‘I Really Like You’ hitmaker, Carly Rae Jepsen. Speaking of Netflix, the next song is a tune most of you may recognize because of its popularity among the masses even if you may have not watched the series.
Tuyo – Rodrigo Amarante (Narcos)
When one hasn’t translated the lyrics to Narcos’ theme song, they would mistake it for a love/romantic song but that is not what it is. You would have to listen closely to the lyrics to understand what the song means.
According to NPR, when the creators of the hit Netflix series needed an opening sequence for the show they reached out to Rodrigo Amarante who imagined the track from Pablo Escobar’s mother’s perspective. Amarante’s ‘Tuyo’ accomplished what Netflix needed – a theme song that captured some essential parts of the drug lord Escobar’s rise to notoriety.
Secret – The Pierces (Pretty Little Liars)
‘Secrets’, a song by a Los Angeles-based band consisting of sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce called ‘The Pierces’ that served as the theme song for the 2010 drama series ‘Pretty Little Liars’. A cover of the same song by ‘Denmark + Winter’ was incorporated as the opening sequence for the sister show ‘Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists’.
It was one of the show’s stars Ashley Benson who played the character of Hanna Marin that suggested the song to the cast members and the PLL showrunner – I. Marlene King after they filmed the show’s pilot in Vancouver.
“On the way back from that shoot, that was when you played in the car what would become our theme song,” Bellisario said to Benson at Entertainment Weekly’s interview with I. Marlene King and stars Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario, Sasha Pieterse, and Lucy Hale. “You had played it for all of us, and you were like, ‘I want to show it to Marlene because I really think it could be a great theme song.’”
Best of both worlds – Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana)
Singer-songwriter and actress – Miley Cyrus performed the song ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ for the Disney Channel television series ‘Hannah Montana’. The theme song has elements of bubblegum pop and pop rock and it lyrically showcases the life lived by the protagonist Miley Stewart in the show. Even more than a decade later since its release people still enjoy listening to this catchy tune. As kids, many of us even must have imitated her by using a hairbrush as a mic and dancing and singing our hearts out in front of the mirror. (Ah, simpler times, weren’t they?)
Though Disney did launch Miley Cyrus’ career into fame and fortune, we can’t discount the fact that the star had to go through trials and tribulations with herself. It was devastating to hear Miley open up about the toll it took on her mental health and how it created an identity crisis.
According to Cosmopolitan, Cyrus said “Talk about an identity crisis,” on the Spotify podcast – Rock This With Allison Hagendorf. A character almost as often as I was myself, and actually, the concept of the show is that when you’re this character, when you have this alter ego, you’re valuable. You’ve got, like, millions of fans, you’re the biggest star in the world, and then the concept was that when I looked like myself, when I didn’t have the wig on anymore, no one cared about me, I wasn’t a star anymore.”
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My life is going on – Cecilia Krull (Money Heist)
Spanish singer Cecilia Krull was chosen to create a song for the epic Netflix series ‘La Casa de Papel’ (Money Heist) after Spanish composer Manel Santisteban whom she had worked with since 2009 reached out to her. The series has become increasingly popular all around the globe and the song has garnered over 95 million streams on Spotify.
When SOUNDARTS.GR asked Krull about the songwriting of ‘My Life Is Going On’, she answered “He (Manel Santisteban) wrote the music, and I sung and wrote the lyrics, for which I gained inspiration by the character of Tokyo, when I first saw images from the first episode. But “My life is Going On”, speaks also about me”.
Make It Shine – Victorious Cast feat. Victoria Justice (Victorious)
‘Make It Shine’ is a catchy and inspirational song about chasing your dreams that serves as the theme song of Nickelodeon’s 2010 sitcom ‘Victorious’. It is performed by Victoria Justice who plays the protagonist Tori Vega in the series. Who would skip an amazing song like this?
Everything is not what it seems – Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place)
The opening sequence to Disney’s 2007 sitcom ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ was performed by the ‘Love You Like A Love Song’ hitmaker Selena Gomez who was also the series star. It is a fun song alluding to the show and the characters in the series that centers on Alex Russo (Selena Gomez) as well as her siblings who are equipped with magical abilities.
Many loved the song and Billie Eilish is no exception to it as Eilish and her brother Finneas shared how “bad guy” (the song that she won 2 GRAMMY Awards and one nomination for) came together and touched upon WOWP when they talked about the post-chorus. “And you know what it literally is?” Billie told Finneas in a video for Rolling Stone. “It’s not at all the same melodies but it’s literally Plants vs. Zombies… and Wizards of Waverly Place.”
These were just some of the most iconic opening sequences and theme songs of television series/shows. I’m sure by now you must be reminiscing your favorite epic theme songs that you sing in the shower or at the top of your lungs!