Regardless of what Olympic sport you're watching during the nearly three weeks of coverage on the NBC Universal family of networks, websites and apps, there is one thing all of them have in common: the theme music.
NBC Olympics’ theme music has become iconic, a sign that the Olympic Games have once again returned to NBC. In fact most of the recordings for these songs date back to the 1996 games in Atlanta.
The man behind a good number of these songs is the great John Williams, longtime conductor of the Boston Pops and arguably the greatest composer of our lifetime. The list of scores and soundtracks that he has composed is endless: “Star Wars,” “Jurassic Park,” “Superman,” “Indiana Jones,” “NBC Nightly News” and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” just to name a few.
And the cool thing is that almost all of the Olympic themes can be found on iTunes and downloaded for your listening pleasure. The first three songs are all found on this album named “Summon the Heroes”: “Summon the Heroes,” “Bugler’s Dream and Olympic Fanfare Medley” and “The Olympic Spirit.” A fourth, “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” is found on this Boston Pops album entitled "By Request: The Best Of John Williams And The Boston Pops Orchestra.”
The other frequently heard track during NBC’s Olympics coverage is familiar to some sports fans but not as easily found and not available on iTunes.
It is actually the theme from an old FOX show called “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.,” originally composed by Randy Edelman. Some sports fans know it because NBC used it on their Major League Baseball coverage in the 1990s. This YouTube video of the end of NBC’s coverage of the 1997 World Series contains the song.
So there you have it: basically all the music for your enjoyment as you watch the Summer Olympics from London on NBC. And if you want even more on this topic, you can watch Brian Williams’ interview with John Williams on tonight’s “Rock Center” on NBC at 10 p.m. ET.
Let the games begin.