Who wrote and sang the Neighbours theme tune? A history of the soap's classic music

26 July 2022, 16:36

Neighbours starred Kylie and Jason in the late 1980s
Neighbours starred Kylie and Jason in the late 1980s. Picture: Seven/Alamy

By Tom Eames

Neighbours has one of the most memorable TV theme tunes of all time, and has had many different versions over the years.

With Neighbours fans in mourning that the long-running Australian soap is coming to an end, love and nostalgia for the show have shot up in recent times.

UK broadcaster Channel 5 confirmed that they will not be renewing the show, leaving its future up in the air.

The shocking news has seen the show's famous theme tune rocket up the download charts, giving it a chance to actually appear in the UK chart for the first time.

But who wrote and sang the tune?

The Neighbours theme tune - which technically doesn't have a title - was composed by Tony Hatch, with lyrics written by his then-wife, Jackie Trent.

Jackie Trent & Tony Hatch in 1975
Jackie Trent & Tony Hatch in 1975. Picture: Getty

Hatch is a prolific English songwriter, who also wrote the themes for Emmerdale, Crossroads and The Champions among others, and also many songs including Petula Clark's 'Downtown'. He was awarded an MBE in 2020.

Trent was a singer-songwriter and actress, who released 12 albums during her career, passing away aged 74 in 2015. The couple had divorced in 2002.

After Trent and Hatch relocated to Australia in the 1980s, they were asked to write the theme song for upcoming new soap Neighbours

The soap opera was going to be called Ramsay Street, before the couple wrote the song.

Trent later told The West Australian: "We wrote the song as 'Neighbours' because we said Ramsay Street was too close to Coronation Street, which was the major soap in Britain."

Original singer Barry Crocker in 2014
Original singer Barry Crocker in 2014. Picture: Getty

The theme was written and recorded in a day, and Trent said: "We called in Barry Crocker at about 10pm to put his voice on it and it was on the producer's desk by 10am the following morning. And they loved it, so the series was then called Neighbours."

There have been nine different versions of the theme:

  1. Barry Crocker (1985-1989) - reached number 83 in the UK charts
  2. Barry Crocker (1989-1992) - slightly sped up with new chords
  3. Greg Hind (1992-1998) - more jazzy
  4. Paul Norton and Wendy Stapleton (1999-2001) - same as #3 but as a duet
  5. Janine Maunder (2002-2007) - much of the same
  6. Sandra de Jong (2007-2013) - a more pop-punk version
  7. Stephanie Angelini and Daniel Boys (2013-2014) - picked after a public vote (our least favourite on the list, it has to be said!)
  8. Garth Ploog (2015-2020) - back to the classic tune
  9. Bonnie Anderson (2020-2021) - former Australia's Got Talent winner and Neighbours actress took it on

Listen to them all below: