The Power and the Glory:  The Original Music and Voices (soundtrack) by Sam Spence, John Facenda, Tom Hedden, David Robidoux

 

 

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The Themes of Fall - The Music of Football and Film
 

 

The Themes of Fall
The Music of Football and Film

by Christopher Coleman

No other sport in America has a following like it.  Be it High School football in Texas, college football in Florida or the Mid-West, or the National Football League, no other sport garners the attention and passions of its fans like the game of football.  Perhaps its because there are so few games per season.  Perhaps its because the levels of strategy and nuance go unapproached by any other mainstream sport.  Perhaps it's because the teams are often likened to armies and its players like warriors.  Then out of climactic clashes on the field rise mythic heroes who capture the imagination.  Perhaps these are some of the reasons why football in America has gone from competition to institution.  As someone once said, "Baseball might be America's past-time, but football is America's passion."

Because sports is drama, it is natural that adding compelling music behind opening ceremonies, highlights, or tributes is so effective.   Because sports is entertainment, it is also natural that feature films, television specials and documentaries should be made about football in such great abundance.  Today, the link between sports and music is cemented.

Over the last 50 years, as television has grown exponentially, many sporting events and programs have become identified by the music written for or employed by them.  The Olympics, Wimbeldon, ABC's Wide World of Sports, ESPN Sportcenter, and Monday Night Football are just a handful of iconic sports institutions that many can immediately identify just by hearing their respective musical themes.

From the jittery newsreels of the 1930s to SportsCenter - music has been an integral part of making sports highlights much more than "news stories."  That music has helped to elevate mere highlights and final scores into an elaborate tapestry of modern-day-myths.

While sports in the new millennium is almost a completely different thing than it was 80 years ago, at its core remains the desire to compete, the will to overcome, the hunger to be called a "winner." 

 

THE MUSIC OF THE NFL

Over the course of some fifty years, NFL FILMS has released countless video productions.  For those who know and love the game, the work of Steve Sabol and the talented and creative staff of NFL FILMS have become classic pieces of Americana.  The imaginative visuals, the voice-talent of John Facenda and the music of composer Sam Spence were melded together by Sabol in such a way that the sports documentary was changed forever.  While the elegantly gruff voice of John Facenda and the melodic pen of Sam Spence have "jogged off the field" for the last time, the tradition of NFL FILMS continues.  Still under the eye of Steve Sabol, the musical tradition is now carried by two composers:  TOM HEDDEN and DAVID ROBIDOUX.  While the legacy of SAM SPENCE is forever archived in the release of AUTUMN THUNDER:  40 YEARS OF NFL FILM MUSIC both HEDDEN and ROBIDOUX's talent are but introduced.

Since the release of AUTUMN THUNDER back in 2004, the two have gone to deliver many scores and memorable themes for NFL FILMS productions.  Their works have aired on most of the major networks and now on their own, the NFL NETWORK.  The official music for the game seems to be in very good hands.

 

THE FILM MUSIC OF FOOTBALL FILMS

Hollywood has had a love-affair with the NFL for decades and can be traced even further back to the 1920s to movies about the college game like:  ONE YARD TO GO, 70,000 WITNESSES or the Marx Brothers' HORSE FEATHERS.  Through the decades audiences have been moved and inspired by football-films like BRIAN'S SONG, RUDY, REMEMBER THE TITANS, THE GRIDIRON GANG. INVINCIBLE and WE ARE MARSHALL.  Their have been films that have given glimpses into the locker-room and into the lives of the men who play the game such as: PAPER LION, NORTH DALLAS FORTY, ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, THE PROGRAM, ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, VARSITY BLUES and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.

The game of American football has provided Hollywood with ample material from which to build both inspiring and sobering tales.  And perhaps even more than any other sports-film-genre, the scores for football films are the most memorable.

