Ranking the Top 10 Stadium Anthems
From Guns N' Roses to T.I., we ranked the Top 10 stadium anthems
10. Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle”
The perfect pregame intro song for any team with a wild animal as its mascot—think Lions, Jaguars or Cougars. The familiar electric guitar opening gives way to Rose’s screechy lyrics and elicits a full-on frenzy from the crowd. Did you know Jim Carrey once performed the song? Well, almost. The actor played a character lip-syncing the track in the final Dirty Harry film, The Dead Pool.
9. T.I., “Bring Em Out”
A recent addition to the arena music canon, Atlanta rapper T.I.’s “Bring Em Out” feels like it was made for when your favorite team takes the court or field. The song has cross-sport and long-lasting appeal, being heard in the NBA to MLB to the CFL, and used by teams such as the mid-2000s Miami Heat and more recently by the Oklahoma City Thunder. T.I.’s mainstream success launched after the release of “Bring Em Out,” which actually appears on the rapper’s third studio album.
8. Zombie Nation, “Kernkraft"
Perhaps the original stadium chant song, “Kernkraft 400” is the song you didn’t know had a name let alone an actual group that made it. The song, from German electronic artist “Zombie Nation,” was the original “Seven Nation Army.” The chant is less ubiquitous now than its mid-2000s peak, but it’s still employed to success during many of our favorite sporting events. A testament to the song’s popularity, it’s been sampled by numerous artists since its original appearance on the album Leichenschmaus.
7. House of Pain, “Jump Around”
Used by many teams around the country, but none better than the University of Wisconsin. The Badgers play the song before the fourth quarter of every home game at Camp Randall, and the stadium literally shakes as the many thousands jump in concert with the song. The famous high-pitched scream you hear repeatedly throughout the track actually comes from a sample of the Motown hit, “Shoot Your Shot,” by Junior Walker and the All Stars.
6. Darude, “Sandstorm”
Our greatest northern European import outside of IKEA, Sandstorm by Finnish producer Darude is the only song on this list that threatened the structural integrity of a stadium. An architect working on the recent renovations at Texas A&M’s stadium told the Houston Chronicle in July that they had to reinforce the stands in the south end zone because Sandstorm’s “particular frequency” caused an unusual amount of shaking. Maybe it was just South Carolina fans exacting their revenge for the Aggies stealing their song.
5. Gary Glitter, “Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2”
This might be the original stadium song. The chorus of “Rock and Roll Part 1” (“Hey!”) is just made to be shouted in a large crowd.
A 1992 Sports Illustrated story tracked down the origins of Gary Glitter’s song’s use in sports.
In 1974 Kevin O'Brien, then 22, was the public relations director for the Kalamazoo Wings, a team in the International Hockey League. ''Back then, organ music was nearly synonymous with hockey games,'' says O'Brien. ''But there was a movement to introduce some canned music during the games, so I started rummaging through my old 45 collection.''
Tucked in with his Steppenwolf and Tommy James and the Shondells discs in a box in his basement was Glitter's Rock and Roll Part II (on the other side, Rock and Roll Part I). ''I tossed it on the stereo and immediately thought, This is the song we have to use to bring the team out onto the ice,'' says O'Brien. The crowd at Kalamazoo's Wings Stadium went nuts.
4. Blur, “Song 2”
WOO HOO! You know this song and you’re a little bit ashamed to admit you sing along every time it comes on. “Song 2” works in large part due to its flexibility. Have an athlete with a two-syllable last name on your team? You now have a remix to “Song 2,” with the last name replacing the familiar yell. Fans of the song will be happy to know Blur is still going. The band reunited in 2008 and released a new studio album earlier this year. WOO HOO, indeed.
3. The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
This is one of the few songs in this genre with global appeal. Wanna hear “Seven Nation Army” five times in nine minutes? Just listen to Bayern Munich fans chant it after each of Robert Lewandowski’s goals here. There is something intimidating about this song, and it often spells doom for a shaky road opponent. Like most great cultural phenomenons, it almost never made it to the public. Alan Siegel’s 2012 story for Deadspin details how the tune went from a riff Jack White played in a sound check to the most popular chant in sports.
2. DJ Khaled featuring T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross, “All I Do is Win”
The newest song on our list, DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” is too easy for sports teams not to use. The featured artists on the song—T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and Rick Ross—are each household names. Not only is the song’s title ideal for a team, T-Pain’s demand for everyone to put their hands up during the hook will always start a stadium-wide dance. The song’s relative newness has not stopped it from becoming an arena staple—even Barack Obama has used the tune as his walkup music before.
1. Queen, “We Will Rock You”
The greatest arena rock song of all time. You can listen to Queen outside of the stadium and be totally within your rights to do so, because Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest musicians to ever live. The beauty of this song is in its simplicity. Anyone can pick it up, and there’s a special feeling during a stadium-wide stomp during a big moment. When football is played by robots 50 years from now and we teleport to and from games, we‘ll still listen to “We Will Rock You.”