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John Barnes, Gazza and (please make it stop) Peter Beardsley rap on previously unheard World In Motion tapes

By | Published on Thursday 8 July 2021

New Order, Keith Allen & John Barnes

John Barnes’ rap on the England football team’s 1990 World Cup single ‘World In Motion’ may be one of the finest examples of the form, but it didn’t just appear out of nowhere. In fact, up for sale as part of an auction of Peter Hook’s belongings are alternative versions of the rapped verse not only by Barnes, but also his then England team mates Paul Gascoigne and Peter Beardsley.

The one-time New Order bassist is selling off a whole load of items collected during his time with the band. This includes the original studio tapes of recording sessions for New Order’s collaboration with various members of the 1990 England football team. And Keith Allen.

Barnes’ memorable rap about getting “round the back” helped to make it one of the more enduring football singles of all time (although it’s another Keith Allen contribution to the sporty pop genre, ‘Vindaloo’, that people keep shouting outside my house). On the day the England team members recorded their vocals though, Barnes was not the only one keen to spit a few bars.

Although Barnes ended up delivering the verse in the final version of the track, Gascoigne, Beardsley and Chris Waddle also gave it a go. Waddles’ attempt is apparently not part of the auction. It’s not clear if it wasn’t recorded, or if the tape is lost, or if it was just too awful to risk being made public. That said, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than Peter Beardsley’s abysmal effort.

Ahead of last night’s Euros semi-final match between England and Denmark, auction house Omega Auctions uploaded Gascoigne and Beardsley’s versions and an alternative version by Barnes. All three are pretty dreadful. And they could be yours!

The original tapes will be sold along with hundreds of other items from Hook’s personal archive in October. But to get you in the mood for England’s upcoming defeat in the Euros final, you can listen to all three raps here:

This story is discussed on this episode of our Setlist podcast