I’ve stated on this site many times that I first started following baseball in 1990. A seven year-old, I watched my newly beloved Pittsburgh Pirates roll to their first division title in 11 years. However, one of the best parts of ¬†being a fan that season didn’t just come from the stellar play on the field.
You see, that particular Pirates team had a theme song that would blast throughout Three Rivers Stadium following a victory and also featured prominently in that season’s highlight video. The song was called “You Gotta Believe” and it was a trite, overwrought, mindless cheese-fest. It was also amazing.
Thanks to the magic of YouTube, some saint of a human being has uploaded not only the complete original video, but also a special behind-the-scenes look into the song’s recording. The whole thing is more than seven minutes long, and I wouldn’t ¬†blame anyone without a sentimental attachment to the song for not wanting to watch the whole thing. However, there are a few key moments to check out:
0:15 – Young Lanny Frattare, before he was driven into retirement and alcoholism by calling 16 years of miserable Pirates baseball.
0:49 – Acid. Washed. Jeans.
1:20 – Token intense recording session interaction, where the producers tell singer Ernie Pontieri to “really try and stress the word ‘learn'” in the lyrics “this is your moment/you learn how to fly” because “these guys have learned a lot since they first started here.” Brilliant songwriting. Brilliant instructions.
1:56 – How will they navigate all those “S’s” in the lyrics “Once more/Then kiss it, kiss it goodbye”?!
2:17- Cut to a ¬†clip of Ernie Pontieri’s own group “The Lettermen.” Not sure if the fog effect is supposed to be an homage to a Frank Capra dream sequence, or just to glaucoma.
3:30 – Guy with mullet and mock turtle neck and cheap suit dancing and pointing at camera.
4:38 – Skip here if you just want to see the actual video for the song.
Boy do I miss the early ’90s.