After 24 years on television, and one fairly weak movie offering, the storied Power Rangers series is finally getting a major big-budget film adaptation that's in theaters today, as Twitch.tv is near the tail end of a marathon of every single episode to air on television, which you can watch here. While some will wonder how the film's action holds up, or if the characters will have any meaningful development, still others of us wonder: how is the music?
Throughput the series, music has played a large role in getting new viewers watching and keeping current viewers invested, with some major hits and some huge misses. From worst to best, here are the 19 major theme songs from the Power Rangers television series. Where does your favorite fall?
(For those who are wondering, the Alien Rangers and Super themes are not different enough to merit their own entries on this list.)
19. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive
I have nothing good to say about this theme. Everything about it is just the worst. Uninspired, vapid and confused, this song is an easy candidate for the worst Power Rangers theme. The melody in the chorus is terrible, the lyrics are essentially non-existent, and the rap section is not particularly clever, nor does it seem like it fits into what the song is trying to do... whatever it is this song is trying to do.
18. Power Rangers S.P.D.
While nowhere near as bad as Operation Overdrive, and much more internally consistent, this theme song still mostly fails to excite. Listening to the main hook of the song, it sounds for all the world like the kind of thing you write for a toy commercial, because you only have about three seconds to get your lyrics through. You can tell the songwriter (series veteran Ron Wasserman, amazingly) didn't really know what to do with the material he had. But at least it's not offensive to the ears.
17. Power Rangers Ninja Storm
This is the first series produced entirely under Disney, and the opening theme does not instill much confidence. It falls into the trap that we're going to see many times over, which is the songwriters thinking that the exact name of the show needs to be the star of the song. It's a better rock song than S.P.D., but that's not saying much. It lacks a certain energy and a certain spark of inspiration. Plus, if you watch the opening, you can tell Disney was trying way too hard to appeal to what's "cool".
16. Power Rangers Turbo
Another big miss for songwriter Ron Wasserman, unfortunately. He's trying not to stray too far from the original theme song, but neither the verses or the chorus really work here. The long "oh" at the sound is great and tries its best to save this theme, but unfortunately it doesn't quite make it. This is regarded as one of the weaker early seasons, and this song is emblematic of that.
15. Power Rangers Jungle Fury
Maybe this is just a personal thing for me, but this theme song reminds me far too much of the era of New Found Glory and other bands with a similar sound. It seems too processed, too joyous, with too many harmonies that sort of suck the energy out - and the lyrics are pretty dull as well. The song has a good energy to it, especially in the verses, but the chorus brings it back down - another common theme.
14. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
This song was initially much farther down the list, but after giving it another couple of listens it's a lot better than I originally gave it credit for. The chorus is weak, as usual, mostly just repeating the name of the show over and over, a bit too fast for my tastes. The verses really pull their weight, though, being much more inspired and fun to listen to. We're starting to get into some good music here.
13. Power Rangers Mystic Force
There's a lot of hate for this hip-hop-inspired theme song, but I personally think it holds up a lot better than several of the other tunes. It's not really the best genre to represent the Power Rangers, but they did about as well as they could have. It's fun to listen to, and the mystic undercurrent does a lot for this song. But ultimately, there's a lack of energy here that's hard to get away from.
12. Power Rangers Time Force
This tune isn't too far removed from Lightspeed Rescue, all told. The verses are stronger than the chorus, which is mostly repetitions of the show name, but it's done just a bit more cleverly than its predecessor. The "Time force! Time force!" at the end of the chorus is legitimately energizing and makes you want to check out the awesome adventures of the Time Force.
11. Power Rangers RPM
The final theme song from the Disney era is nearly their best one. It has a distinctly different sound from every other theme song, which I approve of, and they smartly decided not to stuff the song full of unnecessary lyrics during the downtime, letting the guitar do the talking instead. Plus, "Get in gear!" is a really strong hook.
