Friday, 22 February 2013

They do Though, Don't They?

If there's one lesson that history has taught us, then surely it is that sports men and women should never, ever be allowed to set foot in a recording studio. This applies exponentially to groups of sports personalities: a solo single by a snooker player is always going to be dreadful, but a single by four of them (as in the snooker supergroup Four Away, featuring Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White, 'Captain' Kirk Stevens and Tony 'I don't have a nickname' Knowles) is a guaranteed car crash.

 
Submitted for your approval this week are both sides of the horrific 1988 release from Liverpool Football Club,


Anfield Rap, and its B-side Anfield Rap (Red Machine Dub) was issued ahead of the 1988 FA Cup Final against Wimbledon FC. Written by Liverpool's midfielder Craig Johnston (and, apparently, an uncredited Derek B), the song reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. Supposedly the record was meant as a ‘parody’ of Hip Hop, British rap and a send up of the fact that there were so few local players in the current Liverpool team. According to Johnston: “They were all Scots, Irish, Welsh, a Dane, a Zimbabwean, an Australian.

 
“The whole thing was about the dressing room craic. It was about McMahon and Aldridge and accents and how the other lads didn't talk like them.” John Aldridge and Steve McMahon were the only two native Liverpudlians in the regular line up: the other players featured included John Barnes (predating his appearance on the equally terrible football-related record, the England New Order 45 World In Motion by two years), Bruce Grobbelaar, Alan Hansen, and Jan Molby. The record also featured manager Kenny Dalglish, ITV football commentator Brian Moore plus archived voice clips from former manager Bill Shankly and a badly sampled section of The Beatles’ version of Twist and Shout.

 
In his 2012 article Why are Sports Songs so Hard to get Right, the BBC’s Mark Savage credited the song as "the worst offender... an inexplicably awful track, which sees grown men struggle with the cadence of spoken English.” It also, as Savage points out “rhymes ‘hard as hell’ with ‘Ars-e-nell’.”
 

Sadly Derek B passed away at the ridiculously young age of 44 in 2009. I believe most of the other aural offenders are still extant.
 

Enjoy!
 
 

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