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A trope growing more common every day. Need to breathe new life into old material, or just a way of keeping viewers tuning in? Rearrange the Song associated with the property. It's a way to make old material fresh, or to take advantage of current musical trends and fads.

The staff of TV shows which have been running for many seasons have, on occasion, rearranged the theme song newly each season. A show that has a Spin-Off or a Time Skip sequel will occasionally arrange the new show's Theme Tune to hearken back to the original show. The beneficial effect of this, of course, is that they now have multiple versions of a song to appeal to multiple demographics.

With musicians, they can sometimes do cover versions of their own material as a method of pushing the envelope with their own work. Musicians also do it with other people's work as parody or homage.

It's also common in cases where a classic property has been made into The Movie. See also Theme Tune Cameo, Theme Tune Extended, Rerelease the Song.

Examples of Rearrange the Song include:


  • No theme has been rearranged more than the classic crooner's tune "Fly Me To The Moon" (itself a heavily rearranged version of an old waltz), which was the ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion. There's about 15 to 20 versions used for the show's ending, and that's for a 26-episode TV series. The Neon Genesis Evangelion rendition "Fly Me To The Moon" is of itself a rearrangement. It was originally written by Bart Howard in 1954.
  • Sailor Moon had its theme's tune remixed for North America into a version with completely different (English) lyrics and a "roll call" type sequence tossed in for good measure.
    • The original Japanese version of Sailor Moon also got a new version of its theme song ("Moonlight Densetsu") for its third season. The new version had actresses behind Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus doing the singing instead of DALI.
  • The dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! is an interesting case. The first season theme was really just the first minute of the full theme song. The second season theme was a different piece of music from later in the same song. It bounced back after that.
  • Pokémon's Johto League Champions season did a redo of the first theme for their opening. It didn't have quite the same lyrics at first (and a different refrain), but it's clear that it was to match the Japanese version (which remixed Mesaze Pokémon Master...but Rica Matsumoto didn't sing this version).
    • Additionally, the English versions of the first four theme songs were remixed in the beginning of the first four movies, while the fifth movie simply had an extended version of the anime's fifth theme song. The rest of the movies averted this trend, while the first Diamond and Pearl movie, Pokémon the Rise of Darkrai, inverted the trend by having a completely new song, "We Will Be Heroes". This song was later remixed into the theme for the DP: Battle Dimension season of the Diamond and Pearl anime series.
    • Not to mention the anime remixes songs from the games.
  • The Mahou Sensei Negima series are notorious for this, as with a class of 31, one song can be remixed several times. The opening themes of both anime, plus the ending theme of the second, have gone through this.
  • While not quite as numerous as other examples, Strike Witches used this as well. The girls, in different duets, took turns covering the ending theme, with the final episode having all of them singing at once.
  • The Italian edition of Urusei Yatsura (Lamu') replaces the original slow opening song with a fast, catchy pop song. It's most notable because no one knows who wrote it, who performs it, nor is there apparently a complete version anywhere - it's frustrating, because it's such a catchy piece and so very appropriate for the series, too.
  • Akikan! may be a Twelve-Episode Anime, but it remixes the ending theme in every episode.
  • The first opening song for Keroro Gunsou was remixed with the lyrics altered and new singers and was used as the sixth opening. The tenth opening uses a version of the first theme sung by the members of the platoon, though it had been in existence prior. The second and third movies also used remixed versions of the opening theme.
  • GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class has five different versions of "Coloring palettes", its ending theme. Tomokane's and Noda's are upbeat, whereas Kisaragi and Professor's versions are a little more relaxed.
  • GaoGaiGar has an entire soundtrack, Yuusha-Oh Tanjou! 10 RenHatsu!!, devoted to the various versions of its theme song, Yuusha-Oh Tanjou!. Included in this are the original, Mythology (from FINAL), Grand Glorious Gathering (from FINAL -Grand Glorious Gathering-), ultimate extra (sung by the artists who sung the theme to Betterman), Ultimate Mythology and Perfect Yell (original and Ultimate Mythology with soundclips from the series)
    • It powerfully rearranges its own ending theme for the very end of FINAL by having it sung by the character voices themselves.
  • The second half of Welcome to The NHK uses a more downbeat version of the opening, to match the show's mood shift.
  • Last Exile's ending theme, "Over the Sky", was given a much longer and more emotional version, "Over the Sky Angel Feather ver." for the final episode.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure reworked its opening theme song (which was considered to be badly sung by some fans) at the same time that the opening itself was edited to reflect Setsuna's new alignment.
  • In the Digimon dub, compare the theme for the seasons based on Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02 and the theme for the Digimon Tamers season. Essentially the same, but the former is kind of techno and the latter uses more rock guitar instead.
  • Bottle Fairy has five variations of its ending theme, each sung by a different fairy about a different season, the final one being sung by the four of them together about the fuzzy feelings felt throughout the year.
  • By this point, it's nigh-impossible to count how many versions of the Lupin III theme there are.
  • Di Gi Charat Nyo used a remix of Equal Romace, an end theme of Ranma1/2, as it's ending theme.
  • The second season of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni does this an interesting way. It plays the tune of the first season; backwards, with enough variation to be an actual tune.


