The eyes of the world were on London last night, for the ‘2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony’. With an audience of about 1 billion worldwide, Oscar-winner director, Danny Boyle, known for his work on ‘Trainspotting’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘The Beach’, creative director Stephen Daldry, and music directors ‘Underworld’, came together to create the UK’s biggest ever live show. Music served as a pivotal part of the ceremony, as Boyle’s vision was a quintessentially British narrative, set to music. The music selection highlighted the best of British music throughout the years and included artists such as The Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Two Door Cinema Club, each with their own era-defining sound.
English folk singer, Frank Turner, along with his band, ‘Sleeping Souls‘, warmed up the 80,000 strong crowd, in the Olympic stadium. Choirs of children from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, opened up the ceremony with iconic songs, including: Jerusalem, Flower of Scotland, Cwm Rhondda and Danny Boy. We were then transported to an idylic setting of rural Britain, that took us on a historical and cultural journey highlighting the Industrial Revolution, the NHS, classic children’s literature, and the modern day digital age of social media and popular culture.
Dizzee Rascal fronted a spectacular musical montage, spanning from the 1960’s to the present day, where he performed his no 1 hit, ‘Bonkers‘. The musical montage, paid homage to the many era – defining genres, and included classic British tracks such as: ‘My Generation’ – The Who, The Jam’s ‘Going Underground‘, The Rolling Stones – ‘Satisfaction‘, The Beatles – ‘She Loves You‘, Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘, David Bowie’s ‘Starman‘, Sex Pistols – ‘Pretty Vacant‘, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday‘, Prodigy – ‘Firestarter‘, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax‘, Duran Duran – ‘The Reflex‘, Soul II Soul’s ‘Back To Life‘, Happy Mondays‘ ‘Step On‘, Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’, Amy Winehouse – ‘Valerie‘ , Muse – ‘Uprising‘, and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out‘. Emeli Sandé also performed a beautiful and poignant version of the hymn, ‘Abide With Me‘, as a tribute to the victims of 7/7. The Arctic Monkeys also took center stage and performed their classic hit, ‘I bet you Look Good On The Dance Floor‘ and their cover of The Beatles ‘Come Together‘, which was met with much praise.
Front man Alex Trimble, from ‘Two Door Cinema Club’, sang ‘Caliban’s Dream’ – a song written specifically for the opening ceremony by Underworld’s Rick Smith. The song was beautifully performed, while young upcoming athletes carried the Olympic Flame around the stadium, before they lit the Olympic Cauldron, to the sounds of Pink Floyd’s ‘Eclipse‘.
To close the ceremony in iconic British style, could only be achieved by a Beatle; Sir Paul McCartney. His performance of ‘Hey Jude‘ went down a storm in the Olympic Stadium, where the entire audience joined in for one big sing along, chanting the iconic tune ‘Nah na na nanananah, nanananah ...’ A song, where people all around the world can sing along to, without any language barrier.
Isles Of Wonder: Music For The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games’, was released digitally last night at midnight, with a physical release expected on August 6th. Underworld feature heavily on the soundtrack, with two new pieces created – ‘And I Will Kiss’ and ‘Caliban’s Dream‘. High Contrast and Darren Price, provided new remixes of some classic Underworld songs, and were featured during the Parade of Athletes. ‘A Symphony Of British Music: Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games‘, an album containing music performed on the final night, will be released digitally on August 12.
With music being so integral to British identity, it’s only natural it took centre stage in the opening ceremony, providing the world with a truly spectacular’ Rock ‘n’ roll Games.