soul limbo

Sporting moments don’t come much better than those from the worlds of F1 motor racing and cricket we’ve been able to enjoy in the past few days.

Sebastian Vettel won a third consecutive F1 drivers title in a final-race title decider in the rain of Brazil, while in the heat of Mumbai, England pulled off a rare and remarkable 10-wicket win against India in the 2nd test.

Before non-sports fans think I’ve gone completely off message, a musical paragraph is upon us.

Coverage of both F1 and cricket in the UK are synonymous with two great pieces of music that weren’t originally written as theme tunes.

But somehow they have come to be inextricably linked with each sport.

You only have to hear the opening bars of Booker T’s ‘Soul Limbo’ (BBC Radio’s ‘Test Match Special’ theme) and the best bit of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ (BBC tv’s F1 theme) to know that sporting drama is due.

To underline the point, the Red Bull garage played out ‘The Chain’ full throttle just as the BBC commentary team arrived in the pre-race walk-and-talk around the pits.

Exactly how and why these musical associations work so well is probably deserving of a research grant.

But as someone who’s been involved in choosing tv and radio theme tunes, getting it right is much harder than it might appear.

Booker T & The MGs – Soul Limbo

Fleetwood Mac – The Chain – BBC F1 title sequence

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