Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Song #17: "The NBA on CBS Theme" (1983-1990)

If you've followed me much during this countdown, you know my great affinity for theme songs, mostly from the genres of sports packages of various networks, as well as game shows. Today, I reveal my favorite.

And it's not even close.

When this song began opening CBS' coverage of NBA Basketball during the lackluster 1983 NBA Finals (when the 76ers and the late, great Moses Malone finally won Dr. J. a title with a sweep of the Lakers), it immediately became a staple, a new height in the use of opening theme music for sporting events.


It was among the first times, to my knowledge, that a theme song was built specifically so it could be used, in its entirety, to both open the telecast and set up the storylines of the game. Thus, the open, the two "verses" if you will, then the ending. Add the what is now considered ancient computer graphics of a basketball arena, and the punctuating final note that segues back into the song as you are taken live into the actual arena for the night's impending game, and it was next level production, and something you could hum along to at the same time.

I've read over the years that the majority of people are of the opinion that the subsequent NBA on NBC Theme written by John Tesh that premiered when that network took over the NBA package in the fall of 1990 is the best NBA theme of all time. Hogwash.

Listen to today's song below, then to NBC's song. CBS, upon hearing it the first time, I'm sure thought to themselves, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

Let's go back to the best decade in NBA history, which started with the emergence of Magic and Bird, gave us the latter years of Abdul-Jabbar, Malone and Dr. J., the party crashing Houston Rockets, and, later on, the start of the career of one Michael Jordan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What address can I send you an email?