TV’s most memorable theme songs

6 March 2019

TV’s most memorable theme songs

While addictive storylines are fundamental in making a show an instant hit, music plays an integral role in creating powerful and memorable moments, and turning otherwise ordinary opening sequences into works of art that deserve a second look.

That’s why the best TV shows and films put a lot of thought into their audio backdrop. Take Showmax Original The Girl from St Agnes, for instance, which blends its mystery with delicate and haunting music, all written and performed by South African artists. My absolute favourite track has to be Winter, a soothing tune by Lucy Kruger that is reminiscent of Birdy – a staple on my playlist.

Looking to create a killer playlist while enjoying your favourite TV shows? Here are our top suggestions. Stream the series on Showmax, and look up their Spotify playlists if the service is available in your country.

Game of Thrones

From Iron Man to Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi is a god when it comes to composing music for films and TV. While Game of Thrones’s credit sequence is captivating on its own, Djawadi’s tune really gives it the addictive element it deserves. Don’t even get me started on the numerous covers from fans across the globe, which prove just how phenomenal the Game of Thrones music is. And now I can’t get that tune out of my head – not that I’m complaining.

Here’s the official Spotify playlist for some of the tracks you’ll hear in Game of Thrones, and here’s the link to the Djawadi’s playlist of all the music he composed for the series.

Stream Game of Thrones S1-8 on Showmax. Watch now »

Big Little Lies

Michael Kiwanuka’s aching soulful voice in Cold Little Heart is the perfect opening for a show as mysterious and melancholic as Big Little Lies.

Other than its haunting theme song, Big Little Lies also features music from Leon Bridges, Sade, Frank Ocean, Elvis Presley, Alabama Shakes and more artists who deserve a place on your playlist. Here’s a link to songs from the series on Spotify.

Stream Big Little Lies S1 on Showmax now. Season 2 lands in weekly episodes from 10 June 2019. Watch now »

The Sopranos

The Sopranos on Showmax

Image: HBO

The Sopranos’ opening theme song Woke Up This Morning, by English band Alabama 3, tells a tragic story, and it sets the mood for the HBO show’s neo-noir look. It’s no wonder it has been described by Rolling Stone as one of the best television theme songs, alongside Friends’ I’ll Be There For You.

A playlist full of music from The Sopranos is available on Spotify here.

Stream the full boxset of The Sopranos S1-6 on Showmax. Watch now »

More shows with great soundtracks on Showmax

HBO really dominates when it comes to shows with brilliant music.

  • Westworld – with Ramin Djawadi’s opening theme song, Westworld creates a perfectly creepy mood by employing eerie cover songs on the rest of its soundtrack.
  • Insecure – From SZA to Kendrick Lamar to Janelle Monae, Insecure’s soundtrack deserves a standing ovation.
  • Vinyl – A show about the evolution of music in 1970s New York? Of course it delivers an exceptional soundtrack.

Start watching now »

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