Artificial Pitch: Football and Music


Artificial Pitch:
Football and Music
Music critic Boris Barabanov looks back on the history of World Cup themed music

Artificial Pitch:
Football and Music
Music critic Boris Barabanov looks back on the history of World Cup themed music
Despite being a sport, football has served as a vibrant source of inspiration for many artists. This Welcome2018 project explores the reflection of football, the planet's favourite sport, in various art genres.
The football World Cup received its first anthem in 1962, when the tournament was hosted by Chile. It was the song El Rock del Mundial by Los Ramblers, a chart-topping Chilean pop band that got a lot of local radio play.

Some of the sound effects in El Rock del Mundial continue to be used by football anthem composers to this day: whistling, clapping, and wind sound-bites. And yet the song was a far cry from today's football anthem canon. The composers of El Rock del Mundial had aimed for a football song that would stay within the rock'n'roll mainstream, but the rhythm of rock'n'roll is completely out of pace with what would make a good football anthem or chant these days.
Los Ramblers was a nine-piece band, almost a football team!
The anthem of the next World Cup, held in England in 1966, celebrated the competition's mascot, the lion named World Cup Willie. This anthem, composed by the 1960s skiffle singer/songwriter Lonnie Donegan, turned out more chanty.

The World Cup returned to the Hispanic world in 1970. The official song of the 1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico, unassumingly titled Fútbol México 70, was recorded by the local group Los Hermanos Zavala. The song was oversaturated with typical Mexican folk sounds, but the refrain worked well as a football chant. At the end of the song everyone was supposed to clap hands and yell "Mexico!"
Lonnie Donegan wrote the official song of World Cup 1966. His son would cover it 44 years later, just in time for World Cup 2010
Polish pop singer Maryla Rodowicz, who wrote the official song of World Cup 1974, is now 71 years old and still sings
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A singer from the Eastern Bloc, the Soviet Union's favourite Polish heartthrob Maryla Rodowicz, had a go at a football anthem in 1974, when the World Cup took place in West Germany. The song was alright, composed in the major key as required, but smacked too strongly of the insipid vocal-instrumental bands that dominated the official pop scene in the Soviet Bloc countries. Rodowicz performed her song Futbol at the World Cup opening in Munich.

From 1978 on, FIFA began eyeing more big-name artists for its World Cup anthems. The official song for 1978 World Cup Argentina, titled simply Anthem, was composed by Ennio Morricone. Anthem was an instrumental with some vocalization, which easily stuck to memory and tended to put listeners in a winning mood. Mr. Morricone was then in the zenith of glory. He had just won an Academy Award nomination for his soundtrack for the Terrence Malick film Days of Heaven in 1978.
The great Ennio Morricone made his mark in sports as well as music when he composed the official song of the 1978 FIFA World Cup
In 1982 Placido Domingo was the first opera singer ever approached for performing a World Cup song
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FIFA for the first time approached a star opera singer, Placido Domingo, a native of that year's World Cup host country and devout football fan, to record the official song of 1982 World Cup Spain. Bullfight allusions, indispensable in a "grand" Spanish song, were clearly audible in the light-hearted orchestral theme of Mundial'82, evoking the football "battlefield" by association.

In 1986, when the World Cup headed back to Mexico, several official pieces of music were written for it instead of just one. Rick Wakeman, then the keyboard player of Yes, wrote the "heroic" theme song A Special Kind of Hero, which made excellent accompaniment for all kinds of ceremonial functions. The vocal part was recorded by 1980s British musical theatre actress Stephanie Lawrence.

The upbeat number for Mexico's domestic consumption, El Mundo Unido por un Balón, was recorded by Juan Carlos Abara.

There was yet another theme song, officially culled by FIFA: Hot Hot Hot, composed and performed by Alphonsus Cassell under the stage name Arrow, targeting strictly discotheque audiences. Written in the Caribbean Soca music style, Hot Hot Hot set the standard of the football themed pop song for years to come.
It is a lesser known fact that Rick Wakeman was at one time director of FC Brentford and then president of FC Camberley Town
It is a lesser known fact that Rick Wakeman was at one time director of FC Brentford and then president of FC Camberley Town
FIFA for the first time approached a star opera singer, Placido Domingo, a native of that year's World Cup host country and devout football fan, to record the official song of 1982 World Cup Spain. Bullfight allusions, indispensable in a "grand" Spanish song, were clearly audible in the light-hearted orchestral theme of Mundial'82, evoking the football "battlefield" by association.

In 1986, when the World Cup headed back to Mexico, several official pieces of music were written for it instead of just one. Rick Wakeman, then the keyboard player of Yes, wrote the "heroic" theme song A Special Kind of Hero, which made excellent accompaniment for all kinds of ceremonial functions. The vocal part was recorded by 1980s British musical theatre actress Stephanie Lawrence.

