The 50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs of All Time: #1-10

December 31, 2015 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs of All Time

At long last… the Top 10. As with much of the list, this final batch is a mix of expected crowd-pleasers and personal favorites. I toiled long and hard on it, so if you take issue with some of my rankings, please be gentle.

Without further fanfare, the final installment of the 50 GREATEST SUPERHERO TV THEME SONGS OF ALL TIME!

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10. TEEN TITANS / TEEN TITANS GO!

2003-2006 / 2013-present

Anime-inspired Teen Titans balanced fun and sophistication, as did its retro-cool theme song. Cancelled after its fifth season, the show was reborn in 2013 as Teen Titans Go! Though the spin-off features the same heroes voiced by the same actors, that’s where the similarities end. As an appeal to a younger audience, everything was shortened: the length of the episodes, the characters’ stature, even the theme song. The Teen Titans theme was chopped and remixed, now buzzing with frantic layers of electronica — a perfect fit for this over-the-top send-up of young superhero life.

Fun fact: Both songs are performed by J-pop band, Puffy AmiYumi. In their native Japan, they go only by “Puffy.” They added the extra bit of moniker in the U.S. to avoid confusion with (and lawsuits from) Sean “Puffy” Combs.
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9. SPEED RACER

1967-1968

Like the show it intros, the Speed Racer theme song got a makeover when it was exported to American audiences from Japan. Originally titled Mach GoGoGo, the overdubbing for Speed Racer was characteristically spotty; however, the remake of the song was a winner. Faster and more pop-flavored than the original, it still retains its infectious, dorky charm. And it’s quite possibly the cutest song ever to contain the word “demon.”
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8. POWERPUFF GIRLS

1998-2005

“Sugar, spice, and everything nice.” That’s what little girls are made of — as is the Powerpuff Girls theme song. The PPG theme includes just the right amounts of classic superhero/sci-fi cartoon motifs mixed with trippy techno, to create a girl power anthem for the ages.

Fun fact: The beginning narration is by Tom Kenney, best known as the voice of SpongeBob. However, Kenney has also done voice work on seven of the shows in the top 50!
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7. SUPER FRIENDS

1973-1979

Super Friends not only combines the world’s greatest super heroes, it also brings together all the elements that make up an epic superhero TV theme song. Booming intro music? Check. Authoritative voice-over? Check. Hero roll call? Check. Cool sound effects? Check. All wrapped up with a moralistic mission statement? Super Check.

If this list was TV Theme Songs That Rocked My World & Changed My Life, Super Friends would be at the top, in all its cheesy, 70s grandeur.
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6. THE TRANSFORMERS

1984-1987

The 1980s saw a tsunami of Japanese-inspired shows hit the Saturday morning landscape. The most popular was, of course, The Transformers. Why them? Morphing robot-alien-spaceships battling one another set to a creepy/catchy/cool jingle — why NOT them?
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5. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN

1952-1958

While the intro to Adventures of Superman might not be the catchiest on this list, it’s certainly the most influential. An extension of the 1940s radio program of the same name, AoS was the first to use these iconic phrases,

“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Superman!”

The musical theme (also known as “Superman March”), was based on a triad to match the three syllables in the character’s name. This has been the case with nearly every piece of Superman music since, most notably “Superman Theme,” from John Williams’ seminal film score.
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4. MIGHTY MOUSE

1955-1967

Including Mighty Mouse on this list is a bit of a cheat, as it originated as theatrical shorts. However, its popularity (and pop icon status) didn’t take hold until the cartoons began running on TV, which it did for over 30 years.

Mighty Mouse’s rise to superstardom was due in large part to the show’s operatic theme song. Punctuated by the clarion call to action, “Here I come to save the day!”, the jingle is synonymous with superheroics.

Fun fact: Comedian Andy Kaufman gained notoriety performing the Mighty Mouse theme, most famously on the premiere episode of Saturday Night Live.
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3. WONDER WOMAN

1975-1979

I’m sure the fact that I was a confused, gay comics nerd when Wonder Woman was on the air has something to do with its placement on this list… and in my heart. Regardless, you can’t deny the pop culture impact of Lynda Carter’s portrayal of the most famous superheroine of them all. And just like the show, the Wonder Woman theme is chock full of action, drama, and campy, patriotic fun. “You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman!”

Fun fact: Co-creators Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel also collaborated on the theme songs for Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley, as well as the R&B/pop hit “Killing Me Softly With His Song.”

Funner fact: I’ve met Lynda Cartertwice.
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2. SPIDER-MAN

1967-1970

In stark contrast to this list’s pinnacle, the Spider-Man theme is packed with fun, fantastic lyrics. “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can” kicks off a silly, sensational romp through a day in the life of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. This is Spidey’s third, and final solo appearance on the Top 50 — more than any other hero, save one.

“Spider-Man” has been covered by scores of artists, including The Ramones, Aerosmith, Apollo 440, and Michael Bublé. And it was famously parodied in The Simpsons Movie with the introduction of Spider-Pig.

On a personal note, this song is a favorite from my son’s early superhero indoctrination. You don’t know adorable until you’ve heard a 2-year-old sing “He’s got wadioactive bwudd.”
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1. BATMAN

1966-1968

If you read the phrase “superhero TV theme song,” and don’t instinctively hear a series of “na-na’s” in your head, you must be a bit batty. With a single (intelligible) lyric, the theme for the 1960’s live-action Batman became a part of the pop culture lexicon. A mash-up of spy thriller and surf rock, the Batman theme was written by Neal Hefti, who received three Grammy nominations (and one win) for his work on the show’s music. The tune has been covered by the likes of Jan & Dean, The Who, The Kinks, and The Jam, and reinterpreted/sampled by such artists as R.E.M., Snoop Dogg, and Prince.

Funky Fact: In a 1996 interview, Oprah Winfrey asked Prince, “You taught yourself to play [piano] at seven years old? Do you remember your first song?” He responded by playing the Batman theme.

 

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THANKS FOR READING, TRUE BELIEVERS!
Leave your compliments or complaints in the comments.  

THE REST OF THE LIST:

11-20      21-30      31-40   ★   41-50

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Check out the YouTube Playlist of all 50+ songs, for non-stop, action-packed, superhero TV theme fun!

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