We’ve come a long way from the days when a TV show could take a song into the upper reaches of the pop charts. Welcome Back, Kotter had us bobbing our heads all the way to the record store for John Sebastian’s hit “Welcome Back” and Miami Vice spun off a few mostly killer compilations (not to mention Jan Hammer’s chart-topping instrumental theme), but it’s been awhile – probably once Scrubs fell down the Nielsen ratings charts – since any scripted show had a deep connection to original songs.

The sole exception may be CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, that quirky, Friends-esque yarn about a likable architect regaling his future kids with the story of how…well, I think you can spell out the rest. Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor)’s quest for romance can sometimes get pushed toward the sidelines, particularly with heavy hitters like Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan as Ted’s best friends, happily married Marshall and Lily, Cobie Smulders as Robin, the girl that got away, and Neil Patrick Harris’ scene-stealing, Emmy-nominated performance as Barney Stinson, a suit-clad ladies’ man with a heart of gold. But creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas mix the right blend of laughs and heartbreak, along with a keen eye for the quirky details and inside jokes that make up friendships. And the formula works like a dream: this fall will see the show (once in danger of cancellation) return for an eighth season, with CBS recently predicting a ninth and likely final year.

The day that eighth season premieres, co-creator Thomas recently divulged, fans will also enjoy another premiere: the release of a 20-song soundtrack featuring original tunes from the series’ lengthy run. If you’re a fan, this is great, overdue news; since the second season, there’s been a host of hilarious tracks penned especially for the show. There were the clutch of sub-Tiffany tracks sung by Smulders’ Robin in her dark early days as a Canadian mall-pop star; Segel’s sweetly violent “You Just Got Slapped,” chronicling Marshall’s ongoing slap bet with Barney; NPH’s Broadway-ready “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” and plenty more.

A couple of these tracks have been released as standalone digital singles, but the promise of a whole compilation – including newly-recorded gems like a “fully-produced version of the ‘Bang-Bang-Bangity-Bang’ song” (a ditty the quintet use on each other when teasing about each others’ bedroom exploits) – is, to quote the series’ most potent catchphrase, positively legen…wait for it…dary!

The provisionally-titled How I Met Your Music will hit digital retailers on Monday, September 24, the night of the series’ season premiere. Will you be purchasing it? What other shows deserve their own soundtracks?

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