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Miami Vice Theme

Miamivicetheme

Featured in Episode
Opening of every episode
"Brother's Keeper"
"A Bullet for Crockett"
Artist(s)
Top Chart Position (Hot 100)
1 (November 9, 1985, one week)
Year Released
1985
Album
Writer(s)
Jan Hammer
RIAA Certification
NONE
Sequence song appears
Opening sequence and closing credits
(Brother's Keeper) Crockett chasing Tubbs across Miami
(A Bullet for Crockett) Flashback to above scene
Previous Song
Next Song


The "Miami Vice Theme", also known as "The Original Miami Vice Theme" or simply "Miami Vice", is a song by Jan Hammer, featured on the album Miami Vice in 1985 and released as a single in August of that year. It first appeared over the opening credits in the Miami Vice pilot episode, "Brother's Keeper", and was subsequently used as the title music for every episode of the series, even those scored by Tim Truman after Jan Hammer left the show as composer. The track also appeared within the episodes "Brother's Keeper" and "A Bullet for Crockett".

Along with "Crockett's Theme", it is one of the most famous pieces of music Jan Hammer composed for the series.

VersionsEdit

At least four different versions of the track have been officially released:

  • "The Original Miami Vice Theme", running 0:59 -- the most common and well-known version of the theme, used over the opening credits of every episode of the show from "Calderone's Return (Part II)" onward (previous episodes featured a slightly different, incorrectly mixed version -- see below).
  • "Miami Vice Theme", running 2:26 -- a longer mix of the track that was released as a single in 1985; the show essentially used the last minute of this version for its opening credits.
  • "Miami Vice Theme (Extended Remix)", running 6:55 -- a considerably longer remix (by François Kevorkian and Ron St. Germain) of the regular single version, found on the 12" single.
  • "Miami Vice Theme (Remix)", running 4:32 -- a shorter edit of the "Extended Remix", released as a B-side on the 12" single.

The titles above represent those given to the tracks on their original releases in 1985; "The Original Miami Vice Theme" has since commonly been referred to as just "Miami Vice Theme", including on the album Miami Vice II. However, the full title was used on the original single release and the first Miami Vice soundtrack album.

As well as the officially available versions, several others have appeared in the series:

  • The 2:44 version used over the opening credits of "Brother's Keeper" -- this is missing the distinctive synthesised lead guitar hook, and is extended beyond the credits with a lengthy percussive section that continues into the episode itself.
  • The 0:57 version used over the opening credits of "Heart of Darkness", "Cool Runnin'" and "Calderone's Return (Part I)" -- this is essentially a shortened version of the theme used in the pilot; it features the proper conclusion heard in all later versions, but is still missing the lead synth guitar.
  • Several other variations have appeared over the show's closing credits.

According to Jan Hammer's manager Elliot Sears, the versions heard in early episodes that lack the synth guitar hook were the result of the sound elements not being mixed together correctly in early episodes.

NotesEdit

  • The "Miami Vice Theme" was one of four singles released from the album Miami Vice -- the others being "Own the Night" by Chaka Khan, "You Belong to the City" by Glenn Frey, and "Vice" by Grandmaster Melle Mel. All four songs were written specifically for the TV series.
  • The "Miami Vice Theme" was the last TV theme and the last instrumental to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 until "Harlem Shake" topped the charts in March, 2013. The first Miami Vice soundtrack album spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, a record for a TV soundtrack that still stands. It was also the biggest selling TV soundtrack until High School Musical broke that record in 2006.
  • The B-side on the 7" single release was the Jan Hammer track "Evan", first used in the episode "Evan".
  • The theme was used as the opening for G. Gordon Liddy's radio show in the early 1990s.
  • The video for the song featured scenes from "The Prodigal Son", "Golden Triangle (Part I)", and "The Maze", along with Jan Hammer's instrumental performances and appearance as a bad guy. He would appear in cameo roles in the episodes "One Way Ticket" and "Like a Hurricane", both times as a wedding musician.

VideoEdit

Jan Hammer

Jan Hammer

"Miami Vice Theme" Video


Miami Vice Theme HD

Miami Vice Theme HD

Miami Vice Theme HD The adventures of the vice squad detectives of the Miami Police Department.