  • A jazz version of the 1966 theme to Spider-Man plays over the closing credits to the Spider-Man movie.
    • The movies also feature an extra singing the theme at some point.
  • Ang Lee's The Incredible Hulk movie features a few brief moments where you can hear "The Lonely Man," best known as the delicate piano theme from the 70's TV show.
  • Rap versions of the theme to The Addams Family are played over the closing credits of both movies.
  • Disney movies simultaneously release the version one hears in the soundtrack, plus a version recorded by a popular recording artist arranged specifically for radio play with the intention of getting a hit single.
    • Disney had produced (at least) three albums of rearranged songs: "Simply Mad About The Mouse" (which had it's own TV special), "Stay Awake" (which features Tom Waits' version of the Seven Dwarfs' marching song), and an album featuring R&B and pop singers singing their favorite Disney songs.
  • The Mission Impossible movies featured at least one remixed version of the old theme, which was actually quite snappy (about the only thing I liked about the last two movies WAS the theme, in fact)
    • And then there's the background music/muzik version in that infamous Scientology video (at least one person was surprised that it was actually being played and not a repeated clip).
  • The film version of Dragnet (starring Dan Ackroyd) does this to its theme.
  • The sequel to Ghostbusters had the iconic Theme Tune rearranged to a rap by Run DMC.
  • The James Bond movies have rearranged the iconic theme music many times over. It sounds particularly good on electric guitar.
  • Hedwig's Theme from the Harry Potter films has been tweaked, rearranged, and reworked in an effort to keep it fresh and slightly unpredictable. Other themes have had this done, too.
  • The Dawn of the Dead 2004 remake features a lounge version of Disturbed's "Down With The Sickness" (by Richard Cheese, an expert in this).
  • For ZZ Top's cameo in Back to The Future Part III, they play a country version of "Doubleback" (the original plays during the film's credits).
  • The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Movie contains an even more epic-sounding arrangement of the TV Show's theme. Doubles as a Wasted Song, since roughly 40 seconds (If we're being generous) of the song is actually used in the film.
  • Star Trek (2009) has a newer version of Star Trek: The Original Series' opening theme, complete with a closing narration by Spock-Prime.
  • Terminator Salvation Danny Elfman "Salvation" track is a new arrangement of theme by Brad Fidel.
  • Recess: School's Out used a more epic, beefed-up version of the regular Recess theme.
  • The X-Files: I Want To Believe features a remix of the theme song in the credits.

Live Action TV

  • The Bill has rearranged its theme music five times in its 26 years on the air. The original version of the theme was arranged in the irregular time signature of 7/4, giving it almost a reggae style beat. But subsequent rearrangements have been done in the regular time signature of 4/4, making them considerably less interesting as a result. In 2009 however, the theme was changed completely, to a darker and edgier theme to fit with the show's retool, albeit with a small homage to the original theme. At the end of the final episode, a new rearranged version of the original theme played, although similar in tone to the 2009 theme.
  • The Cosby Show arranged its same theme music differently every season. It was just an instrumental the first season. But in later seasons it was rearranged as a salsa song, acapella(performed by Bobbie McFerrin), a ballet, and in the final season, an Homage to / The Jimmy Hart Version of the old song "Shotgun", but still recognizable as the same song the show had started out with.
  • The Everybody Hates Chris theme seems to change every 10 episodes. And every time it does, the original tune becomes less and less recognizable.
  • Growing Pains always had the same theme song, but there were different versions of it. BJ Thomas was the main vocalist from 1985-1991, using a solo version for the first year before being joined by Jennifer Warnes and later, Dusty Springfield; the music itself was reworked a couple of times. During the final season, an a capella version was used.
  • Doctor Who has rearranged its theme several times: three times in the '80s to "modernize" it, again in the TV movie, then three times with the new series. The original Radiophonic Workshop version of the Doctor Who theme underwent a few rearrangements in the 60s and 70s. Arranger Delia Derbyshire added "electronic spangles" for the Patrick Troughton incarnation, and then in the 70s she added the electronic "scream" preceding the closing titles and the sound effect at the end. Series 1-3 of the new series use orchestral arrangements of the theme played over the top of the Radiophonic version, while series 4 rearranges some of the orchestral elements and adds guitars and drums, giving it a rock and roll theme. Series 5 is more electronic uses a bassline reminiscent of the 80s versions (and is rather funky) accompanied by a new grand and haunting orchestral melody, a constant drum beat, and even a chorus.
    • In Series 3 of the new series, "Martha's Theme" sounds almost like a reworking of "The Doctor Forever," the 10th Doctor's Leitmotif from that series (or vice-versa, given their introduction around the same time).
