Leeds Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson has been back in the studio - but with an altogether different bandmate, to record an unofficial England World Cup anthem.
Ricky joined former England cricket captain Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff to record a reboot of 70s classic hit Rasputin with the hope that fans adopt the song as an unofficial England World Cup anthem.
Rasputin Rebooted, backed by online bookmaker BetStars and performed by The Stars House Band, featuring Freddie and Ricky, is a modern re-working of Boney M’s 1978 hit that sings the praises of England’s star striker Harry Kane, rather than the song’s original namesake Rasputin, the Russian mystic famous for his ability to predict the future.
It changes the lyrics to make the song about the England skipper as he seeks to lead England to glory in the World Cup – with new lyrics beginning, “There lived a certain man in England long ago, he was big and strong, he played football like a pro,” leading to the chorus “Ha-rry, Harry Kane, England’s greatest goal machine…”.
Ricky Wilson, a two-time winning coach on hit TV programme The Voice, rose to fame as the leader of the Kaiser Chiefs, who took their name from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs FC, the first club of ex-Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe.
He said: “Rasputin has such a great chorus. The test for any song is imagining a group of football fans singing it on the terraces. It worked with Ruby, Ruby, Ruby and now it’s working with Ra Ra Rasputin. And it’s another R: Riot, Ruby, Rasputin”.
Freddie Flintoff added: “It’s a perfect choice for a World Cup 2018 anthem. It’s Russian, it’s got all the noises, and all the dances – the only dodgy thing is I’m in it. There’s been some cracking World Cup songs in the past and it would be nice to think that the fans will get behind this one and sing it in the stands over in Russia. If they don’t, Ricky and I will just have to fly over there and get it going on the terraces ourselves.”