As long as I can remember, I’ve been a Cincinnati Reds fan. Also as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music. Would you imagine these two things being correlated in any fashion? I know it may seem weird, but there exists quite a lot of music related to the Reds. I got laughs out of them, so I thought I’ll share some today. Let’s begin.
First, I want to mention the 1990 World Series Champion Reds. As they went wire-to-wire, they showed a swagger on the field the whole season. What better way to showcase that swagger in 1990 by making a rap music video? This was after they won the National League Pennant, so they had so much momentum. They’re lucky they saved it to sweep the Oakland Athletics instead of wasting it all on this product of its time. It’s fun, but dated.
Another former Red who made music is fan-favorite Bronson Arroyo. When he was with the Red Sox, he made a cover album. Then with the Reds, he and longtime Fox Sports Ohio announcer and former Reds pitcher Chris Welsh participated in a series of JTM commercials. In this one, Arroyo sings about Welsh’s depression at the fact that the Reds are not hosting a home stand that week, then randomly starts singing about Welsh’s love of beef hoagies. I think that’s what it’s implying, anyway. Or is he happy he has time off? And he’s playing an acoustic guitar even though most of the song has an electric one, but I digress.
Arroyo also starred in an MLB Fan Cave video for “Reds Hooded Sweatshirt,” with Aroldis Chapman. A timeless classic.
But that’s enough of actual players, let’s get into formal bands who created music about the Reds. I remember during a game when I was younger that they played a song by Freekbass entitled “Reds Fan.” I was into it at the time, simply because I was a Reds fan and getting excited watching them play. Years later, I thought about that song again, and thankfully I found it on YouTube. I love that site. This song is perfect for playing during a party where you’re watching a game with friends and family. If the Reds ever win or make a World Series in my lifetime, I am playing this song for hours.
Apparently other fans remembered it as well because in 2012, when they won the NL Central, Freekbass and various other people starred in a remake (?) of the music video. I had no idea this existed until now.
The band Screaming Mimes have a song known as “Three Cheers, Cincinnati,” and it’s decent for what it is. The singer’s voice sounds nice, almost like John Frusciante, and the instrumentals are simple, but pleasant to the ear. If you ever wanted to know the complete history of the Reds up to 2005 but only have five minutes to do it, then this is the song for you.
Amazingly, both this and “Reds Fan” were recognized by Shazam. This had only one shazam, so either it only had one before or I was the first person to ever shazam it. If so, then that’s one of the highlights of my life.
But now, I’m getting to the reason I wanted to write this article: the album Play Ball by Blessid Union of Souls. I’m not familiar with this group at all, but they seem to have a dedicated fanbase. What percentage of that are Reds fans, I’m not sure. I remember clearly, when I was a little boy, getting this CD at a game when it was released in 2003, just in time for the opening of Great American Ball Park. I remember listening to it multiple times, but the CD has long since disappeared. Thankfully, because of YouTube, I can experience this album once again. As far as I know, it’s not available anywhere else, so this’ll have to do.
They could’ve made a better album cover, though.
After listening to it again, I have to say, it’s actually kind of good! Me and Cory agreed that it’s like a mix of Foo Fighters and Blink-182. The instrumentals, especially the guitar, are all great, and the singing is also on point. Lyrics, however, are inconsistent in quality here. Songs like “Rounding Third Heading for Home” and “Get To Know ‘Em” are pretty cringe-worthy, but there a few good songs here.
The highlight for me was “Field of Dreams,” with its passionate guitar playing and emotional vocal performance both impressing me. Also in this category are “Guys Like Me,” “Me, Marty, Joe, Ted and Louise,” and “Go Home.” “Go Home” is one of the corniest songs I’ve ever heard in my life, but for what it is, it’s enjoyable. I like to think its lyrics are directed to Reds relievers in recent years.
Another highlight was the reggae-influenced “I Can’t Wait for Summer.” I never thought that making a song out of listing the roster to Backyard Baseball 2003 (although some players listed here weren’t in that game) would work, but somehow it does here. The reggae sound here and the hip-hop sound of “Rounding Third Heading for Home” provide a nice change of pace for the rest of the album. As good as the guitar is, it can kind of mesh together songs and make them a little harder to remember individually.
With that said, I had a lot of fun listening to this again, and I had fun sharing all of this music with you all today. Minus the 1990 rap, which I found out about when they played it during a rain delay in 2015, these are all nostalgic for me. Hopefully others out there remember these songs and make sure they aren’t forgotten.
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Thanks for reading! Go Reds!