The 10 best metal cover versions of TV show themes

A collage of Game of Thrones, Seinfeld and Stranger Things
(Image credit: HBO | NBC | Netflix)

Stuck in a pub and want to steer the conversation away from the crippling sense of dread on the horizon – thanks, government – then simply ask what your drinking partners' favourite TV themes are. Then you can sit back and watch good-natured arguments unfold and sneak off to buy another pint. 

But which iconic TV themes have been given the metal treatment and are worthy of inclusion in this fastidiously researched list? Read on, then prepare to have the originals torment your mind for days to come. 

Stranger Things

The Stranger Things theme and all the ominous incidental music is composed and performed by Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of Austin, Texas four-piece S U R V I V E. It doesn't need made better by any stretch of the imagination, but that didn't stop YouTuber Artificial Fear, whose modus operandi is 'metalize everything', and has taken Stein and Dixon's washes of pulsing 80s synth and has reimagined the show's intro as a crunch-fuelled, soaring instrumental. We'd put in a joke about his amps going up to Eleven but that would be lazy.

Game of Thrones

To celebrate the release of the Game Of Thrones Sigil Collection – which includes the House Stark Telecaster, the House Lannister Jaguar and the House Targaryen Stratocaster – Fender rounded up a gang of professional shredders to re-record Ramin Djawadi's original composition to road test their latest models. The ensemble, featuring Tom Morello, Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt, give the main title theme a metal makeover and look like they're having a thoroughly wonderful time doing it. The massive nerds.


Hollywood composer Jonathan Wolff has over 75 TV theme tunes on his CV, including Will & Grace, Who's The Boss? and Married... With Children, but it's perhaps his work on this 90s "show about nothing" which is his most recognisable, particular those for a penchant for synth slap and pop bass. The most logical approach to reworking this Seinfeld's iconic theme is to make djent. Trevor Okonuk, a recording engineer and producer from Connecticut, who deconstructs Wolff's quirky track and makes it heavier than the show's underlying themes of existential dread and ennui. "It had to be done," he explains. 

Curb Your Enthusiasm

If you mention Seinfeld, then it's only polite to mention the show's unofficial follow-up featuring co-creator Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm. The original music is title Frolic by Luciano Michelini, but Larry David (the band) grind up the playful composition and spit it out in all its bile-flecked fury. 

The Golden Girls

The late Andrew Gold wrote some absolute bangers during his life. His greatest achievement was boiling down the gratitude of support on his 1978 single, Thank You for Being a Friend. It was, for reasons known only to NBC executives, re-recorded by Cynthia Fee and became a classic in its own right. But as part of YouTuber K. John Stewart's Will It Metal? series, he gives Gold's song "a test drive in the ol' Metalmobile", cruises through the showroom window and narrowly avoids an accident. Lovely work.

The Simpsons

Lame Genie – that's Jeff, Kyle, Mike, BT Jones from Providence, Rhode Island, of course – have carved out a digital niche for themselves by recording covers of their favourite video game soundtracks and TV shows. Here's their chaotic take on Danny Elfman's iconic banger from 1989. 

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks' theme was originally composed by Angelo Badalamenti and he picked up a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 1990 ceremony. Here's gameplay programmer Infinity Tone giving Badalamenti's haunting score a big kick up the arse with a wall of righteous riffage.

Happy Days

New York thrashers Nuclear Assault included their cover of this wholesome US sitcom on their 1989 EP Good Times, Bad Times. The original, written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, is given a playful run-through by a band usually concerned by environmental catastrophe and on one occasion, executing supreme pontiffs.

The Great British Bake Off

Is there anything more wholesome than watching amateur bakers being wracked with anxiety in this British show? Probably not. This theme, by Tom Howe, is taken from his 2015 album, Songs From the Bake Off Tent. This cover by Scottish meme technician Kmac2021 strips away the whimsy to leave a battered corpse with the soggiest of bottom ends.


When R.E.M. were approached by the creators of the show Friends to use one of the songs for the show, they declined. Instead, I'll Be There for You was written especially for the show by the LA duo The Rembrandts and released as a single in 1995. Anthony Vincent and Rob Scanlon reworked the Friends theme into 9 different genres as some sort of masochistic dare, but it's the metal version which is surprisingly palatable. 

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.