  • CSI: NY also rearranged their version of "Baba O'Riley" in Season 4.
  • "Little Boxes," the theme for Weeds, introduced a gimmick in the second season of having someone new perform it every episode.
  • The 1978 film Superman's theme music is a inversion. The actual tune is rarely the same twice, but it is all arranged similarly, to a bright, swelling, heroic theme with a lot of brass. Three different composers, but the listener will hear the song and think "Superman". (A few creators have found that, if you were to set lyrics to the various Superman themes to the tune of the main melody, there would be a spot where "Superman" fits perfectly.)
  • Kamen Rider Den-O remixed its battle theme, "Double-Action", into several versions fueled by the unexpected popularity of the Taros', each with a different musical style. The hero's five include the original Double-Action AKA "Sword Form" (eurobeat), "Rod Form" (ska), "Ax Form" (enka), "Gun Form" (hip-hop/rap) and "Wing Form" (Arab pop); in addition, the first movie's Big Bad gets "Gaoh Form", a solo death metal version, a bonus pop version was made, named "Coffee Form" and sung by the hero's sister and one of his allies, both coffee aficionados, and for the second movie "Climax Form" sung by the Taros and Deneb. Related are "Real-Action", a straight rock song sung solo by the hero, and "Action-ZERO", an original hard rock theme for The Lancer and his Battle Butler. The show's opening theme, "Climax Jump", has gone through a similar treatment, with a quartet version sung by the Taros as well as individual versions made for the third movie, and two new versions, "The Final" for the third movie, and "Ch? Climax Jump" from the fourth movie, which is also an ensemble song. On one of the soundtracks is a song titled "DEN-O VOCAL TRACKS LINER (C-J D-A nonstop re-connection)" which is a remix of all of the songs released up to that point into a single 8 minute track.
    • Following the example of Den-O, its successor Kamen Rider Kiva had three mixes of The Rival's theme "Individual-System" (the standard version sung by the star, and two remixes, "Fight for Justice" and "Don't Lose Yourself", sung by the rival to reflect his changing attitude over the series). About a year after the show ended, a reunion album was released, which included more remixes, such as the main character and his father swapping their respective theme tunes.
      • And its successor Kamen Rider Decade included a series of albums that rearranged all of the theme songs of the nine previous series by the official rock band RIDER CHIPS and "Climax Jump"'s composer Shuhei Naruse. This resulted in two more versions of "Climax Jump".
        • And then along comes the fifth Den-O movie, split into three separate movies, each with its own song. The first gets a ballad version of "Action-ZERO", the second a mix of Double-Action for the hero's Grandkid From The Future and his partner (rock 'n roll), and the third gets "Climax-Action ~The Den-O History~", which is said to be a combination of every version of "Climax Jump" and "Double-Action" to date.
  • Perhaps taking a cue from Den-O, Engine Sentai Go-onger's ending theme comes in several cover versions as well. Each of the Humongous Mecha trios has their own mix ("Engine First Rap -Type Normal-", "Second Rap -Turbo Custom-", "Third Rap -Aero-Dynamic Custom-", "Final Rap -Type Evolution"), then there's one that's a musical Green Aesop ("Engine Eco Rap -Recycle Custom-"), one for The Movie ("Engine Formation Rap -GekijouBANG! Custom-"), a cover sung exclusively by the show's female cast ("G3 Princess Rap ~Pretty Love Limited~"), a cover sung exclusively by the show's male cast ("G5 Prince Rap ~Bombaye Limited"), and then a final version covering all 12 of the Humongous Mecha for the finale ("Engine Winning Run -Type Formula-"). The five songs for the mecha (First, Second, Third, & Final Lap, and Winning Run) were later strung into a continuous 17 minute song for a soundtrack release.
  • The themes to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Movie and Power Rangers Zeo were remixed versions of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers theme. The season after Zeo, Power Rangers Turbo, worked in the six-note "Go, go, Power Rangers!" riff, but was otherwise unique. Years later, Saban's reclaiming of the franchise led them to resurrect the theme and use an updated version for Power Rangers Samurai.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 had its theme song lyrics changed several times throughout its run to reflect on changes within the show (such the switch from Joel to Mike).
    • Here's a handy-dandy flowchart laying out the various permutations of the theme.
    • Also a slower-tempo instrumental version of the theme plays during the closing credits.
  • MTV's Unplugged series is pretty much devoted to this trope.
  • Each episode of The Prisoner used a slightly different mix of its opening theme tune.
  • The final season of Blakes Seven used a faster and jollier muzak-like version of the theme for its end credits only, without changing the opening credit version. This created a rather odd effect after some of the grimmer episodes of the show, especially the last one.
    • Incoming producer Vere Lorrimer wanted lyrics over the end credits. They were going to be sung by Steven Pacey (Tarrant). Thankfully we were spared that.

