Euro 2020: Jon Fratelli says 'let’s hope fans aren’t sick of Baccara tune by time we play it'

The sound of Scotland’s summer was decided in winter 2020 in Belgrade’s Red Star Stadium – as Jon Fratelli knows all too well.

Jon Fratelli hopes to sing his band's reworking of Baccara disco classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie over the summer - as long as fans still have the stomach for it
Jon Fratelli hopes to sing his band's reworking of Baccara disco classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie over the summer - as long as fans still have the stomach for it

Like the rest of us, the Fratellis frontman watched with glee as Steve Clarke’s troops made history by becoming the first Scotland men’s side in more than two decades to qualify for a major tournament.

For better or worse, the ensuing dressing room footage of a jubilant squad dancing maniacally to the strains of 1970s disco classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie is now a part of the nation’s national story.

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Tasked with providing a cover version for their performance on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio ahead of the release of their new album in April, the Fratellis thought they'd have a crack at the Baccara hit.

The Fratellis playing live, Yes Sir I Can Boogie. Picture: John Devlin
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Now, with just one day until Scotland kicks off their Group D campaign versus Czech Republic, the Glasgow trio have released their cover of the song as a charity single, with proceeds going to three children’s charities – The Tartan Army Children’s Charity, SoccerAid and The Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.

Initially apprehensive over how the charity cover, which was released on Friday, might be received, Jon Fratelli says the interest generated by their decision speaks volumes.

He told The Scotsman: "It keeps getting brought up in every interview, so we’ve obviously done something that’s standing out.

The Best of Baccara

"At the end of the day, standing out is at least half the job.”

While there have been major lyrical changes to the verses, the Fratellis’ version has been enthusiastically endorsed by Mary Dostal, widow of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie lyricist Frank Dostal, who is adamant her late husband would’ve given it his blessing.

The Fratellis cover is not the only reworking of ‘Boogie’. A second cover of the Tartan Army anthem has also been released by Scots DJ George Bowie.

Bowie has teamed up with Spanish duo Baccara, who shot to fame with the song back in 1977 and have re-recorded their vocals for the 2021 remix.

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Upon hearing the Fratellis’ effort in April, Baccara singer Maria Mendiola said she was less than impressed by Jon’s lyrical alterations, and that the song had lost its essence.

Jon Fratelli feels Maria’s comments prove his band have done their job right, though he does sympathise with the Madrid vocalist.

He said: “The only hope we had was to strip it to pieces, then put it back together, hoping you retain enough of what people liked about it.

“But maybe that song represented a lot for her [Maria Mendiola]. Maybe it’s defined her entire adult life.

“I just believe everything should be pulled apart – why would you want it to remain pristine and untouched?”

With the national team’s fate as yet undecided, time will tell if fans will be able to stomach more of Yes Sir, I Can Boogie beyond Scotland’s final group game with Croatia on June 22.

The Fratellis will be monitoring proceedings closely.

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“I reckon we’ll do it over the summer,” adds Jon. “But it all depends really – people might be sick of it come August.

“But if it was the case that people came to see us over the next year and expected to hear that song, then they’re gonna get that song.”

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