Van Halen’s only Billboard number-one single has topped a poll of the world’s best sporting songs, ahead of the Olympic Games in London.
Music rights body PRS For Music held a vote among its members to mark the London Olympics. The resulting top 20 also includes the Rolling Stones, Hawkwind, Queen, the Beatles, Survivor, Tina Turner and Journey.
PRS boss Guy Fletcher says: “Music plays such a classic role for both the spectator and participant. As a Brit I would have to vote for Spaundau Ballet’s Gold – I think we might get a few of those, fingers crossed.”
Jump, from Van Halen’s sixth album 1984, has a controversial history. Its heavily-featured synth riff alienated singer David Lee Roth, who’s said to have written the lyrics and performed the track under protest. The change in musical direction led to a split between the founder members and Roth’s later departure. Despite that, it remains one of the band’s most popular tracks.
Meanwhile, PRS for Music will stage a Marc Bolan memorial show in London in September. It’s set to include producer Tony Visconti, John’s Children member Andy Ellison, T Rex saxophonist Howie Casey alongside Alvin Stardust, Steve Harley, Glen Matlock and Rick Wakeman, with more to be announced. The backing band at the Shepherds Bush Empire will be official tribute outfit T Rextasy. Find out more.
PRS for Music’s top 20 sporting tracks
1. Jump – Van Halen 2. Start Me Up – Rolling Stones 3. Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson 4. Gold – Spandau Ballet 5. Thriller – Michael Jackson 6. Wake Me Up! – Wham! 7. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA 8. Silver Machine – Hawkwind 9. We Are the Champions – Queen 10. Shine – Take That 11. Tracks of My Tears – Smokey Robinson 12. The Long and Winding Road – Beatles 13. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor 14. Simply the Best – Tina Turner 15. Jump Around – House of Pain 16. Gonna Fly Now – from Rocky 17. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen 18. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey 19. Chariots of Fire Theme 20. We Will Rock You – Queen