Friday, December 28, 2018

Unknown Song #48 - Highlights

Song - Highlights
Artist(s) - Joel Beckerman & Lloyd Landesman
Released - N.A. (recorded in 2001)
Primetime Usage - 2001-05
Contained on - N.A. (ESPN internal)  
Featured Highlight - Falcons @ Steelers, 2002


The most upbeat & energetic of the post-millennium NFL Primetime additions, Unknown Song #48 is one of the best tracks from the show yet to be identified.  It, just like the two songs that will follow this one, was used nearly every week from October, 2001 on.  Being a fun song, it generally accompanied games that were themselves fun & usually high scoring.  Speaking of high scoring, the video to go along with US #48 features the third-highest-scoring tie game since regular-season overtime was implemented in 1974.  One does not generally associate tie games with excitement, but this Falcons/Steelers classic was a definite exception.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Unknown Song #43 Identified

A few days ago, three separate sources pointed out Unknown Song #43 for me at more or less the same time (José Teixeira on youtube, Craig-UK/Craig L on this site, & another guy I've been having private email correspondence with).  US #43 is "Hard Attack," by Fabien Chevallier, Christian Poulet, and Jean-Yves Rigo.  It's the first Primetime track I've encountered on the Kosinus Label, which—as you can probably guess from the artists' names—is a French production-music company.  I can't find much info on said artists, but I did notice that Poulet & Rigo are usually credited together.  Unfortunately, the album—KOS 24 (Metal Warrior)—is one of only a few Kosinus albums to be missing from the online streaming services.  You can find Hard Attack if you search "WCW Ultimo Dragon 1st Theme" on youtube, however.

*EDIT* - After finding an eBay listing for Metal Warrior, I found that only Poulet & Chevallier are credited for Hard Attack and not Rigo.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Unknown Song #47 - Touch & Go

Song - Touch & Go
Artist(s) - Colin Willsher
Released - 1999
Primetime Usage - 2001-05
Featured Highlight - Vikings @ Cardinals, 2003


Unknown Song #47 is the last of the moody & ambient NFL Primetime songs.  It was also the only new track from the beginning of 2001 to last beyond September of that year.  US #47 certainly isn't a memorable piece, but it at least accomplishes its goal of being, well, moody & ambient.  The accompanying highlight is probably the most famous game to use this song.  The Minnesota Vikings, in the midst of a freefall after starting 6-0, completed their collapse with a bizarrely improbable loss in the desert.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Scheduling Update (II)

As far as I can tell, I only have 4 unknown songs left to post (5 if you count one that got copyright blocked by the NFL a while back).  As a result, I'm going to spread out the posting schedule and just post every 2 or 3 weeks for the rest of the NFL season.  This doesn't count posts noting when songs are identified, of course.  Thanks for reading this blog, and—as always—don't hesitate to comment if you can ID a song, know of a missing unknown song, or even if you just want to comment on NFL Primetime music.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Unknown Song #44 Identified

José Teixeira lands another one as he found that Unknown Song #44 is "New Order" by Paul Foss.  I feel like I really missed an opportunity to find this one myself, however, because New Order is on ATMOS 92 and I took a little hiatus from Atmosphere after reaching ATMOS 90.  Oh well… at least it's identified.

I can't find much info on Paul Foss, but he was one of the most prolific Atmosphere composers in the '90s.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Polinsky List

A reader emailed me requesting that I make it more clear how my song posts fit in with the Mark Polinsky mp3/youtube postings of NFL Primetime music.  For those not familiar, the Mark Polinsky set is the most prominent of the "mp3 sets floating around the web" I've referenced multiple times on this site.  Polinsky's posts—instead of being named—have each song numbered, so here's a guide to which Polinsky numbers link to which songs.  I haven't posted anything about a few of these yet, so I'll update this post whenever I do add an entry about one of them.

03 - Gladiator
06 - Legends
07 - Eric D.
08 - Pro
09 - Arnold
10 - Grid Lock
11 - The Event
12 - Roadhog
15 - Crush
19 - 1994-97 NFL Primetime title theme
20 - Showdown

Friday, November 23, 2018

Unknown Song #46 - Mortal Combat

Song - Mortal Combat
Artist(s) - Murray Munro
Released - 2001
Primetime Usage - 2001
Featured Highlight - Buccaneers @ Cowboys, 2001

