The musical piece Miami Vice Theme
was created and performed by Jan Hammer
Jan Hammer is a composer, pianist and keyboardist. He first gained his most visible audience while playing keyboards with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s, as well as his film scores for television and film including "Miami Vice Theme" and "Crockett's Theme", from the popular 1980s...
as the theme to the television series Miami Vice
Miami Vice is an American television series produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989...
. It was first presented as part of the television broadcast of the show in September 1984 and released as a single in 1985, peaking at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...
. It is the last instrumental
An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics or singing, although it might include some non-articulate vocal input; the music is primarily or exclusively produced by musical instruments....
to have topped the chart to date. It also peaked at number 5 in the UK. In 1986, it won Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...
s for "Best Instrumental Composition
The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition has been awarded since 1960. The award is presented to the composer of the music.There have been several minor changes to the name of the award:...
" and "Best Pop Instrumental Performance
The Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance was awarded between 1969 and 2011.*In 1969 it was awarded as Best Contemporary-Pop Performance, Instrumental*From 1970 to 1971 it was awarded as Best Contemporary Instrumental Performance...
." This song, along with Glenn Frey
Glenn Lewis Frey is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor, best known as a founding member of the Eagles. Frey formed the Eagles after he met drummer Don Henley in 1970 and the two eventually joined Linda Ronstadt's backup band for her summer tour. The Eagles formed in 1971 and...
's number-two hit "You Belong to the City
"You Belong to the City" is a rock song written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin, and recorded by Frey during his solo career. It was written specifically for the television show Miami Vice in 1985. The song nearly reached the top of the charts, peaking at #2 on the U.S...
", put the Miami Vice soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...
on the top of the U.S. album chart for eleven weeks in 1985, making it the most successful TV soundtrack of all time until 2006 when Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...
's High School Musical
High School Musical is a 2006 American television film, first in the High School Musical film franchise. Upon its release on January 20, 2006, it became the most successful film that Disney Channel Original Movie ever produced, with a television sequel High School Musical 2 released in 2007 and...
beat its record.
- The version that aired with the pilot and the following three episodes, which only contains the percussion and keyboards, without the guitars. According to Jan Hammer's manager Elliot Sears, this was the result of the sound elements not being mixed together as Hammer intended.
- The synthesized-guitar lead version aired with all later episodes.
- The full radio airplay version, that includes the TV version at the end.
- An extended dance remix, released in 1985 as a 12" single containing two different length versions (in addition to the original version of the theme).
pilot episode, made as a two-hour TV movie, did not originally have a theme, but the musical sounds and notation that would become the theme were present as background score. When the series got picked up, Hammer created the sixty second version of the theme. The synth-guitar lead was missing in the aired version of the pilot and the first batch of episodes, and this unfinished version of the theme has remained attached to those episodes, even on the DVD video box set released in 2005.
The theme is also remembered as the song played during the first few three-point competitions at the NBA All-Star Weekend
The National Basketball Association holds an All-Star Weekend every February, the festival has a variety of basketball-related events, exhibitions, and performances culminating in the NBA All-Star Game held on Sunday night.-The All-Star Game:...
, including the one in 1986
-Statistics leaders:-NBA awards:*Most Valuable Player: Larry Bird, Boston Celtics*Rookie of the Year: Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks*Defensive Player of the Year: Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs...
where Larry Bird
Larry Joe Bird is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA's most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish...
famously walked into the locker room and told all his competitors they were playing for second place.
From 1992 until 1997, it was used as the theme music for Westwood One
Westwood One was an American radio network and was based in New York City. At one time, it was managed by CBS Radio, the radio arm of CBS Corporation, and Viacom and was later purchased by the private equity firm The Gores Group...
's Radio Free D. C.: The G. Gordon Liddy
George Gordon Liddy was the chief operative for the White House Plumbers unit that existed from July–September 1971, during Richard Nixon's presidency. Separately, along with E. Howard Hunt, Liddy organized and directed the Watergate burglaries of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in...
. (From 1992 until 1996, an announcer would introduce the show during the music bed, saying, "From Washington D. C., Radio Free D.C., with G. Gordon Liddy".)
English radio presenter Paul Breeze adopted the tune to open his music shows on Blackpool's Kit Kat Radio from 1996 to 1999
and, more recently, he re-adopted the tune for Paul & Lucy's "Best Kept Secrets" show - featuring what's on news and interviews for the Blackpool area - on internet radio station Fylde FM during early 2010.
The music video of the theme is a mini-episode of the TV series with Hammer as a fugitive on the run from James "Sonny" Crockett
James "Sonny" Crockett is a fictional character from the Miami Vice television series and film of the same name. The character is portrayed by Don Johnson in the television series, and Colin Farrell in the movie version of the show. He was introduced in the Miami Vice pilot in 1984 and appeared in...
and Ricardo Tubbs. Throughout majority of the video, Hammer performs the theme in front of a projector screen playing footage from the TV series - including scenes of the Vice duo chasing him. In the end of the video, he boards a helicopter and escapes from Crockett's sight.
7": MCA / MCAP1000 (UK)
- "Miami Vice Theme" (2:26)
- "Miami Vice Theme [TV Version]" (1:00)
- "Miami Vice Theme [12" Edit]" (4:30)
12": MCA / MCAT1000 (UK)
- "Miami Vice Theme [Extended Remix]" (6:54)
- "Miami Vice Theme [TV Version]" (1:00)
- "Miami Vice Theme [12" Edit]" (4:30)
- Remix and 12" edit done by Louil Silas Jr.
Louil Silas, Jr was an American record executive who eventually started an MCA Records imprint, Silas Records....
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Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States.The chart, initiated in 1942, is used to track the success of popular music songs in urban, or primarily African American, venues. Dominated over the years at various times by jazz, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, soul,...
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The Adult Contemporary chart is a weekly chart published in Billboard magazine that lists the most popular songs on adult contemporary and "lite-pop" radio stations in the United States...
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The Hot Dance Club Songs chart is a weekly national survey of the songs that are most popular in U.S. dance clubs...
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