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Samuel Lloyd Spence is an American soundtrack composer best known for his work with NFL Films.


A former USC music instructor living and working in Munichmarker, Spence was hired in 1966 to score the mini-documentaries that conveyed NFL highlights and personalities to fans in the network-television era. Spence's music cues combined with the baritone voice of John Facenda to remarkable artistic effect, and he can arguably be credited with a significant role in making American football the top professional sport in the U.S. His work has also been on the EA Sports Madden NFL football videogames.

In Germany Sam Spence wrote several TV soundtracks with Hani CHamseddine, e.g. for the Francis Durbridge thriller "Wie ein Blitz". After his retirement in 1990 he returned to Munich. He achieved unexpected fame in 1998 with the success of a CD compilation entitled The Power And The Glory: The Original Music & Voices Of NFL Films.


1998: The Power And The Glory: The Original Music & Voices Of NFL Films2007: Sam Spence - Our Man in Munich (2) (Allscore - Indigo)


In 2005, Spence's music was remade by the hip hop music group Da Riffs, which can be found in the soundtrack of the game Madden NFL 06. Along with the urban remakes, the original songs still play in the game's soundtrack. His music was also included in Madden NFL 07, Madden NFL 08 and Madden NFL 09, being remixed again by Da Riffs.

References and uses in popular culture

His work "Roundup" was used in the King of Queens-Episode "Mean Streak" in the 4th season, in the "Funny Moments"-segment in the WWE Raw 15th anniversary special, and in a NFL themed Burger King commercial. Also the tracks "Forearm Shiver", "Police Car", "West Side Rumble", "Ramblin' Man From Gramblin', and "The Lineman" were used in the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode series on the Nick T.V. show, Spongebob Squarepants.

Also, his song "The Lineman" was used in The Simpsons Episode 164, "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson".

In spite of the commercial release of a compilation album in 1998, Sam Spence is among one of the few composers of Associated Production Music to have tracks available for download on music downloading services.


One of the hallmarks of Spence's music is its intangible familiarity. Two film score enthusiasts have pointed out the similarity of his more popular themes to several contemporary film scores; one has criticized them of "get[ting] too close to their obvious film inspiration." They have lauded some of his compositions as "cool homage[s]," while describing others as "barely disguised" "knock-offs."


  1. Lukas Kendall, "CD Review: NFL Films: The Power and the Glory," Film Score Monthly, Nov 1998.
  2. Jeff Bond, "CD Review: Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music," Film Score Monthly, Jul 2005.

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