I'm apologizing right away for the low video & audio quality of this highlight clip.  This is the only game with Unknown Song #46, and this clip comes from the only full-episode post of Week 1, 2001, that I could find (there's another, higher quality post that only has the late games).  The music track sounds like some sort of cheesy & dramatic Halloween monster-chase thing, at least from what I can make out of it.  If anybody knows of a better cut of this highlight (or if you know what the song is), please let me know so I can post it.  Thanks!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Unknown Song #45 - Survivors

Song - Survivors
Artist(s) - Daniel Darras & Christian Leroux (a.k.a. Basile Leroux)
Released - 1998
Primetime Usage - 2001
Contained on - Koka KOK2152 (Double Drama, Vol. 1)
Featured Highlight -
Vikings @ Bears, 2001

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 12/15/21

Unknown Song #45 isn't real memorable, but it's a good mood piece for certain games.  Not that we got to truly find out, of course, since the upcoming clip was US #45's only use on NFL Primetime (AFAIK).  This clip was the second post-9/11 highlight (immediately following the one from last week's post) and fit pretty well with the Vikings that year.  Not only was 2001 a tumultuous year for the U.S and the world, it was a tumultuous year for the Minnesota Vikings.  Pro Bowl offensive lineman Korey Stringer died of heat stroke during training camp, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 6 years & suffered double-digit losses for the first time in 11 years, 10-year head-coach Dennis Green was fired just before the end of the season, Cris Carter left following the season, and—as you'll see in the video—players & coaches were often seen bickering with each other on the sidelines.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Unknown Song #44 - New Order

Song - New Order
Artist(s) - Paul Foss
Released - 1997
Primetime Usage - 2001
Contained on - ATMOS 92 (Virtual Corporation)
Featured Highlight - Giants @ Chiefs, 2001

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 11/30/18

Unknown Song #44 is probably best remembered by NFL Primetime aficionados as accompanying the first post-9/11 highlight on the show.  The NFL's mission for that week wasn't just to mourn the national tragedy, but to also give people an entertaining & distracting respite.  US #44's dark & moody, yet energetic & determined sound perfectly fit that mission.  ESPN didn't choose this song solely for that purpose, though; it was also used during the Week-1 episode from 9/9/01 which obviously had nothing to do with any sort of tragedy.  The bigger question is:  why didn't they use US #44 again after Week 2?  It's a little too repetitive to be a real classic, but its mood & energy still fit well within the Primetime music pantheon.  It's kind of odd, frankly.  Anyway, enjoy the clip.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Unknown Song #43 - Hard Attack

Song - Hard Attack
Artist(s) - Christian Poulet, Fabien Chevallier
Released - 1995
Primetime Usage - 2001
Contained on - KOS 24 (Metal Warrior) (YouTube Link)
Featured Highlight - Redskins @ Chargers, 2001

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 12/23/18

As with many of the one-off (*EDIT* - this song was also used for the Cardinals/Panthers game in Week 16 of '01—thanks to Kyle Caughlin for that info.) tracks on NFL Primetime, it's not surprising Unknown Song #43 didn't stick around.  I actually didn't know this song even existed until I was in the middle of cutting US #42 last week (it's the very next highlight, so I again apologize for the low video quality).  It's not a memorable or interesting piece, and it only accompanied an uncompelling game—the only interesting thing about the game is that it was the first of LaDainian Tomlinson's career.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Unknown Song #42 - Liberation Day

Song - Liberation Day
Artist(s) - Paul Foss
Released - 1998
Primetime Usage - 2000-01
Contained on - ATMOS 111 (Impact)
Featured Highlight - Rams @ Eagles, 2001


OK, back to the Unknown Songs.  Unknown Song #42 is similar to Bad Company & Showdown, but was used less often on the show.  It has the same gritty, hard-hitting, rock/orchestral fusion style as those other two tracks, though.  Before I introduce the highlight clip, I should apologize for the low video quality.  I recall hearing US #42 multiple times way back when these Primetime episodes were current, but this is the only clip I could find online of it (that's also why I'm unsure of the exact years it was used).  In this video, the St. Louis Rams began their final Super Bowl run of the Kurt Warner era by edging out a good Eagles team in accursed Veterans Stadium.  The audio quality is fine, so you don't have to worry about hearing the song.

**EDIT** - It was apparently used a handful of times in 2000 & 2001.  Thanks to Robert Enriquez on youtube for this information.