 There's a distant star in a distant sky

past the edge of time way past Gemini.

Peace is there, only beauty meets the eye.

Oh my love, that's where we must fly,

and let the world go by, just you and I.

Come, hit the Stardust Trail, we'll throw our cap at Mars;

we'll catch a comet's tail, and we'll sail to the stars!

Though the years go by like a silver stream,

if our love is true, we will find our dream.

Travellin' on, suddenly that's where we are;

That distant star, that distant star,

that shining distant star!

  • The Wire used a remixed version of its theme song each season. In later seasons, the singers they used represented a theme of that season. Ex: Season 4 was about the plight of young black boys in Baltimore, and the theme was sung by a Boy's Choir.
  • The first two seasons of Small Wonder had a bouncy tune that didn't match it at all. The third season debuted a quasi-techno arrangement that was marginally better. (The lyrics were still terrible.)
  • Roseanne's theme song is known for its saxophone version, but some seasons have it played on the electric guitar. Vocals are added in the final season, which annoyed some fans. However, it redeems itself in the series' very last shot, where a woman sings the tune accapella as Rosie goes from her writing room to the living room and watches TV, before everything fades to black.
  • Wheel of Fortune used four arrangements of "Changing Keys", its second theme, between 1983 and 2000, before giving up entirely on the theme.
  • Similarly, the 1980s Jeopardy! theme has gone through five orchestrations in its time. Spinoff Rock & Roll Jeopardy! used a rock and roll version, which the parent show has since appropriated for teen and college tournaments.
  • Blackadder's theme song was always mostly the same, but was preformed on different instruments with slight variations each season to reflect the change in time period.
    • The Black Adder, the first season, has the theme song performed mostly with trumpets and timpani, with parody Bragging Theme Tune lyrics.
    • Blackadder II used a combination of recorder, string quartet and electric guitar, with lyrics recapping the individual episode over the closing credits.
    • Blackadder the Third's theme was performed on on oboe, cello and harpsichord, with no lyrics.
    • The theme for Blackadder Goes Forth was performed by a military band, with no lyrics, combined with "The British Grenadiers".
      • The final scene featured a slow piano piece played over a field of poppies.
    • The Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol featured the song as sung by carolers, with new appropriate lyrics.
    • Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, a sketch, and Blackadder: Back & Forth, the half-hour film, used an orchestral version.
  • The opening credits and main title theme of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was modified between seasons 3 and 4.
  • The Office most weeks featured a cover version of "Handbags and Gladrags" by "Big George", except for one episode (the training day episode) where it was performed by Ricky Gervais (as David Brent) on solo acoustic guitar.
  • Babylon 5 had a new arrangement of the theme tune for each season, save for season 3 and 5, becoming increasingly intense and militaristic to match the changing tone of the series.
    • The third season's theme song was in fact a combination of two songs from earlier in the show, each song being associated with a battle scene where the good guys got slaughtered. This season, of course, was the point in the storyline where things were the most desperate for our heroes. By the fourth season, the original theme song returned as a Triumphant Reprise.
    • In the fifth and final season, the theme song was replaced entirely with a new, rather bombastic march, possibly in reference to the fact that the station had transitioned from being a trading and diplomatic outpost to being capital of the new Interstellar Alliance.
  • In a homage to the original series, the national anthem of the Twelve Colonies in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica is based on the main theme from the first show.
  • Psych will sometimes rearrange the theme song to fit the theme of the episode. The episode about a spanish 'telanovella' features a mariachi version with spanish lyrics, the episode about an Indian dancer had an Indian-style remix, and the episode featuring Gus' old barbershop quartet featured, well...
    • Also the first Christmas episode rearranged the theme to include bells, but the scenes in the credits were framed with snow and holly.
  • Newtons Apple used Kraftwerks "Ruckzuck" from 1983 to 1990, then used an arranged version from 1990 to 1994, before switching to a different theme entirely.
  • The A-Team used a synthesized arrangement of its theme for the final season.
  • 3-2-1 Contact remixed its opening theme in 1983(the best known version), and again in 1987. The original version. The ending theme was also rearranged in 1983 (short version and extended version), and remained the same for the rest of the series.
  • Square One TV also did it in its later seasons.
  • Fringe's two 1980s flashback episodes had a synth version of the theme music, to go with the retro title sequence.
  • A few seasons into the series' long run, the Bonanza theme received a driving, rock-oriented rearrangement.
  • Weeds: Malvina Reynolds' "Little Boxes" is used as the theme song for the first season; for the next two seasons, each episode starts with a cover of "Little Boxes" by someone else (e.g., Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor, The Decembrists), with Reynolds' version used for the season finales. From the fourth season on, though, they dropped the theme song entirely, as it no longer fit when Nancy and family left suburbia.
  • Veronica Mars used The Dandy Warhol's "We Used to Be Friends" for its theme. The third season, which moved from high school to college, switched to a dramatically different remix of the song - it was much slower and more electronic than indie rock. Allegedly, it was meant to have more of a noir feel to it.
  • Sesame Street kept its original theme for 23 seasons, then rearranged it to a calypso version in Season 24, then to a bouncy swing version in the spirit of the original in Season 33, then to a hip-hop version in Season 38.
  • PBS's News Hour kept the same arrangement of its theme for 30 years, before finally updating it in 2006.
  • When Snoop Dogg guest-starred on an episdoe of Monk, the theme song became this
  • For the second season of Wishbone the original theme tune was jazzed up with some electric guitar thrown in.
  • The Electric Company was a rather unusual case:
    • The opening themes during the show's 1971-1977 run were used for two years each – the first from 1971-1973, the second from 1973-1975 and the third from 1975-1977.
    • The closing themes changed five times, all (except the theme used very early in the run) using the main theme. They were as thus:
      • October 1971-January 1972: Extension of the main "corporate credits" theme, a non-descript theme.
      • January 1972-April 1973: A bright, marching theme, with a crashing sound effect at the very end. (The corporate credits theme continued to be used until the end of the 1972-1973 season.)
      • October 1973-April 1974: An electric guitar-heavy theme. The corporate credits hybrid the first half of the Friday credits during the first part and a slightly different second half, all slower paced.
      • October 1974-April 1975: A bright, uptempoed jazz-inspired arrangement.
      • October 1975-April 1976: Another jazz-style arrangement, somewhat louder than the 1974-75 version.
      • October 1976-April 1977: A Moog synthesizer-heavy arrangement that led the acoustic instruments.
  • The Price Is Right: For 35 years, the CBS daytime (along with the first two syndicated versions) used the same arrangement of the theme music - in fact, the same version that was used on the first episode in September 1972 was used on Bob Barker's final show in June 2007 (although slightly sped up to give it a stereo-ish sound). Finally, in October 2007, with the coming of Drew Carey's first shows, the main theme and most of the major cues were re-scored.
    • A 90s jazz arrangement was given to the main theme for the 1994 syndicated version of TPiR. Some thought it would carry over to the daytime version, but it didn't.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: got rearranged theme music from season 3 on, but they kept the original arrangement for the closing credits.
  • Quantum Leap had its theme rearranged for its fifth season. The fans hated it. So it switched back to the original arrangement for the very final episode.


