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APM Music Updates ‘Monday Night Football’ Theme Music

In late 2005, ESPN approached APM Music, a joint venture of EMI Music Publishing and BMG Music Publishing (a division of Bertelsmann AG), about creating a series of updates to the theme song for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The theme, titled “Heavy Action,” was originally composed by Johnny Pearson and selected by ABC in 1971 for its Monday Night Football broadcast. In 1987, APM and ABC asked Edd Kalehoff to arrange an entirely new and updated recording of the song.

“‘Heavy Action’ is an iconic piece of sports music and is possibly the most well-known piece of sports music in the United States,” says Adam Taylor, president of APM. “The creation of three exciting new versions of the track ties in with the enormous expansion of the Monday Night Football franchise that ESPN has commenced.”

APM’s Erin Collins, Robert Navarro and Dale Suss collaborated with ESPN to determine the new creative direction for the arrangements. They worked with a team of composers and arrangers brought in for the project, including videogame composers Cris Velasco, Chris Rickwood, Sven Spieker, Sascha Dikiciyan and Navarro.

The new arrangements feature bold guitar riffs, modern percussion and lush orchestral scores combined to create three modern takes on the classic theme–one that is purely orchestral and two that feature different rock grooves.

The rock elements were recorded in Los Angeles and the score was recorded in Seattle with a 60-piece orchestra conducted by Velasco. Film trailer mixer Rob Beaton completed the final mixes and mastering.

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