Song 2

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This article is about the 1997 rock song. For the 1926 piano piece, see The Tempest (Sibelius).
"Song 2"
Single by Blur
from the album Blur
Released 7 April 1997 (1997-04-07)
Format 7" vinyl, CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Alternative rock, grunge
Length 2:02
Label Food
Producer(s) Stephen Street
Blur singles chronology
"Beetlebum"
(1997)
"Song 2"
(1997)
"On Your Own"
(1997)

Music sample
Sample of "Song 2" from Blur. Inspired by lo-fi and American indie rock, "Song 2' was a hit in the US.
Music video
"Song 2" on YouTube

"Song 2" is a song by English alternative rock band Blur, the second track from their 1997 eponymous fifth studio album. The hook features Damon Albarn yelling "woo-hoo!" as the distorted bass comes in. Released in April 1997, "Song 2" reached number two in the UK Singles Chart,[1] number four on the Australian ARIA Charts,[2] and number six on US Billboard Alternative Songs, (previously called Billboard Modern Rock Tracks).[3]

At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, "Song 2" was nominated for Best Group Video, and Best Alternative Video.[4] At the 1998 Brit Awards the song was nominated for Best British Single, and Best British Video.[5] In December 1998, BBC Radio 1 listeners voted "Song 2" the 15th Best Track Ever.[6] In October 2011, NME placed it at number 79 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[7]

The track was different from all other songs by Blur as it was intended to be a parody of American rock music of the same period, specifically grunge.

Background[edit]

The track was originally nicknamed "Song 2" as a working title, but the name stuck.[8] According to producer Stephen Street in an interview with HitQuarters, the song was recorded using RADAR audio recording equipment.[9]

Reception[edit]

In the UK, "Song 2" built upon the success of Blur's chart-topping single "Beetlebum" to reach number two in the charts.[1] It was also the band's biggest hit in the US at number 55 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart, it also reached number 6 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart staying on the chart for 26 weeks and number 25 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[10] This is the band's only crossover hit to date crossing over to Top 40 radio. It also placed #2 on Triple J's Hottest 100 for 1997 in Australia. Though it is atypical of Blur's previous trademark style, in America it is the song most closely associated with the band. The song's intro has been called Graham Coxon's "finest moment".[11]

Other uses[edit]

The song became popular in the UK and overseas upon its release in 1997, and featured on college and modern rock radio stations in the US.[12] It has been licensed worldwide on numerous occasions. Its first appearance came as the title music for the hit video game FIFA: Road to World Cup 98. It has been used in numerous advertisements, including commercials for the Pentium II and Nissan Sentra and television spots for the film Starship Troopers,[12] and it is often heard in association football, ice hockey, and baseball stadiums when goals or runs are scored, or at the end of a winning game for the home team. The song was featured in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels during a Drew Barrymore fight scene.[citation needed] In 2009, it was featured in a TV commercial for Michelob Ultra. The song also plays in the background of the "Star" segment of the short film series The Hire.[citation needed]

The American military allegedly requested to use the track at the launch of a new stealth bomber,[7] but the band refused to allow this, as Albarn is an anti-war campaigner.[7][13] The song is featured on the soundtrack to the videogames Rocksmith, Guitar Hero 5, Lego Rock Band, Madden NFL 11 and Saints Row 4. The song was featured briefly in the episode "Malled" of the animated series Daria.[14] The song is also used in the twelfth episode of the tenth season of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, entitled "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday". It was played when Homer and the rest of the people from Springfield were running around Pro Player Stadium after Dolly Parton released them from a cell during the Super Bowl.[12] The song is currently being used at Red Bull Arena whenever local team New York Red Bulls scores a goal. It is usually played after the home team scores a touchdown or comes up with a defensive stop. It is also used by British UFC fighter Michael Bisping as his entrance song. The song was used in the teaser trailer for Hop, where the film's main character E.B plays the song on a red drumset. The song is also heard in the Doctor Who spin-off television series Torchwood in the episode "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". The song appears in the South Park episode entitled "Stanley's Cup", during the pee wee hockey game. The song appeared in the Parks and Recreation episode "Prom".

