The 80s was a decade known for its iconic music, from the rise of pop stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna, to the emergence of hip-hop and punk. However, it was also a decade when television was dominated by sitcoms, and the music used in these shows played an equally important role in shaping the cultural landscape of the time. We take a look back at some of the most memorable theme songs from 80s sitcoms.
Cheers is undoubtedly one of the most beloved sitcoms of the 80s, and its theme song is just as iconic. “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo, and performed by Portnoy himself. The song is a perfect fit for the show’s central theme of community and belonging, and has stood the test of time as one of the most recognizable TV theme songs ever.
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls was a sitcom about a group of elderly women living together and navigating their golden years. The theme song, “Thank You For Being a Friend,” was originally written and performed by Andrew Gold in 1978, but it was the version performed by Cynthia Fee for the show that became one of the most beloved theme songs of the 80s. The song is a tribute to the power of friendship, and perfectly captures the spirit of the show.
Family Ties was a sitcom about an ex-hippie couple raising their three children in the conservative Reagan era. The theme song, “Without Us,” was written by Jeff Barry and Tom Scott, and performed by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams. The song is an upbeat, catchy tune that perfectly captures the optimistic spirit of the show, and the dynamic between the family members.
The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show was a groundbreaking sitcom about an upper-middle-class African American family living in Brooklyn, New York. The show’s theme song, “Kiss Me,” was written by Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby himself, and performed by Gardner and Lisa Sawyer. The song is a jazzy, upbeat tune that perfectly sets the tone for the show’s lighthearted and comedic take on family life.
A Different World
A Different World was a spinoff of The Cosby Show that followed the college lives of Denise Huxtable and her friends. The show’s theme song, “A Different World,” was performed by jazz singer Phoebe Snow, and perfectly captures the spirit of the show’s message of diversity, education, and personal growth.
Blossom was a sitcom about a teenage girl named Blossom Russo and her family dealing with the ups and downs of life. The show’s theme song, “My Opinionation,” was written and performed by Mike Post, who was also responsible for the theme songs for other iconic shows like Law & Order and Hill Street Blues. The song is a fun and funky tune that perfectly captures the irreverent spirit of the show.
Full House was a sitcom about a widowed father raising his three daughters with the help of his best friend and brother-in-law. The theme song, “Everywhere You Look,” was written by Jeff Franklin, Bennett Salvay, and Jesse Frederick, and performed by Frederick himself. The song is an upbeat, optimistic tune that perfectly sets the stage for the show’s family-friendly and heartwarming storylines.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a sitcom that launched the career of future movie superstar Will Smith. The show’s theme song, “Yo Home to Bel-Air,” was written by Smith himself, along with DJ Jazzy Jeff and Quincy Jones. The song is a fun, catchy rap that perfectly captures the show’s fish-out-of-water premise as a street-smart kid from Philadelphia moves in with his wealthy relatives in Los Angeles.
The 80s was an era of iconic music and classic sitcoms, and the theme songs from these shows played an important role in shaping the cultural zeitgeist of the time. From the cheers of “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” to the funky beats of “My Opinionation,” these theme songs are a testament to the enduring power of TV in popular culture and entertainment.