Friday, October 19, 2018

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

Song - Cold Fusion
Artist(s) - Ron Kristy
Released - 1997
Primetime Usage - 1999
Contained on - OneMusic OMROC014L (Powerstation)
Featured Highlight - Lions @ Seahawks, 1999

This track was on pace to be the Unknown Song for this week, but Kyle Caughlin identified it before I could get that far (special thanks to him for that).  "Cold Fusion" was one of two new NFL Primetime songs in 1999 (Bad Company being the other), but it was only used once as far as I know.  I guess its limited usage is understandable given how simple & repetitive it is, but it at least adds some decent tension to its lone highlight.  That highlight features a post-Barry Detroit Lions team going into the Kingdome and upsetting the Seahawks in Mike Holmgren's Seattle debut.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Unknown Song #41 - Old School Radio Bed

Song - Old School Radio Bed
Artist(s) - Ron Burns
Released - No later than 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997-01, 2005 (it may have been used in '02-04, but I have no proof)
Featured Highlight - Bills @ Chargers, 1998


Unknown Song #41 is perhaps the most forgettable regularly-used piece of NFL Primetime's later years.  It's obviously meant to be little more than an ambient background groove, and that's the purpose it served on the show.  The first game to use US #41 was pretty memorable, though.  Given how his overall NFL career went, how many people know that Ryan Leaf actually won his first 2 starts?  Now saying he won those starts is a stretch, since his stats were nowhere near good in those games, but it's still an interesting footnote.  It was an interesting game for Buffalo, too, since it marked Doug Flutie's first action as a Bill (& his first NFL action of any kind in 9 years).  Flutie couldn't pull off his patented magic in this one, however, because Steve Christie didn't get the job done at the end.

*EDIT* - This song actually debuted in 1997.  Thanks to Kyle Caughlin for pointing this out and to SW561 for posting the clip that proves it (

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Unknown Song #40 - Surf Your Own Wave

Song - Surf Your Own Wave
Artist(s) - Rick DiFonzo
Released - No later than 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997-99
Contained on - BRg Extreme Cuts BRg3004 (Alternative Energy)
Featured Highlight - Eagles @ Falcons, 1997


Unknown Song #40 is probably my favorite song yet to be identified on Primetime.  It's energetic, edgy, and fun, and works well with sports highlights.  It's likely not a well remembered track, however, since it was used sparingly during its mere 3 years of service.  US #40's most memorable use was probably its last:  the 1999 NFC Championship game where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly upset the St. Louis Rams 6-5 before giving up a late TD catch to Ricky Proehl.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find that NFL Primetime highlight anywhere, so here's a different one from US #40's first season of use.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Unknown Song #39 - Power Plant

Song - Power Plant
Artist(s) - Rick DiFonzo
Released - No later than 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997-98, 2000-05
Contained on - BRg Contemporary BRg1019 (Electric Arc)
Featured Highlight - Bears @ Vikings, 2000


Unknown Song #39 was one of a handful of songs NFL Primetime debuted in 1997 that lasted until the end of the show.  It wasn't used all that often, especially after 2001, and it didn't tend to accompany games of real import.  Still, US #39's dark-yet-ambivalent tone is quite appropriate for teams going through adversity.  It also seemed to get disproportionately used for Jacksonville Jaguars' highlights in the early-2000s, which was fitting.  This particular highlight doesn't showcase the Jags, though.  It instead features two QBs from the class of 1999 squaring off in The Metrodome.

*EDIT* - Robert Enriquez confirmed on youtube that this song was used a couple times in 2004, and it was never used in 1999.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Unknown Song #38 - Gut Wrencher

Song - Gut Wrencher
Artist(s) - Ron Burns
Released - No later than 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997
Featured Highlight - Ravens @ Oilers, 1997


After 7 straight posts involving songs that were used only once, it's time for a song that was actually used multiple times… albeit only in one season.  Unknown Song #38 is a standard blues-rock track that fits perfectly with the state of Tennessee.  Why, what a coincidence!  An NFL team happened to move to Tennessee the very year this song was used!  I don't actually know for sure if this piece was used exclusively for Tennessee Oilers games since this is the only highlight I have using it, but that would've made sense.  Anyway, the one highlight I do have with US #38 displays an unusually dominant performance by the Flying-B-Era Ravens.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Unknown Song #37 Identified

I kinda figured this one would be found quickly, and—thanks to José Teixera/José Muñoz—it was!  I was also right that I'd heard this song—"Pacemaker"—before.  It sounded like a '90s tune, though, so I didn't go back to those early MusicHouse albums.  Anyway… Pacemaker was composed by production-music legend Alan Hawkshaw, so it turns out he does have an NFL Primetime track other than Neck and Neck.

