tour of duty.. music matters..

So.. one of my favorite shows when I was growing up was Tour of Duty… it ran for 3 seasons, and followed a platoon of soldiers through the Vietnam war… So, I was pretty excited that Sony decided to release the entire series on DVD last year, which I then bought for Andy for his birthday since he was a huge fan of the show too.. We used to have to tell our mom ahead of time what TV shows we planned to watch that week, since she didn’t let us just “channel surf”, so.. Tour of Duty was one of those shows for sure..

Now, I understand that re-watching shows from your youth sometimes doesn’t really withstand the time. Like, when I saw MacGyver again a few years ago, man, I really didn’t realize just how cheesy that show was. But after a few decades, MacGyver looks soooooo cheesy.. And what’s up with the re-use of like the same asian actors over and over and over agian?

Anyway, back to the Tour of Duty DVDs.. I noticed something was wrong when I first started watching the show.. The theme song for the show was “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones, and it was such a perfect song to open every week’s new show.. On the DVDs, that awesome song has now been replaced by this cheesy, generic tune. Yuck. So, from the very first second that we started watching, it was all wrong.. I watched a bit of the first season, and then.. put the DVDs away for almost the whole year, and tried to start watching them again today.. I realized now that it wasn’t just the theme song that they’ve replaced.. but ALL of the period music from the original series has been replaced by super cheesy generic music. AAARRGH. How f’n frustrating is this?!? The show is marginally watchable now, but man, with the original music intact, I’m sure it would still be awesome..

If you don’t think music makes a difference, here are the two intros…

With generic cheesy music

And.. with the original music

Hmm.. which is better? (damn, that stones song is good)

Anyway, someone actually has put together a petition to convince Sony to release Tour of Duty with the original music, but I dunno.. maybe they don’t really care, they already have my money. And, would I buy the whole series again? I dunno. Argh. They should let me upgrade the crappy version that I bought already.

Ok, I’m done ranting.. but honestly, it’s annoying to have 14 DVDs that you don’t even really want to watch.. Serves me right, I guess I should have just Netflixed it.

21 thoughts on “tour of duty.. music matters..”

  1. The theme song was the BEST part of that series. Yes, it was a good show, but TNT (or some similar cable channel) was running it in syndication a few years ago and like McGeyver, it’s not nearly as good a few decades later. That being said, Paint It Black is still AWESOME, and I actually credit this show with getting me interested in the Stones (pathetic, I know).

    Obviously Sony thought they could save some money here by not licensing the songs for DVD release, but how lame is that?!?!?

  2. I totally agree with you guys. For Christmas the last few years, my brother and I have been getting the seasons for our Dad. We used to watch the show with him with the original theme of course. We thought that our memories were wrong about the theme song and that we were imagining it. Were is that Sony protest? I want in!!

  3. I am so glad I read about the music deletion. As a Vietnam Helicopter pilot, I loved the songs as they were the period I was there. The Music IS what we remember and they have trashed what I believe to be the best depiction of the Vietnam War ( until they changed their direction and had too many China Beach dramatics)!!!!! Maybe someday I can buy the Real Deal!!??

  4. The ‘generic’ music you’re referring to was written by the composer of the show’s original music writer Joseph Conlon. The theme was featured at the end of each original episode during it’s initial season one run on CBS during the 1987/88 run. I also remember it from a two hour VHS movie I saw back in the early nineties.

    I thought it was something else that was being featured. This is NOT a cheesy opening, but rather, Joseph Conlon’s own original composition for the end title track on all original 22 episodes from the first season. Conlon then wrote a toned down version for seasons two and three.

  5. Really?? Toned down music?? I also can’t remember the SONG that played at the end of each show….I was sure it was a well known song……not some obscure composition…….it is killing me I can’t remember what is was…….IT was a powerful emmotive ending!!

