Retrospace Mix Tape #9: Theme from (fill in the blank)

Here's a collection of songs for your listening pleasure: each song has "theme from..." in its title.  In other words, this isn't just a collection of theme songs, this is a collections of theme songs that say they're theme songs!

"Theme from 'Rawhide'" by The Blues Brothers
There's been many a theme song covered by many an artist over the years, but Elwood & Jake's rendition of Rawhide will always be my favorite.

"Theme from 'Shaft'" by Bert Kaempfert
You've all heard the Isaac Hayes version; here's an unlikely version by white bread lounge legend Bert Kaempfert.... with a disco beat no less.

"Theme from 'Endless Summer'" by The Sandals
Endless Summer was your typical surf movie, but the theme song is super laid-back surf rock gold.

"Theme from 'The Towering Inferno'" by Maureen McGovern
Maureen is sort of a queen of disaster movie themes, considering she also sang the theme to The Poseidon Adventure.  I can't stand her voice, and actually preferred the version of The Poseidon Adventure Song sung in the movie by another performer.

"Theme from 'Disco '77'" by Sassy
Disco '77 was the first disco TV show in the US  It was  more or less an American Bandstand, but with disco music.

"Theme from 'Emmanuel'" by Pierre Bachelet and Herve Roy
If this song sounds familiar it's because all exotic sex movies of the seventies had songs that sounded just like this.  Not the "bow chicka bow mow" of porn, but rather smooth and gentle, often in French.

"Theme from 'King Kong'" by Love Unlimited Orchestra
Barry White's 40 piece orchestra topped the charts with the brilliant 'Love's Theme"... not so much with this one.

"Theme from 'Starsky & Hutch'"
This tune is also called "Gotcha!", and is one of my favorite show themes.  Let it be known, this is not the theme from S & H first season, which featured a downbeat tune by Lilo Schifrin.

"Theme from 'The Deep'" by Donna Summer
The Deep was supposed to be the next Jaws.  It wasn't.  I'm told the vinyl for the soundtrack was actually blue instead of the standard black.

"Theme from 'Which Way Is Up?'" by Stargard
This is a 1977 movie where Richard Pryor plays three different main characters.  If memory serves, this was one crazy ass movie.

"Theme from 'Valley of the Dolls'" by Dionne Warwick
Originally intended for Judy Garland, Dolls actress Barbara Parkins suggested Dionne instead.

"Theme from 'Police Woman'" by Henri Mancini
Mancini was the king of theme songs.  My favorites of his TV work are probably Newhart and Ripley's Believe It or Not; but, Police Woman ain't too shabby either.

"Theme from 'Side Street'" by Chuck Mangione
The movie was released in the fifties, but this version from jazz fusion maestro Mangione is perfect.  It was on the amazing Feels So Good album and sort of got lost under the weight of the brilliant title track.

"Theme from 'Disco Magic'" by Laura Taylor
Remember Disco '77? Well, they were pretty shortsighted when they named the program, because the next year brought a new title, and rather than call it Disco '78, they went with Disco Magic.  Here's the new title theme.

"Theme from 'The Banana Splits" by The Dickies
The Dickies were one of the first US punk bands to make it big, and this 1979 cover of the Tra La La La song is awesome.

"Theme from 'The Deer Hunter'" by The Shadows
Originally recorded by guitarist John Williams, this song was originally intended for another movie called The Walking Stick (1970). It fits the film's depressing 'life isn't worth living' atmosphere.

"Theme from 'S.W.A.T.'" by Rhythm Heritage
This was actually a number one hit for the funk group Rhythm Heritage in 1976.  Who doesn't love this song? I know LL Cool J does.



  1. Another great list Gilligan.Have you ever done a post on tv themes that became hit singles? Ones that come to mind include "Rockford Files" and "Hill Street Blues" among many. My fondness of this site grows every year so keep up the good work and just know you're appreciated.

  2. How odd, 13 1/3 (in your sidebar) also posted about soundtracks today. Looks like some good stuff, can't wait to hear it, esp the SWAT theme! I used to LOVE that song.

  3. Awesome list! Love the image as well!

  4. the link is broken =(