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June 3, 2008

Funky Theme Songs

funky-theme-songs-for-web.jpgMost of my favorite records are the things of dollar bins and garage sale stacks of scratched 45s. I'm forever a lover of the undervalued, the overlooked, the one awesome track from a band that's supposed to suck (oh yeah, posts from Bananarama, Thompson Twins and Flock of Seagulls WILL be coming...). These two 45s are sure to get brought out when record-geek friends come over. They are genuine underdog thrillers. I put these two particular tracks in the same post because they happen to be covers of theme-songs of TV shows/ movies.

The first track is Ahmad Jamal covering the theme from M*A*S*H. I love the original track (aka "Suicide Is Painless"), but he builds a little soul, a little funk into it. The song moves with a melancholy and groove similar to Bob James theme to Taxi (titled "Angela" on his 1978 album Touchdown), which is another favorite theme song of mine. I could listen to this song daily; click the picture to hear it for yourself.


The second track is the real sleeper. It's Percy Faith covering Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (The Fifth Movement), the theme from The Exorcist. I can't remember what possessed me to listen to this record but once I hit the killer break about 2/3rds in I had to have it. That's right, I just typed "Percy Faith" and "killer break" together.

This is the epitome of a sleeper track. Percy Faith occupies a full 25% of thrift store record bins and probably 10% of their trash. He was one of those prolific popular conductors who covered EVERYTHING. (Percy Faith Does the Beatles, Percy Faith Goes Disco, A Percy Faith 4th of July, Percy Faith: Psych Out!) So it's easy to tune out anything with his name on it while flipping through stacks of vinyl. The flip side, a cover of the theme to Chinatown, is expectedly dull.

Like the theme to M*A*S*H, I love the original Tubular Bells. It would be fair to assume Percy Faith would drain whatever was awesome right out of it, but miraculously he makes it FUNKY. Click the picture to listen for yourself, skip right through to the break if you aren't into the beginning.


Posted by matt at June 3, 2008 4:00 PM


That MASH cover is really good. I'm excited about your blog!

Posted by: Cory Weaver at June 3, 2008 4:45 PM

yo bitch! That mash track is the dopeness! Well, just that first baseline. I might have to dig this 45 out and give it a spin myself.

BTW Buck 65 sampled the baseline on his Weirdo Magnet album

Posted by: the return of docbeezy at June 3, 2008 5:07 PM

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