Once again, the New Jersey Devils organization is interested in changing the goal song. That is, the song that gets played very loudly on the P.A. system when the Devils score a goal. As we all hope the Devils will win more games this season compared to last season, we should also hope they score more goals to do it. This is a key reason why this matters: whatever the song is, we hope to hear a lot.
This year’s approach is a blast from the past: a “fan vote.” The Devils have done this before. Before the 2015-16 season, the vote resulted in “Howl” by the Gaslight Anthem. This post by Luke Fox at Sportsnet back in 2015 about the change also covered over the numerous attempts to get away from “Rock and Roll Part 2” by Gary Glitter and how none of them stuck. Not even the original song by Rich Andruska. “Howl” has stuck at the Rock for a few seasons, and it was the song for last season. But it is clear that the Devils organization is considering a change.
Earlier this month, the Devils official website had a page where fans can submit suggested goal songs provided they also included their name and email address, which was absolutely shared with the Devils, Prudential Center, and their affiliates. On Monday, the team announced eight songs that fans can vote on, again, provided they also include their names and email addresses which will be shared with the Devils, Prudential Center, and their affiliates. The fan vote ends tonight at 11:59 PM ET. After which, like the previous fan votes for goal songs, the top three vote winners will have the song play at a preseason game as a goal song. Fans will then get to vote on those three and the winner of that will be the goal song - at least for this season.
As we like to analyze the Devils at All About the Jersey, I will analyze each of the eight songs that I’m sure fans in 2019 submitted much more than any of other songs that were actually submitted. I will go over each song, when it came out, what part is likely to be used for goals, other facts, how the fans at the Rock can yell “You Suck!” during the song, and my guess at its chances at becoming the new goal song.
#1. “Ole” by The Bouncing Souls
Released: 1999, off of Hopeless Romantic
More About the Artist: The Bouncing Souls were pretty much the punk band of the New Brunswick, New Jersey scene. Founded in 1989, they grew in popularity in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s. They are very much active and still touring.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: This song was clearly inspired by chants of “ole” at soccer games. More relevant to the Devils, it was used as a goal song before. It did not last earlier this decade.
The Goal Song Part: The Ole part. It goes “Oleeee, ole ole ole.” Nobody cares what the verses are for this one.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: “Oleeeeeee, ole ole ole, you suuuuuuuuuck, you suuuuuck” And repeat.
My Guess on Its Chances: It didn’t work earlier this decade, I do not think it needed more time to make it work. I do not think it will move on.
#2. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
Released: 1978, off of Jazz
More About the Artist: Queen is one of the greatest rock groups of the 1970s and 1980s. Freddie Mercury is a once-in-a-lifetime singer. If you do not know about this group, just go explore their discography from the self-titled debut all the way up Made in Heaven. I’d suggest starting with A Night at the Opera or The Game or The Miracle.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: This was one of Queen’s biggest singles. It is clearly about having a good time too.
The Goal Song Part: Definitely a part where Mercury sings “Don’t stop me now,” but likely the chorus after the solo. The bridge before the guitar solo is a darkhorse section.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: While there are backing vocals, that brief pause after the band sings “Don’t stop me now.”
My Guess on Its Chances: I like the song on its own a whole lot (and the album). But I do not think it pops enough for a goal song. There’s not really a section to loop that is pure excitement. The song works as a whole, not cut up. Queen’s great, but not here. I do not think most will vote for it either.
#3. “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister
Released: 1984, off of Stay Hungry
More About the Artist: Twisted Sister is a great metal band from the late 1970s and 1980s. Dee Snider is a great singer. They were in on their look and while it definitely would be considered more hard rock today, they had the goods. They are also originally from New Jersey.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: The song is also very well known for its music video, similar to “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” (I linked it. It has 60 million views. That’s astounding.) I am also fairly sure the most recent usage of this was being included in the soundtrack for Burnout Paradise, which initially came out in 2008 and was remastered in 2018. So there’s that.
The Goal Song Part: The chorus, which is “I Wanna Rock! ROCK!” I think the intent is that management wants the fans to yell “ROCK” like the backing vocals on the song. That would sound pretty cool but...
How to Get “You Suck” into This: ...you know it’ll be “I wanna rock!” YOU SUCK. Either that or during the riff in between “I wanna rock” since the chorus repeats it a bunch of times before the verse.
