It’s A Digital Football Thing

In honour of the World Cup starting tomorrow, being the ultra topical guy I am I thought I’d dig out all my football records in one go.  All three of them.  Now this may be a bit of a parochial entry for some of you foreign chaps and laydeez out there, so feel free to skip to the 405 Down bit and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Football’s a big deal here, especially in Liverpool where I work, everyone is getting excited and patriotically attaching little St George’s flags to their French and German cars.

I’m not a big football fan, too much skill and running about for my tastes, give me rugby and its massive collisions any day, it’s far closer to Rollerball, or my fave old computer game Speedball II, or another favourite board game of mine Blood Bowl –  which is all any sport should aspire to in my view.  However I sat down and learned football, by studiously reading the papers purely so I could communicate with other males when I started the world of work.  It, umm, worked, after a bit of practice I could pass for normal and so I suppose I did get a bit into it.  What was interesting in Britain was that during the 90’s football shed its hardcore hooligan image and became more accessible, more middle class and cooler musicians got more into it too.

Football Records

Now we have a long and shameful history in this country of appallingly bad football songs – usually produced for cup finals you’d get some local yokel pop star from yesteryear supported by a group of baying yobs putting out a single of such mind-numbing tedium that it could legitimately be used for anaesthetic purposes.  When the national teams were playing in a tournament, it was often even worse right up until New Order produced World In Motion, which, although still a bit crap, managed to be so in a good way.  Anyway by the time the 1996 European Cup was held in England things obviously reached fever pitch, as all three of my football 12″s come from then.

First on the deck is the most straight-forward one Collapsed Lung Eat My Goal, I remember them as a shouty rap, industrial band but on this track – still heavily used in advertising today, they sort of became House of Pain circa. ‘Jump Around’*.  It’s the only record I own with a little sticker on it telling me proudly ‘as featured in the Coca-Cola advert’.  Hmm, corporate sell-out as I and them may be, I quite like this still.  It’s jaunty and catchy, pretty lightweight and that’ll do me for a minute or two until I get bored.

Primal Scream Big Man 03

Next on the launch pad of listening is a Scottish effort, Primal Scream The Big Man & The Scream Team Meet the Barmy Army Uptown.  Definitely not obeying the usual laws of footie tunes this is a rambling, dubtastic, swearing-drenched sprawl of a track featuring author Irvine Welsh and Adrian Sherwood and the On-U Sound System (Doug Wimbish plays bass on it).  The cover is fantastic, showing fanatical Scots fans from their 1977 victory over England at Wembley, when they invaded the pitch and broke the crossbar.  Primal Scream kindly offered the song to the Scottish FA to use as the official song for the tournament, but they turned it down in favour of a Rod Stewart song called ‘Purple Heather’; can’t think why.  Maybe it was the opening patriotic lines,

In every hick town in Caledonia

Across this pseudo nation

You can see the most fucked up scum

That was shat into creation

Can’t think why that didn’t pass muster.  Ah well, their loss I’ll just sit here and enjoy the growling bass bits again.  One to admire for its pluck, rather than to enjoy hugely, it could do with a tune in my view.  This B-side is an interesting one, it’s Irvine Welsh reading his parts of the song and some other swearing that didn’t make it into the final mix.

Primal Scream Big Man 01

And lastly riding up over the horizon, like the cavalry come to save us, or like the stragglers in a donkey derby, here come Black Grape England’s Irie**.  This is just sheer unhinged excellence right from the word go.  Black Grape being of course Shaun Ryder’s vehicle after the drug-induced catatonic ending of the Happy Mondays, whom I loved.  Black Grape were a good band who banged out some really good singles, a fun mixture of dancehall, rap, indie and pop, all underscored by Shaun Ryder’s great, flat delivery and his deceptively clever way with a lyric.

Black Grape 01

Ably assisting the band on this one are actor Keith Allen, who puts in a great introduction and someone called Joe Strummer, who apparently used to be in a band way back when.  For a song that got to #7 in the charts at the time, no-one seems to remember this track at all, it isn’t even on Spotify and I can’t find a decent version on Youtube either.

