Friday, October 28, 2016

Future Champs

Song - Future Champs
Artist(s) - Orange Power
Released - 1987
Primetime Usage - 1990
Contained on - SON 273 (Sound Giants - Industrial Prestige & Scenic Magnificence, Vol. 2), Sonoton SCD 6 (Sound Giants 1&2)
Featured Highlight - Seahawks @ Dolphins, 1990

If you liked the ridiculously bright synth from last week's post, Overall Winner, then you'll love this one.  "Future Champs," by longtime library synth group Orange Power, sounds like the kinda song you'd expect to accompany a team's coronation—perhaps an easy win that clinches a division title or something.  That's not what you're going to see with this highlight, unfortunately, but it still has some entertainment value.  The Seahawks, who had managed to reach a winning record despite an 0-3 start, went down to what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium to face a 10-3 Dolphins squad.  Miami, though they didn't play real well, took advantage of constant errors by Seattle to register a close victory.

Oh, and stay tuned…  Starting next week, I'm going to post a series of songs composed by then-ESPN-music-director John Colby.  At least a few should be quite familiar to fans of NFL Primetime.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Overall Winner

Song - Overall Winner
Artist(s) - "John Epping" (Gerhard Narholz)
Released - 1988
Primetime Usage - 1989
Contained on - SON 290 (Leaders Vol. 1), Sonoton SCD 14 (Leaders 1&2)
Featured Highlight - *EDIT* - Bills @ Dolphins, 1989

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers were arguably the greatest NFL team of the modern era.  They went 14-2, 10 of their 14 wins were by double digits, and they won their three playoff games by an average score of 42-9.  For a team that dominant, a song with the title "Overall Winner" is appropriate.  Gerhard Narholz's synth-filled fanfare is bright & loud and perfectly fits a champion from the 1980s.  It's also easily accessible to those that want to listen thanks to Sonoton's online service (linked above).  Overall Winner wasn't played that much on NFL Primetime—2 highlights that I know of early in the '89 season—but the games that used it were pretty big ones.  One was a Bills/Dolphins showdown from Week 1, while the other—shown below—featured the aforementioned 49ers travelling to Veterans Stadium to take on an Eagles team that was considered one of their chief NFC-title threats.  What followed was perhaps the finest game of Joe Montana's (or anyone else's) career:  428 yards and 5 TD passes on just 34 attempts despite being sacked 8 times and being hit several more.  Grab a snack or something, because this entertaining highlight is lengthy even for the 28-team era.

*EDIT* - The NFL copyright blocked the 49ers/Eagles video because of a 13-second play match (Rice's last touchdown, specifically).  This is the first time this sort of thing has happened to one of my videos in ≈40 posts, so hopefully it won't happen again.  Here's the aforementioned Buffalo/Miami matchup from Week 1 as a replacement.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Epic, Part Zero

Song - Performance
Artist(s) - John Devereaux
Released - 1987
Primetime Usage - 1990
Featured Highlight - Saints @ Rams, 1990

"The 'epic track that wasn't," is probably what you could call "Performance."  It definitely does have the feel of the other epic-type songs on NFL Primetime (International Statement, Olympic Action, Crush), but it was only used briefly (perhaps just once) and not for a game that anyone would've considered crucial or memorable.  It is a little more boring & repetitive than those other tracks, so maybe that was a factor.  Or it could just be that Performance got lost in the shuffle.  Whatever the reason, I don't think it's a big deal that the song didn't last.  It was written by prolific KPM composer John Devereaux.  There's surprisingly little info about Devereaux online, but he has a lot of good stuff on KPM.  He also composed the song, "The Nightmare Begins," which was apparently used multiple times on Spongebob Squarepants.

Speaking of being lost in the shuffle, there were the 1990s Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams.  We all recall the cinderella Kurt Warner 1999 season, but what many don't remember is that the Rams had the worst record of any NFL franchise over the first 9 years of the decade (the Bengals ended up winning that honor).  They also tried to fix languish fan interest by moving the team to Missouri, a move that fits the definition of "mixed results" given that the Rams are now back in L.A. just 21 years later.  Anyway…  this decline started in 1990, when a team that had gone to the NFC Championship the year before went an unceremonious 5-11.  The only clip I have with "Performance" features them blowing a lead at home against a middling Saints team.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Intra Conference

Song - Inter Conference
Artist(s) - David Reilly
Released - 1988
Primetime Usage - 1989
Featured Highlight - Cardinals @ Lions, 1989

My third post from David Reilly's Success album is the one that was used least on NFL Primetime.  That's a shame, though, because "Inter Conference" is a punchy & fun track that effectively fits highlight videos.  At the beginning of 1989, both the Phoenix Cardinals & Detroit Lions were beginning major transitions.  The Cards were adjusting to life without longtime QB Neil Lomax (Lomax was still on the roster, but would never again suit up in a game that counted), while the Lions were beginning Wayne Fontes's & Mouse Davis's NFL experiment with the run & shoot offense.  The run & shoot wouldn't last more than a few years in Pontiac, but another major addition would pay long-term dividends.  This opening-week contest against Phoenix, the only highlight I've seen with Inter Conference, was also the first time Barry Sanders ever played in an NFL uniform (he sat out the preseason).  Sanders played pretty well, too, averaging nearly 8 yards-per-carry and scoring Detroit's only touchdown.  It wasn't quite enough for the Lions to win, but it was a great sign of things to come for Sanders and the franchise.  Enjoy the clip.