Electronic dance music is not to everyone’s taste. Artists mainly produce epic tracks that fans of the genre love but that never make it mainstream; here’s looking at you “The Dawn” by Tony De Vit. However, on occasion, an EDM track explodes in the public domain and becomes a worldwide success, resonating with everyone who has the joy of listening to it. One such jam was released 23 years ago in 1999 and is still one of the most-played bangers in sporting stadiums worldwide.
“Kernkraft 400” is a song performed by German producer Zombie Nation, the first single taken from the album ‘Leichenschmaus,’ which translates as “Funeral Feast.” We know that you now have the thumping baseline playing in your head after reading the song’s name; it is impossible not to see the world “Kernkraft 400” and start singing it in your head! The song was a major hit in Europe, especially the United Kingdom. It reached number two in the charts and received gold certification; Mariah Carey and Westlife kept it off number one with their rendition of “Against All Odds.” “Kernkraft 400” reached number three in the US Dance Single Sales and 99 in the Billboard Hot 100.
A Hit With American Sports Teams
The now-defunct Energy 92.7 & 5 radio station in Chicago, Illinois, gave the song its first US airplay. The Chicago Rush arena football team began playing the music during timeouts and commercial breaks before other teams started adopting it as their own. Elite NHL side Boston Bruins have been fans of “Kernkraft 400,” which translates as “Nuclear Power 400,” since its release in 1999. While fans Bruins bet on the Stanley Cup with BetNow when their team reached it in 2011, 2013, and 2019, the song’s popularity grew massively within hockey circles, but it is not only teaming on the ice that has a love affair with the Zombie Nation hit.
Two of baseball’s most prominent teams regularly play “Kernkraft 400.” The Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers blast out a rendition of the song whenever one of their players hits a home run.
Football teams love the song, too, especially the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have played the song before kickoff for the past 15 years. In addition, the Penn State football team has used the music since around 2005. The college team’s fans chant “We Are Penn State” during the breaks in the song.
“Kernkraft 400” proved so popular with UCF Knights college football team that management had to stop playing the song in its entirety and instead play short clips. UFC Knights built a new stadium in 2007, which was then called Bright House Networks Stadium. However, the Knights chose “Kernkraft 400” as their rallying anthem, and it became a cue for supporters to jump around. When they did this in unison, the energy created caused the stadium to bounce and reverberate, earning the stadium its “The Bounce House” nickname! University officials brought in safety inspectors who found no signs of structural damage, and the song continues being played, albeit in shorter clips.
Even rapper The Game sampled “Kernkraft 400” in his single, Red Nation.
About “Kernkraft 400” and Zombie Nation
Zombie Nation had no idea “Kernkraft 400” would go on to become one of the most iconic electronic songs ever produced. The song is actually a remix of the soundtrack from a 1984 game on the Commodore 64 called Lazy Jones. Using the SID chip, David Whittaker created “Star Dust” for the video game. Although Whittaker never gave permission for the sampling, Zombie Nation paid the programmer an undisclosed fee in 2001.
The song is quite often incorrectly called Zombie Nation because the name is heard in what is otherwise an instrumental track. Go ahead and play “Kernkraft 400;” it is a legendary piece of EDM that deserves all the playtime it gets.