  6. The opening song was one thing, but the add-on theme now runs throughout the series, within each episode. Somehow we’ve got this idea that the pan flute or some similar airy toodely flute is The Instrument played in the Vietnam region, much like banjos are exclusive to the Ozarks and polka music is the sound of Wisconsin. It is too bad that someone felt it would be acceptable to substitute the flute music into the Tour of Duty series. When you see the platoon sergeant emerging out of the bush with his emotionally troubled (and now dead) comrade on his back, and then load the soldier’s body into the Huey to the tune of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”, now that was powerful.

  7. look personall i think that the paint it black opening was better but, the show is still awesome i love it! on the first episode pilottheres a rock and dolll tune played when they are flying out on their first miision in the hueys and its also in Saigon Part 1 when there flying out in that. can some1 please tell me what this tune is its really good !!

  8. this is horrible. without the original music the show sucks. the whole idea was the sixty’s feel of the show. now its pointless. nothin g fits. i wasted my money

  9. the reason is because of the copyright. if they would release it as the original they would have to pay tons of money for the music rights to the authors of the music. it is the same as with the current series of “cold case” they don’t release DVD’s of that show also due to the music rights they would have to pay

  10. Thanks for posting this article. I used to watch this show in the 3rd and 4th grades and I love it! especially the stones song
    which btw is the only stones song besides the devil song is any good because those guys suck! I recently downloaded the first season off the piratebay and was all happy to watch the series but I got extremely confused when I heard the corny pan flute intro music..i thought it was only in the pilot so i conitnued to watch the other episodes and wtf did i discover???
    you already know! i found this blog to clear things up but damn how dissapointing!! at least it got it for free right?
    anyways despite the gaffe by the corporate douchebags this show is still awesome!!! it’s a shame that shows like this aren’t on today…the NWO agenda has nothing but agenda 21 preconditioned shows and lame cop drama crap on every not only did we get our asses kicked in Vietnam our country has been systematically destroyed by the illuminatti!

  11. I actually liked the the Asian theme song by Josph Conlan better. Don’t get me wrong the paint it black theme song was awsome as well.

  12. Well I was going to purchase Tour of Duty but after reading the comments about the music I won’t bother. The music was what made the series! Seriously, there is no real music anymore. I feel sorry for the generations growing up without good music.

  13. Need to put original music back into Tour Of Duty. Need to do the original marathon music and all. The music helped the soldiers with all the turmoil over there. We lost a lot of men in that war. This marathon just isn’t the same. It’s the same way that some people reacted when they came home from war. Some people acted like they could care less what took place over there. I didn’t have anyone over there in the war but I feel sorry for all the soldiers that have to fight for freedom to lose their lives and the families that have to suffer. If it wasn’t for the music for them to listen to things could have gotten a lot worse. Our music at the time was made for us to open our eyes and face reality. I LOVE OUR SOLDIERS. GOD BLESS YOU ALL.. GOD BLESS THE ONES THAT HAD TO SUFFER AND ARE STILL SUFFERING. BRING THE MUSIC BACK !!!

  14. I have to admit I was disappointed by the music I still love the show but it would be so much better with the original music rather than the cheesy music. I guess that’s why I paid $12.96 for the complete series but I think I would have paid more had it included the original music.

  15. Theme music I admit is integral part of the show,that being said I can still watch the show for it’s about the content of the show I remember.The connection to the characters,but most importantly the personal connection to a show obviously ALOT of us grew up with.As we all have aged and grew with TV,try not to get caught up in opinions and POV that have lost the point of watching the show years later.You want to hear the music,then download the era specific music and play as you watch.But don’t put an awesome series down soley on the lack of original music in the opening sequence.

    It’s BS like that is why I’m still waiting for season the remaining seasons of the Muppet show to come out on DVD, freaking movie,music right bs

  16. There is a piece of guitar music featured through out the series, that I can’t seem to make out what is.

    It’s featured many places in the series, but if you ie take the “Lonesome Cowboy Blues” episode (S02E12), it is played when Alex walks into The Chit-Chat Club.

    Can someone tell me which piece of music this is?

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