Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy birthday, Mike Post

Composer Mike Post is 68 today.

His themes for popular television programs are played continually worldwide. I'd argue that his themes have actually helped programs become popular. I've listed my four favorites, all of which reflect the mood of the show: Law and Order dramatic, Rockford Files and Magnum playful, and Hill Street Blues, a haunting piece of music with a bluesy touch.

Here is my disclaimer: If you are looking at this blog and any of these themes have dead links it's because YouTube pulled them out of circulation. Blame YouTube, not MeTube.


Kirk said...

The Hill Street Blues theme is my favorite. It doesn't sound like something you'd normally hear on TV--at least not back then-- whereas the others do. That doesn't make the others bad, just more coventional. But then the shows themselves were more conventional. That must have figured into Post's thinking when he was writing them.

Incidentally, the second video was blacked out. Could that be The Rockford Files? If so, again, an unconventional theme for an unconventional show.

Postino said...

Kirk, try that second video again and let me know if it's still black. It is working on all three of my browsers (IE, Firefox and Chrome).

I wonder if Mike Post subscribed to the Brian Wilson school of composing. He used some non-traditional musical instruments in his compositions which gave them a very unique, yet identifiable sound (I could listen and know it was by Mike Post before seeing his name). There's a harmonica in Rockford Files, and yet later the same music is done with horns. I'm not a musician and don't know the ways of composition, but his themes sounded to this layman like he was at least partly inspired by Brian Wilson, and his masterpiece, Pet Sounds.

I don't know if I'd use the word conventional, although I believe I know what you mean. The only theme I couldn't hear in my head before playing the video was Magnum. No matter how many years it's been since I watched Rockford I remembered it perfectly, as was Hill Street Blues. Both were very influential, especially Hill Street, which set the mood for the show perfectly.

Kirk said...

It's working now. Man, I forgot how much I like that theme.