Debate: The best ITV F1 title theme tune

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A light-hearted debate this afternoon, I thought.

ITV have been bringing F1 races to us in Britain live for over a decade. From the original funky Jamiroquai theme, to the Bachman Turner Overdrive remix, to today’s Moby tune, which is the best?

Check out the videos below and pick your favourite.

ITV F1 theme 1997-9

ITV F1 theme 2000-2

ITV F1 theme 2003-5

ITV F1 theme 2006-present

I like the second one most which is “Blackbeat” by Apollo 440. But I also liked the original Jamiroquai tune (and what an excellent choice petrolhead musician to compose it).

I’m a big fan of Moby’s early work, but the current theme “Lift Me Up” only reminds just how far downhill he’s gone. I never liked the Bachman Turner Overdrive version.

But here’s the crucial question – are any of them better than the BBC’s classic theme, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “Debate: The best ITV F1 title theme tune”

  1. Nothing beats the old BBC intro – trust Auntie to get it right first time. ITV seem to be trying to transform F1 into James Bond; they just don’t get it, do they?

  2. Out of ITV’s output, the title sequence of 1997-99 really encapsulated the build-up of a start of a Formula One race. The darkness also added mystique.

    It does not however, beat The Chain. Another great piece of F1 music was used in the very first F1 game for Playstation which covered the 1995 season: “Formula 1”. When one entered the menu, it made an impact. That should be used in the title sequence for ITV.

  3. Hey, wich is the one of jamiroquai?

    Can you mail me the answer?

    Thank you!

  4. The first one is Jamiroquai, then Apollo 440, then Bachman Turner Overdrive, then Moby.

  5. I definately don’t like the latest one by Moby. Its just not right for F1. So out of the other three, I think it’ll have to be the first one by Jamiroquai.

  6. I like the Bachman one, but I think that’s because that’s when I started watching. I’m a relative newbie and it’s probably one of those things where you like the one that you first saw?

    In that respect, kind of like James Bond or Doctor Who.

    Having said that, I heard that bit of The Chain once, late at night, on radio, and recognised it immediately, even though I didn’t know the rest of the song.

  7. The BBC one blows them all away, but the first ITV tune by Jamiroquai is my favorite by a long shot ! :D

  8. I liked both the Jamaroquai and the Bachman Overdrive (with the latter being my favourite). My opinion of Apollo 440 is very low, though their F1 tune isn’t too bad. And Moby’s tune would have worked well without the lyrics (F1 theme tunes should be simple, and complicating it with words doesn’t help).

    Naturally, I also think “The Chain” is better than any of these.

  9. The Bachman one is definitely my favourite. The current one is a load of rubbish, but it is let down by the dire images that accompany it. Eagles… scary Chinese women… casino tables… David Coulthard in a tuxedo. WHY?

    And to top it all off, the title sequence culminates with an F1 car being launched from an infeasibly giant helmet. What a load of rubbish!

  10. I’ll go against the flow here. I like the current song by Moby… it’s rather catchy, actually. But the video it goes with needs some work.

    But it’s still planets away from The Chain, that’s for sure. :)

  11. you know the only thing i kept thinking whilst watching all of these is:

    “ITV used to put so much more effort into their titles”

    and when i think about it, the same is probably true of the whole program.

  12. The Chain undoubtedly…an inspired choice.

  13. The 1997-9 theme really got the spirit of Formula 1. I feel that since then the slide into ‘fashionable’ themes has brought the level of the coverage from the opening titles to the end credits down.

    Where did Tony and co go to – did anyone ever say anything? Did I miss a throw away comment – or do the producers of the ITV coverage think we are all morons who don’t care about people and just sit there going vroom vroom like maniacs!!

  14. Jean makes an excellent point – I suspect that the TV producers do indeed see us as idiots. But the real tragedy is that the FIA seem to be of the same opinion…

  15. The current theme by Moby is a bit too dreary, the words lift me up said in a dull tone doesn’t do much for me. At least you only hear the full tune at the start and end of the programme. However, I think the jingle they use between adverts is simply depressing.
    The second theme ITV used by Apollo 440 was the best for me, but then I like that kind of music.
    They have used better music in some of the features and montages such as Feeder’s Just A Day and Kasabian’s Reason is Treason.

  16. The bachman turner overdrive sounds like the intro to fifth gear, the chain is still the best though. but out of the itv ones it has to be jamaroquis because its short but still good.

