Whenever people start talking about the popular TV show, Law and Order (and who does not?), Invariably someone has to sing the opening strain of the theme song: "dun dun dun dun daaaaaa." It's that familiar, and that closely associated with the show.
It's not an accident. It's the work of famed composer Mike Post. Few people in the music industry have made such a mark on one aspect of the business as Mike Post has on TV theme songs.
Remember "Hill Street Blues"? It won two Grammys in 1981 – Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Instrumental Composition. Post's songs not only work for the shows they are written for, but are so good, so catchy, so memorable that they chart on the radio. Such was the case with the "The Theme from Hill Street Blues." Another Post song, "The Greatest American Hero," actually hit # 1 on the Pop charts. Both were popular in the early 1980s.
Mike Post has a talent for, among other things, penning great music for cop shows: The Rockford Files, the aforementioned Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, Law and Order … and many many more.
"… Post's ability to encompass a show's character in his music is what has landed him atop the elite class of Hollywood composers. Only Pat Williams, Henry Mancini and Dave Grusin have attained comparable levels of success and respect in this field." –Museum Of Broadcast Communications
Before his success in television, Post worked as a session musician for a number of major artists including Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. He played guitar on Sonny and Cher's # 1 hit, "I Got You Babe," in 1965. He won a Grammy at age 22 for Best Instrumental Arrangement on the Mason Williams' guitar classic, "Classical Gas."