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Ten Most Badass TV Theme Songs of the '80s

Say what you will about '80s TV shows -- the one-dimensional characters and ludicrous plot devices -- but they just don't make theme songs like they used to.

If you were alive and watching television in the '80s, then you've most likely got the intro music to classic shows like Knight Rider, Miami Vice, and A-Team stuck in your head for eternity. And with good reason. These were some pretty epic tunes, full of grit, emotion and unforgettably cheesy electric guitar solos.  

See the cut for Crossfade's ten most badass TV theme songs of the '80s.


10. Knight Rider

Before The Hoff was a washed-up loser getting wasted on YouTube, he was the

biggest badass on television. This show's theme

song -- an unforgettable, dark and sultry electro-funk number -- would

later get revamped for the dancefloor by the likes of Busta Rhymes and

Timbaland.

9. Miami Vice

The show that put '80s Miami chic, i.e. Don Johnson's

white linen suits with sockless loafers, on the map. At the time,

Miami Vice was also known for its innovative New Wave soundtrack, and

the opening theme song follows suit with its pounding drum machine

toms and glossy guitar riffs.

8. A-Team

The ultimate theme song for the ultimate badasses. But we all know

this song was written especially for Mr. T. In a perfect world, a marching

band would follow him 24 hours per day, playing this song wherever the T-Man might roam.

7. Booker

This 21 Jump Street spinoff would get cancelled after its first season, prematurely ending Richard Grieco's career. It was incredibly unfair for the prodigious thespian and his fans. Our

consolation: This banging theme song by Billy Idol lives on.

6. Airwolf

'80s America had a serious obsession with flashy technology. Hence,

shows like Knight Rider, Small Wonder and Airwolf featuring a machine

or robot as main characters. Airwolf's theme song is pure high-speed

adrenaline-pumping techno ear porn.

 

5. Magnum P.I.

Few leading men of the '80s exuded as much virility and heroism as Tom

Selleck with his magnificent 'stache. Selleck's contract commitment to

the Magnum, P.I. series famously cost him the role of Indiana Jones in

Raiders of the Lost Ark. But if it's any consolation, Tom, you were

born to play Magnum and we wouldn't have you any other way.

4. MacGyver

Richard Dean Anderson's character exploits on this show were so

popular by the late '80s, that they even tried to get the term

"MacGyverism" entered into Webster's Dictionary as a way of describing

technical problem-solving and resourcefulness. McGyver was the

ultimate brainy badass.

3. T.J. Hooker

William Shatner has been TV's most versatile actor for a half-century. He was forever

immortalized as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. He's

astounded listeners with his interpretive spoken-word rendition of pop

songs. And who could forget his work in commercials? But Shatner will

always be LAPD detective Thomas Jefferson Hooker to us. And the

dramatic complexity of the character that only Shatner could have

played is perfectly captured in the theme song.

2. Automan

Automan was exactly like Tron, but in reverse. Instead of a human

entering the virtual world, the computer in Automan creates a

crime-fighting holographic hero projected into the real world. The

theme song is a slice of retro-futurist awesomeness

and tacky old-school sci-fi sound effects.

1. Hunter

Sgt. Rick Hunter was the Dirty Harry of cop shows, a trigger-happy

shoot-first-ask-questions-later kind of badass. Therefore, the show's

porn-soundtrack-on-steroids theme song was perfect.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.


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