Miami Vice Theme
Featured in Episode
Opening of every episode
"Brother's Keeper"
"A Bullet for Crockett"
Top Chart Position (Hot 100)
1 (November 9, 1985, one week)
Year Released
Jan Hammer
RIAA Certification
Sequence song appears
Opening sequence and closing credits
(Brother's Keeper) Crockett chasing Tubbs across Miami
(A Bullet for Crockett) Flashback to above scene
Previous Song
Next Song

"Miami Vice Theme", also known as "The Original Miami Vice Theme" on some releases and simply as "Miami Vice" in its 7" single mix, is a song performed by Jan Hammer, recorded on the first Miami Vice soundtrack in 1985. The song first appeared over the opening credits in the Miami Vice pilot episode, "Brother's Keeper", and was subsequently used as the title music for every episode of the series, even those scored by Tim Truman after Jan Hammer left the show as composer. The track also appeared within the episodes "Brother's Keeper" and "A Bullet for Crockett".

Along with "Crockett's Theme", it is one of the most famous pieces of music Jan Hammer composed for the series.


Several slightly different versions of the track have appeared or been released since the show's launch:

  • The 2:44 version used over the opening credits of "Brother's Keeper" -- this is missing the distinctive synthesised lead guitar hook, and is extended beyond the credits with a lengthy percussive section that continues into the episode itself.
  • The 0:57 version used over the opening credits of "Heart of Darkness", "Cool Runnin'" and "Calderone's Return (Part I)" -- this is essentially a shortened version of the theme used in the pilot; it features the proper conclusion heard in all later versions, but is still missing the lead synth guitar.
  • The 1:00 version used over the opening credits from "Calderone's Return (Part II)" onward -- the most common and well-known version of the theme, prominently featuring a distinctive synth guitar hook.
  • The 2:26 7" single version -- a considerably longer mix of the track; the show essentially used the last minute of the single.
  • The 6:55 12" single version -- an extended remix of the single.

According to Jan Hammer's manager Elliot Sears, the versions that lack the synth guitar hook were the result of the sound elements not being mixed together correctly in early episodes. As well as these main versions of the track, several other variations have appeared over the show's closing credits.


  • The "Miami Vice Theme" was the last TV theme and the last instrumental to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 until "Harlem Shake" topped the charts in March, 2013. The first Miami Vice soundtrack album spent 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, a record for a TV soundtrack that still stands. It was also the biggest selling TV soundtrack until High School Musical broke that record in 2006.
  • The theme was used as the opening for G. Gordon Liddy's radio show in the early 1990s.
  • The video for the song featured scenes from "The Prodigal Son", "Golden Triangle (Part I)", and "The Maze", along with Jan Hammer's instrumental performances and appearance as a bad guy. He would appear in cameo roles in the episodes "One Way Ticket" and "Like a Hurricane", both times as a wedding musician.


Jan Hammer

Jan Hammer

"Miami Vice Theme" Video

Miami Vice Theme HD

Miami Vice Theme HD

Miami Vice Theme HD The adventures of the vice squad detectives of the Miami Police Department.