Music

The Top Five Greatest Ever FA Cup Final Songs

by Karl Hofer.

Sadly (or thankfully, depending on how you look at it) we have no cup final songs to offend our ears this year.

It’s a sign of the decline in importance of the FA Cup in an era where Premier League and Champions League are the be-all and end-all. Not that Arsenal didn’t celebrate with gusto last May, it’s still a tremendous competition, but there was a time when the nation (and chunks of the world) held its collective breath in anticipation of the big day.

Whole towns or cities would be decked out in colourful splendour to support their side, the nations media would interview local fans and business people who would gush with pride when talking about their team, bakers would make special cakes to mark the occasion, previously unknown players would become national celebrities and so on.

And, of course, the team would bring out a single.

They would follow that up with a cringe-worthy appearance on Top of the Pops and sometimes those songs would be cherished by fans for generations to come – and some would not.

So in the week of the cup final BOBBY has put together the top five greatest ever FA Cup final songs for your delectation. And before anyone pipes up with ‘What about ‘Blue is the Colour’, why isn’t that on the list?’ it is because that was recorded for the 1972 League Cup final v Stoke City – and not the 1970 FA Cup final v Leeds as many people believe. So there.

5. Arsenal – ‘Good Old Arsenal’ (1971)

The start of the seventies brought plenty of cheer for Arsenal, who scooped the league and cup Double in 1971 and were widely considered the best team in the land.

To celebrate, they released this catchy hit called ‘Good Old Arsenal’ which was more of a chant along to the tune of Rule Britannia.

It reached number 16 in the charts and there’s some great players and club legends singing along, including Bob Wilson, George Graham, Frank McLintock and Charlie George – and just look at Charlie’s face in this photo taken with Pan’s People, the boy looks delighted to be there!

GoodOldArsenal

The uncomfortable union between pop and football summed up in one photo.

4. West Ham United – ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ (1975)

Bellowed from the stands at the Boleyn ground since the 1920s (but sadly for only 12 months more), the West Ham club anthem was given a seventies makeover when John Lyall’s Hammers reached the 1975 FA Cup final, in which they beat their Bobby Moore led London rivals Fulham 2-0.

The hit wasn’t all that successful, however, charting at 31. It did beat the Cockney Rejects punk version to mark their cup final appearance five years later – that only reached 35.

BlowingBubbles

Trevor Brooking of West Ham and Alan Mullery of Fulham on the old Joanna with some nice support before the ’75 Cup final.

3.  Arsenal – ‘The Hot Stuff’ (1998)

Donna Summer’s 1979 hit ‘Hot Stuff’ is regarded as a true classic. So the Arsenal took that successful platform and built on it (badly) by slipping in mentions of players in their squad.

That’s what Arsenal did to mark their march for the Double in 1998 and it made number nine on the countdown. Featuring lines like “You’re telling us we’re boring, We’ll just keep on scoring now, Hot Stuff” it reaffirmed the belief that football and music rarely mix well…

ArsenalHotStuff

Even Ian Wright struggles to look cool in that garb!

2.  Liverpool – ‘The Anfield Rap’ (1988)

This memorable collaboration between Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston and rapper Derek B – and also featuring the rap skills of John Barnes – was a parody of a number of hip hop tracks of the time and peaked in the charts at number three.

Liverpool had a dressing-room full of real characters at the time, and they all seemed to revel in recording this track which featured some great lines such as: “Steve McMahon sure can rap, it’s about time he had an England cap.”

Anfield Rap

John Barnes’ other rap success

1. Tottenham – ‘Ossie’s Dream’ (1981)

The Cockney Lennon & McCartney – or Chas & Dave as they’re also known – teamed up with their beloved team four times between 1981 and 1991.

Their (pre-Falklands) effort in ’81 was written in honour of the Argentine midfielder who, despite his all-trembly knees, was “gonna play a blinder, in the Cup for Totting-ham”.

Of course mocking foreigner’s accents is neither big nor clever. But in 1981 is wasn’t just accepted, most prime time TV seemed to revole around it!

Keep an eye out for a very young Chris Hughton in the footage below sporting an afro that’s almost as impressive as Micky Hazard’s!

@KGHof

When The Three Degrees Met the Three Degrees

3Degrees2

The Six Degrees: The guys and gals get acquainted

by Karl Hofer.

Laurie Cunningham, Brendon Batson and Cyrille Regis were three exciting and gifted footballers, and back in 1979 they were the catalyst behind West Bromich Albion challenging for major honours once more.

They also happened to be black.

It is difficult to imagine now, but three non-white players in the same team was a highly unusual sight, certainly in the UK at least.

So with a trio of black singers known as The Three Degrees enjoying a period of great success in the charts with hits like When Will I See You AgainThe Runner, it seemed perfectly natural to nickname the players after the group.

When the group toured the UK a photoshoot was hastily organised at Aston Villa striker Andy Gray’s new nightclub, the Holy City Zoo, in which players and singers posed uncomfortably together. At the time, it appeared sweet, a little staged but innocent for the most part.

