Pokémon Theme

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"Pokémon Theme"
Song by Jason Paige
from the album Pokémon 2.B.A. Master
Released June 29, 1999
Recorded 1998–1999
Length 3:15
Songwriter(s) John Siegler
John Loeffler
Producer(s) John Loeffler
Audio sample

The "Pokémon Theme" (also known as "Gotta Catch 'Em All")[1][2] is a song written by John Siegler and John Loeffler and performed by Jason Paige. It was the theme song for the first season of the English adaptation of the Pokémon anime. Since its release, the song has been virtually synonymous with the Pokémon franchise because the line "Gotta Catch 'Em All" has become its official slogan.[3]

History[edit]

Siegler and Loeffler wrote the lyrics to the song while Siegler (best known at the time as the bassist for Todd Rundgren's Utopia from 1973 to 1976) produced the track, also playing keyboards, bass, and drums. David Rolfe, the vocalist for later themes of the series, played the guitar while Jason Paige provided the vocals.[3] Although the theme song premiered on the debut episode "Pokémon, I Choose You!" on September 8, 1998, Jason Paige was called back again in 1999 to produce an extended version of the theme song for the album Pokémon 2.B.A. Master.[3]

According to Norman Grossfeld, the then-president of 4Kids Productions, the line "Gotta Catch 'Em All" was created as a "tagline for marketing purposes that would also be included in the theme song". Furthermore, "Gotta Catch 'Em All" came from a series of contenders, which included "Catch ‘em if you can" (which made it in an earlier version of the theme song).[4] Meanwhile, when first approached about the theme song, Siegler initially saw the show's concept as "incomprehensible" before realizing that the series was about friendship. Although he was reluctant at first, he saw the show's potential when he took his son to premiere of the debut episode in Columbus Circle.[4]

In November 2005, the Internet comedy duo Smosh recorded a video for the song on YouTube. It became the most viewed video on the site before being surpassed by "The Evolution of Dance". Afterwards, Smosh's video was removed on YouTube due to a copyright notice.[5][6][7] During the 2012 primary election, Paige himself performed a parody of the song in support of the Republican candidate Ron Paul.[8] In 2015, the song was voted to be part of the annual Dutch Top 2000 radio marathon, after a call-for-action on Facebook went viral within the country.[9][10]

The theme song has been covered by various groups and people. "Pokémon Theme" was first covered by Billy Crawford for Pokémon: The First Movie.[11] Afterwards, it was covered again by Ben Dixon and The Sad Truth for the English broadcast of Pokémon: XY.[12] Ben Dixon once again covered it for Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!.[13] Others who have covered the theme song included Postmodern Jukebox,[14][15] Kurt Hugo Schneider with Lindsey Stirling,[16] Eric Calderone,[17] Baracksdubs,[18] Tay Zonday,[2] Powerglove,[2][19] Xander Mobus in character as the announcer from Super Smash Bros.,[20] Nathan Sykes,[21][22] and Anthony Vincent.[23] In 2014, Electric Six recorded a cover of the song as part of a pledge package for their "Absolute Treasure" Kickstarter campaign.[24]

Resurgence[edit]

In July 2016, after the release of the mobile game Pokémon Go, the song had a 630% increase in listeners on music streaming platform Spotify.[25][26] There were instances of police cars playing the song through loudspeakers while driving near Pokémon Go players, as well as groups of people singing the song in public.[27][28][29][30][31] Afterwards, Dutch electronic music artist Hardwell played the theme at the 2016 edition of Ultra Europe as one of his final tunes.[32] The same month, after rising up to 1,079% in sales, the song hit number four on Billboard's "Kids Digital Songs" chart after initially peaking at 10 in 2010, as well as peaking at number three on the "Hot Dance Singles Sales" chart.[33] Despite the resurgence, Paige did not receive any royalties from the song.[34]

In response to the success of the mobile app Pokémon Go, Paige re-recorded the theme.[35] In an interview with the New York Post, Paige claimed that he did not originally expect the song to become popular when he first recorded it, stating that he "didn’t really know much about Pokémon" when he did the demo, other than a scene in the animated series that caused bouts of epileptic seizures in Japan. Although Paige recorded the song in four hours, he received a large one-time payment for the song in 2000.[36] Paige also performed another parody of the song, featuring Dwayne Johnson as a Pokémon as well as YouTube stars MatPat and Ali A.[37]

In December 2016, the song reached spot 232 on the Dutch Top 2000, a difference of over 1400 spots compared to its ranking in the previous year.[38]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
US Hot Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[33] 3
Chart (2010) Peak
position
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard)[33] 10
Chart (2015) Peak
position
Netherlands Top 2000[39] 1666
Chart (2016) Peak
position
US Kid Digital Songs (Billboard)[33] 4
Netherlands Top 2000[38] 232

