Occasionally, when my ipod is on shuffle at a party, everyone will stop dancing, squint a little bit, and try to identify the cheesy yet inspirational song that starts coming through the speakers. The one that rings all sorts of memory bells. Newsflash dickweed, it’s a classic TV show theme song. And guess what, hotshot? I like it.
Don’t call it a guilty pleasure, not in the same vein as “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. It’s just a quick pick me up. Like rock stars with a line of coke. Maybe it’s that I’ve heard them all a billion times as I was growing up, and they are ingrained in my subconscious. Maybe I enjoy my memories of the escapades these fictional characters found themselves in. Maybe I’m a weird 85 year old woman with horrible taste in music.
Regardless, here is a list of the ten best that you should have in your library to cue up when you are riding a ten speed and the wind is whipping through your beautiful hair. Please keep in mind, this isn’t a rank of the shows themselves, strictly the theme songs, although one could argue that the shows actually make the songs better. When you hear them, the images pop up into your subconscious so I guess they go hand in hand.
#10: Saved By The Bell. This “Johnny B. Goode” rip-off has a sick guitar shredding part, and the constant repeating of “It’s Alright” gives you the feeling of being Zach Morris and putting your giant high tops up on the desk and not sweating the fact that AC Slater thinks he is cooler than you. You’re totally late for school, but it’s alright because you are saved by the bell. Wait, that doesn’t make any fucking sense. How in the fuck is the bell saving you? Erasing your tardies? Whatever, great song.
#9: Silver Spoons. Ricky Schroder had a race car bed, an arcade, a train going through his house, and Michael Bluth as a best friend. Father and Son learning how to have a real relationship in the middle of millions of dollars. With the sweet bell harmony in the beginning, and then the “You and I” chorus around 42 seconds, this one just makes you want to jump up and be locked into a freeze frame forever.
#8: Full House. This is a great set of lyrics that really take into consideration the title of the show. “Everywhere you look” there is someone around loving you, waiting to carry you home, or a place with someone who needs you. The beginning of the song spends a verse wondering what happened to the milkman, the paperboy, and evening TV, but then there is just too much stuff now to think about that because all of these fucking people now live here. Cut…it…OUT!
#7: Family Ties. Oh man. Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams struck gold with this one. “Oh, it’s like I started breathing on the night we kissed.” All those hugs at the beginning, and the one where Alex almost breaks his mom’s nose. Wait, see? That’s the imagery coming to mind. It’s like Michael Jackson and “Thriller”. It’s like Weezer and “Buddy Holly”. How can the Keaton family not pop into your head when you hear this beautiful ballad? Sha la la la.
#6: Blossom. “In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine.” When you google opinionation, a data collection resource site comes up first, followed by a series of sites where people learn how to correctly speak english. Hundreds of foreigners asking, ‘what does opinionation mean? I hear it many time, and don’t know.’ The correct answer, given on the majority of sites, is that it is the theme song to the television show Blossom. Which in turn leads every foreigner attempting to do their best Joey Lawerence “Whoa!” Sadly, when I hear this one, I’m always bummed that Joey never got to be Six’s Nine.
#5: The A Team. The rolling military snares over the synapses voice over…followed by an explosive string orchestra making the most recognizable theme song this side of Indiana Jones and Star Wars…followed by a kick ass heavy metal/funk break down…followed by a reflective, uplifting ‘we’re all a team, AND friends’ refrain, and back into the main theme with explosions and gun shots. The Cosby Show and Alf’s instrumental themes didn’t make the list, because this one is an all time EPIC. They better not fuck up the upcoming movie.
#4: Perfect Strangers. Ahhh…That opening harmonica. When it gets to the most inspirational chorus of all time, “Standing tall, on the wings of my dreams”, throw both of your hands up into the air and do the dance of joy! These guys were cousins, but Larry and Balky were actually soul mates. I want to receive an award someday for “standing tall on the wings of my dreams”.
#3: Mr. Belvedere. An opening English piano delves into a trombone Dixieland ditty that only the legendary Leon Redbone can pull off as a masterpiece. It makes you feel like you are smirking and rolling your eyes at every single thing in the world with a glass of bubbly as you sort of dance around. You just might live the good life yet.
#2: Golden Girls. Just when I reached the age to start understanding some of the more adult jokes, I noticed my Grandma was sure laughing a lot at whatever Blanche Devereaux did. Around that time I started to get a little uncomfortable thinking that my Grandma could relate to the slutty exploits of the naughtiest Golden Girl. But hearing this wonderful classic theme song about friends always makes me feel good.
#1: Cheers. This blue collar anthem for America makes you imagine a magical place you can always go to forget about literally everything that you don’t want to think about. Guess what? It’s also a BAR! Fuck yes! Everyone here knows you! Everyone here is so glad that you came! You can take a break from ALL of your worries here! This is the definitive classic TV theme song that Billy Joel wishes he wrote.
Honorable Mentions: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Sanford and Son. The Andy Griffith Show. Knight Rider. Duck Tales.