Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The Who managed to play three (CBS-aired) CSI theme songs in 15 minutes during their (CBS-aired) Super Bowl halftime performance. A nice coincidence for a band with a deep catalog spanning about 45 years. It made me think about theme songs, specifically ones based on existing recordings, and the relationship between the music and the show. Rather than think of the Who as shills for the network, I'll instead take their CSI-heavy set as a reminder of the people behind the music, a defense against people calling a certain song "That song from CSI" rather than "Who Are You".

The Who is in some ways a bad example. Classic rock radio has driven "Who Are You", "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Rielly" deep into our heads. We know the Who, we know their songs.

A better case is Massive Attack's "Teardrop", or as it is undoubtedly better known, the theme to House. The split is wider by far on this one, especially considering that far more people will see the next episode of House than heard Mezzanine.

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