In Partnership with BetStars 100M Challenge
With the World Cup right around the corner, it’s a pretty safe bet that the majority of England is being swept up in a euphoria of excitement, hope and expectation.
Yup, it’s that time again when we hope against hope that the England team will win their first major trophy since 1966 – even though we should know better – and we’re given a string of World Cup anthems to toil through.
These can be hit or miss, so with the pressure of a knock-out stage penalty shoot-out hanging on their shoulders, what category does this year’s joint effort by cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson have teamed up with BetStars and thrown their combined performing abilities into the ring.
Check out Rasputin Rebooted here:
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World Cup anthems, unlike penalties, come down to a matter of taste. Admittedly all football songs carry a level of cheese to them – and yes that includes You’ll Never Walk Alone – but I digress, club and country bias aside, songs aimed at football fans are tricky.
They need to feel organic and appropriate to be sung in the terraces, pubs and streets. Think about the classics like Vindaloo, World in Motion and Three Lions – I just want the clocks to rewind back to Euro 96, to be honest.
Although it’s an unofficial song, Flintoff, Wilson are hoping that their cover of Boney M’s Rasputin will do just enough to inspire Gareth Southgate’s men to at least the semi-finals, where we can go out on penalties, probably to the Germans, and cry like we did in 1996 at Wembley in the Euros and in Turin at Italia 90.
Freddie and Ricky’s updated version of the 1978 hit will be performed by The Stars House Band with the title Rasputin Rebooted. The modern re-working will feature updated lyrics which praise England’s star striker Harry Kane, rather than the song’s original namesake Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, the Russian mystic who was renowned for his ability to predict the future.
If you think you’re also fairly skilled at foretelling the future and fancy winning up to £100,000,000 million, BetStars are currently running the competition for you. If you can correctly predict all the results of the World Cup – not the scores, just the outcomes – you could be in with a chance of winning all or a share of the prize pot. Visit the BetStars website here to enter your predictions.*
In a press statement about the song, Freddie Flintoff spoke of his surprise:
When I heard that England had no official anthem, I told the BetStars guys that I was gonna get a band together to create a song. Naturally they bet that I couldn’t get a star big enough and talented enough to perform the song, but that they’d back the production if I could. That’s when I rang Ricky.
The Kaiser Chiefs singer, and judge on The Voice, christened his band after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs FC. It was the first club of former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe.
Clearly no stranger to having his songs sung in stadiums across the world, Ricky said:
Rasputin has such a great chorus. The test for any song is imagining a group of football fans singing it on the terraces. It worked with Ruby, Ruby, Ruby and now it’s working with Ra Ra Rasputin. And it’s another R: Riot, Ruby, Rasputin.
It’s a perfect choice for an England 2018 anthem. It’s Russian, it’s got all the noises, and all the dances – the only dodgy thing is I’m in it. There’s been some cracking World Cup songs in the past and it would be nice to think that the fans will get behind this one and sing it in the stands over in Russia.
If they don’t, Ricky and I will just have to fly over there and get it going on the terraces ourselves.
Here’s hoping it inspires Southgate’s Lions to a long-awaited second World Cup trophy.