My Guess on Its Chances: Like “Don’t Stop Me Now” I like the song on its own a whole lot (and the album). I think it works better than that song. But if the intent is to not have fans interject with their own chant, then this is going to fail. Also: Who is listening to enough Twisted Sister in 2019 that thinks people will get up for it? I do not think it’ll win the fan vote.
#4. “Hip Hop Hooray” by Naughty by Nature
Released: 1993, off of 19 Naughty III
More About the Artist: Naughty by Nature is a hip hop trio originally from East Orange, New Jersey. This definitely their most well-known song but they were big in the 1990s, even winning a Grammy for their 1995 album Poverty’s Paradise. They broke up for a while but they have returned and do tour occasionally.
The Song: Link to Song
The Goal Song Part: The hook, obviously. You know how it goes: “Hip hop hooooooooraaaaaaay hoooooo heeeeeeeey hooooooo heeeeeeey hooooooo” and so forth. You may choose to wave your arms like you just don’t care too.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: This will be a challenge. There really are not any breaks in the hook. Unless the fans can just end it with a loud “You suck!” as it ends.
My Guess on Its Chances: An endorsement from Hall and support from Subban make it a favorite. They are two of the stars on the team and, as far as I know, the only players speaking up about one of these songs. It will probably finish in the Top 3.
#5. “Whoomp (There It Is)” by Tag Team
Released: 1993, off of Whoomp!
More About the Artist: Tag Team is a duo from Atlanta, Georgia. They had two albums in the 1990s. Whoomp! (There it is) was a mainstream hit from their debut. After a long hiatus, they do tours and events to this day.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: If you recall the mid-1990s, then you know this song was huge. It has been used in commercials, television shows, movies, and it has been referenced many, many times. You could not escape it from 1993 to 1994. You just couldn’t. You think you got away from it and, whoomp, there it is.
The Goal Song Part: Once again, it’s the hook. It’s the title of the song.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: This is easy. “Whoomp! There it is - You suck! - Whoomp! There it is - You suck!” and so forth. There is enough of a pause to fit in easily.
My Guess on Its Chances: Low. As big as this song was for a few years in the 1990s, I do not see how it would play out well in 2019.
#6. “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
Released: 1975, off of Born to Run
More About the Artist: Bruce Springsteen is a rock and roll icon and from the Garden State. “The Boss” hit it big with Born to Run in the 1970s and has went on to have a career most musicians can only dream of. He is a legend in rock and especially in New Jersey.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: This song really helped Springsteen break through to the mainstream. It is still cites as one of the best rock songs of its age and of any age.
The Goal Song Part: Honestly, it could be the instrumental part that introduces the song. Or the part after Springsteen yells “Baby, we were born to run” towards the end with the “Wo-wo-woahs.” I know that part is a big hit at concerts.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: It is going to depend on what part of the song is used. If it’s the instrumental part, then it could be after the guitar riff. If it’s the outro, then it could be used in place of the “Woahs.” There is a lot of potential here.
My Guess on Its Chances: This will definitely get attention just because it’s Bruce Springsteen and one of his biggest songs ever. However, like “Don’t Stop Me Now,” it is a great song but I I’m not so certain how it would fit so well. Among all eight choices, this was the one would benefit if it was known what part of the song would be used. Anyway, it could be a finalist just based on name recognition.
#7. “Hey Baby” by DJ Otzi
Released: 2000 as a single
More About the Artist: DJ Otzi is a singer and a DJ based out of Austria. “Hey Baby” in 2000 gained worldwide popularity. He is still popular in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, but has not really
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: This song is actually a cover. The original, “Hey! Baby” was recorded by Bruce Channel in 1961 and it was a big pop hit at the time. Anne Murray covered the same song in 1982, which was a huge hit in Canada and for US Adult Contemporary audiences. DJ Otzi turned into a dance song in 2000 and it became huge everywhere. To this day, it still gets attention. In fact, you have very likely heard this song at the Rock during breaks in the action.
The Goal Song Part: “One, two, three, four heeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy baaaaaaby - uuh! ahh! - I wanna knoooooooooooow if you’re gonna be my girl.” Yes, it’s that song.