Black Grape 03

There are some real gems of lines in here too, there’s not many songs I own that proclaim ‘I come from a land of crass hypocrisy’ and go on to mention lactation, free kicks and dribbling around your socks.  It’s got a great solid chorus and is just altogether a class act.  I’d forgotten just how fun this track was.

Just like the final scenes in Trading Places
Just like the final scenes in Trading Places

So that’s the 1537 digital football thing over and out, my interest obviously nose-dived after Euro 96 (which I really enjoyed) and 18 years on I still haven’t bought another football record.  I’m fine with that.

405 Down.

Primal Scream Big Man 02

*really no bad thing in my book.

**Irie being Jamaican patois for excellent, highest, great.



13 thoughts on “It’s A Digital Football Thing

  1. I gotta admit I have not heard anyone of these songs before, so yes I believe they would be considered under the radar in the USA. Kinda like soccer

  2. FIFA must be the most corrupt ‘peak’ body in the entire sporting universe. Still, the World Cup is wonderful. Got the boy a ball today with each panel sporting a national flag. We had a go at pronouncing the names of unfamiliar countries. Who says sport isn’t educative?

    1. I know they’re absolutely shameless too, I have a theory that Sepp Blatter is a replicant but its probably all a bit libellous and whilst I would like my blog read around the world, I’d rather it wasn’t in connection with ‘Miniscule blogger pays record damages’ style headlines!

      I always end up supporting any and all the African teams. I have a WOMAD football CD somewhere under the spare bed which is just ace.

  3. Yup, this laydee is NOT a sport fan of ANY TYPE. football, baseball…hockey is my most hated (this coming from someone from a hockey-loving town. How did I make it out of there alive?!). I will watch tennis if I happen to be knitting and need something easy to watch. Otherwise? Nahhh.

      1. The first time I went to a Sudbury Wolves hockey game (first hockey game ever…, never watch NHL hockey), it was an eye-opener. It was the first time I witnessed fighting on ice. Here are two dudes on the ice, pulling off their helmets and gloves, and fighting, but they were acting like they were dancing on ice. Bizarre, yet effing hilarious! Here the crowd’s cheering on these two guys who are fighting, yet I’m reading it like they are cheering them on for dancing together on ice. Confused, I turn to my step-dad and said, “why the heck are they dancing?”

        Really, people are surprised that I am not into hockey, but yeah, the older I get, the more I discover more people like me. I say, “Come into the light my friends…” lol

  4. American Football teams did the same sort of thing back in the 80s. I remember a rather atrocious one by the Chicago Bears the year they won the Super Bowl when they had The Fridge. I will watch some of the World Cup but like most Americans, I am put off by a sport where players run around for 90 minutes for a score that ends 1-0. I will be supporting the USA but down deep hope they never win because of the effect it would have in Europe, a bunch of flag flying Yanks coming over to brag how America beat the world at its own game, unbearable. I have always liked that Skinner and Baddiel song, “Football’s Coming Home.”

    1. I think I can dimly remember the Bears song too; I always preferred the Oilers myself, bit of an underdog thing.

      Ha, American sports are always split into quarters and always finish with a score around 98-79. It is funny though that so many people will pay so much to see a game that could well end up 0-0!

  5. World Cup? That’s the corruption fueled sports thing we hear about when we’re bored with the Olympics? My only complaint about it is that, to watch it, I either have to pay a bunch or watch caffeine-fueled Spanish language broadcasts.

    1. Yup that’s the one – more important than water, or oxygen over here. I’d go for the caffeine option but play music loudly over the top.

  6. Everytin’ irie.

    I am really clueless here. All I know about football is that my wife will be watching it, which kinda means by default I’ll end up watching it. Some. Aaannyway.

    405 down, you’re making good time!

    LOVE the piper lego. That is one that I would want to own. If you find a second one in your travels let me know. I’m sure we can arrange a swap.

    1. Just think of it as hockey, but played on grass, with more men, a ball and totally different rules for everything. See? it’s just the same.

      Re. piper, no probs I’ll sort it & I’ll also get around to finally doing the Twisted Sister track this weekend.

      Good time? I’ll have to slow it all down with a box set, or two. Just wait until I look at Fish, I bought every version of everything off ‘Vigil’, each post will be about 4 records virtually – I quite fancy doing ‘Gentleman’s Excuse Me’ I love that one.

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