But the achievements of the footballing trio eventually worked wonders in terms of race relations and their part in highlighting race issues in Britain should not be forgotten.

Former team-mate Bryan Robson said: ‘We went to the opening of Andy Gray’s nightclub and Cyrille, Brendon and Laurie were there. So were the American supergroup, The Three Degrees. It was too good a photo opportunity to miss. Albion’s black players posed with the girls and from that moment on, we had our own Three Degrees.

‘I’m convinced that stunt helped break down prejudice. At the time, I remember away supporters leaving hundreds of banana skins at the Smethwick End. We have come a long way since then.’

West Brom had qualified for the UEFA Cup that season, earning a mouth-watering tie against Valencia and Argentinian World Cup winning superstar Mario Kempes in the Mestalla Stadium.

‘It was the match that earned Laurie Cunningham his move to Real Madrid,’ recalled Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown, who scored a staggering 218 goals from midfield.

‘There was no-one to touch him at that time. He was graceful. He used to glide over the pitch. He absolutely tormented Valencia’s right back.

‘All of a sudden, we were sitting there in the second half when Laurie received the ball. Hundreds of oranges started raining down on to the pitch. Their crowd had got that fed up with Laurie, they were pelting him with fruit!

‘One of the lads pointed it out to him afterwards and he said with a wry smile, “I suppose it makes a change from bananas…”.’

West  Bromwich Albion footballers Laurie Cunningham (2nd left) and Cyrille Regis with the American singers The Three Degrees in the VIP area at the Holy City Zoo nightclub in Birmingham, 7th April 1979. Left-right: Helen Scott, Laurie Cunningham, Valerie Holiday, Cyrille Regis and Sheila Ferguson. The Holy City Zoo was owned by Aston Villa Footballer Andy Gray. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

West Bromwich Albion footballers Laurie Cunningham (2nd left) and Cyrille Regis with the American singers The Three Degrees in the VIP area at the Holy City Zoo nightclub in Birmingham, 7th April 1979. Left-right: Helen Scott, Laurie Cunningham, Valerie Holiday, Cyrille Regis and Sheila Ferguson. The Holy City Zoo was owned by Aston Villa Footballer Andy Gray. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

 @KGHof

 

 

Red Hot Silly Pepper!
Drummer Chad Smith receives death threats after Flamengo shirt defilement

While starring in a drum clinic at the Hard Rock Cafe in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith messed around with local Atletico Mineiro fans by shoving a Flamengo shirt down the back of his pants, apparently wiping his arse with it.

Smith was given the Flamengo top from one of the fans in the crowd. After the jersey was held aloft to a lukewarm response from the audience, Smith, who Can’t Stop himself playing up to the local crowd, then stuffed the shirt down the back of his jeans before removing it and casually tossing it to the Otherside of the drum kit (you can see it all in the link below).

What Smith clearly didn’t do is take into account the fact that he might upset Flamengo’s millions of fans Around the World with his gesture.

Universally Speaking it was nothing more than a little light-hearted ribbing, but it sadly turned quite ugly. Smith received threats of violence and even death when footage of the incident emerged online, and he was soon taking to Twitter to apologise unreservedly for any offence his actions may have caused!

Screen-shot-2013-11-11-at-14.56.21

The timing was also a little unfortunate, as the Chili Peppers headed to Rio de Janeiro — home of the arse-wiped club — to play a gig on Saturday evening.

To show it was all water Under the Bridge Smith also wore the Flamengo shirt whilst signing autographs in Rio on Friday By the Way.

Presumably it had been given a wash since the last time he used it or he wouldn’t be able to Give it Away

 

by Karl Hofer

Maradona Gets Into The Groove The Musical Legacy of La Mano de Dios

MaradonaRecords

There has been much debate over who the greatest player the world has seen is, and usually after much discussion it comes down to a straight fight between Pele and Maradona.

To find a definitive or utterly compelling argument in favour of either is a difficult task – most people have their mind made up already – but if the deciding factor was the number of songs written about a player then Diego Maradona would win hands-down. I mean by a country mile, total no-contest. The guys got hundreds of songs dedicated to his great name and sung in adoration of him, and that’s just from Napoli’s fans.

Music is clearly a big part of Maradona’s life. Our photograph is of a young Diego digging through some vinyl and listening to some of his favourite tunes back in 1980. He has also sung many times on TV and over the years has been seen gracing dance-floors the world over.

But never has a figure from the world of sport evoked such a response from the world of music.

Some of the biggest Maradona inspired hits include: Maradó by Argentine suburban rock band Los Piojos, a favourite of Napoli fans is Maradona è meglio ‘e Pelé by Enzo Romano which translates as  ‘Maradona is better than Pele’, ‘O reggae e’ Maradona was a big hit for Neapolitan reggae band Jovine in 2007, and an all-time classic Neapolitan anthem is O Surdato ‘Nnamurato made famous by Massimo Ranieri which Napoli fans have tweaked in homage to their idol.