  • Elvis Costello rearranged "Watching the Detectives" to an Orchestral Big Band number out of the 1950s.
  • Paul McCartney has done this repeatedly from The Seventies on. His album Wingspan has two different mixes of "No More Lonely Nights" on it, and he once released a classical album in which half the pieces were reworkings of lesser-known songs of his. Then there are the concert versions of "Maybe I'm Amazed" (which is usually as good as the original), "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"--though he probably borrowed that one from Jimi Hendrix--and the "Carry That Weight {You Never Give Me Your Money)" mix. (Two Beatlesongs he wrote most of, with one major melody in common...)
  • Miyuki Nakajima redoes her songs for her Yakai stage shows, sometimes even completely and literally rearranging them, as with the song "Kodoku no Shouzo." (The original can be heard here.)
  • Eric Clapton has done a soulful, unplugged version of his own song, "Layla." Opinions vary.
  • The Police released a 1985 remix of "Don't Stand So Close To Me"
    • Sting did a piano and voice version of "Roxanne" for the Live Aid show.
  • Sixties bands loved turning old blues songs into insane rock-outs. Led Zeppelin are probably most famous for it.
    • Megadeth was infamous for this during the '80s. Their first three albums all had covers, the first two being chosen especially to be as far as possible from Megadeth's patented "speed metal" sound; "These Boots Were Made For Walking", a pop song, and "I Ain't Superstitious", a blues song. Their cover of "These Boots" especially, which humorously altered the lyrics to make them more blatantly sexual, drew the ire of the song's original writer, who demanded that they rerelease said album without the offending track.
  • New Order was infamous for rearranging their own songs, numerous times. In particular, they re-recorded from scratch "Temptation" and "Confusion" (two non-album singles that were the band's first major hits) for the 1987 compilation "Substance", leaving the 1987 versions of the songs the only versions available on CD for years, until "New Order: The Singles" was released in 2005. They also remade their hit song "Blue Monday" in 1988, shortening the song down to 4 minutes in order to get the seven minute long song played on the radio as well.
    • They played a pretty awesome drum'n'bass inflected update of their 1980 Joy Division song 'Isolation' at the 1998 Reading festival and it's on a John Peel session recording.
  • Pet Shop Boys turned their bombastic synthpop song "Can You Forgive Her?" into an early-'40s big band arrangement, complete with chilled-out, breathy vocals, for the B-side of the single.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller 25, with 2008 versions of P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing), Billie Jean, The Girl is Mine and Wanna Be Starting Something.
  • The original version of "Empire State of Mind" with Jay-Z and Alicia Keys has been broken down just by Alicia into a slower, melodic version called "Empire State of Mind II, Broken Down".
  • Mike Oldfield has released at least four different versions of "Tubular Bells", each slightly different to the one before.
  • Bon Voyage (the Starflyer 59 side project) featured two different versions of a song on the same album, Lies (and not even as a bonus track, either). "Monster" is the original, and "Bad Dream" is the same lyrics with the backing music chopped into tiny pieces and rearranged.
  • Woven Hand has made two soundtrack albums, Blush Music and Puur, which feature rearrangements of prior songs (usually to make the songs longer).
  • The Split Enz tribute album "eNZso" features old hits retooled into orchestral versions performed by various vocalists and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
  • Used liberally in Irish rock band Gaelic Storm's stage shows where they'll announce that one of their shows has been picked up by <insert famous singer> and then performing the song in the given style of the artist.
  • Shudder To Think's Craig Wedren apparently likes doing this with his song "Day Ditty": Shudder To Think first recorded it as a 2 minute minimal ballad on Funeral At The Movies, then it later reappeared on the First Love Last Rites soundtrack as a fairly lavish 4 minute Phil Spector homage, with Angela McCluskey on guest vocals. And then Wedren's more electronic-based project BABY retitled it "Leaving Day Ditty" and gave it more of a trip-hop feel.
  • Kylie Minogue has done this alot. She has remade various songs into ballads, jazz, and electronica.
  • One-Hit Wonder trance group Binary Finary's "1998" has seen about a dozen arrangements.
  • One-Hit Wonder Real Life rearranged "Send Me an Angel" in 1989 to a more Hi-NRG type sound, this version has frequently been misattributed to the Pet Shop Boys or Erasure.
  • Ayla's self titled single, originally released in 1996, was rearranged by DJ Taucher(Ralph Armand Beck) in 1997, so much that it sounded nothing like the original, which promptly faded into obscurity. In turn, DJ Tandu (another alias of Ingo Kunzi, the main man behind Ayla) did a rearrangement based on Taucher's version in 1999, then that version itself was covered by Kosmonova.
  • Radiohead has done this with "Morning Bell" (rearranged on their next album, Amnesiac, as (appropriately enough) "Morning Bell/Amnesiac") and the b-side "Fog" (a live piano version titled "Fog (Again)").
  • The Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu aka The KLF are credited with pioneering a new approach to song mixing. They would continually tweak, remix, and rerelease their material, with no version being the definitive one. Engineer Mark Stent told Sound on Sound magazine:

 It was in working with Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty that things really started to happen in a new way, using mixing as a work-in-progress, rather than an end stage. We were running everything live in the studio, from sequencers and samplers. Obviously there was also stuff on tape, but they would come in with their Ataris and Akai samplers, and we would end up rearranging the whole song whilst mixing things. They would then take away what we did, work on it again, and come back a while later, and I'd mix stuff again. My KLF work put me in the picture, and after that the phone never stopped ringing.

    • They did at least two rearrangements of "What Time is Love?": "America (What Time is Love)" in 1991, and "Fuck the Millenium"(as 2K) in 1997.
  • Chiodos did two different rearrangements of the demo "Thermacare" (recorded with old vocalist Craig Owens). After the band's split, Chiodos recorded a different version of the song with different lyrics, "Stratovolcano Mouth" featuring new vocalist Brandon Bolmer, whereas Owens recorded a new song over Thermacare's lyrics, "The Only Thing You Talk About".
  • Bruce Springsteen has done this on his live shows on occasion. His live version of "Atlantic City" more fully incorporates the E Street Band(the original version from the album "Nebraska" was just him on guitar and harmonica). He also entirely rewrote the melody of "Born in the USA" making it slower and sadder, in keeping with the song's lyrics and making it seem less like a patriotic anthem.
    • Also, while touring with the Sessions Band(the band with which he recorded "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions"), he re-arranged "If I Should Fall Behind" as a waltz.
  • Coil took their 1991 signature song "Teenage Lightning" and released a new version in 2004. Both editions are notable for fully displaying the sound and technological aesthetics of the band during their respective periods.
    • A flamenco guitar version (retitled "Lorca not Orca") and an edited version ("Teenage Lightning 1") appear on the CD version of their album Love's Secret Domain.
  • Marcus Kinchin's dub remix of the Nightcrawlers' "Push The Feeling On" so eclipsed the original that it became the basis for all subsequent remixes. In turn, the song was re-recorded in 2003 with new lyrics, in addition to re-interpolating the Simlish vocal snippets.
  • Underworld's biggest song, "Born Slippy .NUXX" is actually an In Name Only remix of their song "Born Slippy". ".NUXX" became so popular that it overshadowed the original after its use in the film Trainspotting. Underworld revisited ".NUXX" in 2003 for a greatest hits album, downplaying the relentless percussion-only accompaniment with a piano part.
  • A rare unreleased edition of the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way", subtitled "No Goodbyes", had revised lyrics:

