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Author Topic: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes  (Read 5412 times)

Jeremy Nelson

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The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« on: June 03, 2024, 03:14:33 PM »
What game show themes sound the most like the musical eras in which they were around? Interested in hearing your thoughts, especially since most decades have at least two or three distinctive "sounds".

For me, Press Your Luck and Hot Streak both have plenty of that early 80s synth that make them products of their time. Pictionary has a lot of that late 90s TV theme piano riff that was in other themes like Will and Grace and Everybody Loves Raymond..

Interested in seeing what people come up with!
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TLEberle

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2024, 03:39:01 PM »
I think that The Challengers had a theme more befitting the 1980s. (Split Second: Canadia Edition too.)

The New Price is Right and Family Feud's 1994 syndicated season brought the sax-ness and both are my favorite iterations of their respective themes.

Jeopardy did a great job adapting with the times in changing their theme every so often, though the Final Jeopardy that they settled on in 2008 does nothing for me.
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aaron sica

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2024, 03:54:22 PM »
Believe it or not, I'm going to give the same answer for 60s/70s.....Each MG incarnation. The 60s version had a definite 60s sound, and the 70s had that disco-type feel to it. Jeopardy definitely had an 80s synthesizer-like theme to it.

In agreement with Travis on TNPiR for '90s.


BrandonFG

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2024, 04:12:59 PM »
Concur on TPiR and Feud 94. They’re both a little dated now but if either show opted to use one of those themes, I think it could still fit.

I always thought Trivia Trap’s theme felt like breakdancing music.
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Loogaroo

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2024, 04:31:34 PM »
Match Game '7x is the theme I most associate with the decade personally. Even though it leaked out into the '80s a tiny bit because of the syndicated versions, the wah-wah guitar places it firmly in the earlier decade.

Not a decade per se, but honorable mention to Bullseye for the most disco-friendly theme song of the era.

The 1984 Jeopardy! theme might be one of the most synth-forward pieces of music for the time. People forget that the opening to that theme was loaded with a lot of random beeps and boops that give off a major "we're starting up THE COMPUTER" vibes in a time when personal computing was still incredibly novel

Given the sanitized wasteland that the '90s was in terms of game show aesthetics, I'd just nominate the entire Stone-Stanley library as that decade's representative in all of its MIDI wavetable glory.
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WhammyPower

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2024, 04:50:41 PM »
I'd just nominate the entire Stone-Stanley library as that decade's representative in all of its MIDI wavetable glory.
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Loogaroo

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2024, 05:43:19 PM »
Technically Debt was Alan Ett and not the Stone-Stanley Sound Machine, but they're certainly birds of a feather.
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Winkfan

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2024, 05:50:51 PM »
For my dough, the original Split Second theme had that early-1970s vibe. And although the show came along in the late 1970's, the original Card Sharks theme sounded like 1972-73.

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TLEberle

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2024, 06:41:42 PM »
Given the sanitized wasteland that the '90s was in terms of game show aesthetics, I'd just nominate the entire Stone-Stanley library as that decade's representative in all of its MIDI wavetable glory.
While certainly not as memorable as the TPIR or even LMAD prize cues, whoever did end up authoring all of those pieces must have made some decent cash. Even a tenner for each song adds up: four stunts, up to four more prize reads for stunt wins, six prizes in the end game plus you get the theme tune about a dozen times. Merv was right; compose your own theme songs and let the money accrue.

For as memorable as the Millionaire theme was, I would split my vote between Greed and Winning Lines as most evocative of the futurogoth sound-mark of 1999-2002.
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Chief-O

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2024, 06:46:05 PM »
60s: I guess the TTTT '69 theme symbolizes that period more than anything for me. A lot of the other G-T themes from the decade could apply for early 60s.

70s: "Split Second" '72 seems, at least to me, like it could've been the prototype of upbeat and brassy "game show music". "Mindreaders" and "Make Me Laugh" could be quite representative of the later part of the decade, and the influence of disco.

80s: I think it'd be easier to name 80s themes that *didn't* sound 80s.

90s: Yes to the Stone-Stanley catalog, but also the later "Supermarket Sweep" theme----aside from Dave Koz's sax, it pretty much sounds like it was entirely done on a Kurzweil or Korg synth of the period.

While certainly not as memorable as the TPIR or even LMAD prize cues, whoever did end up authoring all of those pieces must have made some decent cash.

I seem to understand, at least through TVPMM (and the LOTHT package incident), that David Stanley himself penned the bulk of the S-S material.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2024, 11:47:53 PM by Chief-O »
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SamJ93

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2024, 07:30:27 PM »
I still maintain that the intro to Quiz Kids Challenge is the most early-'90s thing that's ever early-'90sed (as well as a relic of an era when TV producers were utterly unconcerned with inducing seizures in viewers):

https://youtu.be/l3uonxv8qG8
« Last Edit: June 03, 2024, 07:33:32 PM by JasonA1 »
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joelvanderveen

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2024, 08:02:52 AM »
For some reason, I always thought the flute solo in the Break the Bank theme made it sound quintessentially 70s.

Ian Wallis

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2024, 09:16:17 AM »
A few that come to mind:

Mindreaders (previously mentioned), Love Experts (even though it's from an existing commercial release), Jeopardy '78 ("Frisco Disco"), Hollywood Squares ('79-80 theme) and Celebrity Charades all scream late '70s to me, what with them all being disco-sounding.

Dating Game (the closing they started using in mid'-72) makes me think of '60s swing.  The original theme is very '60s Herb Alpert-like.  I guess that was probably by design since a lot of his music was used as cues on the ABC version.

Will probably think of more later...
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Blanquepage

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2024, 11:07:34 AM »
Both themes to Starcade definitely radiate the "80s" vibe. A bunch come to mind for '90s, mostly sax-prominent pieces like WoF, Davidson TPiR, Feud '94 etc.

TimK2003

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Re: The most 60s/70s/80s etc. game show themes
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2024, 07:25:16 PM »
Many game show themes, especially from the latter half of the 60s and on, were very similar in nature to some of the top tunes of the time. 

For example, Bullseye's theme had a "Copacabana" vibe to it; Body Language had a Michael Jackson "Wanna Be Startin Somethin" vibe, and so on.  There was even a thread devoted to these similarities with multiple examples several years back.