Unquestionably the most famous song about Maradona was by cuarteto music legend Rodrigo Bueno and is called La Mano de Dios. For the linguistically challenged among you that translates as ‘The Hand of God’ but don’t let that title put you off this song, it’s regarded as a dance classic in Argentina and it tells the story of Diego’s rise to greatness. Bueno tragically died in a car accident in 2000, but he lives on through this song and occasionally Maradona will even perform it himself (as he does in the link below) in thanks to Bueno.

Maradona – La Mano de Dios (The Hand of God)

In a slum I was born, it was gods will
That I grow up and survive
This humble example to face adversity
Eager to succeed in life. With each step I took

On the playground I forged an immortal left hand.
With experience A buringing ambition to make it
As a young buck, I dreamed of the world cup
And rising to the top in Primera
Perhaps by playing I could help my family

From the very outset
The Doce cheered
My dream contained a star
Full of goals and dodges
And all the people sang
The Hand of God was born
Sowed joy in the people
Brought glory to this land

Bearing a cross on my shoulders for being the best
For not selling out I confronted the powerful
Curious weakness if Jesus stumbled
Why shouldnt I too
Fame introduced me to a white woman
Of mysterious taste and forbidden pleasure
Who addicted me to the desire to use her again
Taking my whole life
And this is a match that someday
I am going to win

From the very outset
The Doce cheered
My dream contained a star
Full of goals and dodges
And all the people sang
The Hand of God was born
Sowed joy in the people
Brought glory to this land

 

Viva Bobby Moore!

BobbyMoore_Sings964x675

Born in Guyana in 1948, Eddy Grant moved to London with his parents at the age of 12.

Always into music, he formed his first band with two school friends calling themselves ‘The Equals’. By 1967 they had a record deal with President Records and a smash number 1 in 1968 with “Baby Come Back”, which was written by Eddy.

A few more hits followed, but then came the catchy tune that was to be turned into a football anthem “Viva Bobby Joe” – lovingly revamped by England supporters to “Viva Bobby Moore” in honour of the World Cup winning skipper.

In this excellent photo from 1969, the England captain Bobby Moore is pictured in a London recording studio with The Equals, reworking that hit record into ‘Viva Bobby Moore’.

West Ham’s Moore was at the height of his powers at the time, having led England to World Cup glory three years previously he was looking forward to a trip to Mexico the following Summer to defend the title.

The Equals were formed by Eddy Grant, who later enjoyed a solo career with some smash hits in the 80’s including “Electric Avenue” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance” which became on of the biggest selling hits of 1982.

Legendary Midfield Mauler and Movie Star Makes Music!

VinnieShoots1

We’ve said before that soccer and sounds don’t mix, and occasionally we’re proved wrong. But this probably isn’t one of those occasions.

In 2002, not content with making midfielders all over England quake in their boots throughout his playing career and with Hollywood moguls then knocking on his door continuously, Vincent Peter Jones decided to conquer the world of music as well.

He released an album of blues covers entitled ‘Respect’ on Telstar, from which the single ‘Wooly Bully’ was released. He also performed ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’ on Top of the Pops 2 in 2002 dressed like Kid Creole’s wayward Cockney cousin. If you don’t believe me you can see for yourself on the link below:

I guess you could say that Vinnie is to singing what Vinnie was to elegant, technically gifted midfield maestros…

Aside from a short speech on the opening track of Joss Stone’s 2007 album ‘Introducing Joss Stone’, Vinnie seems to have left the music industry behind him. His movie career however continues unabated with the release of ‘Escape Plan’ next month, in which Vinnie plays corrupt prison guard Drake alongside Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and 50 Cent.

Upon reflection the record we prefer to remember Vinnie for isn’t ‘Wooly Bully’ – it’s the one he has for the fastest ever booking when he went through Dane Whitehouse in a little under 3 seconds!

VinnyBergkamp

Back Home or World in Motion?

Usually soccer and sounds don’t mix. Thankfully the days of Cup final songs to raise some cash for the player’s pool have long gone. That’s one of the upsides to today’s cash loaded game.

But two England songs did hit a chord.

‘Back Home’ from the 1970 Mexico World Cup finals, where England were knocked out in the quarter finals by West Germany, has a sound that captures the last knockings of the upbeat mood of the Swinging Sixties.

‘World in Motion’ from the 1990 finals in Italy hits the mark and prefaces the dawn of a new era in the English game with its fusion of rap and rave. It was the Germans again of course who made sure it ended in agony rather than ecstasy beating England in a semi-final penalty shoot-out.

Please, vote for your favourite of the two tracks and tell us why below.

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

New Order (Feat. John Barnes) – World In Motion (HQ) 1990 Youtube video

ENGLAND WORLD CUP SQUAD ~ BACK HOME (U.K.No1.1970) Youtube video