 No goodbyes (Ain't nothing but a heartache)

No more lies (Ain't nothing but a mistake)

That is why (I love it when I hear you say)

I want it that way

  • Bjorn Lynne(formerly Dr. Awesome)'s Revive album consisted of reworks of his old MOD songs.
  • Collage's signature song "I'll Be Loving You" was rerecorded in 2007.
  • Also in 2007, Stevie B. remade "Spring Love" with Pitbull.
    • In 1999, Stevie updated Jaya's "If You Leave Me Now", which he produced and sang backup on, as a duet between him and Alexia Phillips.
  • A couple of years after their vocalist Gibby Haynes collaborated with Ministry on "Jesus Built My Hot Rod", The Butthole Surfers had "Some Dispute Over T-Shirt Sales", which was essentially their own version of the same song: The music is entirely different but the melody and lyrics (well, Scatting) are pretty much the same. They also remade their old noise-rock rant "Something" In the Style Of The Jesus and Mary Chain as a joke.
  • The Residents had a tradition of revamping their first official single "Santa Dog" every four years, with the purpose of demonstrating their musical development and the new technology available to them since then. Among the most dramatically changed versions were "Where Are Your Dogs? Show Us Your Ugly", which added a lot more lyrics and stretched the originally under 2 minute song to almost 13 minutes, and the self-explanatory "Santa Dog for Gamelan Orchestra". There was also the album Our Finest Flowers, which deconstructed their own songs both by using different instrumentation and combining bits and pieces of different songs from throughout their career into new compositions.
  • When The Violent Femmes had to re-record "Blister In The Sun" for the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack, they submitted one version that was as close to the original in arrangement as possible, and one that slowed down the tempo and had it's signature guitar riff played by a horn section instead. Both ended up on the soundtrack, with the second version being dubbed "Blister 2000".
  • When "No Rain" became Blind Melon's biggest hit and they started getting bored of playing it at every show, they started playing a much slower, psychedelic blues version of the song, which arguably fit it's lyrics about depression better than the relaxed folk-rock of the original. A studio recording of this version appeared on the rarities collection Nico under the title "No Rain (Ripped Away Version)".
  • Ministry's "Halloween (2010 Evil Version)" essentially updates their old Synth Pop single "Everyday Is Halloween" to their current Industrial Metal sound.
  • On Skinny Puppy's 1987 double album CD, Bites & Remission, "Assimilate" and "The Choke" were reworked as the "R23" and "Regrip" mixes, respectively. The stand-alone CD rerelease of Remission included revamps of "Film" and "Icebreaker", the latter of whose intro was extended into a prelude track titled "Manwhole".
  • The surviving members of Queen rerecorded "We Are The Champions" with Robbie Williams in 2001, for the soundtrack to A Knight's Tale.
  • "Not Over Yet" by Grace (a project of Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne) was rearranged by Planet Perfecto (another Oakenfold supergroup) in 1999, then more drastically as "It's Not Over" in 2006 on Oakie's A Lively Mind album.
  • Fear Factory collaborated with Gary Numan to remake his hit single "Cars" In the Style Of Industrial Metal.
  • In addition to having a straight Unplugged Version of the song, Tonic also released an "Adult Version" of "If You Could Only See": This was a lighter and softer take on the song tailored specifically for soft rock stations.
  • Nena released a completely new version of her famous 1980s hit "99 Luftballons" in 2002.
  • Older Than Radio in religious circles, as hymns have often been sung with new melodies and new arrangements for hundreds of years. That famous melody that everyone knows? Probably not the original melody the hymn was first sung with. More recently, Christian artists have taken to reusing the lyrics and adding new choruses to them. For example, Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).
  • Assemblage 23's "Decades V2", released on the Meta album, is a revamped version of the original "Decades" that was released on the compilation Accession Records: Volume 3.
  • The Police did a more electronic-based re-arrangement of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" called "Don't Stand So Close To Me 86" for their Greatest Hits Album Every Breath You Take: The Singles. Supposedly they had planned on making an entire album of re-arranged versions of their hits instead of a traditional greatest hits album, but only ended up finishing one song.
  • The US version of Covenant's "Edge of Dawn", from Dreams of a Cryotank, is a bit different from the original European version, with rerecorded vocals and a Vader Breath-like sample during the intro. The US edition of the album also had a remixed version of "Theremin" as a bonus track.
  • Kraftwerk's The Mix is a compilation of rearrangements of their greatest hits.
  • O' Cracker Where Art Thou? had Cracker rearranging their own songs in more of a bluegrass style, in collaboration with Leftover Salmon.
  • Sound Horizon almost always plays rearranged versions of their songs on Territorial Expansion tours. How much they rearrange any given song varies. Sometimes it's simply rearranging the vocalists, other times they change they change the instrumentation or make medleys, and then there was the one time they did a duet version "Koibito wo Uchiotoshita Hi" — On an accordion.
  • Sixties mod group The Creation did a much more synthesized rendition of "Making Time" for their aborted 80's comeback album Psychedelic Rose. Unfortunately for those looking for the original version, only the eighties remake is available on itunes.
  • In the line-dance era (mid-1990s), countless Country Music songs were given "dance mixes" that mainly consisted of amping up the bass and drums, and adding an instrumental "breakdown" in the middle to draw out the song for another minute or two.
  • My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden loves electronic music, so her first two albums (Bring Me the Workhorse and A Thousand Shark's Teeth) were each followed by albums of other artists remixing the songs from those albums (Tear It Down and Shark Remixes, respectively).
  • Calexico had a dark, stripped-down folk song named "Trigger" on their album The Black Light. Later, on their album Carried to Dust, they re-recorded it as a fast instrumental, reminiscent of an orchestral Western film soundtrack, and called it "El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)".
  • Bananarama's 2005 remixes of "Venus"(produced by Mark Almond of Soft Cell) and "Saying Something", both featured on their comeback album Drama.
  • Londonbeat remade their hit "I've Been Thinking About You" as a duet with Damae Klein of Fragma.
  • 4 Strings' "Take Me Away (Into the Night)" is a vocal rearrangement of an instrumental simply titled "Into the Night". In turn, it was reworked again in 2006. Also, Carlo Resoort reworked "Turn it Around", an older production of his originally sung by Alena, as a 4 Strings song with Vanessa on vocals.
  • Alex Megane's trance/dance hit "Hurricane" was remixed in 2009 with a new singer.
  • Humpty Vission & Rozalla - "Everybody's Free 2000"
  • The 1993 compilation No Alternative featured a live version of The Beastie Boys' "New Style" that was entirely different from the Licensed To Ill version aside from most of the lyrics - it seemed like an attempt to update the song to their current sound.
  • Groove Coverage has reworked their cover of Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow" at least twice, first as a Softer and Slower Cover in 2006, then as an electro-rap version with P.S.Y. in 2012.

