‘Friends’ Almost Had a Very Different Theme Song

by Jeremy Spirogis
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green and David Schwimmer as Ross Geller

The Friends theme music is simply as basic because the present itself. Millions of individuals throughout the globe can most likely recite the lyrics, phrase for phrase, proper now. While the infectious tune, “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts looks like an ideal match to open a sequence about six associates making their manner in New York City, it wasn’t the unique theme music. Instead, studio executives had been wanting to make use of a widely known pop music by R.E.M. to open the present.

The Rembrandts recorded “I’ll Be There For You” particularly for Friends

Instead of utilizing a pre-existing music from The Rembrandts catalog, the crew behind Friends labored with the band members, Phil Solem and Danny Wilde, to craft the lyrics and the tune to the hit music. The tune, nonetheless, may sound somewhat much like “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. While not precisely the identical, each songs have an upbeat pop sound to them, making them memorably and infectious.

Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green and David Schwimmer as Ross Geller
The solid of ‘Friends’ | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by way of Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Friends’: The Episode That Was Really a Subtle 22-Minute Commercial for a Popular Brand

In an interview with Ink 19, Wilde revealed that the band doesn’t get royalties on the music, however there’s a good purpose for that. He mentioned, “To this day, we only get performance royalties, not publishing splits for the TV version of the song. I mean, it wasn’t actually a song Phil and I even wrote. We had credit on it, but Michael Skloff, musical director for the show, came up with the tune and Allee Willis, [plus others such as show creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane] came up with the lyrics.”

The Rembrandts are considered a one-hit surprise

The Rembrandts are finest identified for the Friends theme music, however they’d some success earlier than and after the present aired. In truth, the rationale they had been even thought-about to pen the famed tune is due to their earlier success. Kevin Bright, the present’s govt producer, was accustomed to the band and had introduced their identify into dialog after R.E.M handed on the chance.

[embedded content material]

RELATED: ‘Friends’ Theme Song ‘I’ll Be There for You’ Led to The Rembrandts Breaking Up — ‘It Became Something Of a Curse’

Before engaged on the theme, The Rembrandts discovered success with their 1990 single, “Just the Way It Is, Baby”, which peaked at 14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. In 1992, their music “Johnny Have You Seen Her” peaked at quantity 54. “I’ll Be There For You,” nonetheless, is their most profitable enterprise, hitting no 1 on a number of Billboard charts, together with the United States Main Pop and Adult Contemporary charts. The music additionally discovered success in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Still, although, they’re largely thought-about a one-hit surprise.

An R.E.M. music nearly turned the theme of Friends

While the Friends theme music was created particularly for the present, an current R.E.M. music was first thought-about for the well-known tune. Instead of “I’ll Be There For You,” the co-creators had significantly contemplated utilizing “Shiny Happy People.” In truth, the music seems because the opening theme for the unaired pilot of the sequence. R.E.M. wasn’t notably jazzed concerning the concept of their music getting used within the sequence, and it was ultimately scrapped in favor of a music produced particularly for Friends.

R.E.M. on 7/7/84 in Chicago, Il.R.E.M. on 7/7/84 in Chicago, Il.
R.E.M. | Paul Natkin/WireImage

RELATED: Beatles: Why Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Called Their Songs ‘Elevator Music’

Even although “Shiny Happy People” didn’t turn into the Friends theme music, it did seem within the present briefly. In season 1, the music performed throughout Monica and Rachel’s New Year’s Eve get together. In the episode, the gang agreed to forgo dates on New Year’s Eve, however every, aside from Ross, caved. The get together was a catastrophe. It’s most likely for the very best that the music wasn’t used for the wildly standard sequence. Michael Stipes, the lead singer of R.E.M., as soon as steered he hated being identified for such a light-weight pop music.

Leave a Comment