(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World"
(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World.jpg
Single by England United
Released 1 June 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:43
Songwriter(s) Ian McCulloch
Producer(s) Ian McCulloch

"(How Does it Feel to Be) on Top of the World" is a song by the British supergroup England United – formed by Echo and the Bunnymen, Ocean Colour Scene, Space and the Spice Girls. The song was written by Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch and released as official theme of the England national football team for the 1998 World Cup.[1] According to Official Charts Company the single has sold a total of 94,000 copies.

Background and release[edit]

In 1998 Universal Music Group and the UEFA European Championship called a group of artists to record the official theme of the England national football team for the 1998 World Cup. The supergroup, credited as England United, was formed by the Spice Girls, Echo and the Bunnymen, Space and Ocean Colour Scene.[2] The song was the final single by the Spice Girls released with Geri Halliwell's vocals, until the group's reunion in 2007.[3] It was overshadowed however by "Three Lions 98" and "Vindaloo". It was released on 2 CD single formats on the same day, the first featuring the standard versions of the song, including an instrumental. The second featuring remixes by Perfecto and an alternative instrumental version. The sleeve designs were of the white home kit (CD1) and the away red kit (CD2).


Although the song was a substantial chart hit in the UK, peaking at #9, critical reception to the song was largely negative. Chris Evans was quoted as saying: "It is a good pop song, but you can't sing it on the terraces. You can't really get your teeth into the lyrics."[4] Charlie Porter in The Times said that it was "a snivelling apology for an official song" that "washes over you".[5] Matthew Wright, writing in The Daily Mirror quoted footballers Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand describing it as "bollocks" and "rubbish" respectively.[6] In 2006 Guardian readers voted it the second worst England football song ever, after 1982's "This Time (We'll Get It Right)".[7] BBC reporter Mark Savage describes the song as "clumsy and boring". When it was played at Wembley Stadium, it was booed by fans.[8]

Live performances[edit]

The song was first performed on TFI Friday. It was also performed on Top of the Pops on 5 June 1998.

Music video[edit]

An official music video was released featuring footballers of the National Team, including David Beckham, Ian Wright and Rio Ferdinand.


Chart (1998) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[9] 38
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 9


  1. ^ "(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World?". Discogs. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  2. ^ McKendrick, Ewan (2010). Contract Law – Text, Cases, Materials, 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 588–592. ISBN 978-0-19-957979-2. 
  3. ^ Hoyle, Ben (22 January 2010). "Viva Forever: Mamma Mia creator creates Spice Girls musical". The Times. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Two songs for fans who get to France Author(s):Alan Hamilton and Russell Kempson Source:The Times (London, England). (23 Apr. 1998): Regional News: p1
  5. ^ Singled out; Music Author(s):Charlie Porter Source:The Times (London, England). (30 May 1998): News: p12
  6. ^ Stars red-card World Cup song Author(s): Matthew Wright Source: The Mirror (London, England). (25 Apr. 1998): News: p15.
  7. ^ Football anthems: Fans reveal 24 years of hurt by labelling England's 1982 World Cup song the worst ever: Mis-hits and screamers
  8. ^ Mark Savage (24 July 2012). "Why are sport songs so hard to get right?". BBC. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "07 June 1998 - 13 June 1998". Official Charts. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2017.