10. Power Rangers Zeo
There isn't a whole lot wrong with this theme, but with how similar it is to the original, it just seems like a straight downgrade. The high-pitched "Zeo" would work a lot better had it been mixed differently, or made to fit a bit better with the rest of the song. It wasn't really meant to stand out, though, so it was a little bit doomed from the start. It still has great energy to it, though.
9. Power Rangers Wild Force
The last theme song before Power Rangers was sold to Disney is a strong and exciting effort. It utilizes a major key, as well as harmonies, but they help the song build up energy instead of taking it away. The driving guitar sounds great, and the animal cries are a good addition to the song. The verses are a little uninspired, but they don't overstay their welcome, quickly ceding to the awesome chorus.
8. Power Rangers Megaforce
Fresh off the re-acquisition of Power Rangers by Saban, this song still is a heavy homage to the original tune - with an emphasis on "heavy". This song adds some loud and strong elements, bringing shades of metal to go along with the rock, and it's extremely effective at getting viewers hyped up. It doesn't do as much to differentiate itself as it probably should, but it still sounds great.
7. Power Rangers Ninja Steel
The series continues to go strong today, with Ninja Steel being the newest iteration, currently on the air. The theme song brings in a light Japanese influence that doesn't feel shoehorned in, and is more of a natural part of the song. I also have to give this theme credit for doing something new with the famous "Go! Go! Power Rangers!" line that so many people are familiar with. This song is innovative without forgetting its roots, earning it high marks.
6. Power Rangers In Space
This is the last theme from Ron Wasserman before leaving Saban as a regular employee, and he went out on a very strong note. This tune has shades of the original theme song still in it, but it's different enough to be exciting again. Both the verses and the chorus are solid here, and repeating the words "Power Rangers" has never sounded as good as it does here. This song makes you feel like the show is really going to new and exciting places, which it was.
5. Power Rangers Dino Charge
This song has more of the originality and innovation that Megaforce really needed. This great tune manages to take generic lyrics about the world being in danger and heroes saving the day, and it makes them actually sound pleasing to the ear. The added lyrics in the chorus are surprisingly good as well, and help make this one of the more memorable variations on the classic tune.
4. Power Rangers Samurai
After years of subpar seasons with Disney, Saban Brands needed to let the world know that Power Rangers was back - and they did so with this supercharged, electrifying homage to the original song. The singer says little, while the guitar says a lot: you don't need to know anything more than "Rangers together, samurai forever". It may be essentially a cover of the original song, but clearly it's done with love and respect for what Power Rangers used to be - and it's just as exciting as it ever was.
3. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
This awesome song does an awful lot with the little time it has, feeling like a two-minute song instead of the one-minute tune it actually is. The intro and outro set an exciting, ambitious tone, while the chorus is a fantastic mix of energized yelling and great harmonies. The verses don't hold up quite as well, but it's only by a hair. This season took the Power Rangers on a journey through space, and appropriately, the theme song feels like a journey.
2. Power Rangers Dino Thunder
This theme song is basically flawless. It has a different tempo and feel from any other tune, and it's definitely for the better. Every element of the song, from verse to chorus to guitar, is well-written, energetic, and fun to listen to. On top of that, they incorporate the name of the show more cleverly than anyone else that came before or after. Why listen to "Power Rangers Dino Thunder" when "Victory is ours forevermore" is so much better?
1. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
There's a reason so many songs that pay homage to the original are close to the top of this list: the very first theme song is still the most memorable and the best. You don't need any more than six words to tell the viewer what they need to know: these are the Power Rangers, they morph, they're mighty, and they go. "Go! Go! Power Rangers!" is one of the greatest hooks in television history, and in place of more lyrics, Ron Wasserman's shredding guitar does all the talking. This song got a generation of kids tuning into the Power Rangers all by itself, and those famous six notes will forever be the true theme of the series.
Did we get this list completely wrong, shunting your favorite song to the bottom and moving ones you hate toward the top? Sound off in the comments below.