How Music Conquered the Super Bowl

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10 Greatest Super Bowl Halftime shows of ALL TIME – compiled especially for you by The Shields Brothers

#1   2014 Bruno Mars

After viewing all of the Super Bowl halftime shows for the last 30 years we have to say Bruno Mars was one of the very few that “didn’t suck.” In fact, the opposite. It was a solid set of hits packed with high energy, excitement, and a simple clear stage show. Bruno reminded everybody that entertainment is about performance not production. His 4 James Brown-inspired dance moves out did all of the 5 zillion backup dancers ever seen in Super Bowl halftimes. The only one who comes anywhere near Bruno for us was the King of Pop. Watch on YouTube.

#2 1993 Michael Jackson

The King of Pop was nearly a tie with Bruno Mars. Fantastic dancing, fantastic stage presence, fantastic songs. Jackson poses in place for dramatic effect for nearly a minute and a half at the beginning of the show, probably wasting millions of dollars worth of prime airtime. But he don’t give a damn. He’s the King OF POP!! Watch on YouTube.

#3  2001 N’Sync/Aerosmith/Britney Spears

The moment the Super Bowl halftime first went truly commercial pop. N’SYNC in their weirdest outfits, Aerosmith at the height of their strange Armageddon driven 2nd career, and Britney Spears at her absolute hottest. 2001’s halftime show is perfect for anybody who wants a ride in the way back machine. Notable for its gratuitous use of the Matrix inspired bullet-time camera technique and its obnoxious MTV style, this performance feels so incredibly 2001, that it’s actually a little delightful. Watch on YouTube.

#4  1995 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Possibly the strangest halftime show ever. Disney was trying to promote their new Indiana Jones-themed amusement park rides and they used the Halftime show to do it. The result was a bizarre freaky combination of actors pretending to be Harrison Ford and roller-coaster themed coordinated dance…and oh yeah, Patti Labelle was there. Watch on YouTube.

#5  2004 – Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake (Boobgate)

The origin of the term “Wardrobe Malfunction.” This one warrants a spot simply because it caused such a brouhaha. Boobgate upset the NFL so much that for six years afterwards they only allowed classic Rock acts like the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Prince. Watch this back-to-back with the N’SYNC performance and marvel at how much JT’s style changed in just 3 years. Again skip to Rock Your Body, it’s what you came to see musically. Watch on YouTube.

#6   1989 Elvis Presto

Bob Costas introduced us to the only halftime show that could rival Indiana Jones in sheer ridiculous camp. For this show there was an Elvis impersonating magician. Enough said.  It’s one of the weirdest things that has ever happened on national TV. Watch on YouTube.

#7  2000 Disney’s Millennium

Three words: EDWARD JAMES OLMOS. Perhaps the only Super Bowl halftime show that didn’t take place at the Super Bowl. Disney’s Millennium celebration took place at Epcot Center. It starred Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias singing a duet surrounded by dancers copying Cirque Du Soleil. In between this Captain Adama from Battlestar Galactica (at least that’s how we felt) emerges and gives a speech about how the Millennium is going to be awesome. It’s weird, it’s freaky, it’s bad and we love it. Watch it back-to-back with 2001 and see how different they are.  Watch on YouTube.

#8  2003 Shania Twain/No Doubt/Sting

“The one everbody forgot happened.”  After MTV’s take over of the Super Bowl Halftime show  in 2001, show production  bounced between three of the world’s biggest music companies (Clear Channel, MTV, and Jimmy Iovine of Interscope/Geffen A&M).  2003 was the only year a pure record company (Interscope/Geffen A&M) produced the show. And it was actually kind of refreshing even if it wasn’t the most amazing performance the Super Bowl has ever seen. No big light shows, no stupid camera tricks, just a bunch of artists who were very popular at the time playing in the daylight. No Doubt is probably the highlight here for me, so nice to hear somebody NOT lip-syncing.  Watch on YouTube.

