Thursday, 6 September 2012

Jan Hammer 'Miami Vice Theme'

Chart Peak: 5

The biggest instrumental hit of the year was recorded by a German - Harold Faltermeyer. The second biggest has been recorded by a Czech - Jan Hammer. The 'Miami Vice Theme' raced to No. 5 in late October.
So, er, well done Mr Hammer. He fared even better in the US, where this topped the chart (the last instrumental to date to have done so). Even though I wasn't allowed to watch it, I know that Miami Vice was a popular TV show but I don't really get why anybody would want to buy a single of this. Sure, it works pretty well as a soundtrack to people running along with immaculate hair and guns in their hands, preparing to burst through a doorway; mind you, of course, my idea of how to soundtrack that is doubtless influenced by having grown up in the 1980s. But what I struggle to imagine is somebody going out and buying the 7" single, taking it home and playing it. When would that be appropriate? If you were actually running about with a gun in your hand and bursting through a doorway, you'd probably make the needle jump.

As far as I can tell, it wasn't that uncommon for a TV theme tune to be released as a single in the 1970s and 1980s, but only a few charted, especially non-vocal ones. There must have been something particular about this (and Howard's Way) that crossed over. Maybe it was some aspirational way for people to buy a piece of the programme itself. Either way, it's kind of lost on me now.

Also appearing on: Now 10
Available on: '80s Pop #1's

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