Television coverage of the European Championships (and that of every other major soccer tournament) has greatly improved over the last several years. All the games are live, in high definition. We're getting more pre-and post-match programming. However, there's only so much one can glean from TV images. To really get the Euro 2012 experience, you have to be there - to see the host cities, eat the local food, smell the local coffee....and hear the same three songs over and over and over again.
The official Euro 2012 playlist isn't very long, but based on my experience as a fan at two World Cups (2002 and 2006), I can guarantee you that the following songs have been playing non-stop in the host venues. Here is the three songs you're most likely to hear on Sunday. Just be happy you only have to hear them then.
1. The official song of Euro 2012
Oceana - Endless Summer
The choice of German pop singer Oceana to provide the official song of the Euro 2012 was a little surprising. Her sound - a mix of straight 4/4 Euro-pop and the reggae/calypso sounds of her Martinique heritage - doesn't exactly conjure up images of hosts Poland and Ukraine. With time, though, the song has grown in popularity in the region. "Endless Summer" hit No. 1 on the Polish radio charts, in addition to getting to No. 2 in Italy. You may hear the song in the background in the stadium, but if you're watching from the States you'll recognize the song from the "Whoa oh oh" that accompanies the Euro 2012 graphic that closes each ESPN segment before a commercial break.
2. The player entrance song
Two Steps From Hell - Heart of Courage
If the song playing when Spain and Italy enter the field for the pre-match ceremonies sounds like it should accompany a Hollywood fantasy epic, that's because it was probably meant to. The song is a production of Two Steps From Hell - not so much a band as a music production house based in Los Angeles. Run by composer duo Nick Phoenix and Thomas J. Bergesen (who wrote "Heart of Courage), Two Steps from Hell has composed music used in movie trailers for two Harry Potter films, The Dark Knight, Tron:Legacy, Super 8, Inception, Drive and other blockbusters.
3. The goal song
The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army (Euro 2012 Remix)
UEFA commissioned a remix of the seminal White Stripes song, the use of which is discussed in my previous post here.
Italy and Spain will play for Europe's top international soccer prize on Sunday afternoon. In this four-part series, Soundcheck intern Alexander Abnos looks at the musical moments you'll be hearing before, during, and after the game.