Love that white Ferrari Testarossa. Also, why is there no sequel to the 2006 film yet?
The man behind the “Miami Vice Theme” (yes, that is its official title) is composer Jan Hammer. He alone composed and recorded the tune.
This song is more than just a theme song. It was released as a single in 1985, and it reached #1 in the Billboard Hot 100—to date, it is the last instrumental song to have topped the chart. It also helped make the soundtrack album the most successful TV soundtrack of all time—that is until Disney’s High School Musical came along in 2006. Bummer.
“Miami Vice Theme” also won two Grammy Awards in 1986: Best Instrumental Composition & Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Phew. This is easily the most powerful theme song we’ve ever encountered.
As far as official soundtracks are concerned, there are four:
- Miami Vice I – released in 1985 (the one that reached #1)
- Miami Vice II – released in 1986
- Miami Vice III – released 1988
- Miami Vice: The Complete Collection – released in 2002
All except for Miami Vice III contain the theme song. In the albums, there are usually two versions of the theme—one as the television edit that lasts 1:00, and the other a sort of extended/full instrumental that lasts 2:26. All the soundtracks except for Miami Vice: The Complete Collection contain songs from other artists (in addition to Jan Hammer’s scores).
Below is the full/album version of the theme song.
Below are some examples of the 1-minute opening video sequence taken from random episodes (and seasons). The clips changed quite a bit. Also, the logo appeared in different colors.
By the way, did you know that in the first 4 episodes, the opening tune did not have the electric guitar melody? It is said that this was the result of poor mixing that did not qualify to Hammer’s standards. Listen below for this version.