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By Matthew Handley
There were many depressing announcements this week in football – John Terry can still lift the Champions League trophy, Italian football is still corrupt, Aston Villa played Bolton – but none were as clear an indictment of the state of football as the news that Hard-Fi will ‘headline’ the FA Cup final. the FA has chosen an act which hasn’t changed since 2005, despite the best wishes of everyone else, to ‘headline’ their showpiece event. We shouldn’t be surprised though, as sport has never made the best musical decisions:
The Superbowl is the symbol of the American nation, home of everything moral and great on this planet. Who better than Janet Jackson, the clean alternative to commercial sexuality, to represent this tradition? Unfortunately a ‘wardrobe malfunction’, a piece of spin Malcolm Tucker would be proud of, meant her bare breast was broadcast to households across America. Cue moral outrage and a censorship clamp down. They played it safe the following year and went for Paul McCartney.
The Olympics have a history of picking an anthem for each games, stretching as far back as to include Richard Strauss in their number. Usually they are as clichéd as you would expect from an official anthem, with lyrics about being the best and realising the dream abounding over some MOR soundtrack. Freddie Mercury managed to get away with it on ‘Barcelona’ in 1992 because it was filled with the same playful parody as everything else he did, but Andrea Bocelli wasn’t quite so successful with ‘Because We Believe’, a song so nauseating that even Westlife would turn their noses up at it.
Still nothing is quite as odd as the 1984 decision to place Philip Glass and Herbie Hancock alongside Foreigner and Toto on the official album, juxtaposing one of the most revered classical composers of the time with the very worst of 80s blandness.
This could be a list of poor decisions made by footballers. Who remembers Rio Ferdinand’s record label, or the crime against music that is Gazza’s performance of ‘Fog on the Tyne’? Even ‘Three Lions’, the greatest song of all time, wasn’t an official anthem, the Black Flag to World in Motion’s Sex Pistols.
As a Liverpool fan the worst insult of all has to be the Anfield Rap. Managing the impressive feat of out-embarrassing ‘Pass and Move (It’s the Liverpool Groove)’, the song contains such lyrical gems as ‘You two scousers are always yappin/well I’m goin’ to give you some serious rappin’ from John Barnes, whilst Craig Johnstone’s ‘Well I came to England lookin’ for fame/ So come on, Kenny man, give us a game’ could be Maxi Rodriguez speaking now. Johnstone probably deserved to be left on the bench though, given that he wrote the lyrics for this travesty.