An abbreviated remix of the song is played at AT&T Park, accompanied with the sounding of the in-park foghorns, every time the San Francisco Giants win a home game, followed by I Left My Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett. The Wilmington Blue Rocks (baseball, US), a minor league baseball team, use this song every time they score a run at home; followed up with the character Mr. Celery coming out to do a dance. St Pauli, a Hamburg based football team play the song after every goal scored at their home stadium. The St. Louis Blues, Hershey Bears (AHL), and the New Jersey Devils (hockey, US) and the Vancouver Giants (hockey, CAN) use this song at the end of a winning home game (2010). In the NHL, the song was very synonymous with the Atlanta Thrashers whenever they scored a goal at Philips Arena. However, when they moved to Winnipeg to become the Winnipeg Jets, they dropped the song and used "Hell Yeah" by Rev Theory instead. Currently, the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey, US) and the Adler Mannheim (hockey, GER) also use this song when a goal is scored. The Ottawa Senators (hockey, Canada) used Song 2 as their goal song in the Stanley Cup playoffs during the late 1990s and early 2000s, with "Woo Hoo" (from the song's chorus) written on towels handed out to fans to be waved after a goal. It was also used by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2011 NFL playoffs whenever a touchdown was scored. An edited version of Song 2 featuring Fred Flintstone's trademark "Yabba Dabba Doo!" is played when French football team Lille OSC score a goal.[15]

More recently, "Song 2" was used as part of the London 2011 New Year's Eve fireworks display.[16] It appeared in shortened form mixed alongside various other landmark British tracks including "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles, "We Will Rock You" by Queen, and "London Calling" by The Clash.[16]

Big Time Rush sampled the song in their single, Windows Down.

In 2004 New Zealand ISP Xtra used this song as part of an advertising campaign with the boy playing the soldier game on dial-up internet, promoting the benefits of broadband Internet. That year, the song was played during the closing ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympics.

Cover versions[edit]

Music video[edit]

The music video for this song was directed by Sophie Muller, and it features the band playing in a small, secluded room with loud amplifiers behind them. During the choruses, the volume of the song sends the band members crashing against the walls and ground. This video bears striking resemblances to Blur's video for "Popscene".

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree. All lyrics composed by Albarn.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Position
Australia (ARIA)[20] 4
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[21] 8
Canada Alternative 30 (RPM) 1
Ireland (IRMA) 10
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 73
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[23] 28
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[24] 2
US Hot 100 Airplay[25] 55
US Mainstream Rock Tracks[25] 25
US Modern Rock Tracks[25] 6
Chart (2009) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 163[26]
Chart (2012) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[24] 64
Preceded by
"The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative 30 number-one single
2–23 June 1997
Succeeded by
"The End Is the Beginning Is the End" by The Smashing Pumpkins

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  2. ^ "Blur - Song 2 (Song)". Australian Charts. Retrieved 19 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Billboard Alternative Songs Billboard.com. Retrieved 9-1-2014
  4. ^ 1997 MTV Video Music Awards Rock On The Net. Retrieved 10 February 2012
  5. ^ The Brits 1998 Brits.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2012
  6. ^ Radio 1 - Best Tracks Ever Rock List.net. Retrieved 10 February 2012
  7. ^ a b c "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years | #79 Blur - Song 2". NME. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Hottest 100 - Of All Time: Song 2. Blur ABC.net. Retrieved 10 February 2012
  9. ^ "Interview With Stephen Street". HitQuarters. 27 Sep 2005. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  10. ^ Blur | AllMusic
  11. ^ Harry Wylie (August 1997).Top Ten Indie Guitarists Total Guitar. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  12. ^ a b c Song 2 at AllMusic Song 2 | AllMusic]
  13. ^ Wilson, Jamie (9 April 2004). "Britpop rebel with a cause says no new nukes". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  14. ^ Soundtrack Daria: Blur - Song 2
  15. ^ Ashdown, John (23 May 2012). "Which team have the strangest goal music?". guardian.co.uk (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "London Eye fireworks mark new year 2011". BBC News. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  17. ^ YouTube.com: Song 2 - Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan
  18. ^ Song 2 - Robbie Williams
  19. ^ Song 2 - AFI
  20. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Blur – Song 2". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blur – Song 2" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Blur – Song 2" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blur – Song 2". Singles Top 60.
  24. ^ a b "BLUR | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  25. ^ a b c "Blur - Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Chart: CLUK Update 13.06.2009 (wk23)". Zobbel. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

External links[edit]