  17. Ive got to say formula 1 is still awesome even with all the changes. the best theme is the current one by moby “lift me up”. I think formula 1 has comeon leaps and bounds, the cars look amazing and although micheal schumacher is no longer a race driver I think it’s still unreal and hopefully it’l continue to grow and massa or kimi for the title.

  18. what IS that song at the end of the 1997 season kind of dancey and futuristic? I’d give someone £20 if they could provide me with the answer :P GO KIMI GO!

  19. I know exactly the song you’re thinking of Mike. It’s “Ajare” by Way Out West, from the album also called “Way Out West”. It’s a fantastic song and one of my favourite albums.

    The music video is here:

  20. you just cant beat the chain it fits F1 so well!!!!

  21. The chain is the F1 theme tune, but that could be because it was when i started watching it, but i think the current tune is by far the best itv tune. I’m glad I stumbled across this site as i’ve been wondering for ages who did it.

  22. Wasn’t there another one? I was sure that when Button started and he was seeing that Louise girly that she did one of the themes at least for a short time? Or am I just an old man and and my ears are getting weak?

  23. I think you’re right Mikey – it was a one-off though if I remember correctly.

  24. the best theme tune by far was chains by fleetwood mac that was usedby the bbc they got it just right. as for the commentators murrey walker will never be beaten, his enthusiasm and love of the sport was shown throughout his broadcasting carrer. all i can say is murrey for prime minister !!

  25. The Apollo 440 one is the best ITV one, I think. Jamiroquai’s was very good too. The others have got progressively cheesier. The lastest one isn’t helped by the very camp pictures associated with it though :-D

    On a tangential note, given (a) how well Hamilton is doing and (b) how much of an average ITV F1 show is given over to talking about him, then it’s a bit odd they have only a split second shot of him in their titles this year. And Davidson’s picture is literally a subliminal image it’s so quick. It’s just odd DC and Button feture so prominently when, well, they don’t feature quite so prominently on race day.

  26. They are all pretty sucky once they get going. The chain was the best by far.

    But, here’s the weird thing – don’t you just get goosebumps from the opening bars of all of them?

    Bring on Brazil!!

  27. definately the fleetwood mac theme tune is the best and only one for me ! when the DUMMMM ! der der dum der der der der der dum …..was heard its only one thing,the grand prix is about to start..

  28. There is only one theme “The Chain”

    The rest are only also-rans at best or totally irrelevant to racing of any kind.

    Some of the graphics aren’t bad just so long as you do not suffer from epilepsy or something equivalent.

  29. The Chain all the way.

  30. Mikey J, the tune you are thinking of is "Catch Me If You Can", sung by Louise Griffiths, played during the closing sequence of the 2004 Australian Grand Prix and the opening sequence of the next race, the 2004 Malaysian Grand Prix.
     I quite liked it – even though it wasn’t really a racing tune, it had a good beat and Louise was listenable.

  31. Fleetwood Mac "The Chain" beats all the rest like the BBC coverage without the adverts !

  32. hey does anyone have a link to the formula one intro where the chain is playing… as the formula one car is just coming over the horizon… and the heat waves are there?… i loved that intro and i cant find it anywhere…

  33. the chain is by far my favourite, this is how i first remember formula 1! definatley don’t like the new moby theme, i just don’t get how it fits the programme.

  34. ok, i started watching F1 in 2000 and that apollo440 tune blackbeat is amazing fits so well with dark beats ive heard the chain but many people will love that because they simply grew up hearing that, blackbeat seemed modern with electro sounds and rock influences, it literally got me revved up for the race, 97-99 tune is decent especialy at the end after a slow start,

    agreed that the current moby tune is quite pathetic, cheesy and does not suit f1, please no lyrics for future productions in the titles and the video is awful realy good ideas but for me it doesnt work, when overdrive took over i was so dissapointe i thought very cheesy to be honest and when I heard ‘lift me up’ couldnt believe anything could be worse but it was, blackbeat all the way and the video is the best aswell or maybe 97-99

  35. itv.s theme tune by moby ” lift me up “is my favourite it will be interesting to see what the bbc come up with if anyones got any ideas whos going to write it i would interested to find out

    1. yes i do it will be fleet wood mac the chains f1 will be shown on the 29th of march 2009

  36. i love theme tune it is brillant 2003-2008 were my fav fleetwood mac is fav but can anyone tell me were i could by a cd with the f1 theme tune plaease

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