Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Anthem Challenge slogs on

I mentioned on the weekend that I'd had the flu. What I didn't say was how I spent some of my sick time on Saturday night, slumped in front of the television.

Unfortunately, with hockey being played in Europe, there were no night games, and CBC instead went with an hour of programming dedicated to the Hockey Anthem Challenge.

Hold onto your hats because the five semifinalists have been revealed.

If you must, you can listen to the entrants, but that's really not necessary. The only one halfway worthwhile seems to be No. 5 — although that could have been my meds and love of bagpipes coalescing.

Most of them sound the same. Most are horrific attempts to recreate a different version of the former anthem, which, as we all know, is now TSN's for the using (abusing?).

There are a lot of horns involved. And Bob Rock. He worked with Metallica.

That'll come in handy. (Although I haven't heard their entry yet.)

Voting's currently underway to determine the two finalists, although I'm sure you already had that marked on the calendar. You probably also knew that the finalists will be revealed Thursday night during the HNIC doubleheaders, followed by another round of voting, followed by the final revelation of the winner on Saturday's broadcast.

A hundred grand well spent, I'm sure.



At 4:53 a.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like No. 3.

No. 5 is okay too if you get rid of the bagpipes.

At 8:56 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger "Steve Smith" said...

...and add in some cats, babies, and gunshots.

At 8:58 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Justin said...

When you said "hockey anthem," I thought of national anthem singers, not HNIC theme candidates, and I was going to say that the contest should start and end with Lyndon Slewidge up in Ottawa.

At 10:56 a.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like 5 as well. I think its the only one that is catchy enough to stick in your head, like the original theme does. An anthem has to have that memorable aspect to it, and not be a generic orchestral fanfare.

On a separate note, I've come to absolutely hate the Bell commercial they make you watch before each anthem. What's with the "er" stuff anyway? It makes no sense.

At 11:05 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

They all sound the same.. and remind me of the quantum leap theme


At 11:14 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger J.P. Kurzitza said...

Just wondering why CBC assumes that the demographic for viewing hockey is somewhere between 65-dead.

And why do all the "top 5" anthems seem to conger up memories of '70's detective or coroner TV shows? Just another example of CBC's incompetence.

I like none of them. If they want a jingle that is similar to the original, maybe they should have kept it.

At 11:28 a.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree number 5 is the best, only beause its different. The others are just a rip off of the old song. Number 5 should get it if its between these few.

At 11:33 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Steve Patterson said...

this was actually a good idea by the cbc, in that it deflects blame from them when they pick a crappy new theme song by blaming it on some random person. everybody was going to complain big time no matter what they came up with, so they might as well be able to pass the buck to somebody else.

they'll give the theme song one year and replace it with something else. as for me, i don't know why they just don't use stompin' tom conner's hockey game song for the intro. when asked, even tom was surprised the cbc didn't ask him to use it.

At 11:33 a.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the Anthem Challenge turned out to be significantly less than the train wreck it was looking to be. The whole idea started out as a rather ridiculous bargaining bluff, after all, until those bastards from TSN came along.

I like the bag pipes in #5, and it's the only melody I can recall from memory, but after listening to it again it gets really cheesy by the middle of the song. #4 is the best overall and the most professional sounding, but it starts off too slow and the recording sounds too muddy.

It's a toss up between 3, 4, and 5, but I wouldn't give any of them more than a 6 out of 10. With some more work in the studio one of them could get up to an 8 or 9 I'm sure. Vote for the one with the most potential.

At 11:34 a.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anshu -- THANK YOU. I thought I was the only one confused by Bell's "er" campaign. It doesn't seem to make any sense. But it does have people talking, I guess....which is perhaps the point.

Anyone have any ideas on what "er" means?

At 11:35 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Steve Patterson said...

as a sidenote, there was an article about one of the finalists today in a local vancouver paper. he said that the response he's received, as well as the other four participants, has been overwhelmingly negative and at times visceral. i actually feel bad for the winner because the feedback they're gonna get after that first saturday night is going to be brutal, no matter how good or bad it is, because it's not the HNIC theme.

At 11:38 a.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger W.R. Little said...

shoulda just bought the old theme. foolish. they could have secured a piece of history. good to know our tax dollars are being used properly.

At 12:17 p.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Shane Giroux said...

Yep, #5 all the way. The bagpipes at the start might put some people off - not me! - but once it kicks in, it's the only one that pumps you up a bit.

I can't even remember the tunes of the others but I recall that #4 felt like a local news intro.

At 12:49 p.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Steve Patterson. Replacing this song is like replacing a legendary player. You want to be the song that replaces the song that replaced the legendary theme. Good, bad or indifferent, most probably won't give this years song a chance to grow on them.

Having said that, I'd vote for the bagpipes, but Americans are probably ineligible to vote.

At 12:53 p.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello out there
We're on the air
It's hockey night tonight!

At 1:05 p.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

{digression}My guess on Bell and "er" is that some bright ad writer suggested a theme: smarter, brighter, better, faster, etc.

Then some moron add exec said "Hey, the word 'anywhere' has an 'er' in it too!" and the whole thing lost any coherence and just looks stupid.


At 1:32 p.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are all really awful. I can't believe CBC was so stupid as to let the original song go.

At 3:09 p.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Chiba Chiba Y'all said...

My last name is Millar, with an 'ar'. The new bell campaign taunts me day in and day out, every bus driving by reminding me of some inept grocery store or video store hack refusing to listen:

"Last names 'Millar', with an 'a' 'r'."
"Soooo, M 'A' ll 'er"
"No no, M 'I' ll 'A' r"
"oh, sorry sorry, m i l l 'AE' r"
"No god damn it"

Some days I feel like walking around with a sharpie, hitting every e in sight. Take that Bell. AR. Yeah. That's bettar. Losar's.

At 3:42 p.m., October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wade little said:
>> shoulda just bought the old theme. foolish. they could have secured a piece of history. good to know our tax dollars are being used properly.<<
So, you'd prefer they spent $5 million? (like CTV did) Give your head a shake. Not to mention HNIC turns a profit for CBC, so calling the $100,000 prize money "tax payer money" is a bit of a stretch.

Disturbing to hear the composers that entered the contest have received such negative feedback.

Back on topic, #5 is easily the best of the bunch. Like others have mentioned, it's the only one that sticks in your head. The other four are practically interchangeable.

At 8:04 p.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Doogie2K said...

Seems like even without Bob Rock, things just aren't going that well for Metallica these days.

At 5:36 p.m., October 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't "get" the big deal around #5. None of them are good; all of them are too complicated and over-worked. Nothing approaches the beautiful simplicity of "Dun-da-dun-da-dun!"

I'd like #2 except it came from a 13-year-old twerp and sounds too much like a gameshow. Maybe #1 or #3. #4 and #5 are just too boring.


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