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
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.