If there’s been a bright side of the quarantine for myself, it’s been finally getting some time to record new episodes of the Branded podcast. In this episode of the show I take a minute to dive back into the world of animation music attribution and talk about the some of the uncredited folks behind five of my favorite 80s era cartoon theme songs. This is sort of a sequel to episode 9 of the show as it was the original intention for that discussion.
I end up talking a lot about composer and musician Shuki Levy, who is credited with writing a ton of the 80s era cartoon theme songs and episode music we all love. But there’s a bit of a misunderstanding as to why he gets all of the credit, and there’s a very good chance he may have only written some of the songs, while other musicians went uncredited for rights and residuals issues. The landscape of animation residuals is a very murky and intentionally confusing place, so I do my best to try and identify some of the true artists behind five of my favorite theme songs (the ones for M.A.S.K., Kidd Video, Pole Position, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold.) You can listen to the episode below or you can subscribe in your podcatcher of choice.
In the episode I highlight some musicians such as Noam Kaniel (who wrote and performed the Heathcliff and the Cadillac Cats theme), Nick Carr (the pseudonym for Nikolas Karvelas, a Greek composer/performer), and Larry Leon (the performer behind the M.A.S.K. theme.)
I also mention a very insightful Hollywood Reporter article from 1998 that exposes the seedy underbelly of the music rights in animation.
Lastly, I give a shout-out to Charley Corbiaux, AKA Bad Arts Lab in this episode. Charley does some amazing covers of 80s era cartoon theme songs. You can check him out on Youtube or over at his Facebook page.