Professional Wrestling

  • This trope is very common in professional wrestling. Christian has been using a cover of his "Just Close Your Eyes" theme by Story Of The Year, originally by Waterproof Blonde.
  • Triple H's theme song, "The Game" by Motorhead has gone through several remixes, starting off as the instrumental "Higher Brain Pattern", gaining lyrics from Chris Warren as "My Time", then finally achieving its current form after Motorhead covered it. Drowning Pool also did a cover that's rarely used.
  • The Rock's theme evolved from the Nation's theme.
  • Hard to believe after almost 20 years of gradual remixing and added levels of epic but the Undertaker's theme is ultimately a version of Chopin's Funeral March.
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin's iconic in-house music was remixed with lyrics by Disturbed when he made his highly publicized return in September 2000, all up until July 2001, when he made an ill-fated heel turn and used a one-time-only slowed-down version. Afterwards he used a theme that vaguely sounded like H-Blockx's "Oh, Hell Yeah" until the end of the Invasion.
  • Kurt Angle's theme in the WWF/WWE took a slight turn around 2006 with his Heel Face Turn. By this time, it was practically obliged for people to chant "You Suck!" during a two-note solo melody in his song. The newer version edited this portion out, so as to keep people from chanting it regardless of his Face turn.
    • Ironically, the chants were originally just his name, with the crowd singing "Angle!" along with the music, inspired by an Edge and Christian bit where they played his theme on a kazoo. It wasn't until later that it turned into "You Suck!" You'd think the crowd would just go back to chanting his name.
  • The Corre, whose song has been tweaked many times in their less then 3 months of existence.
  • The Rock's theme – basically, based off his signature line "If you smeeeellllllll .... what the Rock ... is ... cookin'!" – has been reworked many times.
  • During Jacques Rougeau's run as rouge lawman The Mountie, he used the narcissist "I'm the Mountie!" (a heel marching tune) as his entrance theme. When he began teaming with Pierre Oulette as The Quebecers in 1993, the theme was reworked to "We're Not the Mounties," with Rougeau and Oulette re-recording the theme as a duet. The instrumentation was slightly re-worked, but the only changes to the lyrics were the title line and first-person pronouns (e.g., I, my) were made plural (we and our, respectively).



  • Played for Drama in Gypsy, where "Let Me Entertain You," the song which Baby June sang in vaudeville, becomes Gypsy Rose Lee's song in her first burlesque debut. (The burlesque band is said to be provided with the exact same arrangements used earlier; this is obviously not actually true.)
  • Also used within the show of Dreamgirls to represent two songs being Covered Up: Jimmy and the Dreamettes' exuberant version of "Cadillac Car" is replaced by a practically easy-listening version by Dave and the Sweethearts, while Effie's soulful "One Night Only" vies with Deena and the Dreams' disco version.
  • Cirque Du Soleil's concert tour Delirium merged this with Rewritten Pop Version for a set list of songs derived from most of the shows from Saltimbanco through Varekai.
  • In addition to the many cut songs, the songs of Vanities: A New Musical were often rearranged, shortened, extended, or had their lyrics changed slightly between productions, e.g. the middle verse of "I Can't Imagine" and the first verse of "An Organized Life 1968" were cut; "Let Life Happen" was rearranged when it was moved to where "We're Gonna Be Ok (Feelin' Sunny)" used to be; "In The Same Place" became "The Same Old Music"; "Counterpoint", a repetitive short reprise of "I Can't Imagine", was turned into a longer Dark Reprise titled "The Argument"; "Friendship Isn't What It Used to Be", originally a solo by Kathy, was rewritten as a trio, and its bridge completely reworked; and "Looking Good" had its final chorus extended and a short reprise of "Setting Your Sights" added as an outtro.
    • This was also done in-show with the scene intro song("Hey There, Beautiful", "Setting Your Sights", or "Mystery", depending on the production) as well as "An Organized Life" (and "Nothing Like A Friend" in the original Theatreworks run), for each scene.
  • The 2011 stage adaptation of Aladdin uses the full original lyrics of "Arabian Nights", and also restores the previously unused reprises of that song.
  • The songs in Jersey Boys are subtly rearranged from the original versions by the Four Seasons. Most of the songs are slightly faster, with a different instrument mix and a verse cut out so they can all fit in a two-hour musical.

