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TRIVIA: The Biggest Hits for Winning an Election Campaign!

How do you win power through music? These artists all tried to…

by Christopher Smith

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.

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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