This Friday sees the grand opening of the 2012 Olympic Games hosted by the city of London. Alongside the official ceremony curated by none other than Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, the London Live Celebration concert on the 27th will act as a musical buffer and alternative to any torch action. In an attempt to showcase the best of British, BT have lined up acts which they feel represent different corners of the UK; such as Stereophonics (Wales), Duran Duran (England) and Paolo Nutini (Scotland). A nice albeit simple idea, regardless of whether you’re a fan of these musicians or not.
But that’s not where the music ends for London 2012.
The main anthem from the Rock the Games playlist is ‘Survival’ by rock wizards Muse. Sir Elton John and Australian dance duo Pnau, Dizzee Rascal, The Chemical Brothers and Delphic have also created official tracks especially for this summer’s extended sports day and will resound at all Olympic venues.
So of these five efforts, who takes home the gold?
When I first saw the list of five bands asked to contribute music the Games, I was slightly taken aback when scanning Delphic‘s name. This is not to say that their past work isn’t any good, merely that in comparison to the other household names in the line up their presence was fairly unexpected. Nevertheless, they have certainly delivered. It’s a great track in its own right and has bundles of energy which is an ideal tone to set for London 2012. Any athlete hearing this track would feel pumped, let’s just hope they don’t dance too much during the archery…
I’ve always had a soft spot for Pnau. Their self-titled album released in 2007 was a deliciously spiky affair with plenty of electronic cheer, so it’s fantastic to see them working with living pop legend Sir Elton John. ‘Good Morning To The Night’ is an undeniably toe-tapping hybrid of two very different genres that complement each other wonderfully. This is possibly the most renowned track linked to the Oympic Games as a result of being taken from the collaborative album of the same name, which reached number one in the UK album chart this week. Certainly a crowd-pleaser and set to keep spectator spirits high over the summer.
The Chemical Brothers simply have to take away the gold medal with their London 2012 soundtrack effort. It may not win any awards for depth or variety, but it truly commits itself to the Olympic Games. ‘Theme For Velodrome’ seems to be one part bicycle, two parts Tron. It’s impossible to listen this without picturing hordes of cyclists powering round the track with focused faces and legs pedaling so fast that everything’s become a blur. Admittedly this is not the best stand-alone release, but there’s no mistaking how perfect it is for the job at hand, bringing the Olympics to life through music.