Friday, May 24, 2024

Most Bizarre Highlight Track?

Song - Action Scene (Submix)
Artist(s) - Mary Therese Matthews, Sally Anne Griffith, John Bähler, Matthew Muhoberac
Released - 1985
Primetime Usage - 1987
Contained on - FirstCom A2 (Intense), FirstCom UT105 (New Beginning)
Featured Highlight - Oilers @ Browns, 1987 (Replacement-Game Week 2)


There have been some odd choices for NFL Primetime highlight songs over the years.  Mortal Combat immediately springs to mind, though that was only used once.  A few of the songs from Oddball Week (Week 1, 1997) were also rather awkward.  I'm not sure any accompaniment choice was more bizarre than the Submix (i.e., underscore) for Action Scene, however.  Underscores are supposed to remove things like the melody and/or the high-pitched instruments, but the Submix for Action Scene sounds like someone pointed a full-blast flamethrower at the heart of the song.  To call it minimalistic is an understatement, and I'm surprised ESPN actually put it on a football video.  I guess it's appropriate that a "replacement" piece like the Action Scene Submix was only used for two 1987 replacement games.  The clip below, of the replacement Oilers edging out the replacement Browns in front of the Dawg Pound, was its last use.

As an aside, the Nichion quasi-legal(?) streaming service has been down for a while.  I'm still linking it above in case the site comes back, but I'm not sure that's likely.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Drive Away (Underscore) + Combo Mix Explanation

Song 1 - Drive Away (Underscore)
Artist(s) - Hal Brown, Donald Bradley Kelley (Brad Kelley)
Released - 1985
Primetime Usage - 1987-88
Contained on - FirstCom UT102 (Wheels of Commerce)
Featured Highlight - Bears @ Eagles, 1987 (Replacement-Game Week 1)

Song 2 - Drive Away (Combo Mix)
Artist(s) - Hal Brown, Donald Bradley Kelley (Brad Kelley) (edited by presumably John Colby)
Released - N.A. (ESPN custom edit)
Primetime Usage - 1987-88
Contained on - N.A. (ESPN custom edit)
Featured Highlight - Seahawks @ Bears, 1987


A month or so ago, GodzFire got in touch with a guy that had most every highlight from NFL Primetime stored on a boatload of DVDs.  Thanks to this guy's generosity, as well as GodzFire's willingness to host them on a convenient Google Drive, I now have way more highlights to choose from than I did before—especially from the late '80s.  I'm nowhere near finished watching all of these videos yet, but several discoveries have been made just from viewing the 1987 & 1988 clips.

Way back in 2016, I profiled the song "Drive Away" from the FirstCom UT102 album.  As with many songs played on Primetime in 1987 and '88, John Colby also used the underscore.  The underscore alone was only used twice that I've found (once in each year), and the Drive Away US had to share its highlight with another song in both cases (Drive Away and its underscore are each only about a minute long).  All other uses of Drive Away were actually a version that Godzfire and I have dubbed the "Combo Mix."  It's a simple, custom edit job (presumably by John Colby) that indefinitely alternates between the main track and the underscore.  My previous post of Drive Away also used the Combo Mix, but I somehow didn't realize it wasn't just looping the main track at the time.

To illustrate the two versions of Drive Away, I'm attaching two(!) videos to this post.  The first, featuring the underscore, shows the Bears thumping the Eagles in a nearly empty Veterans Stadium during the first week of 1987 replacement games.  After the underscore finishes, the rest of the highlight plays Driving Force—a song that happens to be on the same album and by the same composers.  The end of this highlight is cut off, unfortunately, but no more points were scored after what's shown (the Bears won 35-3).  The second highlight, featuring the Combo Mix, shows Walter Payton's final regular-season home game against Seattle late in the same season.  This quality of this clip is much better than the Drive Away video I posted 8 years ago, as you'll see.