Here are two indisputable facts. Fact number one: The World Cup is the greatest sporting event of the modern era, in any era, on this planet, on any planet. The World Cup is the greatest sporting event, period. Got it?
Fact number two: World Cup music sucks. Don’t be fooled by the clickbait on the internet. There isn’t a single state-sponsored World Cup song that doesn’t suck. Anyone and any website that tells you otherwise is merely out to monetize your click.
Let me repeat those two facts, as some ill-informed intern is vying for your click as you read this: The World Cup rules! World cup songs are steaming piles of shit.
So, what’s a sports fan and a music fan to do on the eve of this great event? Make your own playlist. Have you heard of Spotify? Spotify has millions and millions of free tracks (give our take a few factors of ten), some are soccer related, the vast majority of those millions or not.
Now that we’re on the same page, there is but one rule to making your World Cup playlist. It has to be as massive as the event, itself. Check that, there’s a second rule. If you’re an American and you’re playlist doesn’t have the Hulk Hogan theme song and at least one song from a Rocky movie soundtrack, then you deserve Ricky Fuckin Martin and Pitbull. Enjoy you’re shitty World Cup music. The rest of us will rock something like this playlist:
1. Rick Derringer – Living in America, aka the Hulk Hogan theme song. Rule 2
2. Sham 69 – If The Kids Are United Punk songs about unity are soccer songs about unity.
3. Bouncing Souls – Ole Punk songs that borrow from soccer songs are also soccer songs.
4. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It Rock songs that have been co-opted by soccer supporters for their own uses, as “We’re Not Going to Take It” has been used by the Portland Timbers’ Timbers Army are also soccer songs by way of evolution.
5. James Brown – Living in America Rocky music. ‘Nuff said.
6. Blur – Song 2 Remember, there are no rules to a World Cup playlist. Americanized jock jams are fine. Plus, classic jock jams give the non soccer maniac an in to the insanity.
7. De La Soul – The Magic Number Get creative with your playlist. “The Magic Number” has nothing to do with sports or patriotism or being a jackass of a patriot at a bar during a soccer match, but the winning team in a soccer match receives three points and that is a magic number.
8. E.M.F. – Unbelievable I have no fear of jock jams.
9. Black Flag – Louie Louie There is no rule that your jock rock picks can’t be covers. The Black Flag version of “Louie Louie” is superior to the original in every conceivable way.
10. White Stripes – Seven Nation Army Little known fact to most Americans, this jock jam was a jock jam in European stadiums long before Americans caught on to its joys.
11. Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. Ronald Reagan thought it was a patriotic song. Ask any Republican and they’ll tell you Ronald Reagan was the nation’s greatest patriot of the last century. Springsteen is in.
12. The Misfits – Where Eagles Dare Do you know where eagles dare to fly? In the USA, goddaman it.
13. Neil Young – Rockin’ In the Free World Rock ‘N’ Roll? Check. Freedom? Check. Sounds American to me.
14. Thee Headcoatees – Ca Plane Pour Moi This song makes no sense, as a soccer song, as a song song, and that’s okay. This is your World Cup mix and you’re allowed a couple gimmes.
15. The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop Hey Ho Let’s Go is practically a soccer chant. Close enough for our purposes
16. Obnox – Hang on Sloopy For the Ohio soccer fans, a jock jam covered by a Cleveland musician.
17. Salt ‘N’ Pepa – Push It Have you not read the previous comments that jock jam standards, in moderation, are ok?
18. Chumbawumba – Tubthumping I’m serious about that point.
19. The Breeders – Cannonball Cannonball contains the word ball. A heavy shot from outside the box is like a cannonball. It’s a stretch, but it’ll work.
20. Pavement – Cut Your Hair If there’s one thing soccer’s known for, besides awesome and besides corruption, it’s players with long, flowing, wonderful hair. Not all soccer hair is good hair. Google Taribo West or Carlos Valderamma
21. The Replacements – Bastards of Young As perennial underdogs, a US World Cup mix needs an underdog song. Don’t buy the rationale, consider it my second gimme.
22. House of Pain – Jump Around A US World Cup mix also needs House of Pain. And, remember this is supposed to be fun.
23. Pearl Jam – Alive The group stages are tough enough, get to the knockouts and you’re thankful you’re side is still alive after each match.
24. Run D.M.C. – My Adidas Obligatory shout out to the World Cup sponsors. I don’t want FIFA to sick its internet goons on me for an unsanctioned world cup mix.
25. Smashing Pumpkins – Today Every world cup victory feels like the greatest day you have ever lived. Well, until you realize there are more games to play.
26. Oasis – Live Forever And should your side win it all, it’s like living forever.
27. Guided by Voices – Game of Pricks Ha! I knew I could fit a Guided by Voices track in here somehow. Christiano Ronaldo, this one’s for you, you prick.