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Houlub, Christian (July 11, 2016). "'Pokémon Go' increases theme song plays on Spotify". Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Schneider, Marc (July 11, 2016). "Gotta Stream 'Em All: Pokémon Go Craze Spreads to Spotify". Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Rys, Dan (August 1, 2016). "Can't Regret Them All: The Story of the Very Lucrative 'Pokemon Theme'". Retrieved August 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Luling, Todd Van (June 2, 2017). "Before 'Gotta Catch 'Em All:' The Creation Of The Pokémon Theme". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  5. ^ Virginia Heffernan (April 4, 2006). "Comic shorts, home on the Web". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ "The first superstars of web TV". BBC. November 27, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Troy Dreier. "Smosh: YouTube Gods and Unlikely Online Video Superstars". Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ Sheets, Connor (May 8, 2012). "Ron Paul 2012 Supporter Remakes 'Pokemon' Song For Campaign [VIDEO]". Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  9. ^ Pieters, Janene (December 2, 2015). "Pokémon Theme Song Sneaks Into Netherlands Top 2000 Countdown". NL Times. 
  10. ^ "Pokémon Theme Song staat voor het eerst in de Top 2000". Algemeen Dagblad. December 2, 2015. 
  11. ^ Ried, Irah (January 11, 2000). "Billy Crawford: Destined for World Fame". Manila Standard. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Cartoon Network Debuts Pokémon the Series: XY in U.S. on Saturday". Anime News Network. January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ Swanberg, Amy (2017-11-10). "I Choose You! Perfectly Celebrates Pokémon's 20th Anniversary". Twin Cities Geek - MN Geek Culture Magazine. Retrieved 2017-11-17. 
  14. ^ Goddard, Emma (April 20, 2014). "This Cover Of The 'Pokemon' Theme Song Will Change Your Life". www.bustle.com. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  15. ^ Romano, Aja (November 14, 2015). "You have to catch all of this sublime jazz cover of the Pokémon theme". Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  16. ^ Cats, William; Guy, Crime (October 1, 2013). "WATCH: Pokemon And Dubstep Together At Last!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  17. ^ Marnell, Blair (July 17, 2016). "The POKEMON Theme Gets a Metal Upgrade | Nerdist". Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Barack Obama Sings Pokémon Theme". The Huffington Post. February 5, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  19. ^ Ramanand, Liz (October 23, 2011). "Dragonforce and Powerglove Give NYC Ears an 'Ultra Beatdown'". Loudwire. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  20. ^ Person, Chris (October 22, 2014). "Super Smash Bros Announcer Sings The Pokémon Theme". Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  21. ^ Corner, Lewis (July 25, 2016). "Nathan Sykes turns Pokémon Theme into epic piano ballad". Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  22. ^ King, Eric (July 25, 2016). "Pokémon Go Madness Continues With Nathan Sykes' Cover of Original TV Theme". Retrieved July 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ Blistein, Jon (August 2, 2016). "'10 Second Songs' Singer Covers 'Pokémon' Theme in 20 Nineties Styles". Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  24. ^ http://www.electricsix.co.uk/songs/
  25. ^ Stark, Chelsea (July 11, 2016). "Spotify announces 'Pokémon' theme song plays up 382%". Mashable. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  26. ^ Ayers, Mike. "Pokémon Tracks Get a Pokémon Go Bump on Spotify". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  27. ^ O'Neill, Kara (July 14, 2016). "Patrolling police car drives past kids while blasting the Pokémon theme song". Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ Staff, KSLA (July 14, 2016). "Officer's playful gesture delights Pokemon Go players in downtown Shreveport". Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ Gomez, Jonathan (July 12, 2016). "Who Loves Pokémon Go? The Police". The Marshall Project. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  30. ^ Burks, Robin (July 18, 2016). "Watch A Crowd Of Chicago 'Pokémon Go' Players Sing The 'Pokémon' Theme Song". Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  31. ^ Thier, Dave (July 17, 2016). "'Pokémon GO' Servers Down As Game Launches In Canada". Retrieved July 18, 2016. 
  32. ^ Bein, Kat (July 19, 2016). "Hardwell Closes Ultra Europe With Pokemon Theme Song, Earns 20,000 XP". Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b c d Rutherford, Kevin (July 20, 2016). "Pokemon Spotted in Top Five of Kid Digital Songs Chart". Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  34. ^ Josephs, Brian (July 21, 2016). "'Pokémon Theme' Singer Jason Paige Still Wants to Be the Very Best". Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  35. ^ Payne, Chris (July 28, 2016). "Watch the Original 'Pokemon' Theme Singer Give It a Go in 2016". Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  36. ^ Phull, Hardeep (July 15, 2016). "The Pokémon theme's surprising singer is back in the hot seat". New York Post. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  37. ^ Dosh, Kristi (July 25, 2016). "The Rock Gets His Own Pokemon Go-Inspired Character". Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  38. ^ a b "Nieuwsbericht - NPO Radio 2". www.nporadio2.nl. Retrieved 16 December 2016. 
  39. ^ "Gotta Catch 'M All (Pokemon Theme Song) - Jason Paige". NPO Radio 2. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 

External links[edit]