Customer Reviews: TV Guide: 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes
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on November 8, 2004
This is nothing more than a re-release of many of the same badly remade TV themes from the mid-eighties albums entitled "Tee Vee Toons Presents..." series by TVT Records.

Many of these songs are replicated (horribly) with outdated keyboards and synthisizers. I find it sad that TV Guide would slap it's name on such a horrible compilation album such as this. For some unknown reason, companies that put together TV theme compilations think lovers of TV music won't care that they've included cheap remakes of there favorite theme songs!

If you can't get the original version, than don't put it on the album!

Another pet peeve, is that often times (like in here) they put the lesser popular version of the theme in as well. Example: They have the first season version of the Mary Tyler Moore theme "Love Is All Around". The arrangement and lyrics were different in this version than in the entire rest of the series. It's not the popular version.

People who put these together are not usually fans of TV themes and usually don't know what they are doing. Oh yeah, don't mix the long record version (usually not enough like the original to be recognizable) with the shorter TV versions!

I've said my peace!

Larry Lee Moniz

Hayward, California
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on July 6, 2004
Contrary to a previous review, many of these themes are remakes.
Just to name a few I Love Lucy, Dragnet, The Honeymooners, Alfred Hitchcock,Bewitched. But there are several that are original, such as Flinstones, Adams Family, Gilligans Island, Monkees, Brady Bunch, Six Feet under, and a few more. So this comp is touch and go. I have been collecting themes for 35 years, and I have never found a comp with ALL ORIGINAL THEMES.
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on December 30, 2002
tv guides 50 greatest themes is a nice package, what with its 50 card set included(i'm referring to the limited box edition) but to me fails in its failure to deliver what it advertises. alot of the early and mid period themes are NOT the original themes used on the tv shows and that is annoying to me. anyone over 35 who has ever seen the particular show the theme is for knows in 2 notes it is a modern rerecording. i don't care if the original themes sound quality isn't perfect, that original is what brings the memory back to the show. i'd like to know the reason these rerecorded "fake " themes are included here and secondly, why is this not stated anywhere here that many of these are not the original songs. i remember buying tvt's(the producer)tv theme albums in 1985 and having had the same letdown then as i do now. seventeen years later, steve gottlieb, the cd's producer, still can't find the original theme songs. if they can't get the rights, don't put them in here. how ridiculous is it to have someone other than batman & robin begin that theme. in my opinion , a full third to a half of the first 25 themes are not original , including i love lucy, dragnet, the andy griffith show, gilligan's island, batman, bewitched, hawaii five-o, mash, mission impossible and the honeymooners. i think tv guide should have monitored this a little better and only let tvt put in original themes. NOT RECOMMENDED.
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on December 20, 2002
If you are like me, (40-ish) then you can mark the cycles of your life by popular music and the medium through which it was distributed to you, i.e. records, 8-track, cassette tapes, CDs, radio and TV. We associate past emotions, events, most powerfully with visual and aural memories that can instantly tranport us back to the moment they ocurred. Most of us probably have either saved our favorite LPs (and even the old record player) or upgraded our record collection to CDs. The other medium that we associate important memories with is of course T.V. Who can forget the Beatles' first appearance on Ed Sullivan. Or Rob Petrie tripping over the Ottoman in his living room? Or the knight on a white horse proclaiming that Ajax detergent is truly stronger than dirt.
Well, now you can finds CDs, tapes, and DVDs that can help you relive almost all of these moments (unfortunately, I know of know video collection of classic TV commercials available to the public for purchase). But let's face it; most of us don't have the time, money or inclination to actually sit through a whole episode of My Three Sons, Gilligan's Island or Green Acres. Most of Classic TV is best remembered in sound bytes anyway; the stories were really not that good.
Fortunately, this collection of the theme songs from the classic (e.g. Lucy), post-classic (e.g. Taxi), modern (e.g. L.A. Law), and post-modern (e.g. Friends) TV era is a high-impact dose guaranteed to stimulate the nostalgia center of your brain. From the opening rumba of I Love Lucy, to the tinkling lounge piano of Cheers, you get most of the TV Themes that defined what we watched.
The collection does have some curious choices though. In an attempt to balance all the eras, some arguably famous themes have been omitted (e.g. The Munsters) to make room for some post-modern selections (e.g. Six Feet Under?!). However, it is fortunate that the classic, post-classic, and modern era take up 90% of the collection which should satisfy even the most fussy listener.
I am also happy to report that the fidelity of the original musical performances have been cleaned up where possible and without detracting from the experience. In fact the tacky and tinny sound of the Addams Family theme has been maintained, whether because a better source could not be found, I do not know; yet this is what I remembered the performance to be.
Thus for a very reasonable price of about 12 bucks (far cheaper than prozac), you will have bought the means to stimulate your nostalgia lobe, unleashing a flood of pleasant (I hope) memories. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Ahh T.V., is there anything you can't do?"
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on October 24, 2004
The cover of this collection of classic TV themes makes it look like it's a winner, but when you see the track listing and listen to the compilation overall, it's very disappointing.

