If The Band Perry’s song “Live Forever” was an Olympic athlete, it would have eaten it on the very first hurdle of a relay, or broken its ankle while trying to dismount from the pommel horse. It would have tried to pull off a Tsukahara on the springboard, and ended up grotesquely splitting its back open on live television for the judges, commentators, and audience around the World to witness in horror. But the sad reality (and ironic outcome given the name) is that “Live Forever” just won’t freaking die.
By all accounts, it was the song’s dismal performance on the country music charts and The Band Perry’s hard-headed insistence on sticking with their new pop direction that had the family trio and preeminent country music label Big Machine parting ways earlier this year. To put it bluntly, “Live Forever” killed The Band Perry’s country music career for all intents and purposes. At least for the moment.
At one point the song completely disappeared from online sellers, and the video was pulled before being re-launched under The Band Perry’s own ownership. A promised new single with a still unnamed “superstar” that was supposed to materialize at some point last winter to erase the horrible memory of “Live Forever” from fans’ minds has still yet to see the light of day, and nobody seems to know what the future holds for the once high-flying country band.
But somehow, inexplicably, unbelievably, “Live Forever” is still alive. Announced Wednesday (4-27), despite the reams of data proclaiming “Live Forever” as an absolute dud, it will now be the official song of Team USA for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
We already knew that most athletes make for bad music connoisseurs, and the mid-level command bureaucrats that make decisions like what the official song of an Olympic team will be are even worse. But this is madness. The tragedy that has been The Band Perry’s story since the release of “Live Forever” is something you could write an entire book around, and this newest chapter presents a twist nobody could have ever predicted. You would think the official song for a sports endeavor would be something to evoke a winning spirit of success that inspires athletes to reach for the apex of their abilities, not something with a dark cloud hanging over it from having failed miserably.
Give The Band Perry credit for one thing: they’ve kept themselves in the spotlight, despite receiving no radio play, not being placed on a major tour, and at the moment, not even having a label home. They played the Miss Universe Pageant, they’ve been all over other live events, and even this Olympic announcement was accompanied by a performance of the song on NBC’s The Today Show. Aside from “Live Forever” being a complete washout on the charts, you would think The Band Perry was flying high.
Picks for these types of distinctions seem to always be controversial, and Olympic boosters always seem to err on the pop side. So in some respects the decision makes sense. “Live Forever” does strive to inspire listeners. But sheesh, at least pick a song that has proven to be somewhat successful at actually doing so; not one that by all accounts was dead on arrival.