Here's the revised link, or I guess you could just scroll down a little…

Friday, September 14, 2018

Unknown Song #37 (Oddball Week, Part 7) - Pacemaker

Song - Pacemaker
Artist(s) - Alan Hawkshaw
Released - 1987
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - MusicHouse E1 (Hi-Band)
Featured Highlight - Chiefs @ Broncos, 1997


The Oddball Week finale is thankfully here.  Unknown Song #37 is a song I swear I've heard before when browsing production-music albums a few years ago.  When I went back through some stuff after first seeing this NFL Primetime episode, however, I couldn't find it.  Hopefully one of you readers (or youtube viewers) will recognize it and can identify it.  Anyway… US #37's accompanying clip has the Chiefs heading to Marty Schottenheimer's "House of Horrors," Mile High Stadium.  Kansas City would lose this one, but they would at least get the second laugh by winning the division anyway.  Denver, of course, would get the third & final laugh by upsetting KC in the Divisionals and winning their first Super Bowl title a few weeks later.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Unknown Song #36 (Oddball Week, Part 6) - Classical Interface

Song - Classical Interface
Artist(s) - Darryl Way
Released - 1991
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - Rouge RMCD 2012 (Classical Rock)
Featured Highlight - Jaguars @ Ravens, 1997


It's now time for the penultimate edition of Oddball Week.  Unknown Song #36, though not great, is still a big improvement over the last two.  As Kyle Caughlin pointed out on youtube, it's got a bit of a salsa flare to it.  That, plus the piano, makes it sound like Latin-infused early-'90s dance-club stuff.  The accompanying game highlight features the Jacksonville Jaguars, fresh off a surprising AFC Championship appearance, playing at the Baltimore Ravens and their "Flying B" helmets.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Unknown Song #12 Identified

Back in November, I mentioned that US #12 received a copyright notice with info that wasn't sufficient enough to ID the song.  Thanks to google, I was finally able to track it down today.  The piece is indeed called "The Right Stuff" (or, more accurately, "The Right Stuff (alt mix)"), and it's contained on a CD from the Parry Music Library.  Parry is a Canadian production music firm that was founded in 1974 (thanks, discogs!), making this—I believe—the first Canadian song identified on this site.  I have no idea why the Parry connection to this track failed to come up when I was searching last year.  As an aside, the "play" links on the Parry Music website don't work, so I've linked to the BMG Music website instead.

The Right Stuff was composed by Tom Jenkins & Barry Schleifer.  Jenkins has a long history in the audio business with all sorts of pop-music acts, movie soundtracks, and stage productions.  I can't find much info on Schleifer, but he at least has an imdb page.

Revised Link

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Unknown Song #35 (Oddball Week, Part 5) - Mega Scape

Song - Mega Scape
Artist(s) - John Andrew Hancock
Released - No later than 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - Moments Music MML014 (Ultimate Dance Moments)
Featured Highlight -
Jets @ Seahawks, 1997


One of the youtube commenters on my last post opined that this track—Unknown Song #35—is even more unmemorable than US #34.  I wouldn't go that far, since—if nothing else—US #35 is a bit louder than US #34, but it's still quite clear why this tune didn't last on NFL Primetime.  Anyway, here's Bill Parcells's first game as head coach of the Jets.  They immediately turned around an awful 1-15 year by humiliating the Seahawks in the Kingdome.  You may not like the accompanying song, but you should at least enjoy Chris, Tom, and Stu's constant reference to Keyshawn Johnson's 1997 book, Just Give Me the Damn Ball.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Unknown Song #34 (Oddball Week, Part 4) - Power Drive

Song - Power Drive
Artist(s) - Michael Tauben & Simon Benson
Released - 1996
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - Musichouse I26 (Prestige Presentation)
Featured Highlight - Chargers @ Patriots, 1997


It's quiet, it's moody, and it's barely a song.  Unknown Song #34 is probably the most forgettable track in NFL Primetime history.  Speaking of forgettable, there was Kevin Gilbride's head-coaching stint with the San Diego Chargers.  He went 6-16 and didn't even last 1.5 seasons.  Here Gilbride coaches his first game against Pete Carroll, who was making his own debut with the Patriots.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Unknown Song #33 (Oddball Week, Part 3) - Android Highway

Song - Android Freeway
Artist(s) - Robert J. Walsh
Released - 1996
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - Hollywood Film Music HFML 15.02 (Wild City)
Featured Highlight - Eagles @ Giants, 1997


Now we're getting into the Oddball Week dregs.  Unknown Song #33 could probably be labeled the "Jaws Song" because its Jaws-like riff is its only distinguishing feature.  The rest of it is just generic, amelodic '90s-'00s electronica stuff.  The game isn't all that interesting, either, but it's still better than the song.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Unknown Song #32 (Oddball Week, Part 2) - Neo Dream (b)

