Top ten: a mixtape for Barack Obama

Ten tracks to get your inauguration on to...

It’s probably not escaped your attention that there’s an election going on across the sea. Two men, one massive vote – the winner will be inaugurated in January as the new president of the United States of America.

It’s a big deal, likes.

The polls favour Barack Obama, Democratic nominee and a senator from Illinois; his rival, Republican John McCain, might not be riding the wave of support enjoyed across the media by his opponent, but let’s not call it over ‘til that fat lady sings.

Actually, balls to that: it’s over, dusted, done. The fat lady’s hoarse. Obama’s likely to emerge triumphant once every vote’s been counted today (November 4, 2008), so to mark his victory here presents ten tracks to help get the parties started.

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Jeffrey Lewis

‘A Quick Biography Of Barack Obama’

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the best part of this year… check the video below.


‘City of Blinding Lights’

Apparently this is one of Barack’s favourite songs… urgh… and he uses it as intro music at his rallies. There are far worse U2 songs out there, to be fair. And The Edge does his The Edge thing really well here (try not to think of Bill Bailey). But it’s not very… cool… is it? No. It’s not. Still, bitter McCain supporters can at least relate to rich white people bleating on about… um… whatever it is they’re bleating about.

Bruce Springsteen

‘The Rising’

This track, the title effort from The Boss’s 2002 album, usurped the above offering from the Irish megastars as official ‘intro music’ after Barack received endorsement from Springsteen; the latter’s appeared at a number of rallies, most recently only a few days ago, on November 2. It was previously used by both Hilary Clinton and John Edwards, but now ‘The Rising’ is synonymous with Obama’s pursuit of the US presidency.

The National

‘Mr November’

Nothing official about this, from New Yorkers The National, but with ‘Mr November’ being written to mark the failure of John Kerry’s 2004 campaign they feel it’s suitable for Barack’s efforts four years later, as this clip and this article clearly show. You’ve got to love that refrain: “I won’t fuck us over / I’m Mr November”.

James Brown

‘Funky President (People It’s Bad)’

Like you need any reason beyond that title to click the video below… (plus many guests)

‘Yes We Can’

Although no Barack money went into the production of this track, it was quickly adopted as an official anthem of sorts; Obama soon began using the line “yes we can” at his rallies, and played the video to the assembled throng at such an event on February 12, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Us, we reckon the track is dross… but its heart’s in the right place at least. It’s spawned a number of parody clips, too.

Bob Dylan

‘Maggie’s Farm’

Written as Bob’s declaration of independence from the protest folk movement in 1965, ‘Maggie’s Farm’ has always been a hugely influential and highly divisive track; it’s had its fans, ranging from the Beastie Boys to Stephen Malkmus, and its critics – but now stands out as a Dylan classic, and Barack Obama has stated that he likes to listen to the song “during the election season”.


‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’

Seen how Barack makes like he’s brushing a little dirt off his shoulder? It’s taken from this track’s video (watch it here). Jay-Z is one of Barack’s many supporters from the hip-hop world, and has done much to encourage young people to get out en masse and vote in this year’s election.

Stevie Wonder

‘Isn’t She Lovely’

‘Songs In The Key Of Life’, Stevie Wonder’s 1976 masterpiece, is one of Barack Obaba’s favourite albums, and this song is so very sweet it’s a dead-cert inclusion in our ten here. Try not to tap a toe to this, really.

Alice Cooper


We don’t know if he is or he’s not, but something about Alice Cooper has us thinking he’s probably Republican. It’s probably all the golf he plays.

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