Marilyn Manson's Eerie 'Salem' Theme Revealed: 10 Other Top TV Songs
In the break between American Horror Story seasons, the Internet has turned its fear-seeking attentions to Salem, an original series about the town's infamous witch trails that premiered this past Sunday on WGN America. And now, it seems a new name has entered the buzz: On Thursday, it was revealed that Marilyn Manson penned Salem 's theme song, titled "Cupid Carries a Gun," when its predictably spooky 50-second clip was released in advance of the second episode. Manson's raspy vocals are an excellent match for the show's witchy fare; overall, a solid choice by the showrunners — one that actually makes me eager to check it out come Sunday.
Because the truth of the matter is, a good theme song can make or break a show — or, well, at the very least, make you either crave or dread its opening minutes. And there are plenty of flops out there these days: Regina Spektor's Orange Is the New Black theme, while musically cool, is frustratingly long, and the aggressive twee-ness of New Girl 's Zooey Deschanel-helmed jingle makes me want to cause harm. (Seriously — never before have I had such raw desire to pour gasoline on the singing flowers from Alice in Wonderland.) Of course, there are plenty of themesongs that are just perfectly great — the instant gravitas conveyed by W.G. Snuffy Walden's West Wing opener, the iconic cheesy sitcom-ery of The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You" — but this list is for those oh-so-perfect and sometimes surprising choices that you'd be happy to have on a playlist (and possibly, probably do). So, without further ado:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A perfect stage-setter for the righteous girl power of the series, and the many acts that would grace the stage of the Bronze (one of which was, indeed, these guys — Nerf Herder, the very last musical guest to play on the show).
Massive Attack is high quality, and "Teardrop" is some of their highest.
Always a Saturday morning favorite — right alongside Hey, Arnold. And who could forget the stylings of the brilliant in-show band, The Beets? "Killer Tofu" will forever be my anthem.
Law & Order
The themesong so quintessential it spawned four almost identical revamps. That opening "domp-DOMP" will forever and for always signify crimefightin'.
A throwback of a choice, to be sure, but it it's good enough for The Blues Brothers, it's good enough for me. Plus, nothing says "Wild, Wild West" quite like this plodding — or, should I say, rollin' rollin' rollin' — ballad.
You guys, this theme song won an award. Okay, so it was an animation award for the title sequence as a whole, but still. Gotta give my man Jhonen Vasquez his due (and composer Mark Tortorici, of course).
Come on, you know it's in your iTunes. Even if you didn't buy it; Phantom Planet's "California" comes standard with most Apple products. (Note: This narrowly beat out Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be" from One Tree Hill — O, the angstily wailing young men! — but I figured I've been writing enough about that show lately.)
Welcome Back, Kotter
Another oldie — but I have a soft spot for The Lovin' Spoonful, the band that the song's writer John Sebstian fronted. It's just so indomitably pleasant, which is admittedly not something you'd expect from a show starring John Travolta. (And, full disclosure, it's been on my brain since I saw the trailer for Cracked.com's forthcoming Harry Potter spoof series, Welcome Back, Potter .)
Much love to The Dandy Warhols — not in the least for coming up with a less-than-objectionable pun-related band name.
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
Yep. There was no way we were getting out of this list without it. To make up for this inevitability, however, I have for you the slightly more novel (and infinitely, eminently genius) Fresh Prince theme song as put through Google Translate — and played live!