Lately, I’ve been looking for some other material for mashup artists to attempt to make some magic with. And then, it hit me, let’s go nostalgic by looking to the black box sitting in all of our living rooms (and elsewhere). Funny enough, the inspiration came late last night while doing what I normally do on weeknights that I have off: I was just chillin’ and working on my poker skills by playing a few rounds of Texas Hold’Em at Games.Betfair.com. And in between games and winning some extra dough, I decided to load a playlist of a cappella tracks to see if I would get inspired to create a new mashup, but nothing hit me. Thankfully, that all changed when I clicked over to the other sections of the site, like the arcade to play slots. It’s there that I saw the instantly recognizable Baywatch logo and inspiration struck: We need more TV show theme mashups.
Sure, we recently shared Steven Cox’s “Duck Grips,” which combines the theme from Duck Tales on the Super Nintendo and vocals from Death Grips’ “Lord of the Game.” But I’m talking about the actual theme from the TV show, because, well, do you remember how awesome it is? Anyway, let’s continue this trip down memory lane (and into some of our favorite recent shows) right here.
The theme from Taxi is one of the most legit ones ever created, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s basically just a well-picked portion of jazz great Bob James’ “Angela.” And it’s also completely instrumental, totally laid-back, and pretty much crying out for some vocals over it. You could turn this into a new-age burner in minutes, depending on how talented you are.
2. The Cosby Show
The classic theme for The Cosby Show was, interestingly enough, composed by Cosby himself along with Stu Gardner. And it’s a Latin-tinged slab of funk so infectious that you’ll probably end up dancing along with the characters of the show itself. It’s instrumental too aside from a few vocal stabs, meaning it’s crying out for the right rap a cappella to complement it.
3. Sanford and Son
Another classic TV show and another equally classic theme, this one composed by none other than the legendary Quincy Jones. The track is actually called “The Street Beater” and pushes past the three-minute mark with its incredibly catchy brass and organs. I could easily hear a throwback soul singer’s voice draped over this or maybe even a newer artist like, say, Miguel.
4. Mad Men
OK, I’m kind of cheating with this one because the Mad Men theme is technically just RJD2‘s “A Beautiful Mine” from his Magnificent City album with rapper Aceyalone. But still, it is the show’s theme and it’s an awesome one at that. You can even just listen to the original to find inspiration for who you want to hear over the beat.
The Rugrats theme might require some chopping and looping because it’s so short, but it’s worth the task if you’re up for it. The theme’s creator, Mark Mothersbaugh, is one of the most heralded and sought after composers of our time—he was also in Devo!—so you can consider it an honor to alter his work. Can anyone else hear Lil Wayne rapping over this?
Can you think of any other TV themes that are begging for a remix, mashup, or either? Let us know in the comments and be sure to send in what ever you’ve created if you’ve been inspired by this list.