Out of the hundreds of iconic TV theme songs, none generate the same adrenaline rush as Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Sure, Cheers was heart-warming, and everyone knows the story of Fresh Prince and Brady Brunch. But, which one actually made you roundhouse kick your little brother in the backyard?
Over 20 years on the air, the opening theme of “Go, go, Power Rangers!” evolved alongside the show, before recently resorting to the same chord and melody that made it a ‘90s staple in the first place. To mark the franchise’s revitalized presence in pop culture — there’s a movie on the way, and they’re teaming up with the Justice League (in comic form) next year — here’s a look back at every theme song from every season of Power Rangers, ranked from worst to best.
17. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive (2007)
For a few years in the mid-2000s, when the franchise was owned by Disney, the show entertained rap as a genre. What they made were atrocities that would make Afrika Bambataa disown the microphone.
The absolute worst was Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive, a techno-rap with no rhythm or taste. It tries to tell the story of the season, in which this generation of Rangers search for a magical crown called the Corona Aurora. Instead, it just makes ears bleed.
16. Power Rangers Mystic Force (2006)
The first Power Rangers series to try rap, 2006’s Power Rangers Mystic Force is another unpleasant selection that makes a lot of noise for not a whole lot of reason. It’s got a little more rhythm than Operation Overdrive, but I wouldn’t leave it on shuffle either.
15. Power Rangers Samurai (2011) / Power Rangers Megaforce (2013)
In 2011, when the franchise reverted to original owner Haim Saban and his newly-established Saban Brands, the M.O. was to revitalize the franchise for a new generation. That spirit came in the music, riffing off the famous “Go, go Power Rangers!” back in 1993.
But, instead of tapping into unique Japanese motifs for the new series, which had a samurai theme and was plainly titled Power Rangers Samurai, the song was plain and boring as all hell with no kind of identity. It was such a generic tune, it was actually recycled for the next series, Power Rangers Megaforce.
14. Power Rangers Wild Force (2002)
If there was ever a Captain Planet equivalent to Power Rangers, it would be Power Rangers Wild Force, with eco-friendly lyrics in this post-grunge rock tune that bombards the senses with lion roars and bird calls. The theme to Power Rangers Wild Force isn’t a terrible one. It’s just not a great one either.
13. Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008)
At the height of pop punk came Power Rangers Jungle Fury trying its best to sound like Boys Like Girls or Paramore for a demo that’s a little younger than “tween.” What sucks is that the Jungle Fury theme song isn’t bad, it’s just inoffensive. It sounds nothing like how a superhero series with a kung fu motif should. The song is fine and can work for any other Power Rangers series, and that’s the worst thing about it.
12. Power Rangers Turbo (1997)
The theme to Turbo is actually fun, and the full version heard in the film’s soundtrack (Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie) is a complete piece of epic rock. But, cut down for the TV show, it’s nothing but NOISE and RHYTHMIC YELLING for thirty seconds. There’s some cool melodic voice work at play, but it’s buried in the busy-as-hell instrumentals.
11. Power Rangers in Space (1998)
The daisy-chained lyrics of Power Rangers in Space is secretly a ton of fun to sing along to, and the guitar work in this theme is the best the show ever had. But, as the Rangers went to space, the show missed its chance at doing something really memorable. Imagine a Power Rangers theme that sounded like Muse. Not that Muse should do Power Rangers (side note: Muse should do Power Rangers), but what if something operatic was attempted instead of more hard rock?
10. Power Rangers Ninja Storm (2003)
When your show features extreme sports athletes who are secretly superhero ninjas, and was made in 2003, there would be an inevitable onslaught of poppy alt-rock and some awful, out of place Japanese flutes. And yet, that onslaught works for Power Rangers Ninja Storm, which feels as charged as the title suggests. It’s just a little on the short and repetitive side, with uninspired lyrics.
9. Power Rangers RPM (2009)
By itself, Power Rangers RPM is pure white noise with simple, repetitive lyrics. But when you watch the show it opens for, oh man, is it a joy ride. 2009’s Power Rangers RPM is unlike any season before it (and even after), taking place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It was Mad Max but with Power Rangers, making the industrial metal at work actually make a lot of sense.
It’s also perhaps the most daring piece of music the franchise ever had. After years of bad rap and generic rock, that Power Rangers RPM went metal was neat. It loses points for being off-putting by itself, but when I think of the show it opened for, I can’t help but smile and wish more people saw it. (Power Rangers RPM had some of the lowest ratings in the franchise’s history.)
8. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000)
The uplifting melody in Lightspeed Rescue matches the optimism in putting faith in everyday heroes like firefighters and medics, which is who this crop of spandex heroes were. The guitar strings outdo Power Rangers in Space, but there’s just a little something missing that keeps Lightspeed Rescue from topping this list.
7. Power Rangers Time Force (2001)
It’s the lyrics that I love about Power Rangers Time Force. But even without that, there’s something awesome about the opening of Time Force: It’s breakneck, it’s epic, it’s everything you want to hear every Saturday morning. There’s a lot of memorable guitar work throughout the franchise, but Time Force can stand as some of the best any day of the week.
6. Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004)
The lyrics that tell a story, the guitar that rumbles before it explodes, the general excitement it generates, Power Rangers Dino Thunder is the true successor to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and its theme song does it justice. No, it’s not as catchy as the original series, but it does what all good reboots should: Reinvent.
5. Power Rangers S.P.D. (2005)
Composed by original series musician Ron Wasserman, Power Rangers S.P.D. sounds like how a Saturday morning cartoon of Blade Runner would. Wasserman doesn’t need to do “Go, go Power Rangers!” all over again — S.P.D. is its own thing, and rightfully so. The opening percussions still get to me after more than ten years.
4. Power Ranges Lost Galaxy (1999)
1999’s Power Ranges Lost Galaxy was the closest the series got to being like a superhero version of Star Trek or Stargate, and its grand theme song evokes that kind of far-reaching science-fiction. The lyrics don’t make any sense — “There lies a key / to the answers and the powers you will know” (huh?) — but how it sounds forgives all of its sins. This is Power Rangers like it should be.
3. Power Rangers Dino Charge (2014)
Holy reboot, Batman! Power Rangers Dino Charge doesn’t just go hard into its dinosaur adventure motif, it remixes the “Go, go Power Rangers!” gimmick completely in a way that feels organic and natural. While I prefer my Power Rangers themes to be daring and different, Dino Charge is a happy medium between using the tried and true while trying something completely new.
2. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993 - 1995)
Nothing needs to be said about this theme song except that it isn’t the best. It’s the one that helped make the show a hit in the first place. But I assure you, this isn’t the top of the mountain.
1. Power Rangers Zeo (1996)
This is the best song ever in Power Rangers history, and I will fight you on this. Yes, the songwriters still ape Ron Wasserman’s “Go, go Power Rangers!,” but like Dino Charge did more than a decade later, Power Rangers Zeo remixed something familiar to create something more epic and grandiose than Mighty Morphin ever was. This was the first time Power Rangers began a new chapter, and it certainly wouldn’t be its last.
Photos via Getty Images / Michael Loccisano