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Theme from Mission: Impossible – Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen

The Mission Impossible theme by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen made the boys one-hit wonders in 1996U2 is the biggest band in the world. Their 360-degree tour of 2010-2011 is the most expensive tour ever staged. It’s also the highest grossing.

When most people think about U2, it’s Bono and The Edge. They’re the face and in many ways the spirit of the band.

But Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen have served as the backbone and rhythm section of the band since the lads formed back in the late 1970s. And although Bono and The Edge get most of the attention, Clayton and Mullen can stake a claim Bono and The Edge can’t counter: they’re one-hit wonders.

Their contribution to the one-hit wonder canon is a 1996 instrumental from a little movie titled Mission: Impossible that starred some obscure actor named Tom Cruise. As of mid-2011, Mission: Impossible has grossed more than $450 million at the box office worldwide. The Tom Cruise star power still works and the latest chapter of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol or Mission: Impossible IV will reach theaters in December 2011, just in time for the holiday movie season.

Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen aren’t slated to participate in the film or the soundtrack. But their techno/electronic take on the classic Mission: Impossible theme was a massive hit in 1996, reaching #7 on the Billboard Top 40 and transforming Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, U2’s bass player and drummer, into legitimate one-hit wonders.

Listen to Theme from Mission: Impossible by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen

Click to hear more instrumental one-hit wonders

Click to hear more movie soundtrack one-hit wonders

Not sure how becoming a one-hit wonders squares for guys whose day job is working as half of the biggest band in the world. U2 is so big they’ve sold more than 150 million records. They have 2 number-one songs, 6 top-10 hits and 16 top 40 hits. And that’s in the United States alone.

By contrast, “Theme from Mission: Impossible” by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen sold only a paltry 500,000+ copies.

For many artists, that’s a career. For Clayton and Mullen, it’s just another day at the office.

Buy Theme from Mission: Impossible by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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4 Responses to "Theme from Mission: Impossible – Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen"

  1. hm insulators says:

    East of Phoenix, there’s a pizza place that features live music played on a gigantic theater pipe organ with all the bells and whistles (literally, as well as drums, cymbals, trumpets, at least two pianos, accordion, even train whistles and duck quacks) and my favorite organist plays the Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen version of “Mission Impossible.” No duck quacks on his version, but he does include them on his take on “The Entertainer.” 🙂

  2. Michael Waterman says:

    Sounds like a great restaurant. When I was growing up there was a place called Pipes and Pizza. Same concept: pipe organ and piping hot pizza. It lasted about 6 months.

  3. Don says:

    I’m one of the people who bought 1 of the 500,000 paltry copies of the single. Fifteen years later, I still have the CD and I love this version of the theme.

  4. Michael Waterman says:

    Glad you still like the record, Don. Pretty astounding when 500,000 copies of anything pales in comparison to many of a band’s other records!

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