Boardwalk Empire Theme Song


We are still on HBO shows, and this one, damn, what a powerhouse cast and crew.

It is said that the first episode of Boardwalk Empire—the one directed by Martin Scorsese—was the most expensive pilot episode produced in television history. Just a tidbit you might be interested in.

Anyway, like all else, we are here for its theme song. As I have said, all HBO shows have sick sequences and theme songs, and this one is no exception. The theme song from Boardwalk Empire is officially entitled “Straight Up and Down”, and its full version has lyrics. It is by the band The Brian Jonestown Massacre (led by Anton Newcombe); they are San Francisco-based and have been around since the early nineties.

The song has been in a number of albums but is originally from their 1996 release Take It from the Man! In fact in that album it appears twice, first as a 4:30-long song and then as an 11:07-long extended version (last track). “Straight Up and Down” also appears in the 1996 compilation The Diane Perry Tape and in the 2004 best-of Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective.

Below is the official opening sequence of the show.

Below is the album/full version of the Boardwalk Empire theme song.

4 thoughts on “Boardwalk Empire Theme Song”

  1. The theme music to Boardwalk Empire is a direct rip off of Traffic/Steve Winwood’s, Dear Mr Fantasy, sans lyrics.

  2. It goes even farther back than that — the beginning of the theme music sounds *exactly* like “Season of the Witch” by Donovan, released back in 1966. Give it a listen and hear for yourself. They did a nice job with it. Very cool sound.

  3. The theme song really does sound like a modern version of Donavan’s “Season of the Witch”. I was fooled. So was the IMDB web site. They list the soundtrack (incorrectly) as Donavan’s “Season of the Witch”

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