#9  2007 Prince

Of all the classic rock acts that performed on the show, Prince was by far our favorite. Massive guitar solos, hit song after hit song, Prince stole the show at the Super Bowl that year. But for us, it was a case of  “this is better than everybody else, but everybody else sucks.” As rabid Prince fans, we’ve seen him perform at his absolute best, and the Super Bowl halftime show only hinted at that, and doesn’t do Prince’s greatness justice. But still it is a fun show and worth a watch.  Watch on Wat.tv

#10  1988 Chubby Checker and the Rockettes

Weird/bad/long-forgotten but interesting. The only version of this performance we could find online had Japanese narration over the first part. But let’s agree to ignore that. This halftime show was very, very weird. The first 5 minutes of the show consisted of 72 grand pianos playing a swing and big band tribute followed by the emergence of the Rockettes followed by a middle-aged Chubby Checker, wearing an outfit that looks like it came from the costume department on Miami Vice. They come onto the field and perform exactly what you’d expect. There is a strange reworked version of Chubby’s 1960 classic smash hit “The Twist” remade into a song specifically for the event, “The Super Bowl Twist.” It’s terrible. We love it. Because it makes us wonder what Chubby was doing in the intervening 27 years between this Super Bowl and his 1961 classic, “Let’s Twist Again.” He had a thing and he stuck to it. Like wise men say, “Do what you love, love what you do.”  Watch on YouTube.

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Kelly Clarkson’s Heartbeat Song vs. Jimmy Eat World

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Kelly Clarkson’s new song, Heartbeat, has gotten a lot of negative press for sounding just like The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. We dissect the song, talk about a few more steals and share some interactions we had with Kelly.

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Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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When Bollywood Steals From Hollywood- Desi Music

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We’re always talking about big artists stealing from World Music. This time we flip it and show you ridiculous examples of Bollywood stealing western pop songs. For Bollywood Desi music fans, this is like learning that Thriller was just a copy of another song. Get ready for large coordinated dances and Hindi versions of songs you love.

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Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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MLK I Have A Dream Speech – Borrowed or Stolen??

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In the US, every third Monday in January, we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday. Who Stole What is celebrating MLK by examining claims of plagiarism against Dr. King throughout his career especially his I Have A Dream Speech.

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Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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Activist Cornel West with Shields Brothers

A few years ago we played on a TV show in Washington, DC. Cornel West was there waiting to go on after us. He watched our set and hung around so we could get a picture together. He’s a really cool guy and a dedicated civil rights activist.

Cornel West

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Shockingly Iconic Stolen Songs

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Everything you love is stolen. This week we talk about songs so famous we never even thought to look at them. You’ll be shocked. #Nirvana #BonJovi #RodStewart #GoodArtistsBorrow #GreatArtistsSteal

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Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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How DC Punk Changed the World: A Who Stole What Personalized Playlist (2)

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Here’s our personalized playlist bonus episode #2 from our holiday gift. Our listener, Dennis, sent us a request for Air Miami’s song, “Airplane Rider.” The song comes from a DC indie band in the early 1990s. It inspired us to make a playlist about the important history of the Washington, DC music scene and how it changed pop music forever. Take a listen …

Get Your Personal Playlist

Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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Timbaland’s Rape and Pillage of World Music

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Timbaland is one of the most notorious thieves in the music business having been sued many times. We were lucky enough to get the audio from an interview he did in 2007 which shows his viewpoint on stealing. If you want to hear the full interview of Timbaland, listen below.

Special thanks to Matthew Westcott for sharing the interview.

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Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

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Timbaland Interview

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Cop Shows to Muse: A Who Stole What Personalized Playlist (1)

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Thanks for all your favorite song submissions! We had a tremendous response to our holiday gift of personalized Who Stole What playlists. We thought we’d feature one of the playlists in this bonus episode. Fun to do — but you guys really challenged us with the songs you picked. This specific playlist was based around the theme song from the movie, Get Carter. Hope you enjoy our Who Stole What twist on the playlist.

For those of you who did submit a favorite song, we should have it to you via email by New Year’s Eve. If you didn’t submit a favorite song, you still can send one in …  except … we will get it to you within a week or two of your submission.

Happy New Year!!!

Get Your Personal Playlist

Send us your favorite song. We’ll take that song, use all of our musicology, and create you a bad-ass Who Stole What style playlist. Give us your song and just wait for us to send you a crazy music baby! Tell your friends about it.

Subscribe to Who Stole What on iTunes

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