The theme song to the wildly popular and influential TV series Miami Vice, this song reached #1 in America a little over a year after the series debuted.
It was the last instrumental song to reach #1 on the US Hot 100; the only TV theme song to hit the top spot since is "How Do You Talk To An Angel" from the show The Heights, which reached the peak in 1992.
This won 1985 Grammy Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Instrumental Composition for Jan Hammer.
Miami Vice had a huge musical impact. Not only was the theme song a #1 hit, but the soundtrack, featuring two Glenn Frey songs written specifically for the show ("Smuggler's Blues" and "You Belong To The City") and two established hits used in first season episodes ("In The Air Tonight," "Better Be Good To Me"), topped the US Albums chart for 11 weeks in 1985, giving it the longest run at the top of any TV soundtrack.
It was certified as 4x Platinum, with sales of over 4 million in America, making it by far the best-selling TV soundtrack to that point (Disney's 2006 High School Musical soundtrack put up similar numbers, also certified at 4x Platinum, but that was from a TV movie, not a series).
The Miami Vice soundtrack ushered in a new era of TV shows spinning off albums. The previous compilation from a TV series to hit #1 was The Music from Peter Gunn in 1959.
Readers of TV Guide voted this the most popular TV theme song of the past 50 years, earning 35% of all votes cast. The theme from The Andy Griffith Show came second, with 13% of the votes.
The "Miami Vice theme'" was originally something Jan Hammer had been experimenting with on a sequencer, trying to get something rhythmic and driving. He played it for Miami Vice producer Michael Mann and as a result got the commission for providing the music for the series.
When he worked on the 2006 Miami Vice movie, Michael Mann decided he wanted nothing to do with the original TV series and hence did not use this song.
Jan Hammer is a Czech born jazz-rock keyboardist. From 1971-73 he was a member of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, at the time the most successful group ever to record and tour in the jazz-rock fusion genré, selling over 2 million records worldwide. He also played with Billy Cobham and Stanley Clarke.
Hammer has composed and produced around 15 original motion picture soundtracks, and the music for 90 episodes of Miami Vice. In the UK in 1987, Crockett's Theme from the Miami Vice series peaked at #2 in the charts. In the early 1990s it was used as the theme music for a National Westminster Bank advertising campaign.
The Miami Vice soundtrack was already at the summit when this song topped the Hot 100 on November 9, 1985. US chart history was made, as it was the first time a TV show had generated both the US #1 single and album.