51 minutes of classic musical themes from NFL Films interspersed with poetic narrations by the deep rumble of John Facenda (1913–84). Facenda, who earned the nickname "The Voice Of God," had the best voice this side of James Earl Jones and hearing him speak is a real treat. Most of the music was composed by Sam Spence and some of it continues to be heard on Madden NFL video games. The liner notes could have easily been thorough and informative, but they are minimal - exactly what I expect from Tommy Boy records. If this music is your sort of thing, there's also a 10 disc box set available, titled Autumn Thunder: 40 Years NFL Films Music. This CD is fun nostalgia, but all it really does is make me yearn to watch the classic, vintage slow motion video footage. Maybe that was the point.
Tracks: Even casual pro football fans would probably recognize Up She Rises a.k.a. "Variations on What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?", Round Up, Magnificent Eleven, and The Equalizer. I still hear A New Game used every week during televised games. All that said, there's nothing here that will get ripped to my iTunes, although a John Facenda ringtone would be awesome.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Back in the late '70s and early '80s, there was usually only one televised college football game a week. It was on ABC on Saturday afternoon. Keith Jackson was the announcer. When it was finished, sports were usually over for the day. That is, unless one of the 3 available stations aired an NFL Films show in the late afternoon before the evening news (opposite Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk). Those shows were where I learned about the history of pro football. This music brings back memories of those fall afternoons. I can now flip on ESPN Classic or the NFL Network and watch NFL Films seemingly any time I want. And that's just not as much fun for me. What was once special is now common.