Before turning to the actual final, let’s get last week’s results sorted out.

Sadly, it became clear within a few hours that one of the semi-finals was turning out to be a mismatch, with Blondie thoroughly dismantling Orange Juice.

Blondie scored the opening 9 goals before my young brother, all the way from Florida, put Orange Juice on the board.  Now, it might have been a different outcome if, say, the final track on Side A had been involved as Simply Thrilled Honey v Fade Away and Radiate would likely not have been so one-sided, and indeed might have seen Edwyn & Co actually make the final. The final scoreline reflects the fact that OJ picked up a few later votes…..

Orange Juice 12 Blondie 34

To begin with, Joy Division v The Jam was a much tighter affair but by the end of the first day of voting, the team from the north-west of England had a comfortable 17-9 lead over the team from the south-east. As the week went on, things began to swing the way of Weller & Co. By Wednesday evening, the gap had been halved with the score standing at 21-17, but with The Jam now picking up two out of every three votes that were coming in, the trend was suggesting Thursday and Friday would deliver the ultimate comeback.  Indeed, at one point the gap was down to just two…..but JD did recover enough on Friday to hold on.

Joy Division 24 The Jam 21

And with that, it’s a Manchester v New York final.

It wouldn’t be any sort of World Cup without controversy, and what is being proposed for the final may appal or anger many of you.  But please, hear me out.

I had always intended that the final would be decided by the closing track on the ICA, and with Blondie running away with things so early on, I looked at what Walter had chosen as B5 as part of ICA 198.

“Ring Of Fire (from Roadie Soundtrack)

Blondie made another cover version in Alan Rudolph‘s movie Roadie, with the first starring role by Meat Loaf. Never thought that even a song by Johnny Cash could fit to their sound.”

My spirits sank, somewhat.  While not denying that every ICA author can do whatever they like when pulling a piece together, and there’s no doubt Walter had really wanted to do something completely out of leftfield with this one….which was fine as these things go, but it now felt as if the ICA World Cup final would have a novelty song lining up on one half of the field.  A quick look at the Joy Division and The Jam entries showed it would be either Decades or Move On Up – neither entirely regarded as either band’s finest moments, but in all likelihood probably far too strong for the Blondie effort.

So…. to the controversy.

Instead of asking you to determine the final on the basis of one song versus one other song, I’m asking that you consider all the remaining songs from the ICAs that hadn’t yet featured in the competition, as a collective body of work.  That means four in all from both finalists, these being the final song on Side A and tracks 3-5 on Side B

Joy Division : Isolation; Shadowplay; The Eternal; Decades

Blondie : Fade Away and Radiate; The Tide Is High; Call Me; Ring Of Fire

You are, of course, free to call the outcome as a drawn match. There’s nothing in the rules to say the trophy cannot be shared!!!!

Worth mentioning that The Jam, the winners of the ICA World Cup 2018 did make a great run to the semi-finals in 2022 despite the fact the neither of their competing ICAs contained a song that had been released as an a-side of a single.  Talk about strength in depth……

The other bit of controversy is that I’m asking you to get your votes in a bit earlier than usual.  The closing time is Wednesday 21 December at midnight UK time.  I’ll announce the result the following morning.

Thanks again


47 thoughts on “ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE FINAL

  1. Takes me back to teenage years in 79-80 taping JD sessions off Peel by night, grinning along to Blondie chart smashes by day. Blondie’s imperial phase from 78-80 coincided with JD’s entire span of existence.
    In the end I think Debbie Harry was a more benign influence on the youth of the day (although Ian Curtis was probably a better dancer).
    In short, Blondie.

  2. Blondie

    That center pairing do enough to get the better of a crack northern outfit.

    Thank you New.

  3. I don’t know – Joy Division because of the sound and words: Blondie for the punk poppiness.

    It’s gonna have t’be………….


  4. Changing the rules while the tournament runs- a ruse even Gianni Infantino might have thought too much but then the actual World Cup has been besmirched and despoiled so I suppose it had to happen here too.

    Joy Division clearly. Isolation, Shadowplay, Decades and The Eternal are the back four of post- punk. Hannett, Gretton, Saville and Wilson the midfield, Curtis, Sumner, Hook and Morris the wide players.

    ‘Some of the crowd are on the pitch, they think it’s all over…’

  5. Two strong and one half-baked additions to Blondie’s line up didn’t change very much. Joy Division was about a division better this Sunday and won clearly, and well deserved. Congratulations Manchester! (So much to answer for…)

  6. Well, I appreciate one is rather skint once retired, but did you really have to accept a side job within the FIFA?! Rules are rules in my book, and Blondie’s version of ‘Ring of Fire’ is excellent, way better than ‘Decades’, that’s for sure!

    My vote goes to Blondie, no question about that!!

  7. Joy Division. I really like Decades by the way. However, I’ve never been keen on the Blondie cover of The Tide Is High, and Ring Of Fire isn’t doing anything for me either.

  8. My vote is in the box, but I will add I voted for JD due to the songs. I like Blondie more, but the two hits here for Debbie & Co. are among my least liked.

  9. To me this comes down to which of the songs by each band I like the best – shadowplay v call me… and I don’t think that there are many 45s better than call me – it’s a guaranteed floorfiller… so my vote goes to…


    Thanks for organising another great ICA and happy xmas!

  10. Ooh, what a final! And a controversial rule change at the end to boot!

    Had things stuck with the original single song choices, then Joy Division would have stormed past Blondie’s weaker offering. However, a much closer contest with the four-a-side penalty shoot out. In the end, it had to be…


  11. I like Blondie, but my vote goes to Joy Division:
    Joy Division 4 – Blondie 0
    Thanks and Happy Christmas!!

  12. Joy Division wins after PKs – Ian will finally win his World Cup. Now he can retire as the true GOAT. Blondie will win in the US on home soil in 4 years (well, 3 & 1/2 years)

  13. With the last minute discovery of the Triffids’ unfair elimination due to payola proffered by Soft Cell, another extremely controversial rule change comes into play, a three way game which throws the offering “Monkey on my Back” into the fray! And with that, it ends up being…

    The Triffids!

    Okay, seriously, I’m going to ignore that unfair rule change which, quite frankly, is unfair to all those teams which due to the luck of the draw presented weak offerings at various points in the Cup. Listening to the final slew of songs, it’s IOTTMCO that Blondie had a better overall ICA showing with their leftovers. But following the initial rules as set down by our illustrious host, I will compare Ring and Decades…And with Ring, Blondie had a pretty poor showing. I don’t doubt that Blondie had the vocal range and talent to do a good showing, but she didn’t do it here. And the outro was a pretty poor artistic choice. With Decades I once again was turned off by the droning vocals, but did really dig the tune. So with that…

    Joy Division!

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