Memoravilla: It's Villa music to our ears
From books to board games, magazines to newspapers, CDs to top trump cards, he'll be looking at a host of claret and blue collectibles.
This week, he turns the spotlight on the club's appearances on record, cassette and CD - with a musical video thrown in for good measure.
The business of devoting an LP to big football match commentaries became popular during the swinging sixties, and by 1971 Villa featured on album for the first time after facing Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final. Instead of a pop star on the cover, we had Fred Turnbull and goalkeeper John Dunn challenging Tottenham striker Martin Chivers. Unfortunately, Chivers had the final word at Wembley, his two late goals giving Spurs a 2-0 win.
2] Viva The Villa!
Four years later the boys in claret and blue were back down Wembley Way and this time they were on song for a 1-0 victory over Norwich City, courtesy of Ray Graydon's goal after keeper Kevin Keelan had saved his penalty. Fittingly, Graydon was featured on the cover of the "official souvenir album", perched on Jimmy Cumbes's shoulders and proudly holding the cup.
3] Claret & Blue
Albums may have dominated by the 1990s but Villa broke into the singles market with this pop song which was labelled "the official club anthem 1993-93" although it's not to be confused with traditional The Bells Are Ringing. A new pop song, it was sung by David James, with members of the Villa squad providing backing vocals. Indeed, the players featured on the front cover, with David having to settle for a photo on the back, despite being the lead singer.
4] Ain't No Bluff
The Villa Squad were back in the recording studio early in 1994, this time in their own right. They had reached the League Cup final with a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Tranmere Rovers, and marked the occasion with a rap song called Ain't No Bluff. Dalian Atkinson was prominent on this one, which was written by Andrew Griffiths and Craig Jones.
5] Come On You Villa
Both Claret & Blue and Ain't No Bluff were included on this 1996 CD compilation of 20 Villa songs. Some of the offerings are a delight, other make you cringe but it was 100 per cent Villa - and event included two compositions which stood up in their own right. Nigel Kennedy provided I Believe in God, a jazz instrumental tribute to Paul McGarth, while Stephen Duffy's Holte End Hotel is arguably the most thoughtful and poignant Villa song ever recorded.
The song Volare was made famous by Dean Martin but Villa's own crooner Dave Chance came up with his own take on the standard when he rewrote the lyrics as a tribute to Italian ace Benito Carbone. When you consider Carbone was only with us for a matter of months on a short-term contract, that's quite an accolade. Then again, he produced some magical moments in claret and blue. "When the ball hits the back of the net, Benito he ain't finished yet..."
7] Hi-Ho Aston Villa
Numerous football songs have been influenced by rock music. Jeff Beck's enduring Sixties hit Hi-Ho Silver Lining resurfaced in the early 1990s when it was recorded by Villa fan Dave Chance and issued on cassette under the title Hi-Ho Aston Villa. Dave was far more comfortable with this than he was at the final home match of the 1994-95 season, when he was asked to mark the end of the Holte End terrace by singing You'll Never walk Alone before kick-off. We were playing Liverpool that day!
8] Ginola - Il Est Magnifique
This obviously isn't a Villa song, although it was released in 2000, the year David Ginola joined us from Tottenham Hotspur. It was recorded as a tribute to the French star by Julian Marc Stringle, who first saw Ginola in action as a young player in the south of France, long before he paraded his talents in the Premier League. We didn't see the best of Dave in claret and blue but this CD highlights what a megastar he was.
9] The Pain & The Glory
It can be so effective when football action is accompanied by music, and that was the aim of this project in 1995. The Pain & The Glory video was sub-titled "a football and music spectacular" comprising action from Villa action over the previous 40 years against a background of songs from the likes of Tears for Fears, East 17 and The Troggs.
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