Song - Neo Dream (b)
Artist(s) - Christian Poulet
Released - 1997
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - KOS 34 (Virtual Nature) (Benjamin Lane Song Post)
Featured Highlight - Falcons @ Lions, 1997


It doesn't quite fit, but the second Oddball Week track is the best one.  I mean, I guess it does fit if you associate football with the oboe, but that proclivity probably isn't common.  This song would fit well in a JRPG, though.  It sounds especially like some of Noriyuki Iwadare's stuff from the Lunar & Growlanser series. I really doubt Iwadare wrote this particular piece, however, since all the Primetime tracks I've ID'd to this point have been by American or European composers.

US #32's highlight is quite appropriate for Oddball Week.  A full minute is spent showing the same punt over & over again.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Unknown Song #31 (Oddball Week, Part 1) - Go For It

Song - Go For It
Artist(s) - Ray Russell
Released - 1988
Primetime Usage - 1997
Contained on - MusicHouse MHE7 - Jingles, Bumpers and Donuts (KPM search link)
Featured Highlight -
Cardinals @ Bengals, 1997

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 12/17/21

1997 was the last year where the NFL Primetime producers attempted to do a large-scale overhaul of the show's music.  I say "attempted," though, because most of these new tracks didn't stick.  Week 1 of '97 was particularly bizarre.  There were 13 highlights that week (not counting the SNF recap on the non-live broadcasts); more than half of them used songs that were, to my knowledge, never used any other time on the show.  Most of these tracks just didn't work, so kudos to the producers for both realizing that early and for replacing them with better new songs later (like Total News).

The very first Primetime highlight of 1997, featuring two teams that would not end up winning a lot of games, sadly includes one of the better oddball songs of Week 1.  I apologize for the video quality of these Oddball Week clips in advance.  Fortunately, the audio quality does not suffer nearly as much.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Unknown Song #30 (The Big Game?)

Song - Unknown Song #30
Primetime Usage - 1991-05
Featured Highlight - Vikings @ Lions, 1991

*EDIT* - This song was actually used once in 1996.  Thanks to Robert Enriquez on youtube for confirming this.

I don't think I'm exaggerating to say that Unknown Song #30 is one of the most recognizable tunes from NFL Primetime.  If you watched the show with any regularity in the '90s or 2000s (aside from 1996, where it was either not used or maybe used rarely), you surely heard this piece numerous times.  It's a pretty good song, even if it does sound a bit like Eric D.—I often get the two confused in my head.  This track has been roaming around the net (in the Polinsky set, among others) for a while, and it's called "The Big Game" on Dave Volsky's channel on youtube.  I have yet to see an artist or album/library credit attached to it, however.  It's similarity to Eric D. suggests John Colby could've composed it, but who knows?  If any of you readers has an idea, don't hesitate to comment or contact me.

Given the huge volume of Primetime highlights that feature US #30, I had a tough decision for this blog entry's video.  One of the top contenders was the Jets/Patriots game from 2001 where Drew Bledsoe got hurt, paving the way for Tom Brady—forgotten is that the game was probably best known at the time for its pregame honoring of Joe Andruzzi's firefighting family members that were involved with rescues on 9/11 (that game was from the first week after 9/11).  I ultimately rejected this highlight, though, because the game itself wasn't that interesting (Brady didn't get a chance to do much) and because the Bledsoe injury is likely a prime target for the NFL's copyright bots.  Instead, you get to see a veritable highlight reel for a different NFL great as his team came back from a 20-3 fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Vikings.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Unknown Song #29 (Looks Like We Made It?)

Song - Unknown Song #29
Primetime Usage - 1991-05
Featured Highlight - Chiefs @ Seahawks, 1999

The next couple posts will highlight a couple unidentified songs that were used quite extensively on NFL Primetime.  The first, Unknown Song #29, is probably the most famous of the "longing" Primetime tracks that often accompany struggling, frustrated teams.  The style & instrumentation are also reminiscent of the music from the SNES RPG Lufia & the Fortress of Doom.  This song predates Lufia by at least a couple years, so it's almost certainly a coincidence, but it's interesting nonetheless.  Anyway…  I saw this piece referred to as "Looks Like We Made It" on at least one of those downloadable NFL Primetime music collections that have been circulating a while (like the Mark Polinsky set, but it wasn't specifically that one).  I have no idea if that's actually the track's name or if, say, somebody with bad ears thought it somehow sounded like the Barry Manilow song of the same name.

