How do you win power through music? These artists all tried to…
If you want to win an election and become Supreme Overlord, you first need a catchy, election-winning song. But which one?
Well in 1983, British singer Vince Hill (b.1934) performed the song “Maggie For Me”, and ‘ode’ to Margaret Thatcher as she went into that year’s general election. Whilst the Conservative party went on to win an overwhelming parliamentary majority of 144 seats, the single barely dented the pop charts. Perhaps people just couldn’t relate popular music to Britain’s most divisive leader.
In 1997 the British Labour party were aching to win power after eighteen years in the shadows and used pop-dance group D:Ream‘s 1994 chart topper “Things Can Only Get Better” as their campaign message. It certainly worked, as the party under Tony Blair regained power with a colossal majority of 179 seats and the song went back into the charts for a third time, reaching No.19 on this occasion and netting the band more pocket money than they knew what to do with!
In 2000 for his bid to become US President, George W. Bush used Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” for his campaign events. But after a strongly worded letter from Petty’s publisher, he withdrew use of it, only to find that Petty performed “I Won’t Back Down” live at his opponent Al Gore’s next event! Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 over Bush, but with five more electoral colleges won than the outgoing Vice President, it was George Bush who won the keys to the White House.
Spare a thought, however, for Mr Bean. He wanted to be elected in 1992 and hooked up with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson for the song “I Want To Be Elected”, a cover of Alice Cooper’s 1972 UK No.4 hit. The British electorate didn’t make him Prime Minister. Instead the Conservative party won a fourth historic victory and Mr Bean went back to doing what he does best, making everyone laugh. The song did reach No.9 on the UK singles chart and raised lots of money for that year’s Comic Relief campaign.