Every four years the charts are filled with football songs, here’s our pick10) England United, featuring the Spice Girls (How does it feel) to be on top of the world - (England 1998)
The F.A. made a popular choice with the Three Lions anthem for Euro '96, but in true fashion they followed it up with this shocker for France '98. Rope in the Spice Girls, some dreadful riffs and you're left with this monstrosity. At least it wasn't just David in the Beckham household who had a shocking France '98. Like him this song should have been given its marching orders.
9) Various Artists - 2002 Again (South Korea 2006)
Having made history four years earlier when they charged to the semi-finals, South Korea were hoping for a repeat with this effort. With enough energy to power a small country complete with dancing fonts and bizarre 'return to innocence' flags, this track was about as good as Korea's 2006 showing. That's to say, not up to much.
8) Carnival de Paris - Dario G (1998)
Anglo-French relations were at a high back in 1998 when English group Dario G released this catchy number which rocked the dancefloors across Europe. FIFA meanwhile went for that well-known football fan Ricky Martin, who released the Cup of Life. Fans of a certain vintage will recall this track featuring on a popular video game back in the day. Aah... nostalgia.
7) GES - When we dig for gold in America (Sweden 1994)
The name of this group originated when three popular Swedish artists combined their surnames, Abba stylee, for their 1994 number. It was a hit across that glorious summer as Tomas Brolin and Co. thrilled the nation to eventually finish third. Not sure about 'the girls have flowers in their hair' part though. Name drop this song in Sweden even today and you're sure to get a friendly response, just don't expect any flowers among all the pretty blonde heads!
6) Tkzee - Shibobo, featuring Benni McCarthy (South Africa 1998)
South Africa's first appearance on the world stage prompted local group Shibobo to sample Europe's 'The Final Countdown' and young sensation Benni McCarthy for the track, which proved a hit. The group have remixed the song for 2010, but irony of ironies guess who doesn't feature on the track? Benni McCarthy, who was chopped from Bafana Bafana's final World Cup squad.
5) Put 'em under pressure - Larry Mullen Jnr (Ireland 1990)
Yes, you did read that right. U2's very own drummer produced this anthem which rocked the Irish airwaves in 1990, featuring a riff from an old Horslips song. Having never qualified for the tournament before there was no shortage of songs, including number one hit 'Give It a lash Jack' which along with 'Put 'em under pressure' quite accurately summed up the Irish tactics at the time. Lest we forget the brilliant 'We're gonna start a fire' which aped Billy Joel's similarly named song and included the great lyrics, 'Hoddle and Waddle have they got the bottle.' Turns out the latter didn't.
4) Re-sepp-ten - Dodo and the Dodos (Denmark 1986)
If ever a song summed up the 1980s then it's this effort from Denmark back in 1986. Lob in a few synthesizers, dreadful dress sense and a load of tone deaf footballers and what have you got? This masterpiece. Check out current Danish manager Morten Olsen bopping along early in the video, plus Michael Laudrup and several others wearing a jumper that would likely cause a seizure nowadays. It would be harsh to say that the track should have been made extinct like the Dodo itself. Deserves it's place in the annals of history for sheer novelty value alone.
3) New Order - World In Motion (England 1990)
For the first time in years England finally had a decent World Cup song and they matched it with a good team too who reached the semi-finals. Factory Records favourites New Order provided the tuneage, while Anfield rapper John Barnes displayed his musical skills once more for one of the better World Cup songs in memory. Yes, it was good but like 1966 can you please stop banging on about it?
2) Village People and the German national team - Far away in America (USA 1994)
What is it with Germany and rubbish World Cup songs? Let's imagine the thought process behind this one. We get a bunch of has beens from the '70s, some awful production and the German national team to provide harmonies in a foreign
language. You have to admire the nationalmannschaft though, in particular Andreas Moller who is giving it loads. Future pop mogul Thomas Hassler looks pretty pleased with himself too.
As bad as this was the Germans have a history of naff songs, take a look back at
1986's shameful effort, complete with Lothar Matthaus in a sombrero. 1982 was hilarious too and let's not even get started on the horrorshow of 1990. Stick to playing lads.
Village People - Far Away In America - MyVideo
1) Gianna Nannini & Edoardo Bennato - Un Estate Italiana (Italia 1990)
While the football itself may have left a lot to be desired, this outstanding song really captured the overall flavour of Italia '90. Produced by Giorgio Moroder, who was the brains behind Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love,' the track, which will give you goose-pimples, was one of FIFA's better choices as the official record. Along with Luciano Pavarotti's 'Nessun Dorna', both remain the soundtrack of that unforgettable summer. Was it really 20 years ago? Now where is that record player...
Contributors: Carlo Garganese, Clyde Tlou, Ewan Macdonald, Francois Duchateau, Nils Reschke & Peter Staunton.
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