US #29's video accompaniment features the Seahawks hosting the Chiefs in the final regular-season game at the Kingdome.  This contest also effectively decided the West division title that year, giving Seattle their only playoff appearance in their last 13 years in the AFC.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Unknown Song #28 - Determination

Song - Determination
Artist(s) - Chris Zurzolo, Andrew Mark
Released - 1993
Primetime Usage - 1994-96
Contained on - pyr 702 (Sports/Action), (YouTube Link)
Featured Highlight - Patriots @ Jets, 1996

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 10/3/19 

There isn't much complexity to Unknown Song #28, but it's still a better highlight track than the last couple songs I've posted.  US #28 does the basics well, as some hard edge and a driving rock beat are enough to make any NFL Primetime track at least passable.  It's lack of direction & melody means it doesn't really do anything beyond that, though.  Still, the track is a good accent for any high-energy football game.

I listed US #28 as being used from 1994-96, but I've only seen one instance of it being used outside of 1996 (Week 11, 1994).  That also means I'm not certain it was actually used in 1995 (*EDIT* - a comment by Kyle Caughlin on youtube indicates it was used at least a couple times in '95).  At any rate, here's a 1996 highlight of Rich Kotite's hard-luck Jets getting robbed late against Drew Bledsoe & the Patriots.

*EDIT* - The BMG website isn't hosting the Pyramid music label anymore, so I replaced that link with Craig-UK's youtube post of this song.  Special thanks to him for specifically putting that song up for this purpose.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Unknown Song #27 - Racing to Victory

Song - Racing to Victory
Artist(s) - Mandy Schleifer, Daniel Schleifer
Released - 1993
Primetime Usage - 1994-96
Contained on - pyr 702 (Sports/Action), (YouTube link)

Featured Highlight - Bears @ Packers, 1995

*SONG IDENTIFIED* - 10/4/19  

Continuing the theme from World Cup Shuffle, here's another cheesy NFL Primetime song.  Unknown Song #27 makes World Cup Shuffle seem like a perfect football track by comparison, though.  US #27 is jazzy, but not in an appealing way, and the instrumentation is quite tinny.  I'm not certain I would rate it as the worst Primetime piece, but it's definitely down there.  How this awkward song got paired with a Bears/Packers classic at Lambeau is anyone's guess.

*EDIT* - The BMG website isn't hosting the Pyramid music label anymore, so I replaced that link with Benjamin Lane's youtube post of this song.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Unknown Song #26 ("Game Balls")

Song - Unknown Song #26
Primetime Usage - 1992 (as highlight music)
Featured Highlight - Lions @ Buccaneers, 1992

Most NFL Primetime aficionados will recognize Unknown Song #26 as the Primetime Players ("Game Balls") accompaniment music from the mid-to-late-'90s.  I believe it was used as the Inside the Numbers song at one point, too.  What most fans probably don't remember is that US #26 was also used as a regular highlight track during the 1992 season.  Don't worry if you don't remember, though, because it's one of the weakest highlight songs in the show's history.  US #26 is very much an emotionless interlude piece that just doesn't go together with action.  It's use with Game Balls/Inside the Numbers is much more fitting.

Here's a Lions blowout of the Buccaneers to go with this relatively boring piece.  Those new orange pants sure do look spiffy, though.  Oh, and I have absolutely no idea why Wayne Fontes is wearing a shirt with Union Jacks all over it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Unknown Song #25 Identified

I finally hit another copyright-notice jackpot.  US #25 is "World Cup Shuffle," by Phil Beazley & Phillip John Rigger.  I can't really find any meaningful info on the artists or on the label, Castle Music.  Neither this particular Castle Music, nor Rigger, appear to even be listed on Discogs.  Beazley is listed, but is only given two (non-Castle) album credits.  The Castle library is carried on APM's website, though, as well as iTunes for some reason.

