Ok, before I begin I just want everyone to know that I am definitely ripping off the theme of posts that show up on Cracked. I'm a member on Cracked and requested developer access but to date all I've done are several failed Photoplasty entries and a couple of idea submission. It's freaking hard to gain any sort of acceptance on that site so kudos to anyone who's ever had anything published there.
That out of the way, you guys know I'm in the karaoke biz and often times when people know they have no musical aptitude whatsoever they'll go with a TV theme which are pretty easy to sing. They're also really short so you only have to embarrass yourself for about a minute (Where's the fun in that?). It's a little known fact though that some TV shows have full length songs that you probably never heard. So here we go.
1. Bonanza (by Lorne Greene)
Surprised? Bonanza is one of those generational songs that everyone has heard at least once. But the version you hear is always the instrumental. Here's the original.
Turns out though this song totally had lyrics. Here's the full version.
I had to list this one first because to this day people still call bullshit when I tell them Bonanza has lyrics.
2. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (by too many people than I can credit here)
Yes there's a full Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme. Don't act like you didn't watch it. And yes, the full theme is frickin' awesome. The guitar riff alone just makes you want to get up and kick ass.
3. Cheers (by Gary Portnoy)
Funny story. Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo wrote a string of rejected theme songs for different NBC series before "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" got picked up for Cheers. The song is iconic to bars everywhere now but the full version of the song borders on hilarity (it's still good though). Check it out.
4. Growing Pains (by I'm sending you to Wikipedia on this one)
Stunningly there were NINE versions "As Long As We've Got Each Other". That's two more versions than this show had seasons. It's been an ongoing rumor that Alan Thicke sang the theme song but I think that's just people trying to retroactively pass on the credit for his son's R&B singing career.
5. The Big Bang Theory (by Barenaked Ladies)
I had to throw in at least one modern theme song. Chances are you've never heard the full version because the intro is only about 30 seconds. Barenaked Ladies stuff here reminds me a lot of They Might Be Giants.
6. Family Guy (by Seth MacFarlane)
Please tell me I just blew your mind with this one. Seriously, even I didn't know there was a full theme until I started writing this. In the full version, the full cast get to sing and have longer lines.
7. Angel (by Darling Violetta)
Someday I'll get around to exploring this little section of the Whedonverse, but I'm pretty familiar with the theme song...because it's awesome. The original is called "The Sactuary". Below is "The Sactuary, Extended Remix".
****Update March 11, 2013****
I actually heard from one of the creators of this piece and he noted that what you hear on the show was originally all there was. This was produced for the soundtrack album. It still works for my list. Even the full Family Guy theme was release a 7 years after the show went live.
For a list of more extended theme songs, here's a good website to check out. I know I skipped a bunch. Let me know if you run across any other interesting ones.