How to Get “You Suck” into This: Replace the “uuh! ahh!” part and you’re set. Alternatively, creative people can try to change the second verse to “I wanna knoooooo why you suck”, but good luck getting thousands to go along with that.
My Guess on Its Chances: If I did not link to the song or write the chorus, would you know what this song was? Out of all eight, this is the one where people have likely heard it but would not know the name or the artist. I think we’ll just keep hearing it during breaks in the action at the Rock.
#8. “Howl” by The Gaslight Anthem
Released: 2012, off of Handwritten
More About the Artist: The Gaslight Anthem is a rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey consisting of four men who clearly take their influence from Bruce Springsteen among others. The band hit it big with The ‘59 Sound and went on to release three more albums and then had a hiatus. While the band did reunite, there are no known plans for a new album.
The Song: Link to Song
Notable Facts: This song has been the goal song for the Devils. You should know this one by now.
The Goal Song Part: Fine. Here’s a reminder. “Hey hey Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey Hey Hey”
How to Get “You Suck” into This: The fans just yell “You suck” at the end of it before it repeats. Some clap along with the hey part, like I do. Sometimes I am even in rhythm.
My Guess on Its Chances: It is the incumbent. It is my favorite to win, although the endorsement of other songs by Hall and Subban will make it a challenge.
One of the things I struggle with these nominations is that how so many of these songs are old. I understand that the Devils fanbase ranges greatly in age and I also understand that the music you listened to while you grow up tends to stay with you. However, there is only one song that was released within the last ten years on this list. There are as many songs that came out in the 1970s than they did in the last fifteen years. Who is really listening to “Whoomp! (There it is)” in 2019? Great as the songs are, who is demanding Queen and Twisted Sister to play after goals in this era? Who is clamoring to hear that “Hey baby” song even more? This makes no sense to me. There is more music than ever before and there are still musicians hitting it big to this day. Surely, a fan vote would have yielded at least one or two more contemporary or even recent songs. Hits, even. Yet, the most recent song to choose is the same goal song that has been played for the past few seasons? The goal song the vote was trying to replace? Really?
This may have been an unintended effect of how the vote worked. I was put off from participating because of the name and email address requirement. I am already a season ticket holder. They have my information. Why re-submit it and be subject to even more emails? And given that the voting section states that by giving your email address, you will be getting more information from the Devils, the Prudential Center, and their affiliates. It is to be added to more mailing lists. Cynical as it may be, that may have been the real purpose for this vote at all. Even if that is not entirely true, my point is that those who voted earlier in September may not be fully representative of the larger fan base. As such, the songs that did get into this round are older classics - songs that most people of multiple generations of fans may already know. Were they truly voted in? Who can say.
Further, the song suggestions being for the first vote was an open field. This meant few songs would likely garner a lot of support. I’m sure many still wrote in “Rock and Roll Part 2,” since people sing that at the game on their own after the goal is cored. However, the Devils have made it clear by their actions that it is simply not an option. They are not going to pay Gary Glitter any royalties, no way, no how. It is what it is. Make your peace with it because there is not another option. Assuming those were thrown out, what is left? Since the results were not counted and revealed, who can say these were not legitimate?
And, of course, let’s get to the root of it: what makes a song a good one in response to goals? I think it needs to be exciting, bombastic, and just plain pop in a way. I think it needs to be something crowds can get into. I think it needs increase the good feeling that comes with hopping out of your seat and cheer when you see a Devil beat a goalie for a score. I do not think most of these eight songs really fit that bill or have parts that do. But what do I know?
At the end of the day, the more important hope is that the Devils may score a lot more goals in 2019-20. If it means listening to the same old “Howl” or a new old song over and over, then that is a trade off I think most fans will make. (If it’s “Howl,” then what was the point of all this other than to collect more names and email addresses for a mailing list?) Then the Devils organization will try to change the song again next season through some other means, and we’ll wonder what that is all about. Just know that as hard as they may try, expect the fans at the Rock to try and succeed at cramming a “You suck” into the song whatever ends up winning this year’s vote. In a way, I appreciate that.
Now I want to know what you think. Of the eight songs, which do you prefer as a goal song? Which one of the eight do you think will actually win the vote? Are you also surprised as I am at how old most of these songs are? Will the Devils try and change the song next season? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the goal songs in the comments. Remember, should you choose to vote, the vote ends tonight right before midnight. Thank you for reading.