The upbeat number for Mexico's domestic consumption, El Mundo Unido por un Balón, was recorded by Juan Carlos Abara.

There was yet another theme song, officially culled by FIFA: Hot Hot Hot, composed and performed by Alphonsus Cassell under the stage name Arrow, targeting strictly discotheque audiences. Written in the Caribbean Soca music style, Hot Hot Hot set the standard of the football themed pop song for years to come.
Recorded on the eve of the 1990 World Cup Final, the debut performance of The Three Tenors became the best-selling classical music album of all times. The threesome would open for the World Cup Finals three more times, in 1994, 1998 and 2002. IN THIS PHOTO: Carreras, Pavarotti and Domingo before their 1998 performance.
The Three Tenors would open for the World Cup Finals three more times, in 1994, 1998 and 2002. IN THIS PHOTO: Carreras, Pavarotti and Domingo before their 1998 performance.
The 1990 World Cup was hosted by Italy. The official song, Un'estate Italiana, composed by Italian disco music composer and producer Giorgio Moroder with lyrics by American Academy Award-winning songwriter Tom Whitlock, and performed by Gianna Nannini and Edoardo Bennato, was so catchy that even today its opening guitar riffs evoke the football matches of 1990. Un'estate Italiana (titled To Be Number One in English) was the first bilingual World Cup anthem, recorded in English and the host country language. A notable music project, to which the World Cup Italy gave an impetus, premiered the same year, in 1990. The Three Tenors, the operatic singing combo consisting of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras, performed at the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome on the eve of the 1990 World Cup Final.
The FIFA World Cup came to the US for the first time in 1994. The compositions that became the soundtrack of the World Cup United States were not written specially for the event – not officially. One, titled Gloryland, was based on the traditional spiritual song Glory, Glory (Lay My Burden Down), arranged and produced by John Skarbek, and performed by Daryl Hall and the vocal group Sounds of Blackness.
The other song was We Are The Champions by Queen. The tried and true Three Tenors performed at Dodger Stadium in LA before the Cup Final. Gloryland, the first official collection of football and World Cup themed songs, was also released in 1994.
The song We Are The Champions by Queen was not written for the World Cup, but it fit right in!
The song We Are The Champions by Queen was not written for the World Cup, but it fit right in!
For the 1998 FIFA World Cup France, once again a few tunes were composed, each for its own range of applications. This was also the year when they separated the concepts of "official anthem" and "official song." The official anthem of the championship, La Cour des Grands (Do You Mind If I Play), recorded by Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour and Belgian singer Axelle Red, was the first official World Cup theme based on African rhythms. This was a reflection of the growing presence of African players in big-league football.
The official song, slated for MTV and the discotheque, was Ricky Martin's La Copa de la Vida. Although the song was released twelve months before the Puerto Rican's greatest hit, Livin' la Vida Loca, Ricky Martin was already so popular worldwide that, with him on board, FIFA was able to reach a huge new audience of people who had never followed football before. All of a sudden, Jean Michel Jarre and Tetsuya Komura came up with this weird composition, Together Now, combining a broken dance beat with boisterous synthesizer sounds, inspirational choral cameos and rock vocals.
Ricky Martin singing La Copa De La Vida at the 1998 World Cup Final, watched by an audience of over a billion in 187 countries
It was clear by 2002 that the tag "World Cup Anthem" really works. Not three, but four songs were composed for the championship, jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan that year. The official anthem was written by Greek composer Vangelis. The commercial English-language hit track, Boom, was performed by American singer Anastasia. Vamos Al Mundial was the song for Hispanic audiences, performed by Jennifer Pena, while the leading vocalists of South Korea and Japan recorded the unofficial signature tune of the 2002 World Cup, Let's Get Together Now.
Of the four songs written for the 2002 World Cup South Korea and Japan, Jennifer Pena sang the one targeting Spanish-speaking audiences
At the 2006 World Cup Germany, football fans chimed in with the classical crossover vocal quartet Il Divo and Toni Braxton on the official song, The Time of Our Lives. The official anthem was the song Celebrate the Day, performed by German pop singer Herbert Gronemeyer with the African duo Amadou & Mariam, who delivered the "African touch."

Of the four songs written for the 2002 World Cup South Korea and Japan, Jennifer Pena sang the one targeting Spanish-speaking audiences
It was clear by 2002 that the tag "World Cup Anthem" really works. Not three, but four songs were composed for the championship, jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan that year. The official anthem was written by Greek composer Vangelis. The commercial English-language hit track, Boom, was performed by American singer Anastasia. Vamos Al Mundial was the song for Hispanic audiences, performed by Jennifer Pena, while the leading vocalists of South Korea and Japan recorded the unofficial signature tune of the 2002 World Cup, Let's Get Together Now.

