Thursday, September 24, 2015

Close Games Between Bad Teams

Song - Neck and Neck
Artist(s) - Alan Hawkshaw
Released - 1989
Primetime Usage - 1990-96
Featured Highlight - Saints @ Falcons, 1996

When two awful football teams get together, the result—however lacking in polish—can be quite entertaining.  "Neck and Neck" is a song that symbolizes that ambivalence perfectly.  It's up tempo and electronic, but it also gives off much more anguish and unhappiness than most NFL Primetime tracks.  If your team was struggling, you wouldn't be surprised to hear Neck and Neck playing in the background.  This seemed especially true if your team played on astroturf and/or in a dome such as historically mediocre franchises like the Lions, Saints, or Falcons.  The song provided a kind of therapy for football sadness.

Neck and Neck was composed by production music legend Alan "The Hawk" Hawkshaw, who has been active in composition & pop music for more than 50 years.  I won't go through all his awards, group memberships, & accomplishments here, mainly because it would take forever, but you can check them out on his website (linked above) or on his wikipedia page.  Outside of production music, he might be best known for putting together the disco group Love De-Luxe that produced the #1 disco hit, "Here Comes that Sound Again," in 1979.  Hawkshaw's daughter, Kirsty, is also a prolific electronic composer/artist and was the lead singer for Opus III in the '90s.

Neck and Neck is streamable on EMI's production music site, which is linked above.  Unfortunately, it appears to be the only Primetime song that was composed by Alan Hawkshaw.

A fitting clip for this song (and the post title) is this "epic" 1996 matchup in the Georgia Dome between doomed June Jones's 1-9 Falcons and interim coach Rick Venturi's Saints.  Enjoy!

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