Mighty Morphin Music: The Songs From Power Rangers
When it premiered it 1993, no one could’ve predicted the impact Power Rangers would have on pop culture. By taking footage from the long-running Japanese action franchise Super Sentai, business man Haim Saban believed this would make for a successful kids show in the US. The idea of a show revolving around multi-colored spandexed heroes saving the world seemed silly at the time and yes, it was corny…but kids loved every single minute of it. What made the show such a huge success? There’s probably a whole list of things you could make that made this show a hit. One of the things that I enjoyed most was the hard rocking music in the show. I loved it. Even though I’m very passionate about classic rock music, listening to the music from Power Rangers brings back lots of memories. In fact, I think the music in Power Rangers was an early introduction to the rock music I would later become obsessed with. For this article, I’m going review the songs from Power Rangers- focusing on the music from Mighty Morphin (or MMPR).
My history with Power Rangers
I was one of the many kids who became obsessed with Power Rangers. I was a little less than two years old when the show started, but I was able to catch up and get in on the fun (roughly around or before the time Zeo was starting). While there are more than twenty seasons of Power Rangers, I’m particularly loyal to the first six seasons of the show- the three seasons of MMPR, Zeo, Turbo and In Space. I watched Lost Galaxy and Lightspeed Rescue when they aired but for me, the show stopped being cool when Time Force started- which is often hailed as one of the best seasons. I think Power Rangers had just become boring for me: the first six seasons (which fans refer to as “the Zordon era”) shared the same story line and characters. After In Space, every season after it was a standalone season- which meant getting used to new characters and new situations each year. So after that, I started watching the show on an on/off basis. I remember getting up for at least the premieres of each season up until SPD or Mystic Force. So I can safely say that I have never seen a full episode of the seasons that came afterwards. While I don’t watch the current show, I still care about the franchise. I like reading up on it and checking in to see what’s new with it. However, my love is mostly for those first six seasons.
Reviewing The Songs
When it comes to the music for Power Rangers, most of the songs can be found in MMPR. Each season had its own music but it was really MMPR that had the memorable songs. So I’ll be reviewing the songs from MMPR, specifically the ones written by Ron Wasserman. Please note that I'm not reviewing every song.
"Go Go Power Rangers"
If there were a list of the 100 most memorable TV show themes, the theme for MMPR would be on there. “Go Go Power Rangers” is a terrific song. According to Wasserman, he wrote the song within a period of two hours. The lyrics are simple and give you the premise for the show. The theme for MMPR is so popular that people who don’t watch the show know it. You can go on YouTube and find thousands of videos of people playing the song on their guitar- which is impressive considering the guitar riff in the theme was computer generated. Whatever Wasserman was able to do in that two hours created one of the catchiest theme songs of all time.
"Fight" music video (from the Bloom of Doom VHS tape)
It might have a lame title but this is a pretty rocking tune. The song is lead by a hard driving guitar riff, as Wasserman sings about taking down the forces of evil. Wasserman’s harmonious vocals are what made the songs from MMPR kick ass. The production may not sound like much but when this was used in the combat scenes, it worked wonderfully.
When Lord Zedd was introduced to the show in its second season, he was completely different from the previous lead villain Rita Repulsa. Whereas Rita’s ideas were sometimes silly, Lord Zedd was a colder and meaner villain as his plans to destroy the rangers were more daring. For a villain like him, he needed the perfect theme song. This dark and brooding theme perfectly fits the character of Lord Zedd.
"Rita, Rita, Rita" (or "Hey Rita")
I can’t remember this song being used in the actual show. If it was used, it was probably used in the Season 2 three-part opener “The Mutiny.” It’s a simple tune that sums up what happened to Rita after Lord Zedd took over: Zedd was furious over Rita’s failed attempts at destroying the rangers- causing him to put her back in a space dumpster and back into space. This song is okay. It doesn’t have the best lyrics but then again, it isn’t terrible.
"We Need A Hero" music video (from the Putty On The Brain VHS)
"We Need A Hero"
Of the songs used in the combat scenes of MMPR, this one is my favorite. It’s a hard rocking track, with a touch of punk rock. It’s has a great hook and the drumming on here is top notch. The lyrics are particular strong during the chorus:
And we keep dreaming of a world
Where all is good so we were told
We need a hero
And we keep dreaming of a time
Where good is all we can find
We need a hero
That chorus not only applies to Power Rangers but also the world today in general: we need a hero. If you listen to the full length version, there’s some great guitar work towards the end.
While not one of my favorite MMPR tunes, “Combat” is a decent tune. It goes from being low-key and quiet in the verses to an all-out rocker in the chorus. Once again, it’s the chorus that really makes this song. With Wasserman’s vocals and the killer guitar solos, you can’t go wrong.
"Go Green Ranger Go" (Lord Zedd version)
"Go Green Ranger Go"
Even to this day, the character of Tommy Oliver remains the franchise’s most popular character. He joined the team after the ranger were able to break the spell Rita placed on Tommy- making him an evil green ranger. With that, he was the sixth ranger and audiences adored him. This is a pretty simple theme tune for Tommy that would play from time to time. There are two versions of this song- one that mentions Rita in the lyrics while the other mentions Lord Zedd- which was needed when he was made the new lead villain.
Along with “We Need a Hero,” “5-4-1” is another one of my favorite songs from MMPR. What I think makes this song great is the power metal journey that it takes you on, as the song builds up along the way. Enter in Wasserman’s vocals, you’re hooked. How can you not be?
You’ll come crawling, slowly crawling
Take and conquer, is your honor
Weak of soul and mind
Call on the five
Keep hope alive
As for the song title, it should be titled “Five for One.” It’s another way to refer to the rangers: there are five rangers and they fight for one cause. With the chorus urgent chorus of “Call the 5-4-1,” it’s almost some sort of code.
