Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Addicted to Vice

So, for whatever reason, I have become completely and utterly addicted to the music of Miami Vice, the TV series. Specifically that of Jan Hammer, the legendary instrumental musician who was so instrumental in the shows success between 1984 and 1989. I had some of his work (like the famous "Crockett's Theme) but now I'm getting into the entire back catalogue.

His original opening theme is still electric, "Crockett's Theme" is one of the best instrumental pop pieces of all time - no joke - and tracks like "Tubbs and Valerie", "Rum Cay" and "Wedding" are all perfect distillations of the dark yet smooth '80s rhythms that Miami Vice was supposedly all about. Not to mention long lost soundtrack artifacts like Chaka Khan's "Own the Night", Glenn Frey's "You Belong to the City" and "Send It To Me" by Gladys Knight & The Pips, which show up throughout the three sequential soundtracks (Hammer released Miami Vice: The Complete Collection, featuring 40 tracks, in 2004). It reminds me much of Angelo Badalamenti's music for Twin Peaks, in that it's so evocative and transports you straight to where you're supposed to be.

All this listening, however, had got me hankering for the television show, which I have never seen a single episode off. Sure, it's a bit before my time, but I'm definitely needing a fix of pastels, palm trees and Phil Collins. I'm thinking eBay will be my best bet for prices, considering at EzyDVD season one is retailing for a shocking $75! Later seasons are cheaper, but isn't that just a sneaky rouse to get more money? Make people pay top dollar for season one and if they don't like it they're screwed.

tsk tsk.

Anyway, here's a clip of "Crockett's Theme". Whether it's the original or remixed (there are a lot of them) it's still fuckin' brilliant, case closed. It even reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

Fun Fact - Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme" was the last instrumental track to reach #1 on the American Billboard 100, way back in 1985. I think we can all agree that that's a big shame.

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