Revised Link

Unknown Song #25 - World Cup Shuffle

Song - World Cup Shuffle
Artist(s) - Phil Beazley, Phillip John Rigger
Released - 1988
Primetime Usage - 1991-93
Contained on - CM-0009 (The Fineline) (also on iTunes)
Featured Highlight - Falcons @ Redskins, 1992


If you like low-quality synth instrumentation, then Unknown Song #25 is for you.  It doesn't really sound like the primitive synths of the 1970s & early-'80s (that's more appropriate for, say, the Sega Genesis), but instead sounds more like the lowest-quality stuff from around the time this track was used on NFL Primetime.  This piece does have decent energy, however, so it's passable for football highlights despite its obvious cheesiness.  Accompanying US #25 is a Deion Sanders focused highlight where his Falcons lost a tough game against the defending-champion Redskins.  Oh, and there's also a George Will sighting, if you're into that sort of thing…

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Unknown Song #24 - Take Care (underscore)

Song - Take Care (underscore)
Artist(s) - Rolf Wehmeier
Released - 1987
Primetime Usage - 1991-93
Contained on - Happy Records HR2257 (Multimedia 2002), HR2264-3 (Multi Media)
Featured Highlight -
Packers @ Buccaneers, 1992


Unknown Song #24 is another one of those tracks that could best be described as "tense, but fun."  It was used extensively (nearly once a week) throughout the 1991 & 1992 seasons on NFL Primetime.  Its appearances then fell noticeably in 1993 before it disappeared entirely.  I wouldn't say it's one of the better songs used on the show, but it works great for games with a particular ambivalent mood.

It's Bay of Pigs time again.  This Green Bay/Tampa Bay matchup is most notable for containing Brett Favre's first game action as a Packer.  Don Majkowski got benched at the half in the sweltering Tampa heat, but Favre didn't fare any better so The Majik Man still got to start the following week against Cincinnati.  It was then that Majkowski got hurt and Favre ultimately took over the QB job for good.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Unknown Song #22 Identified

I stumbled onto this one while perusing through production-music albums. US#22 is "Out Front" by Rick Baker.  The actual part heard on Primetime was probably less than half the song, though—the track has a long, slow intro and a fairly long outro.  The fast middle part wasn't cut up or anything on the show, though—just looped.  I'm not sure where to find Out Front online unfortunately, since the early regular Chappell (not Chappell AV) albums don't seem to be streamable.  I can't find much info on Rick Baker, either.  He composed a bit for Chappell & Carlin, but I can't really find anything else.

*EDIT* (1/13/19) - You can now find the song on youtube, at least.

Revised Link

Friday, February 2, 2018

Unknown Song #23 (POINTS WAR!!!!) - Theighs Mon

Song - Theighs Mon
Artist(s) - John Colby
Released - N.A.
Primetime Usage - 1991-05
Contained on - N.A.
Featured Highlight - Points War, 1999 (Cardinals @ Packers/Saints @ Panthers)


So it's come to this:  the holy grail of NFL Primetime music.  International Statement is the most famous Primetime track, but it was identified long ago (well before I started this project).  Unknown Song #23 is, instead, the piece I've received by far the most requests to ID.  I'm also pretty sure it's Primetime's most often used song that hasn't been identified—it was used quite regularly for the last 15 years of the show.  I wouldn't say it's my favorite Primetime piece, but its strong hard-rock edge makes its appeal obvious for football highlights.

I don't have much idea where to look for US #23.  The only clue was when some follower on youtube sent me a message that he had contacted John Colby and that Colby replied that he thinks he did it but he's not sure and doesn't know the name.  Maybe it's in that mythical place that also contains the full-length versions of Gothic, Terminator, and Gelman.  Regardless, it's not on Colby's website.

Accompanying this holy grail of NFL Primetime music is what may be the most well-known highlight in the history of the show.  In 1999, a murky tiebreaker scenario emerged during the final week of the season involving 4 teams fighting for one 8-8 playoff spot (the Lions also finished 8-8, but had already clinched a berth).  The Cowboys just needed to beat the Giants, the Giants were basically screwed (barring, like, a 100-point win or something), and the Panthers & Packers had to win the scoring-margin tiebreaker in order to break a 3-way tie with the Giants should the Giants beat Dallas.  This points war didn't ultimately matter since the Cowboys won, but it was still—as Chris Berman says—"unbelievable football."

Since the NFL season is about to end, my updates will be less frequent for a while.  I plan on being a little more active than the last couple offseasons, though—probably 2 posts a month.  There are still quite a few unidentified tracks left to post.  Thanks for reading/watching!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Unknown Song #22 - Out Front

Song - Out Front
Artist(s) - Rick Baker
Released - 1986
Primetime Usage - 1991-97
Featured Highlight - Bears @ Vikings, 1992


Unknown Song #22 is a nice, energetic, rock/orchestral fusion track that I've been asked to identify a few times since I started this blog.  I obviously can't identify it as of now, but I would very much like to.  One irony is that US#22 isn't primarily remembered as a regular NFL Primetime highlight track.  It was used on the show for 7 years, but its use was pretty infrequent.  Instead, it's best remembered as being the accompanying song for Chris Berman's Sunday Night Football halftime highlights (not to be confused with Gladiator, the accompanying song for Monday Night Football's "Fastest 3 Minutes" segment).  It was used for this purpose well after its end on NFL Primetime.

