Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Robbie Williams on World Cup anthem

Robbie Williams and Russell Brand feature on football anthem 3 Lions

Robbie Williams and Russell Brand have been unveiled as stars of the team for a reboot of football anthem 3 Lions - as the track is given an operatic update.

The duo have joined the song's original team of Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds - plus a choir and soprano - to recreate the song for a third time.

The track - to be released on Monday - is often named as the greatest football anthem and previously topped the charts in 1996 and 1998.

It has been revamped ahead of next month's World Cup finals in South Africa, in the absence of an official track.

Williams said he had steered clear of football songs in the past because he thought 3 Lions could not be beaten - so could not resist taking part in the overhaul.

The re-recorded song, under the name The Squad, also sees commentator John Motson join the team.

Producer Trevor Horn masterminded the new version and recorded a full orchestra plus singers from the Official England Supporters Club at Abbey Road Studios.

Instead of the crowd noises of old - and the terrace chant of "It's coming home" - at the start, the song now begins with a classical approach led by soprano Olivia Safe.

And Williams, a keen football fan who is taking part in Soccer Aid next month, said: "I've always been approached to write football songs but have always declined as I thought 3 Lions could never be beaten - so I am really happy to be part of this record.

"I am counting down the days until the start of the World Cup."

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