5 underrated ’90s tunes that would make ideal NHL goal songs

St. Louis Blues fans. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
St. Louis Blues fans. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

“Let Me Clear My Throat” and “Jump Around” are two of several ’90s tunes that have gained a second wind as NHL goal songs, so why stop there?

This century’s refreshingly widening array of high-profile hockey goal songs lends yet more evidence to the strength of ’90s nostalgia.

Granted, plenty of more recent hits have assumed a position with a celebratory horn, which is fine. But for the generation barely old enough to remember when canned music became the norm at games, it is appreciable when arena DJs reach back into that era and lend a given tune a first or second wind of association with sports.

While the Pittsburgh Penguins drew a tepid response, at best, with this past season’s switch to “Jump Around,” other selections have sat well. In 2015, the Buffalo Sabres epitomized the never-would-have-thought-of-it-but-I-love-it scenario with “Let Me Clear My Throat.” They chose DJ Kool’s breakout tune nearly two full decades after its release through a fan vote, and it has stuck for five years since.

Late in the previous decade, the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers recharged Pennywise’s “Bro Hymn.” The 1991 punk rock song was 15 years old or more when continental TV audiences heard its hook ad nauseam during various playoffs of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Several teams at other levels have followed Anaheim and Philadelphia’s lead even after those franchises moved on to another goal tune.

Meanwhile, one NHL franchise has never abandoned its custom-made goal song since its composition in 1995. For a quarter of a century, “Slapshot” by Madison Square Garden’s own Ray Castoldi has been synonymous with the Rangers.

These underrated ’90s hits are an untapped market for NHL goal songs

When done right, this trend of adopting hockey goal songs from the ’90s makes up for the general dearth of variety during that actual decade. We have come a long way from scoring plays cueing practically nothing but “Rock and Roll Part 2” (which has since been all but universally shelved for a good reason), “Song 2,” or the misused “Get Ready for This.” (Note to DJs: If it has “Get Ready” in the title, it probably makes sense for before the game, not during.)

Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400” — released in Germany in 1999, but popularized stateside early in this century — has, for the most part, faded out too. It stomps on in Boston like, well, the walking dead, but that’s about it.

Many places that once took one of those trendy tunes have since experimented with a long-neglected ’90s hit. With that said, there are still other tracks from that era still waiting for a big break.

When professional, junior, and other elite ranks of hockey restore normalcy, any sound crew could cue up any of the following five, and its long-awaited turn would be its version of a long-awaited Cup raiser.

“Going Out of My Head” by Fatboy Slim

The AHL’s Manitoba Moose recently adopted Fatboy Slim’s magnum opus — “The Rockafeller Skank” — as their goal song. That tune does not sound too out of place after a goal, and there is no denying its prominence in its heyday. (It was Fatboy Slim’s only turn on the Now! That’s What I Call Music series and also on Jock Rock 2000.)

Still, there is something about this largely instrumental mix that once upon a time closed out Side 1 of the Jock Jams Volume 4 cassette. Start at either the 44- or 58-second mark of the track’s five-minute, 14-second version, and you have enough riff to fill a goal’s afterglow before play resumes.

The rhythm of that riff also suits a random stoppage that warrants an extra kick for the audience. In both scenarios, it is easy to picture playing over a seating bowl-ful of active rally rags during the playoffs.

Incidentally, YouTube user Joey Jet and the Air Horns is on the right track with a “goal horn concept” for a New Jersey street hockey team (West Deptford).

“Jump!” by The Movement

This song’s introductory holler “Are you readyyyyyy?” carried on into the wee years of this century. But that was usually the only portion ticketholders and TV viewers ever heard during (or, more accurately and appropriately, before) a game. It has since virtually evaporated from PA systems everywhere.

Those who ever owned Jock Jams Volume 3 (which also featured “Let Me Clear My Throat”) are familiar with the instrumental hook that follows the shouted and then spoken intro. They should also know, in turn, that everything after the first three words has been wasted on arena DJs for decades.

After a slightly smart-alecky countdown of “5…4…3…you know the rest,” we reach the point perfect for punctuating a goal horn. For those concerned about “Jump Around” carrying a trite connotation or somewhat slow pace, “Jump!” is an easy solution. Starting at the right second and left alone, it gives a good minute-plus of electric oomph.

“Never Coming Down (Part 2)” by Spacehog

Track 11 on Spacehog’s debut album was heard a year later during the street hockey scene in D3: The Mighty Ducks. Below one YouTube upload of the song, half of the 14 comments were devoted to that cinematic tie-in.

That could also explain why, in the same comment thread, user Christopher O’Neil asked, “Why is this not used as a goal song in the NHL ?!?”

As with the other numbers on this list, if any hockey team has used “Never Coming Down (Part 2)” in the past or present, it has kept too low a profile on it. If no one has adopted it for this context yet, someone ought to.

“Never Coming Down (Part 2)” puts its own rhythm on the incessant oh-ing we have heard in countless past and present hockey goal songs. As a bonus, that hook carries on long enough to fill the average interval between a lamplighter and the next faceoff with no manipulation to the track beforehand.

“Oh Yeah, All Right” by Local H

For nearly the first half-minute, this lesser known Jock Rock 2000 contribution dishes up a self-explanatory hook. In terms of play on PA systems, that titular refrain is in mint condition compared to, say, the “Woo-hoo!” of “Song 2.”

The only question is, in the event the next faceoff takes a while longer to arrive, do you want to keep the track rolling into its bridge? Do you want to risk having Scott Lucas clash with the context by calling himself “stupid me”?

If not, as with other hockey goal songs, the hook can be digitally elongated to fill as much time as necessary. A similar trick may be necessary for the fifth suggestion on this list to do its job best.

“Party” by Dis N’ Dat

The Jock Jams Volume 2 mix of this song sounds especially tempting for overtime or shootout clinching goals. As the home players converge with raw elation and their rooters forego their seats, Dis N’ Dat’s directive “If you don’t want to party, then you should go home!” adds a playful jab to the visiting faithful. Most on hand surely want to linger and savor this night’s victory, however great or small, for a while.

For regulation goals, the “Heeeyyy-yo-high!” hook might wear a little thin before the next play stops it. With that said, it is more distinctive than the refrain from “Never Coming Down (Part 2)” and could get a shot in the arm with either a partnering song or a longer blasting horn.

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