 

THE THEMES OF FALL

As the sounds of leather, grass, and dirt mix together,  as modern-day synthetic-compounds clash among the commanding shouts of coaches, quarterbacks, and linebackers...as unified cheers of thousands rise high above the walls of stadiums across the land, the themes of Fall will be played by marching bands, over P.A. systems, and broadcasted to millions worldwide. In honor of that tradition, this Tracksounds' features an growing index of reviews of the music that underscore the vast pantheon of football tales that have come straight from the field and from the pen of the Hollywood screenwriter. Also featured are composer interviews and a collection of football sound-clips.

 

 

Music from Autumn Thunder
 

 

Music from The Power and the Glory
 

 

 

The Picture, The Music, & The Story

David RobidouxAn interview with Composer David Robidoux

"There are certain cornerstones that a part of NFL Films' music. There are always big melodies. It's always dramatic. We always follow along with what is dramatic and what is going on in Hollywood now."

David Robidoux (NFL Films)

Full interview

 

More Football Soundtracks

Friday Night Lights

Radio by James Horner

Remember the Titans by Trevor Rabin

We Are Marshall by Christophe Beck

 

 

Autumn Thunder:  40 Years of NFL Films Music

Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music by Sam Spence, Tom Hedden, and David Robidoux (Soundtrack)

Released by Cherry Hill Records (2004)
Rating 9/10

For over 40 years now, NFL Films has produced some of the most-watched sports documentaries and specials in television history. Kinetic snapshots taken from countless-Sundays of football  have been preserved by visionaries Ed and Steve Sabol and their team of creatives. Those snapshots are inexorably joined to the music of composer Sam Spence, Tom Hedden and David Robidoux.  For the sports fan, much of the music attached to the myriad of Super Bowl shows, team documentaries or player tributes, are just as recognizable as some of Hollywood's famous musical themes.

Read the full review of Autumn Thunder


Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music by Sam Spence, Tom Hedden, and David Robidoux

The Power and the Glory

The Power and the Glory by Sam Spence, Tom Hedden, and David Robidoux (Soundtrack)

Released by Tommy Boy  Records (1998)
Rating 9/10

I can remember staying up all night on Super Bowl Eve's of the past watching highlights of all the Super Bowls ever played, listening to the stirring music of Sam Spence and powerful voice of John Facenda. For years I have wanted to get my hands on this wonderful music and finally have with the release of POWER AND THE GLORY.  NFL Films and Tommy Boy Records have come together to produce a football-fanatic's dream compact disc...and from a score-lovers point of view, not a bad compilation of some great thematic music.

Read the full review of The Power and the Glory



Buy The Power and the Glory by Sam Spence, Tom Hedden, David Robidoux  from Amazon.com

NFL Films Original Music by David Robidoux

NFL Films Sampler (Soundtrack) by David RobidouxPromo Release (2007)
Rating 8/10

Strong thematic music and football are just a given these days.  Every television network that airs NFL games knows it.  Fox's football motif has been well-established since its debut in the mid-nineties.  CBS looked to enigmatic duo of E.S. Posthumus to pen their NFL coverage theme and most recently, NBC contracted, the maestro himself, John Williams to provide their Sunday Night Football theme.  With the birth of the NFL's own network last year, a serious challenge lay before them in musically carving out a distinct personality for itself.  But we are talking NFL Films here...the entity that essentially started it all.

Read the full review of NFL Films Original Music

The Gridiron Gang by Trevor Rabin

The Gridirong Gang (Soundtrack) by Trevor Rabin

Released by Varese Sarabande Records (2006)
Rating 6/10

No stranger to sports-themed films is composer Trevor Rabin.  With films such as GLORY ROAD, COACH CARTER, and REMEMBER THE TITANS on his trophy shelf, Rabin jumps onto the field again, this time with director Jananou for THE GRIDIRON GANG.

Read the full review of The Gridiron Gang


Buy Gridiron Gang (Soundtrack) by Trevor Rabin at Amazon.com

Rudy by Jerry Goldsmith

Rudy (Soundtrack) by Jerry Goldsmith

Released by Varese Sarabande (1993)
Rating 8/10

Inspirational sports movies area a dime a dozen. Some are more effective than others. The same could be said for the music accompanying such movies. One composition that stands head and shoulders (and waist and knees) above the rest is Jerry Goldsmith’s score to the film RUDY. His music played an integral role in the storytelling, elevating the finished product to dramatic heights that would have otherwise been impossible.
 

