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Hammer Time

A round-up of vintage television tees on the Collective.


Miami Vice had everything. A beautiful setting, a hot cast and fast cars. Behind the scenes sat great writers, a top notch director and composer Jan Hammer. Hammer wrote the show’s epic theme but also scored the majority of episodes which solidified the melodramatics Vice was famous for. When it was tough times for the show’s main character – Sunny got his own theme music “Crockett’s Theme” which was a hit within itself.

Some might say Jan is a one hit-wonder as far as T.V. themes go (he’s no Mike Post), but it’s arguably the best of the 80s and maybe even of all time. And Jan was no slouch in the collaboration department given he went on to work various projects with Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, Neal Schon and many others.

Speaking of Mike Post and kick-ass 80s themes, Magnum P.I. definitely ranks up there, perhaps just below the brilliant electro theme for Knight Rider. Falcon Crest deserves a nod for the prime time soap theme mostly because of its composer Bill Conti – who also did themes for Dallas, Cagney & Lacey (and all the Rocky flicks.)

The Tour of Duty theme is awesome, but they cheated by using the Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black. Last but not least – the theme for Mash perfectly communicates despair right down to its title, “Suicide is Painless.”

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