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10 Famous TV Theme Songs Performed by Artists You Know

By Adam Morrison

Over the years, many established artists have been tasked with providing the intro music for TV shows, and many times, it’s worked out perfectly. Here are ten examples, and please leave more in the comments.
1. Regina Spektor was asked to write the theme song for Orange Is The New Black before the show was even finished, and being sent rough, unfinished episodes helped Spektor finish up “You’ve Got Time.”

2. Every metalhead is probably jealous of Dog the Bounty Hunter, since Ozzy Osbourne sang his theme song.

3. It’s hard to imagine anyone but Primus doing the opening (and closing) music for South Park.

4. Dr. John provided both a memorable theme song and a strong pro-curiosity argument with his Curious George theme.

5. Long before they were hired for The Big Bang Theory (see below), the Barenaked Ladies’ “What A Good Boy” was used for tearjerk effect as the theme for Intervention for a while.

6. Less tearjerkingly, the Barenaked Ladies wrote and performed the theme song for The Big Bang Theory.

7. They Might Be Giants won a Grammy for “Boss of Me,” the theme song for Malcolm in the Middle.

8. The Refreshments’ instrumental “Yahoos and Triangles” opened every episode of King of the Hill.

9. Nerf Herder provided the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song, and eventually appeared as themselves performing during an episode of the show.

10. Waylon Jennings wrote “Good Ol’ Boys” to serve as the Dukes of Hazzard opening theme.

What else could have made this top ten list? The terrible edit of “Who Are You” from The Who for CSI. I’m not including “I’ll Be There for You” from The Rembrandts for Friends because that’s pretty much all they’re known for now (but feel free to fight me on that.) But here’s my favourite:  “Half a World Away” from Oasis which was used for the brilliant British comedy, The Royle Family.

There’s gotta me more, though. Let’s keep this list going.

6 thoughts on “10 Famous TV Theme Songs Performed by Artists You Know

  • Check out the list of all the different artists that covered Little Boxes for the theme to the show Weeds. Pretty cool concept and many versions worked really well.

  • Bowling for Soup (of 1985 fame) did “Today Is Gonna Be a Great Day” for Phineas and Ferb.

  • “That 70s Show” theme song was done by Big Star, and then by Cheap Trick after the show got successful.

    “The Wire” theme song was written by Tom Waits. It was performed by a different artist every season, including Steve Earle, and Waits himself.


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