Read the full review of Rudy


Buy Rudy by Jerry Goldsmith  from Amazon.com

The Replacements by John Debney

The Replacements (Soundtrack) by John Debney

Released by Varese Sarabande (2000)
Rating 2/10

Picking up where he seems to have left off from his work for MICHAEL JORDAN TO THE MAX, JOHN DEBNEY brings a strong dance-edge to the score for THE REPLACEMENTS. Preceded by a number of pop tunes from, predominantly, the Seventies and Eighties, we find ten tracks produced by Debney- ranging from the aggressive "The Dallas Game" (6) to the surprisingly sentimental "Falco" (7). The vast majority of the score selections are of a contemporary vein with strong synthesized rhythms, blaring guitars, loops and samples. The group Font 48 also performs several of Debney compositions.
 

Read the full review of The Replacements


Buy The Replacements by John Debney  from Amazon.com

 

More Special Features

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Behind the Score: The Force Unleashed 2
Behind the Score: Lord of the Rings Films
Behind the Score: Lost Planet 2
Ponyo: Time to Get Pon-ed!
Tutti Tweet
Brotherhood of Duty
Scorefront
2007 Cue Awards
2008 Music Preview
Free and Legal
High Score
The Themes of Fall
Return of the Matrix
Music from the Films of Zhang Yimou
Faith and Film Music
Best Original Score of all Time
To Boldly Go

Gang-Tackle Soundtrack Reviews

Prometheus by Marc Streitenfeld
The Avengers by Alan Silvestri
Kung Fu Panda 2 by John Powell and Hans Zimmer
Thor by Patrick Doyle
Rio by John Powell



Double Soundtrack Reviews

Serenity / Firefly
Braveheart/ More Music from Braveheart
Gladiator/ More Music from Gladiator
Star Wars - Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace

The Grinch:  Battle for Christmas
The James Horner Compilation Showdown
Film Music From the East

 

Neil S. Bulk (2014)
Sean Callery (2014)
Trevor Morris (2014)
Oscar Araujo(2014)
Tom Salta (2013)
Jesper Kyd (2012)
Robert Duncan (2012)
Sam Hulick (2011)
Alan Menken (2010)

Mark Griskey (2010)
Tom Hajdu (TomandAndy) (2010)
Kevin Riepl (2010)
Jamie Christopherson (2010)
Tomoya Kishi & Marika Suzuki (2010)

Clinton Shorter (2009)
Brian Tyler (2009)

Ed Lima and Duncan Watt (2009)
Sean Murray (2008)

John Ottman (2008)
Inon Zur/ Stuart Chatwood (2008)
Jesse Harlin (2008)
Jeff Beal (2008)
Miho Nomura (2008)
Mark Griskey (2008)
Harry Gregson-Williams (2008) | (2005)
Jeff Rona (2008)
Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (2008)
Ramin Djawadi (2008)
E.S. Posthumus (2008)
Tyler Bates(2008)
 

Scorefront Profiles

Assaf Rinde
Stephen Harwood Jr.
Colin O'Malley
Duane Decker
Karl Preusser

David Buckley (2008)
Kaveh Cohen & Michael Nielsen (2008)
Christopher Lennertz (2008)
Sascha Dikiciyan & Cris Velasco (2007)
James Dooley (2007)
Jesper Kyd (2007)
Garry Schyman (2007)
David Robidoux (2007)
Scott Glasgow (2007)

Tyler Bates (2007)
Jamie Christopherson (2007)
Mychael Danna (2007)

Howard Shore (2006)
Trevor Rabin  (2006)
Christopher Lennertz (2006)
John Debney

Greg Edmonson
Ron Jones
Edward Shearmur
Thad Spencer
Hans Zimmer
Don Davis:  1 | 2
Michael Giacchino
Jeff Rona

 

 

 

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