Video Games

  • Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari have the same tune rearranged several times.
  • Rocket Knight Adventures reuses quite a few of its tunes in this fashion.
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 's constant changing of the classic "Hell March" theme.
  • Both of Halo's sequels rearranged the characteristic theme in several ways.
  • Time Crisis 3 uses a very different theme tune than the other installments, although you can still hear vestiges of the original, and on top of that, it features an epic rearrangement of Wild Dog's theme. In turn TC 3's theme was rearranged for the fourth game.
  • Most of Raiden IV's sound track consists of remixes of songs from Raiden II.
  • Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain used an undoubtedly epic orchestral arrangement of the series theme. That version was in turn rearranged for Dark Mirror. Logan's Shadow completely Replaced the Theme Tune.
  • Most of the music from Resident Evil 1 was rearranged for the Game Cube remake; and consequently became much creepier. Compare the mansion second floor theme from the original and the remake.
  • The Final Fantasy franchise has been known to recycle some of its themes. Notably, several different versions of the Chocobo theme have appeared in several games.
  • "Simple And Clean" appears as a J-Pop remix in the opening titles of Kingdom Hearts, but the menu trailer features a full-orchestra arrangement. A slower pop version also plays at the end of the game. Kingdom Hearts II does the same thing with "Sanctuary". Different games in the series also feature different versions of "Dearly Beloved".
  • While each new game in the main series of Pokémon adds many new tracks to the Pokémon music library, there are some tracks that have remained constant throughout the series, being rearranged time and time again. They are the Pokémon main title/opening theme, the Pokémon Gym Interior theme, the Pokémon Center theme, and the Pokémon Evolution theme.
  • "Moon Over the Castle" from Gran Turismo has been the main theme of the series since its inception (well, in Japan at least) and each incarnation in the main series has featured a new arrangement of it for the opening movie.
    • Subverted with the spinoff and preview games. Most don't feature the song at all, or in the case of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, actually have a new arrangement of the song playing over the ending credits.
    • Super Mario Bros. uses this frequently, both in its rearrangements of the overworld and underworld themes from the first game for subsequent games, and (especially in Super Mario World) also within a game.
  • Rainbow Six: Lockdown switched to a rock version of the series theme. In fact, every installment reworked the main theme in some way.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog games since Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 have used an orchestral rearrangement of the game's theme song (or, in that first case, Sonic's Image Song) for the final boss fight; Unleashed uses an orchestral version of "Endless Possibility" and Colors has an orchestral version of "Reach for the Stars". Generations lacks this, as its soundtrack is comprised almost entirely of remixes of songs from older games, and as such it doesn't have a proper theme song.
  • The first Metroid Prime used a rearrangement of the series' traditional title screen music that added a new part to the melody. The second one took that part and made it the main melody, with the traditional melody still appearing, but only later in the song.
  • For its Anniversary Enhanced Remake, Halo: Combat Evolved had its soundtrack re-recorded and remastered by Pyramind Studios, as well as having its orchestral pieces conducted by the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra.

Western Animation

  • Ben 10 Alien Force is a mostly new song, but threaded through it, arranged Action Movie style is an instrumental arrangement of the first two sung lines from the original, bubblegum pop-style Ben 10 theme song.
  • American Dragon Jake Long got a new version of the Theme Tune to go with the Art Shift in Season 2. The original version was sort of light and mystical-sounding. The Season 2 rearrangement was full of crunchy guitar and was definitely made to sound more like rock.
  • The Simpsons theme has been rearranged countless times in the series, to the point where it is almost a Running Gag.
    • But that's mostly during the closing credits, within the body of an episode, or on special episodes. There have only been three versions of the main opening theme: the original Danny Elfman arrangement, another Elfman arrangement for season 2, and the Alf Clausen arrangement from season 3 onward.
      • Lisa's sax solo does change from week to week, however, and the couch gag often features different music.
    • Green Day perform their own version for The Movie.
      • Their cover has a vocal, which appears on the teleprompter as "DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH DAH..."
  • There have been four versions of the South Park theme.
  • Transformers always keep the same theme tune and re-arrange it, generally depending on which musical style is popular with children - compare the hair metal-style theme from The Transformers: The Movie to the rap-inspired theme from Transformers Cybertron.
  • Kim Possible rearranged the theme into a parody of James Bond themes for The Movie.
  • The 2008 CGI version of Speed Racer uses the same lyrics as the theme song for the original Anime's English translation, but uses an entirely different tune.
  • Noddy In Toyland uses a remixed version of the theme to Chorion's earlier Noddy production Make Way For Noddy.
  • The final episode of Drawn Together featured many of the show's songs being performed in radically different styles from their previous versions. (For instance, the Disney-esque ballad "Black Chick's Tongue" was performed in a hard rock style, while the Ling-Ling battle theme was transformed into a sultry jazz number.) The show was also prone to rearranging its theme song to suit the needs of certain episodes; for instance, a Tejano-style version of the theme was used for an episode which took place in Mexico.
  • The theme of Batman the Animated Series got a few special remixes in Batman Beyond, at various times performed by a full orchestra, howling electric guitars; these tended to happen at significant moments, like the times Bruce actually got involved.
  • Extreme Ghostbusters turns the franchise's famous theme song into a sinister Alternative Rock number.
  • In the first season of The Raccoons, the ending theme "Run With Us" was sung by Steve Lunt and was a Single-Stanza Song, but in all subsequent seasons, it was performed by Lisa Lougheed (Lisa Raccoon) with additional lyrics.
  • In the Discworld novel Soul Music, Buddy follows up playing his beautiful, haunting harp masterwork "Sioni Bod Da" by grabbing his guitar and playing a Music With Rocks version of the same piece. The Animated Adaptation's "The Messenger" captures this beautifully.
  • Virtually all of the music in Inspector Gadget is the theme song rescored to match the musical style of the part of the world that episode takes place in.
  • For a scene in Justice League Unlimited where Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman (along with more era-appropriate heroes like Jonah Hex are riding through the Wild West on horses on their way to the lair of the episode's Big Bad, a Western-ised version of the theme music from the original Justice League plays.