I’ll keep the into short, as it was my birthday at the weekend, and I remain a little sore headed from the festivities. Today’s theme, as suggested by one of the M4 crew, Naila Moon, is TV show themes that have become top 40 hits.
I hope that I can claim successfully that I have both the greatest, and worst to fall within this category, and so, without further ado, here is the very worst TV has to offer.
It’s the 30th Anniversary for Eastenders this week. For those of you not lucky enough to hail from the UK, it’s a soap opera, set in the fictional London borough of Walford. In 1986, Anita Dobson (now the wife of Brian May, Queen’s guitarist, and badger bothering astronomer) who played Angie Watts in the show released this wonderful single, which involved stringing some terrible lyrics over the show’s theme tune. It reached no.4 in the UK, and this is why we aren’t allowed nice things.
Next up, and slightly more credible, are the Manic Street Preachers, performing the Theme From MASH, the bleakly funny Suicide is Painless. This was a number 7 hit back in 1992!
Next up is The Archies, and Sugar Sugar. Possibly the defining bubblegum pop hit, and the theme to The Archie Show. This was a number one on both sides of the Atlantic in 1969, and is still an infectious joy to this day, even at 46 years of age!
Here’s another one sneaking through on a technicality. While Delia Derbyshire’s iconic original theme never charted, the Doctor Who theme is probably one of the most recognisable in TV history. Luckily, dance anarchists The KLF recorded a glam rock cover of it under the pseudonym The Timelords, and scored a UK number one in 1988.
And finally, a track that fails, by 18 chart places, to qualify for today’s criteria, reaching number 58 in 1984. However, it is the greatest TV theme of all time, which I think allows it some leeway. At once maudlin and triumphant, and opening what may still be the greatest ‘old fashioned’ sitcom America ever produced, here is Gary Portnoy’s truly wonderful, Where Everybody Knows Your Name.
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