Tuned to the cup

With the great­est show on earth kick­ing off to­day, we take a look at a trend that’s been steadily on the rise – World Cup songs.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC - By N. RAMA LO­HAN

IF World Cup songs have left a sick­en­ing af­ter­taste in your mouth, es­pe­cially af­ter you watched Menudo alumni Ricky Martin shake his bon bon on La Copa de la Vida (The Cup Of Life) for the 1998 edi­tion of the tour­na­ment, don’t worry, you’re in good com­pany. And we’re not even talk­ing about that song in par­tic­u­lar, we’re talk­ing about the re­pul­sion World Cup songs gen­er­ally gen­er­ate.

Think about it, even in the sta­di­ums in Shah Alam and Bukit Jalil, the re­lent­less cho­rus chant Ole Ole Ole can be con­stantly heard ... to this day. Heck, even at a Scor­pi­ons con­cert some years ago in Sta­dium Merdeka, fans were sing­ing the tune. Such is the fer­vour of fast food mu­sic.

That said, the lat­est in­stal­ment in World Cup songs sees Colom­bian hot­tie Shakira rev­el­ling in the tour­na­ment’s eu­pho­ria with of­fi­cial song Waka Waka ( This Time For Africa), fea­tur­ing South African group Fresh­ly­ground.

But the gen­eral con­sen­sus has it that K’naan’s balmy Wavin’ Flag is a bet­ter can­di­date for a World Cup theme song. The Cana­dian/So­ma­lian singer’s with­drawn vo­cal style lends it a nice and easy vibe ... per­haps best suited when you’re down and out once your team’s been booted out of the tour­na­ment.

At the last in­stal­ment of the tour­ney in Ger­many, the Simon Cowell-cham­pi­oned trite Il Divo and Toni Brax­ton col­lab­o­rated for the lethar­gic The Time Of Our Lives. Come on, when you see the ti­tle, it sounds like an up­beat song that’s per­fect for a fast-paced game like foot­ball. But put it on, and you’ll want to take it off just as quickly. Snooze-fest ma­te­rial – cer­ti­fied!

The same can’t be said of the sassy Anasta­cia, though, who got the rafters rat­tling with the sen­sa­tional Boom. Now this mama can raise the roof, what more with this funked up piece. This 2002 of­fi­cial World Cup song has a great video to boot, too.

Prob­a­bly past his use-by-date, Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates fame) still got the nod to han­dle the of­fi­cial song along with Sounds Of Black­ness for the 1994 games in where else, but the US of A. Once again, it’s a dreary af­fair, and pretty much re­flects that nation’s com­pre­hen­sion of the game. This isn’t one to light up the great­est show on earth.

Al­though the 1990 World Cup has to be con­sid­ered part of the 1990s, the mu­sic and scenes were still very much the 1980s, just like the of­fi­cial theme Un Es­tate Ital­iana, sung as a duet by Gianna Nan­nini and Edoardo Ben­nato. This is truly 1980s with its pas­tiche of synths and gui­tars, but the song’s video ac­cu­rately cap­tured the at­mos­phere of global unity in sports.

For kids of the 1980s though, the of­fi­cial song, Spe­cial Kind Of Hero, sung by Stephanie Lawrence and writ­ten by renowned key­boardist ex­traor­di­naire Rick Wake­man (he, of le­gendary prog rock band Yes), per­fectly en­cap­su­lated the 1986 tour­na­ment in Mex­ico in which Diego Maradona was hailed as the hero. No sur­prise that the World Cup movie that came out months later was named Hero. This one brings tears to the eyes, it does.

Spain’s host­ing of the tour­na­ment in 1982 saw the Royal Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra drum up BBC World Cup Grand Stand. The tour­na­ment in 1978 in Ar­gentina had San Jose per­form­ing the An­drew Lloyd Web­ber-writ­ten piece Ar­gen­tine Melody ( Can­cion de Ar­gentina), along with an in­con­spic­u­ously named col­lab­o­ra­tor, Ro­driguez Ar­gentina.

If you haven’t guessed, that’s Rod Ar­gent, an­other rock key­board god who was in the 1960s Bri­tish beat group The Zom­bies. It was Ar­gent who played on the band’s mon­u­men­tal Time Of The Sea­son, and later went on to form his own band Ar­gent in the 1970s, who also had a clas­sic hit with Hold Your Head Up.

Of course, na­tional teams have had their own World Cup songs, too. The Soc­ceroos were treated to Green And Gold by Free­dom Of Thought at the last tour­na­ment in Ger­many.

Eng­land has per­haps some of the more “mem­o­rable” tunes. Who could for­get John Barnes’s rap seg­ment on New Or­der’s World

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.