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TV Theme Songs: Airwolf

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale" of a time when television shows began with awesome TV Theme Songs. "Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name" and sometimes you want to go back to when TV Theme songs were special. "Here's a story... of a lovely" time when TV Theme Songs served to identify, distinguish and set the stage for the television program that followed. "You take the good, take the bad, take them both and there you have" what unfortunately has become a lost artform. "Believe it or not", sadly it seems no effort or pride is taken in the TV Theme Song ever since Seinfeld proved a short synth-bass riff could be used instead. “Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” This regular feature may not "make all our dreams come true", but it will remember some of the best TV Theme Songs from years past (with a focus on the '80s decade). "Come aboard, we're expecting you."


This time we will cover the theme song for Airwolf. The series debuted in January 1984 and ran for four seasons and 80 episodes focused on the high-tech helicopter the show is named after. The show's distinctive musical score, which was originally orchestral, but shifted to more synthesizer-based arrangements early in the second season, was composed and conducted mainly by Sylvester Levay. This includes the show's instrumental theme song which is particularly memorable for many who watched the series.


The Yugoslavia-born Levay moved to Germany in the '70s and then came to Hollywood in the '80s and began to focus primarily on composing for movies. He arranged on the soundtrack for Scarface (1983) and collaborated with Giorgio Moroder for Flashdance (1983) including the song "Romeo" performed by Donna Summer on that soundtrack. After Airwolf, he composed music for '80s films including Cobra (1986), Howard the Duck (1986), Mannequin (1987) and Burglar (1987) in addition to the television series Werewolf (1987-88) among other work continuing for the decades following as well.

Here is the opening for Airwolf featuring the theme song by Sylvester Levay...



The show has a cult following called the "International Airwolf Appreciation Association" and this goes for the music as well. Airwolf Themes is a two-CD soundtrack album for the television series released in February, 1999. The 73-minute soundtrack was created (over a five-year period) by a fan and former IAAA president, Northern Ireland-based graphic designer Mark J. Cairns, in collaboration with original composer Sylvester Levay, with a foreword by the series creator, Donald Bellisario.


Hope you enjoyed tuning in for another "episode" of TV Theme Songs!

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