Album Reviews

Come On England – Various

(gut) UK release date: 14 June 2004

I deliberately put off this review until Monday night’s result against Croatia had been confirmed. Had the result gone the other way I doubt anyone would be in the mood for 22 footy anthems. As it happens, football fever continues to overshadow that little event taking place in Wimbledon.

Come On England is surprisingly varied, but gets off to a bit of an indifferent start (a bit like the national team) with the frankly horrendous 4-4-2 and talkSPORT song of the same name. Murdering the Dexy’s Come On Eileen, while at the same time bringing back memories of Glen Hoddle’s faith healer is a definite own goal. The fact that this track resurfaces in two other guises later in the album is a little bit foolish.

As football anthems go The Farm‘s All Together Now is more like it. Not the most inspiring of tracks but it is one of those hairs on the back of your neck moments. Although that might just be me. Of course Fat Les‘ classic Vin-da-loo puts the other anthems on this album to shame. Comedy at its best, senseless lyrics and flashbacks to The Verve in the video. Completing the actual football songs (other than The England Supporters Band’s Great Escape) is Bell and Spurling‘s insane Living For Football. Hopefully they realise that their song is terrible, but it’s worth the listen for pure comedy value.

Collapsed Lung‘s Eat My Goal just had to be on this album, I’d almost forgotten how brilliant the music on the track is. I had, however, forgotten just how bad the rapping was – “don’t ask me ‘cos me no know”, Mr Mathers eat your heart out. Or someone’s goal, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

As well as including Tom Harks by The Piranhas, the compilers of Come On England decided to throw in Pigbag‘s Papa’s Got A Brand New. Basically a reworking of The Piranhas track but with more of a ska feel. Why either version has a place here is beyond me, the track is renowned for being played following goals at small town tin pot clubs. It’s certainly not international standard.

As far as ‘proper’ songs go, Come On England has it sorted with Oasis‘ Roll With It and Fatboy Slim‘s Right Here Right Now adding a touch of class to the album. Unfortunately there are a few tracks which, by my reckoning, are completely unrelated to football with Aswad’s Shine being exhibit A. That’s one for the dubious songs committee to figure out I feel.

In terms of variety Come On England can’t be faulted, but in general it’s more Gary Neville than Wayne Rooney. On the whole average with the odd touch of class thrown in. The major absence is of course Three Lions – the football anthem. I’m guessing that’s something to do with contracts and shady agents, or something like that.

Only buy this if you’re a proper football fan – it’ll be a good album to throw on every two years when as one the nation expects something special. Maybe it’ll be this year, who knows? One thing’s for sure though, and that’s that Come On England is a damn site less intrusive than those car flags!

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Come On England – Various