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If I have one gripe with the majority of TV shows today, it’s that the art of the catchy theme song has largely faded into obscurity and been replaced by instrumentals or little beyond a title card. But if you’ll recall, one of the greatest themes to ever exist was from the kids game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, and the a capella group Rockapella recently came together in their near-original form to perform the song once more for the Carmen Sandiego computer game’s 30th anniversary. Check it out!
If you tell me that you sat there watching that video without singing along – both the actual words and the background vocal-noises – then you are a bigger liar than Vic the Slick. You’ll get none of that B.S. from me. In fact, I not only sang along when I first watched the video, but I also snuck into your house and stood behind you while you were watching and mouthed it. This song speaks to me.
For a bit of comparison, here's the original 1991 version of the song, which doesn't sound too different, all things considered.
While Rockapella has been around since before the fondly remembered show aired, the lineup has changed several times over the years, and this intimate performance featured the group’s co-founder and the theme song co-writer Sean Altman, who left the group in 1997 to work on a solo career. Not that watching the song performed with other members is horrible or anything, but come on. Original members are key. Altman was the guy with the pretty insane hair back in the day, and it was sadly disappointing to see that he changed things up and went with something more normal.
In place of amazing us with his follicles, though, Altman shared with Mashable a great story about how they came to be a part of the show. But it doesn’t get better than learning what inspired them to come up with the theme in the first place. You can’t make this stuff up.
The inspiration, believe it or not was...there was a Jane’s Addiction song on the radio called ‘Been Caught Stealing.’ That was really hip at the time and we tried to be hip like that group and it came out sounding very doo-wop.
I’m not sure how many years it would have taken me to connect Perry Farrell and Rockapella, but I’m glad that this was all cleared up.
It’s almost as hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? was released on the Apple II as it is that it’s been 20 years since the game show stopped producing new shows. It’s even been 16 years since the animated series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?. I guess the only way to make me feel better about aging is singing this theme again.