This week's clip is a particularly humiliating one for both Chicago QB Jim Harbaugh & Chicago head coach Mike Ditka.  The Bears led Minnesota 20-0 in the Metrodome, but Harbaugh infamously audibled into a pass play that resulted in a pick-six for the Vikings.  Minnesota came back to win 21-20, scoring all their points in the 4th. quarter.  I've seen this game referred to as "The Audible" at least once online.  This game could also be seen as the beginning of the end for Ditka's stint in Chicago.  They did win 2 straight following the loss, but lost 8 of their last 9 to finish 5-11.  Ditka was subsequently fired.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Unknown Song #21 - Overdrive

Song - Overdrive
Artist(s) - Howard Jones & Tim Shaxson
Released - 1989
Primetime Usage - 1990-92
Contained on -  Amphonic AVF 75CD (Power U.S.A.), (alt. link)
Featured Highlight - Eagles @ Packers, 1991


Unknown Song #21 has more of a hard-rock style than most every other NFL Primetime song from this era.  I guess the producers realized the track's uniqueness in this regard because its use was quite ubiquitous during its 3-year run on the show.  US #21 was even used for two separate highlights for one week in 1992, which is—to my knowledge—the only time that ever happened (not counting the full version vs. underscore splits in 1987).  The Green Bay Packers seemed to be disproportionately featured with this song.

Speaking of the Packers, they're featured in this highlight too.  OK, the clip is really about the Eagles and Green Bay is just their hapless opponent, but still…  At least one statistical analysis claims the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles had the greatest defense in the history of the NFL.  There isn't anything in  this video would cause anyone to disagree, either.  Their offense wasn't too good, however, largely thanks to a season-ending injury to Randall Cunningham that occurred in this game.  Philly still did manage a 10-6 record, but that wasn't enough to make the playoffs in a logjammed NFC (the 49ers missed the playoffs with the same record).

Friday, January 12, 2018

Unknown Song #20 - Forcefields

Song - Forcefields
Artist(s) - John Fiddy & "Sammy Burdson" (Gerhard Narholz)
Released - 1986 (2015 for Remix)
Primetime Usage - 1989
Contained on - SON 246 (Industrial Themes & Underscores, Vol. 5), Remix:  Sonoton Vanguards SCDV 510 (Documentary Enterprise)  
Featured Highlight - Cowboys @ Saints, 1989

 *SONG IDENTIFIED* - 9/22/21

Barring something unexpected, this will be the last highlight I post from the 1980s (there's actually another Unknown Song from 1988 I tried to post, but the video got copyright blocked by the NFL and I have no other clips with that song).  Unknown Song #20 is the only unidentified track from 1989 that I can confirm was used more than once.  It's also one of a very few 1989 music debuts that wasn't either from Sonoton or David Reilly's Success album (UPDATE:  it turns out it was from Sonoton, but from an LP that wasn't ported to a CD initially).  I would really like to find this one, since I think it's one of the best NFL Primetime pieces I haven't identified.

US #20's accompanying highlight wasn't an interesting game on its own merits, but it was an important milestone.  In this game in the Superdome, Jimmy Johnson learned very quickly that he had a total tear-down/rebuild on his hands with the Cowboys.  It was also the first regular-season game in franchise history not coached by Tom Landry.  The Saints, meanwhile, would miss the playoffs with a winning record for the second-straight season (they would ironically go 8-8 and make the playoffs in 1990).

Friday, January 5, 2018

Unknown Song #19 - Constructions

Song - Constructions
Artist(s) - John Fiddy & "Sammy Burdson" (Gerhard Narholz)
Released - 1986
Primetime Usage - 1989
Contained on - SON 246 (Industrial Themes & Underscores, Vol. 5), Sonoton SCD 42 (Corporate Classics)  
Featured Highlight - Browns @ Steelers, 1989

 *SONG IDENTIFIED* - 9/22/21

Here's the other unidentified one-off song from Week 1 of '89.  It's a classical-rock fusion piece, much like Unknown Song #18, but leans a little more toward the edgy rock side.  To accompany Unknown Song #19, I'm posting another Cleveland beatdown of the Steelers.  It's really remarkable the Steelers ended up making the playoffs after this humiliation.  Chuck Noll definitely earned his Coach of the Year award with this team.

As always:  if you can ID this song (or any other Unknown Songs on this blog), don't hesitate to contact me.