At the 2006 World Cup Germany, football fans chimed in with the classical crossover vocal quartet Il Divo and Toni Braxton on the official song, The Time of Our Lives. The official anthem was the song Celebrate the Day, performed by German pop singer Herbert Gronemeyer with the African duo Amadou & Mariam, who delivered the "African touch."
Песня The Times Of Our Lives Тони Брэкстон и квартет Il Divo впервые была исполнена на открытии ЧМ-2006 и в тот же день выпущена на сингле
Автор гимна ЧМ-2006 Герберт Гренемайер признан самым успешным немецким певцом: всего за свою карьеру он продал 13 миллионов копий своих альбомов
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Песню для испаноязычной аудитории Arriba Arriba записала группа незнакомых остальному миру латиноамериканских звезд. А Шакира сделала для чемпионата специальную версию своего главного хита Hips Don't Lie. В 2010 году ей поручили уже официальную песню первенства, которая получила название Waka Waka.
Шакира записывала песни для чемпионатов мира целых три раза. А еще она замужем за игроком сборной Испании Жераром Пике
Шакира записывала песни для чемпионатов мира целых три раза. А еще она замужем за игроком сборной Испании Жераром Пике
Было бы странно, если бы к записи музыки для чемпионата, проводившегося в ЮАР, не привлекли знаковых для страны-хозяйки исполнителей. Гимн Sign of a Victory американская звезда R'n'B Ар Келли записал вместе с хором Soweto Spiritual Singers. Тогда же в числе главных песен чемпионата мира появилась композиция, сделанная с подачи спонсора первенства, – песня сомалийско-канадского музыканта Кей'Наана и Бруно Марса Waving Flag.
Бразильский чемпионат 2014 года был третьим, для которого Шакира стала своего рода музыкальным талисманом. Ее песня называлась La La La (Brazil 2014). Однако официальную песню чемпионата We Are One (Ole Ola) записали Питбуль и Дженнифер Лопес. А гимн чемпионата Dar um Jeito (We Will Find a Way) спели под аккомпанемент Карлоса Сантаны и диджея Авичи Уайклеф Жан и Александр Пирес.
Песня We Are One (Ole Ola), записанная рэпером Питбулем при участии Дженнифер Лопес и Клаудии Лейтте, исполнялась вживую всего два раза. Один из них на вручении премий Billboard, а второй – на открытии ЧМ-2014
В официальный сборник песен, вышедший к чемпионату 2014 года, вошли 17 песен. Каждый из спонсоров чемпионата счел своим долгом заказать кому-либо из больших мировых звезд трек для своего рекламного ролика, демонстрирующегося во время трансляций. Журнал Billboard даже составил собственную десятку лучших песен, вышедших к бразильскому первенству. Номером первым там был Канье Уэст с песней God Level.
Песня Канье Уэста God Level не вошла в число официальных треков ЧМ-2014, хотя посвящена была именно ему
Песня Канье Уэста God Level не вошла в число официальных треков ЧМ-2014, хотя посвящена была именно ему
Официальная песня и официальный гимн чемпионата мира обычно выходят не то чтобы задолго до игр, а именно в мае. Так что о главных музыкальных темах российского мундиаля говорить рано. Есть только одна песня, которая со стопроцентной вероятностью будет звучать на стадионах во время чемпионата мира. Она называется Ole Ole Ole.
Кажется, она существовала всегда. Тем не менее первые свидетельства массового исполнения этой кричалки на стадионе относятся к 1982 году. Газеты писали, что в Сан-Себастьяне болельщики «Реал Сосьедада» пели Campeones, campeones, hobe, hobe, hobe («Чемпионы, чемпионы, мы самые лучшие») после завершения чемпионского матча своей команды. В 1985 году хоровая часть Ole Ole Ole появилась в гимне бельгийского «Андерлехта» Anderlecht Champion, а в 1987 году Роланд Верловен выпустил настоящий сингл – Olé, Olé, Olé (The Name of the Game). Нет сомнений в том, что петь Ole Ole Ole будут и на российских стадионах. И энтузиазм певцов не будет зависеть от того, как далеко продвинется наша сборная в турнирной таблице.

Борис Барабанов, музыкальный обозреватель ИД «Коммерсантъ», специально для Welcome2018
Photo credits: Denis O'Regan/Getty Images; Steve Jennings/WireImage; Guy Kinziger/WireImage; Guido Krzikowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images; Fred Duval/FilmMagic; Jon Soohoo/Getty Images; Michael Putland/Getty Images; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images; Christopher Lee/Getty Images; Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images; Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images; Paul Natkin/Getty Images; Michael Putland/Getty Images; FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images; Ираклий Чохонелидзе/ТАСС; losramblers.cl