I don’t care if it’s a re-post of a re-post of a guest post from back in 2008. This will always be one of my favourite bits of writing and it just has to appear today.  A piece of music which still sounds superb 32 years on.


Today Mrs CTel discusses sport and dance for indie kids, through the medium of Colourbox.

Colourbox was one of the legendary 4AD label’s earliest and most under-recognized acts. It was among the first artists outside hip-hop to rely heavily on sampling techniques; ultimately, their arty blue-eyed soul reached its commercial and creative peak through their work with AR Kane on M/A/R/R/S‘ seminal “Pump Up the Volume” project, a reflection of the group’s long-standing interest in the burgeoning underground dance music scene of the 1980s. Colourbox was primarily the work of London-based brothers Martyn and Steven Young. In 1986 they released “The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme” (relating to the World Cup in Mexico in 86).

Mrs CTel says:

This is to do with Football. Music and sport in an official or unofficial capacity shouldn’t mix. It’s not cool – even New Order only just scraped a place on the line dividing kitsch from credibility. But this track’s massive saving grace it that except for the title (whisper it if you must) it doesn’t have ANY reference to the F word. Blissfully free of lyrics, it delivers a wonderful performance quite out sync with England’s woeful international efforts, except perhaps in its own lack of chart success. But hey, that IS cool in music terms. It starts off hard and keeps up a great momentum all the way through. Trust me on this one.

mp3 : Colourbox – The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme 7″ Mix



  1. And there was me thinking it was going to be Allys Army or whatever it was called.

  2. Although I’m English, I support Wales because i) I live there; ii) there are far fewer egos; and iii) the media don’t consistently rant on and on and on about them. Plus I always support the outsider and the underdog. But Wales didn’t qualify, and coupled with the fact that I drew England in the office sweepstake, I guess I have to show loyalty to by birthplace…

  3. What it could really have used, is a proper ending instead of a fade-out. Maybe they’d have actually got it used as a theme song then.

  4. Surely it should be The Skinner/Baddiel Engerlund World Cup tune (Updated for 2018 shortened remix version):

    “Three lions on a shirt
    Jules Remet still gleaming
    Thirty…er…um….40………52 years of hurt
    Never stopped me dreaming
    So many jokes, so many sneers
    Tum ti tum ti tum tum etc….”

    Scotland, of course, refused to qualify for 2018 in protest at Putin and stuff…

  5. A glorious single and for once, one that lived up to such a loaded title! This was the even more triumphant sequel to the similar feeling “Love’s Great Adventure,” which Ultravox had released two years earlier. The last gasp of greatness from that band, but Colourbox were great from start to finish. How I’ve loved their work. I particularly have a weakness for their world-straddling techno-dub concoctions, but this one is as straightforward as an arrow in flight.

  6. It’s great. Used to be a staple of the Temperance night at the Hacienda on Thursdays. The b side Philip Glass is excellent too

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