"Zords" (complete with the original zord formation)
Watching the megazord come together was always cool to watch. The rangers would all call on their dinozords, who would come charging through the way. This was the music that played during the sequence and it just works; that hard driving electric guitar alone got kids excited to see the megazord form every episode.
"I Will Win"
While it has a slow build up, “I Will Win” still manages to kick ass. Backed up by an electrified surf rock sounding-guitar riff, Wasserman works his magic again. On this song, his vocals are unique as he mostly sings in a lower, growling register in the verses. By the chorus, he’s belting the lyrics. When asked about his favorite and least favorite songs at Power Morphicon 3 in 2012, Wasserman cited that he didn’t like “I Will Win.” According to Wasserman, he wrote it as his exit song when he stopped working for Saban in September 1995- as that was his attitude after leaving. Whatever the case is, I personally like “I Will Win.”
"White Ranger Tiger Power" music video
"White Ranger Tiger Power"
When Tommy got his white ranger powers, he was given a new white tiger zord to go with it. Along with that, the zord had its own song when the zords were called. It’s a short song but that vocalizing in the beginning is heavenly.
"Tenga Bye Bye" (taken from one of the "Ninja Quest" episodes)
"Tenga Bye Bye"
In Season 3 of MMPR, new foot soldiers were introduced. For the last two seasons, the rangers had been fighting off gray creatures called putties. Starting in Season 3, the rangers started battling the Tenga Warriors- purple bird creatures that were stronger than the putties. Using their new ninja powers, the ranger were able to defeat them. This is the song that would play when the rangers were faced with battling the Tengas. The song has a punk rock feel to it as opposed to the heavy metal that we get from the MMPR tunes.
"Bulk And Skull"
When it came to the comic relief in the early seasons of Power Rangers, it came in the form of school bullies Bulk and Skull. During the six seasons of the Zordon era, Bulk and Skull were with the show the entire time. Their sub plots in the episodes were hilarious, as they went on many wacky side adventures. Every time the pair entered the scene, this whimsical music would play.
While the most memorable music came from MMPR, that doesn’t mean the music in the following seasons was bad. In fact, there have been some pretty good theme songs in the those seasons.
"Power Rangers: Zeo" Opening
"Power Rangers: Zeo Theme"
If I could pick my second favorite theme from Power Rangers (my favorite obviously being “Go Go Power Rangers”), I’d easily pick the theme for Zeo. It’s such a great rocking track and it brings back so many memories. From the opening vocal harmony of “ZEO GO!” to the chants “Go Go Power Rangers” at the end, it’s a great tune. Lyrically, the song is a sequel to “Go Go Power Rangers” as it talks about the new powers and their glory. There’s even some nice thrash metal chugs thrown in too. This one, surprisingly, wasn’t composed by Ron Wasserman. Instead, it was composed by a man named Jeremy Sweet.
"Power Rangers Turbo Theme"
Power Rangers Turbo is often seen as one of the weakest entries in the franchise. There were many changes made and most of them didn’t make any sense. I loved it as a kid but I can remember thinking of it as the lesser one of the Zordon era. Despite its flaws, I still like Turbo. In fact, I think the theme song is pretty strong. It’s a cool energetic rock tune. Again, it’s those vocal harmonies that make it for me. Overall, I like it.
Note: There were two different teams in Turbo. Halfway into the season, everyone but Justin gave their powers up to new characters. There's no difference in the song though but I thought I'd include both just to show the transition to In Space.
"Power Rangers: In Space" Opening
"Power Rangers: In Space Theme"
At the time, In Space was meant to be the last season of Power Rangers as ratings were slipping and Saban was losing money. With that in mind, you can get the feel of closure in the theme lyrically.
Set controls to outer space now
Flying higher than ever before
Rangers in space
It’s a great rocking tune from Ron Wasserman, who gives another great vocal delivery. The song even opens with a countdown before declaring “Rangers IN SPACE!” It’s a great theme song for what many consider to be the show’s best season. With its success, the show decided to continue.
"Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy Theme"
Given their success with In Space, Lost Galaxy was another space opera. The lyrics in this one aren’t as strong as In Space’s but I still love the vocal harmonies, especially in the beginning.
"Power Rangers: SPD Theme"
After years off of the show, Ron Wasserman came back to write the theme for SPD. I don’t remember caring for the actual season too much but the theme song is great. It’s another fast-paced rock tune, with some sweet electronic sounds.
Also side note: From what I've heard, SPD is often considered one of the best seasons. Again, I wasn't heavily investing time in watching the seasons that followed Lightspeed Rescue. I just like the theme for SPD.
Believe it or not, there isn’t an album currently in print with the music from MMPR on it. Yes, you can go on YouTube and find the songs but there isn’t a CD you can legally obtain easily. The MMPR songs were released on an album in 1994 called Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Album- A Rock Adventure. That album was released on CD and cassette but good luck on finding a copy of the CD, as it now prices around $100. Even though that album features the music, it has the characters speaking during the songs- acting as if it was a Power Rangers radio play. In 2012, Wasserman released Power Rangers Redux, an album with re-recorded version of the songs. While the re-recorded versions are nice, they aren’t the originals. If the master tapes still exist, I would love to see the Wasserman tunes reissued and remastered on CD and maybe even vinyl. C'mon Saban: bring it on!
More than twenty years later, Power Rangers continues to air- introducing new generations to the franchise. With a new big-budget reboot movie based off of the original series out now, the franchise doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.
Are you a fan of Power Rangers? Do you have a favorite season? Character? Song? If so, leave it in the comments section. Also, this article is bound to have some errors and mistakes. If you do find one, please kindly tell me in the comments section