Happy April, Readers! I hope you having a great one so far! The weather here in Nagoya is getting warmer! I have been passing the time by enjoying the spring weather with various activities. One is watching cherry blossoms spring to life besides my apartment’s window. But, also watching obscure 80s’ American TV shows like Misfits of Science, The Charmings, Starman, Out of This World, and others. (All thanks to Wikipedia and Youtube!)
The Unusualness of the 80s Show Misfits of Science
I have never really heard of Misfits of Science before. I came across it after stumbling on a Youtube video that showcased theme songs from “bizarre” 80s’ shows. All I know about the show is that Courtney Cox starred in it, who would later star in the 90s’ staple TV show Friends. It also featured a charming Dean Paul Martin. You could even say that “Misfits” is the distant cousin of Fantastic Four or even X-Men. Each media are “beings” having strange superpowers and/or weird science.
For those who don’t remember this lost 80s’ show, let me give you a brief introduction. Misfits of Science premiered in the fall of 1985 on the American TV network NBC. It only ran for sixteen episodes as it was canceled due to low ratings. It wasn’t the show’s fault though; it was competing against the mega-successful, ratings dominant Dallas during the same time slot. The only way to watch the episodes from this lost 80s show is episode found online or from a tape recording. There are no home media releases.
The Theme Song for Misfits of Science
Why am I writing about a TV show on my music blog? Am I forgetting my bearings? Hold up a minute and let me explain! I’m not crazy! Sometimes the themes songs from particular shows are worthy to talk about.
The theme song for Misfits of Science was composed by Basil Poledouris, a Greek-American composer. He created music for various TV shows and movies like Conan the Barbarian, RoboCop, and Free Willy. He also wrote music for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Meanwhile, the theme’s performer is a singer-songwriter named Karen Lawrence. Since the 70s, Lawrence has been featured as the lead singer for L.A. Jets, 1994, Karen Lawrence and the Pinz, and Blue by Nature. She also sang back up for Aerosmith and Jeff Beck. She released her only album, entitled Rip and Tear, in 1986 under the label Revolver.
The theme song is entirely a HI-NRG rock tune. There are some spots where the song slows down, especially at the pre-chorus where the BPM clocks in the lower 200s. But, it isn’t solely about the BPM that defines its sound nor speed. You can hear it in the instrumentation. The composer used a combination of instruments to achieve this feat of being a HI-NRG tune. These instruments are electric guitars, electronic keyboards, bell-like tones, a drum kit, and a synthesizer. The theme song to Misfits of Science could be in the minor key to give it an edgy sound, but I could be mistaken.
What I love about this song is three factors: upbeat tempo, the edginess, and the “weirdness” factor that goes between the pre-chorus and chorus. You can hear this “weirdness” factor between 3:24 – 3:28 where a dissonant chord resolves into a consonant one, maybe into a half-cadence. The “weird” key, rock structure works perfectly for the show as the theme is “weird science”. But, the chorus adds a nice touch to the song as it changes directions. It also tries to resolve the song’s rock, edgy tension with a positive and relaxed melody.
You can listen to the theme song of Misfit of Science down below and let me know what you think in the comments below! What are your favorite TV theme songs?