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10 TV series theme songs that became Hits

By Sara Stefanovic
6 min read

Sometimes songs are linked to unforgettable moments, others remain printed in the memory because they are used in some commercials, in films or as TV series theme songs. In many cases the question that arises is: what came first, the song or the TV series? There are songs packed specifically for TV series, others that have become Hits thanks to them.

1. Tuyo – Rodrigo Amarante (Narcos)

Netflix commissioned this song specifically for the release of the series. Rodrigo had been contacted before filming began, so he had no idea of ​​the aesthetic of the TV series, he imagined it. Another thing to do was to study the history of the protagonist, Pablo Escobar, so as not to write an out of context lyrics.

2. Save Me – Remy Zero (Smallville)

In this case the song was born before the TV series. The song is included in Remy Zero‘s album The Golden Hum (2001). The band, which at first struggled to become famous, thanks to some songs contained in this album (and in the previous Villa Elaine), managed to make its way. In Europe the peak of success was achieved thanks to the use of the song Save Me for the TV series Smallville.

3. My Life Is Going On – Cecilia Krull (Money Heist)

The song used as the theme song had been recorded specifically for the series and was released in June 2017. It was so successful that many thought it had an independent origin from Money Heist.

4. California – Phantom Planet (The O.C.)

There are three versions of this theme song. The first version was recorded and included in the Phantom Planet album, The Guest, released in 2002. The song became a hit after being used as the opening theme for the TV series The O.C. This song tells of an ‘On the Road‘ style journey on the U.S. Route 101 and the video was shot by the director Francis Ford Coppola’s son, Roman. The same band also recorded a second, slower version in 2005, California 2005. This version appears in the second episode of the third season of The O.C. In 2006 the third version, this time by Mates of State, inserted in the sixth volume of the collection of songs from the show (Music from The O.C .: Mix 6).

5. Secret – The Pierces (Petty Little Liars)

The song by The Pierce, a band com, Catherine and Allison, is the theme song for the TV series Pretty Little Liars aired from 2010 to 2016. However, if the song sounds familiar to you regardless of PLL, you are not experiencing a Dejà vu. This song appeared in an episode of Gossip Girl (in 2007) in which the two singers also performed another of their songs entitled Three Wishes.

6. Red Right Hand – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Peaky Blinders)

Following the alienating trend of mixing recent songs and distant eras, we find Nick Cave‘s voice in the theme song of the Netflix series, Peaky Blinders. Obviously the song wasn’t written specifically for the series, the track came out 25 years ago with the album Let Love In (1994) by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. The song was originally meant to be used just for the first episode, then luckily this didn’t happen. The title is taken from the epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton, an English writer considered by many to be Shakespeare’s successor, very British!

7. Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who (C.S.I Miami)

In this case we know for sure that the song was not written to serve as a soundtrack to the TV series in question. The single is part of The Who‘s album Who’s Next, released in 1971. The song, lasting 8 minutes and 32 seconds, was included in the list of the 500 most beautiful songs ever written in the history of music (in 133rd place) compiled by the Rolling Stone magazine. This track was chosen as theme song for the C.S.I. spin off: C.S.I Miami, in order to guarantee a sort of continuity. The “original” C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation, since its debut, in the 2000s, boasted the song ‘Who Are You‘ by the same band as its soundtrack. To strengthen the link between the group and the series, the singer Roger Daltrey appeared in an episode of the seventh season of C.S.I: Crime Science Investigation.

8. I’ll be there for you – The Rembrandts (Friends)

The hugely popular Rembrandts song was co-written with the creators of the TV series, Danny Wilde and Phil Solem and initially didn’t convince the cast at all. However, shorlty after, the song became a hit, also thanks to the success of the TV series. In fact, the video features Friends main characters dancing and making their contribution to the song. The beats of the hands that are heard in the background are the result of the entire cast’s hard work of synchronization. In the end, they heard the song a million times, and came to love her.

9. Superman – Lazlo Bane (Scrubs)

The story of this song, but above all of the video, is a peculiar one. This song is included in the All the Time in the World album by the band Lazlo Bane, released in 2002. Immediately considered ‘photogenic’ it was the soundtrack to the film The Tao of Steve (2000), to then become the theme song of the TV series Scrubs. It was precisely the protagonist of the series, Zach Braff to find it perfect as the theme song and, always he, he directed the video clip. In the video you can see some clips taken from the set of the series and some of the protagonists appear.

10. I Don’t Want to Wait – Paula Cole (Dawson’s Creek)

In reality this was not the song that had been chosen to become Dawson’s Creek theme song. I Don’t Want to Wait, in fact, was lucky enough to be the second choice (you don’t hear it often). The song originally chosen as the theme song was Alanis Morissette’s Hand In My Pocket, but due to the limited time it was not possible to obtain the license in time. In this case again the producers asked the singer to change the theme with the progress of the series … but in the end they thought that fans would not have liked the change and left it as it is.

6 min read

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