Pre-American Idiot Green Day seems like an odd choice for NBA fans, but, hey, they can't play Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" back-to-back-to-back.
So, yeah, "Brain Stew" is fodder for American sports arenas these days. That's how bad things have gotten. The current cannon of arena songs is full of totally overplayed, sometimes totally irrelevant or downright inappropriate songs.
Since we are in the thrush of sports right now -- NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA football and the MLB just wrapping up -- I present to you the ten most overplayed sports arena songs.
10. "Chelsea Dagger" - The Fratellis (2006)
This one is a regional specialty. The seminal, iPod commercial-ed little ditty from Glaswegian rockers The Fratellis gets played every time the Arizona Cardinals score a touchdown out at University of Phoenix Stadium. I'm no expert, but the 53-year-old bricklayer who drives in from Kingman for every home game probably doesn't want to hear Scottish indie rock when Larry Fitzgerald catches a 38-yard bomb from whomever is starting that week for the Cardinals. Alas, "Chelsea Dagger" is joyously blasted through the speakers. Go figure.
9. "Blitzkreig Bop" - The Ramones (1976)
The debut single from iconic New York punk rockers The Ramones suffers from having an affirmative "hey, ho, let's go" lyric that's supposed to whip crowds into a frenzy, I suppose. Like some of the other bands on this list, I don't think Joey and Co. figured their first ever single would turn into an anthem for sports arenas all across the United States.
8. "Pump Up The Jam" - Technotronic (1989)
The song off the Space Jam soundtrack that implores you to "pump up the jam, pump it up?" It's Belgian new beat/acid house music. Known worldwide as the first house music song to break into the mainstream, "Pump Up The Jam" came from a collaboration between Technotronic's Jo Bogaert and vocalist Ya Kid K. It remains the only hit for Technotronic, as well as on the playlists of most every stadium DJ in the NBA.
Recording a song with a simple "boom!" in the chorus is a bona fide way to get it played at football stadiums everywhere. Who doesn't love to yell boom? "Headstrong," on the other hand, doesn't have something fun to yell, yet it is still played at most NFL games, I suppose because of it's boastful, "take you on" nature. Both of these arena rock powerhouses emerged in 2002, making the year a fruitful bounty for California nu metal.
6. "Sirius" - Alan Parsons Project (1982)
"Aaaaand now..." I'm sure you've heard "Sirius" it a million times, even if you're not a Chicago Bulls fan. What you probably didn't know was the song itself was from the prog rock collaboration between Brits Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons so aptly named the Alan Parsons Project. "Sirius" kicks off the band's 1982 album Eye in the Sky, not to mention every Chicago Bulls home game from about 1992 through 1998.
5. "Thunderstruck" - AC/DC (1990)
While no one is probably going to go changing their name to Truck Thunders anytime soon, "Thunderstruck" remains lodged in the minds of NBA and NFL fans. It's a song built from a guitar riff, which is fitting because that opening riff -- combined with that symbolic grunt/chant -- is the reason any stadium or arena in America plays the song. It is debated wether the song was inspired by a plane lead guitarist Angus Young was aboard that was truck by lightning or if the song was inspired by a M1A1 tank. One aspect about the song is not up for debate -- its rampant usage in American sports.
4. "Mony Mony" - Billy Idol (1987)
Your favorite basketball team just hit a three-pointer to bump their lead to ten points. The opposing team's coach takes a well-needed timeout. Momentum is on your side -- better bust out the "Mony Mony." This particular song -- a cover of the 1968 Tommy James and the Shondells classic -- has been used to utter exhaustion, as is the case for the remaining songs on this list. I don't know if Idol's version is any better, but it sure as hell isn't going anywhere. "Yeah?" Yeah, it's not going anywhere. "Yeah?" Yeah, I just said...oh, dammit.
3. "Welcome To The Jungle" - Guns N' Roses (1987)
If you thought 2002 was a banner year for arena anthems, then think again -- 1987 is king of the list. First "Mony Mony" and now the insufferable "Welcome to the Jungle." The song is always played before kickoff, tipoff, face-off -- whatever, you name it. It's remarkable to think "Jungle" came off of GNR's debut album Appetite For Destruction, for that band to come out of the gates with guns, ahem, blazing like that. "Welcome to the Jungle" has been used extensively in sports arenas since it was released some 23 years ago, and its safe to say that there will never be another song quite like it. And to think, all it took was that one simple guitar riff...
2. "Rock and Roll Part 2" - Gary Glitter (1972)
Look at Gary Glitter. Just look at him. Even a child pornography possession conviction in 2000 couldn't keep this song out of popular sporting events. No -- the NFL simply got another band to cover the song so they could go about playing it without the worry of Glitter's personal life on their collective minds. "Rock and Roll Part 2" -- also known as "The Hey Song" -- has been around for decades now, acting as the quintessential rock anthem for any and all sporting events. I don't know if Glitter himself knew what he was getting into back in 1972 when he recorded the song, but who knew an aging, British glam rocker would come to write one of the most overplayed sports anthems of all time?
1. "Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
What was that about aging British rockers? As much as "Rock and Roll Part 2" should be in the top spot, Osbourne's "Crazy Train" has since overtaken the spot as the most overplayed sports arena song. Every stadium/arena plays this song multiple times per game. "Crazy Train" is really all about the guitar chord, played by the late, great Randy Rhoads. The song has a heavy message at its core, none of which really matters to sports fans. A song such as "Crazy Train" -- with its killer guitar intro and defiant message -- makes for a perfect sports arena anthem, right? That subtle juxtaposition of "Crazy Train" amongst sports arenas worldwide -- not to mention it has been overplayed to the point of exhaustion -- makes it the top spot on this list of overplayed sports arena songs.
Three out of the ten entries (four out of eleven artists) on this list are American artists. That just goes to show you that a sports anthem is going to be a sports anthem, regardless of the country of origin/genre of music/artist's sordid personal life.
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