If you’ve watched the CW’s reboot of Dynasty and wondered where the theme song was, the wait is over.
The new title song, which Vulture is unveiling exclusively, will debut in tonight’s third episode, “Guilt Is for Insecure People.” Because the song wasn’t ready for premiere week, showrunner Sallie Patrick decided to wait for tonight’s ’80s-centric episode to introduce it. Emmy nominee Paul Leonard-Morgan (Limitless) composed the shorter and modern update of Bill Conti’s original song and conducted an orchestra at Capitol Records in Hollywood to record it. The original song was nearly three minutes long; Patrick says she was happy the CW gave her 15 seconds, since many shows don’t even have title songs these days.
“The original is so iconic and we wanted to pay tribute to it in some way,” Patrick said. “I love that anthemic quality of what Bill Conti did with that theme. It was so romantic. Paul found a way to adapt that trumpet and that piece he captured from original score and give it such swagger and a new context. Which generally is the theme of our reboot: giving it more attitude and swagger and energy than the original had at that point in time.”
Leonard-Morgan’s soundtrack for the show is infused with an ’80s-rock vibe, which he wanted to bring out in the title song as well. Leonard-Morgan worked with Grammy winner Troy NõKA on the track’s underlying beats and conducted an orchestra to record it, featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic lead trumpet player Tom Hooten.
“In your head, you picture these old themes and then you go back and listen, and it’s like, Oh, okay, not quite as I remember it. It was a lot slower,” Leonard-Morgan said. “The trumpet was lovely, but not totally what I want to do now. So my take on it was: bring it up to date. Layer the trumpet with other beats, speed it up, using the original recording as a sample in there. Suddenly you have the marriage of the old and new. It could be a lot more modern in the sense that you can get rid of the trumpet player, for example, but then you lose the essence of what made it in the first place.”
For Leonard-Morgan, who was a little boy when the original Dynasty aired, it was a “massive deal” to reboot the classic.
“I remember when I was like 7 or 8 and we had to go to bed around 8:30, and Dynasty in the U.K. was between 8 and 9 so we always missed the last 10 minutes of it,” Leonard-Morgan said. “It was always a cliff-hanger — what happened? I would sneak downstairs and peer through the crack of the door so my parents wouldn’t know I was watching. You get tingles up your spine.”