‘Miami Vice’ Theme: Axed, but Alive

'Miami Vice' Theme: Axed, but Alive | Killers Set Sights on New York | Binn There; Old & Disloyal

'Miami Vice' Theme: Axed, but Alive

Imagine "Mission: Impossible" or "The Addams Family" without their TV theme music transferred to the movies.

Even the disastrous big-screen version of "Bewitched" took its original theme music along, as did "The Wild Wild West," "The Brady Bunch" movies, "Star Trek" and countless other films that came from television series.

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But not "Miami Vice." When the movie opens on Friday, there won’t be a hint of Jan Hammer’s colossally successful, Grammy award-winning theme music.

The reason? Apparently director Michael Mann just didn’t want it, simple as that.

Hammer, however, has the last laugh. His updated version of the theme, released on his own indie label with manager Elliott Sears, is already the most-added record on adult contemporary radio for the last three weeks.

Hammer’s original hit record has many distinctions: it was the only TV theme instrumental to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts when it debuted back in November 1985.

It went on to win two Grammy awards the following winter, for pop instrumental composition and performance.

Hammer, if you didn't know, was a member of the groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s, with John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Neben McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman and Rick Laird.

But when it came time to record a score for the "Miami Vice" movie, Hammer was snubbed by Mann.

He wasn’t the only one: Phil Collins, Glenn Frey and other musicians whose records made "Miami Vice" so memorable 20 years ago are also absent from the soundtrack.

Instead, Collins’ "In the Air Tonight" is heard as a remake by an unknown group. Two tracks are by Moby (one features Patti LaBelle), and the rest are all by unknowns.

None of this can be good for "Miami Vice," which was politely dismissed yesterday in the trade papers. The big screen incarnation of the famed TV show has already been considered a flop, even before its opening on Friday.

I told you exclusively in this column a few weeks ago that top Universal execs had already given up on this expensive mess.

The movie, directed by Mann, stars Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx as Crockett and Tubbs, originally played by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas.

Otherwise, everything else about the movie is different, including the music. And that’s what’s causing the latest problems.

According to Sears, Mann didn’t want any association with the TV series.

Universal execs are said to be upset about Mann’s decision to exclude the music. Sears told me that the studio was forwarded "thousands" of e-mails from "Miami Vice" fans begging the director to stick with the original.

"Universal told him, you’ve got to use the theme even if someone else records it," Sears said, "but he said no."

Hammer told me he knew Mann wasn’t interested in him as a composer when the movie was announced and no one called him.

Still, he said, "I was completely surprised they didn’t have a remake of it. I think it’s a matter of being too cool for school."

But Universal is in a unique situation with "Miami Vice." Since the series was made, the studio merged with NBC, the show’s original network. Last Saturday, NBC — at the behest of panicked Universal execs — interrupted scheduled programming and rebroadcast Mann’s two-hour TV pilot from 1984.

Stars Foxx and Farrell hosted the show with Mann, which was followed by clip from the new movie.

"What’s happening is everyone realizes too late that there’s no association between the movie and the show," Sears said. "They’re trying at the last minute to make a connection."

Sears and Hammer are about to release another updated version of a popular track of theirs from the TV series, "Crockett’s Theme," on Aug. 11.

Killers Set Sights on New York

OK, it’s a cheap headline. But The Killers are one of the few new rock acts in recent years to try and establish an actual career. Now their second album, called "Sam’s Town," is set for release on Oct. 3 by Island Records.

Last week, L.A. Reid — head of Island Def Jam — played me a couple of the tracks. Last night, a group of young people and yours truly heard the whole thing at a listening session thrown by Reid, Steve Bartels and Rob Stevenson.

You know, if a record company is going to give you a 10-week lead on a CD, the least you can do is show up and listen.

The Killers — if you've never heard their huge hits "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me" — are clever lyricists. They also sound like U2 mixed with Spandau Ballet and crossed with either Talking Heads or a half-dozen British groups circa 1982, not to mention Queen after a long night.

That’s OK, though: They’ve distilled all this into a shiny sound that could be considered retro morose. It works, which is all anyone in the biz needs to know.

The first single off of the new album is called "When You Were Young," and it features a memorable opening line: "You sit there in your heartache waiting on some beautiful boy to save you from your old ways."

Words are enunciated in Killers songs, so "heartache" and "beautiful boy" leap out of the speakers. From there, we’re off and running.

Since Oct. 3 is a long way off, I will just tell you now that a couple of other highlights include "Read My Mind" ("The teenage queen/the loaded gun/the drop dead dream/the chosen one/a southern drawl/and the world unseen/a city wall/and a trampoline) and the creepily exquisite "Uncle Jonny" ("When everyone else refrained/My uncle Jonny did cocaine").

Brandon Flowers’ husky voice is more Freddie Mercury than Freddie was, and the whole of "Sam’s Town" (what these Nevadans call Las Vegas) may be without the humor of the platinum-selling "Hot Fuss," but it’s sure to attract just as many fans.

And listen — L.A. Reid and pals are on a little roll. Besides these Killers, they have the original "Killer" — Lionel Richie. He’s got a hit single with "I Call It Love" and a potential blockbuster album about to hit the stores.

Could things be looking up? Maybe…

Binn There; Old & Disloyal

If you managed to beat the now completely horrific traffic in the Hamptons this weekend, then you know that Jason Binn threw quite the beach party barbecue on Sunday night.

Sapporo beer and Locman watches picked up the tab, but Binn — the hardest working man in show biz — didn’t let any sand shift under his feet.

His Hamptons Magazine/Niche Media rules the South Fork, kids. And there was Jason with wife, Haley, and baby, Penny, emceeing the dance contest, giving occasional P.A. system introductions for Brooke Shields or NY1’s George Whipple. The whole thing should have been called "Gidget Serves Lobster."

After the Saturday polo matches (I still have no idea who won, and I doubt anyone does), a group of celebs occupied Madame Tong’s in Southampton and refused to leave before 3 a.m.

The group included Janice Dickinson, Terry George and actor David O’Hara, who just finished work on Martin Scorsese’s "The Departed" — roaring with fun before they finished up at Cain nightclub.…

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, they don’t call it "The Young and the Restless" for nothing. After 24 years playing patriarch John Abbott, actor Jerry Douglas has gotten the boot from the CBS soap. His character, they say, will die offscreen in jail.

There’s no business like show business, that’s for sure. The Boston-born Douglas turns 74 in November, according to Imdb.com, so expect to see him in lots of prime-time shows. Good guys finish first.…

Rod Stewart’s renaissance period never ends. He’s doing "Great Rock Classics" for the fall. Some sound promising — Bread’s "Everything I Own" and Bob Dylan’s "If Not for You," especially. Clive Davis certainly knows his star’s voice by now, both its strengths and weaknesses. The gold record people should get ready now for the presentations.…