The collection has gathered popular TV theme songs but there are so many that you do want that are not here: Facts of Life, Different Strokes, Maude...a lot of the kitschy songs are omitted, preventing this from becoming a true guilty pleasure. Stick with the Television Themes series. Much better!
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HALL OF FAMEon January 29, 2004
The big plus here is the sound improvement over the other TV theme song collections that I have, where it always sounds like somebody put a tape recorder next to the television why a theme song was playing. In fact some of the tunes on "TV Guide: 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes" sound too good to be the originals. But from "I Love Lucy" to "Six Feet Under," these are the originals, cleaned up where necessary without sacrificing their original charm. The accompanying booklet also offers 50 "TV Guide" covers reflecting the 50 series selected for inclusion on this CD.
Yes, some of the fun is quibbling over what has been included and what has been omitted (I would trade "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" for "Greatest American Hero" just off the top of my head). There seems to be a rule that a show has to have made it to a third season, which is what "Alias" has done this season (although that is certainly not a song I would have ever thought of for this list, mainly because the visual aspect of the opening credits is nothing unless you slow it down and see the key frames, which is too much work for me). So memorable songs like the themes for "Branded" and "Murder One" miss the cut by that standard. But then I would love to see a collection that included some of the great obscure TV themes, like the one John Barry wrote for "The Persuaders," a series with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. On the other hand, "TV Guide" does not count chart success a key criteria, because you will not find any of the versions of "The Legend of Davy Crockett" or "The Theme from 'S.W.A.T'"
Still, all things considered, "TV Guide" has done a great job of putting these 50 TV themes together on a single disc. The vast majority of them should meet anyone's criteria for inclusion, which means this CD has to grade out with at least a solid "B" in the 80s (if not higher), and the improved sound is a big plus.
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on January 9, 2003
This is a great collection of some of the best TV themes from the past and present. It includes a booklet with interesting trivia too. However, it would have been even better if instead of the 50 best themes, it would have been the 100 best themes. There's so much missing that one is left wanting more! Some of the older themes sound really corny nowadays, and a lot of the newer themes are rarely available, and I'd love a more comprehensive collection of themes from the 90s and the past couple of years too. Please, pretty please?
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on April 28, 2008
I was expecting the original TV Theme music on this CD - it was not. These reproductions are not as good.
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on October 15, 2007
Wow, I was greatly disappointed in this product. Who wants re-recorded versions of these songs?
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on June 26, 2013
The group I was sharing the CD with was from the older generation. So the theme songs had a nice variety connected with their childhood years of watching the old classic shows. There were a few from the last decade that stumped the crowd. I would have liked more from the 60s and 70s but the variety was nice. I know I can order additional CD's to hit the different decades.
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