The One ‘90s Theme Song No One Appreciates Enough
Let's play a quick game of word association. When I say "best '90s TV theme songs," what pops into your head? I'm no mind reader, but I feel quietly confident that I could guess it in three. Did you just start singing "I'll be there for you" softly under your breath while imagining yourself and your friends goofing off in a fountain in coordinated black-and-white outfits? No? Then I'm guessing you just conjured up a vision of Will Smith in neon ("Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down")? No luck? OK, then how about the relentlessly saccharine na-na theme tune of Clarissa Explains It All?
The one theme I'm guessing didn't immediately come to mind is the punky, guitar-led Buffy the Vampire Slayer song. Sure, I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that it's been tragically overlooked. The thing about this song is that you'd totally listen to it anyway, whether or not it had anything to do with everyone's favorite vampire series. It thrashes along at a relentless pace, making it my one-time go-to for headbanging out teen frustrations. Don't believe me? See (hear) for yourself below:
Pop punk band Nerf Herder is behind the most rockin' tune on TV. When they were asked to record the song for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, they weren't well known, with member Parry Gripp explaining to Time, "Buffy was one of the first things we did outside of our little garage. We got the gig because they were running out of money and needed something cheap. They asked all of the small time bands they knew to come up with ideas. It was a great time for us." The irony was that during this time, the band got signed, and "when the show was finally going to come out [their] label didn't want [them] to have anything to do with it. They actually negotiated [their] name smaller in the credits!"
I bet that record label ended up kicking themselves when Buffy became one of the coolest shows on TV. Ultimately, though, the thing I love the song best for is presumably the same quality which caused so many people to forget about it: its complete lack of lyrics. To me, this seems like a sign of strength. The melody's so good that no vocals are required. But if you can't sing a song in the shower, how long does it stick in your head for?
So let's start a campaign to reinstate this song in the pantheon '90s theme tunes. Play it to all those people in your life who are too young or too disinterested in TV to be acquainted with it. Together, let's air guitar this tune back to cultural relevance — we owe it to Buffy.
Images: 20th Century Fox Television; [Insert witty comment]/Youtube; Nerf Herder