(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World?

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"(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World?"
Single by England United
Released 1 June 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Writer(s) Ian McCulloch

"(How Does it Feel to Be) on Top of the World?" was the "official song of the England national football team" for the 1998 World Cup. It was credited to "England United", a supergroup consisting of Echo and the Bunnymen, Space, the Spice Girls and Ocean Colour Scene—though the only member of the last group to feature was their lead vocalist Simon Fowler. This was also the final song that feature Geri Halliwell's vocals with the Spice Girls. It was overshadowed however by "Three Lions 98" and "Vindaloo". It was released on 2 CD single formats on the same day, the first featuring the standard versions of the song, including an instrumental. The second featuring remixes by Perfecto and an alternative instrumental version. The sleeve designs were of the white home kit (CD1) and the away red kit (CD2). An official music video was also released in the UK.


Although the song was a substantial chart hit in the UK, peaking at #9, critical reception to the song was largely negative. Chris Evans was quoted as saying: "It is a good pop song, but you can't sing it on the terraces. You can't really get your teeth into the lyrics."[1] Charlie Porter in The Times said that it was "a snivelling apology for an official song" that "washes over you".[2] Matthew Wright, writing in The Daily Mirror quoted footballers Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand describing it as "bollocks" and "rubbish" respectively.[3]

In 2006 Guardian readers voted it the second worst England football song ever, after 1982's "This Time (We'll Get It Right)".[4]

BBC reporter Mark Savage describes the song as "clumsy and boring". When it was played at Wembley Stadium, it was booed by fans.[5]

Live performances[edit]

The song was first performed on TFI Friday when the Spice Girls were the special guest stars. It was also performed on Top of the Pops on 21 May 1998, and broadcast on 5 June 1998.


  1. ^ Two songs for fans who get to France Author(s):Alan Hamilton and Russell Kempson Source:The Times (London, England). (23 Apr. 1998): Regional News: p1
  2. ^ Singled out; Music Author(s):Charlie Porter Source:The Times (London, England). (30 May 1998): News: p12
  3. ^ Stars red-card World Cup song Author(s): Matthew Wright Source: The Mirror (London, England). (25 Apr. 1998): News: p15.
  4. ^ Football anthems: Fans reveal 24 years of hurt by labelling England's 1982 World Cup song the worst ever: Mis-hits and screamers
  5. ^ Mark Savage (24 July 2012). "Why are sport songs so hard to get right?". BBC. Retrieved 6 August 2012.