Celebrating music's relationship with the beautiful game
The Music Man
Leading sportswriter Richard Williams once analysed Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka’s styles of play in terms relating to classical music.
According to Williams, Kaka is like a C&W twang on a mouth iron, while Ronaldo is a whopping funk riff on slap bass played by a strung-out geezer in a ‘fro and stack heels… oh alright, that wasn’t the point he was making.
Seems Kaka was “allegro molto vivace, with a pronounced fondness for bursts of staccato phrasing via those quick-stepping feet,” while Kaka “plays at a permanent andante cantabile”. No, we’ve no idea either.
Still, it got us thinking. Which bands really speak 'Premier League football' to us?
Now, unlike Mr Williams – who at Melody Maker once accidentally mistook an EMI engineer’s test pressing for a John Lennon album and reviewed it in glowing terms – we’re simple folk when it comes to tunes, so there’ll be no mentions of glissandos, diminuendos or minimalist compositions here. Well, only one.
ARSENAL: AirThis French synth combo are classy, ephemeral and aesthetically pleasing – though the melodies are often lightweight, noodle unnecessarily, and rarely culminate in a satisfying conclusion. (Speaking of music, the crowd at the Emirates are music buffs to a man, often raising the roof with their rousing renditions of John Cage’s 4’33".)
ASTON VILLA: PrincePrince enjoyed spectacular success in the early-'80s before going steadily – some would say spectacularly – downhill. He’s enjoyed a couple of minor successes since, but most of the time people simply shake their heads and wonder what the hell happened to a once-great institution. (Coincidentally, former chairman Doug Ellis is rumoured to do a cracking karaoke version of Sexy Motherf*cker.)"Come here baby, you sexy..."
BLACKBURN: RadioheadThe Oxford miserablists enjoyed phenomenal sales in the mid-'90s. They looked set fair for a long period of dominance, but threw it away big-style with a series of amazingly wilful career decisions. Replacing the majestic guitar swirl of The Bends with the piss-in-a-puddle drums of Amnesiac is one thing… but Kenny Dalglish for Ray Harford, Brian Kidd and Paul Ince?
BOLTON: Snow PatrolA bunch of professional chaps who always turn up on time and get the job done with minimum fuss. Problem is, nobody remembers an effing thing they ever do. Or know what any of them look like.
CHELSEA: ColdplayImmensely successful – yet equally unpopular. Nobody you’ll ever meet actually admits to liking this lot – perhaps because there’s such a ridiculous amount of money thrown at the production, and what’s produced is turgid rubbish.
EVERTON: The BeatlesA Merseyside outfit whose toppermost days were in the 1960s. They’ve still got a big reputation, but it doesn’t take a genius to spot that only 50 percent of their members have any discernable talent.
FULHAM: The BanglesThey work-for-an-E-gyp-tian.
HULL CITY: ElbowPhenomenally underachieving northerners suddenly hit the big time and get the ‘overnight success’ they’ve worked decades to achieve, to widespread hair-ruffling delight. But it’ll be interesting to see how they follow it up…
LIVERPOOL: David HasselhoffTo the human eye these two institutions appear so identical they suggest a single hybrid. The Hofferpool, if you will. Both enjoyed glory days in the ’80s when they bossed Europe with some of the finest perms the world had ever seen. Both have huge followings in Germany. And both emerged from the doldrums in the Noughties to score unexpected hits as varied as Jump In My Car and winning the Champions League.
The Hoff, complete with all-conquering hairdo
MANCHESTER CITY: OasisYes, it seems far too obvious. But examine the evidence – they’re wealthier than they’ve ever been, but are past their best, fail dismally in their goal to recreate the heady days of the 1960s, and are prone to occasional bursts of extreme violence.
MANCHESTER UNITED: Thelonious MonkThe legendary jazz pianist pressed keys which should never have worked together in a million years, but somehow did. Fergie meanwhile cobbled together a winning side with a midfield containing the likes of John O’Shea and Darren Fletcher. Mmm, nice!
MIDDLESBROUGH: The Magic NumbersCuddly, wholesome kids who no one really minds but who seem inexorably headed for the dumper.
NEWCASTLE: The Grateful DeadBlessed with an unbelievable number of rabid fans who can see no wrong in their heroes whatsoever. Everyone else looks on in total bemusement.
PORTSMOUTH: Massive AttackPeter Crouch gags are great, aren’t they?
STOKE: Motley CrueLike ’em or loathe ’em, you can’t deny the formula works. May be prone to the odd bout of in-fighting but you wouldn’t want to get into an argument with their army of loyal, noisy fans.
SUNDERLAND: The Arcade FireThe Canadian hipsters first hit the big time a couple of years ago, and enjoyed much critical success with their initial effort. But despite good early notices, in reality their second effort saw them merely treading water, and nobody’s talking about them much any more. Let’s face facts, their time is already running out.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: U2Big on bluster and not half as important as they think they are.
WEST BROM: The SmithsSo many of The Smiths’ lyrics speak directly to Baggies fans. “I know it’s over.” “Heaven knows I’m miserable now.” "Sing me to sleep / I don’t want to wake up any more." “Panic.” “Until it’s mathematically impossible to stay up / We’ll carry on giving it our all.” Actually, we’re not sure if that last one was one of Morrissey’s or not; we’ll have to check.
Mowbray: "Heaven knows etc..."
WEST HAM UNITED: Chas ’n’ DaveYes, we know Chas, Dave and the drummer from Chas’n’Dave did all the FA Cup final songs for Spurs. But you couldn’t get a more typical Sound of East London if you strapped Lee Bowyer’s head to the axle of his Baby Bentley and went wheel-spinning around Dagenham for a couple of hours.
WIGAN: Fatboy SlimA chancer who made his name in the ’80s and now pieces together loads of different bits of old tat to make something which is passable at best.
Wednesday: How football became the new rock'n'rollYesterday: When footballers become pop stars
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Stoke = Motley Crue?! Surely not. As a fan of both The Potters and HM I think there's only one band that Stoke compare with. Loud, direct, "ugly", derided and loved in equal measure - It's obvious isn't it?
We Are the Motörhead of Football!
It's easy to write a football song – Lord knows, enough chancers have done it, usually badly. But
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