The organizers of the London games have been under fire for playing music during track events at the Olympic stadium. Some have complained that it’s too loud (though surely not as loud as the crowd cheering for Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres), others have said it’s distracting for the athletes.
Given that the Olympics playlist has so far included Primal Scream’s ‘Loaded’ and David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ - both have been heard over the PA at the Olympic Stadium - you can at least commend them for celebrating great British music. Over in the velodrome on Saturday, Sir Paul McCartney even joined in to his own 'Hey Jude' being played over the loudspeakers. Add to the fact that Muse were asked to supply the Olympic theme – a leftfield choice, in the grand scheme of things – and it’s fair to say the Olympics are doing pretty well on the musical front.
In spite of this, TV and radio coverage is still full of the same old predictable tracks. ‘Gold’, by Spandau Ballet, is to the Olympics what Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is to December: inevitable, inescapable, infuriating. Add to that list: Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’, Vangelis’s ubiquitous ‘Chariots Of Fire’ and, to a lesser extent, Shed Seven’s ‘Going For Gold’,
The problem is, there just aren’t so many songs that have the right combination of drama, gravitas, sing-along-ability and lyrics involving words like gold, medal and win. To help broadcasters out, here are a dozen alternative Olympic anthems:
‘Fool’s Gold’ by The Stone Roses
‘Sound Of Silver’ by LCD Soundsystem
‘Another One Bites The Dust’ by Queen
Anything from Andrew WK’s ‘I Get Wet’
'Heavy Pop' by WU LYF
‘Ready For The Floor’ by Hot Chip
‘Stars Of Track And Field’ by Belle and Sebastian
Anything by Chicago math-rockers Sweep The Leg, Johnny
‘The Greatest’ by Cat Power
‘Unbelievable’ by EMF
‘My Lovely Horse’ by The Divine Comedy
Anything by US noise-rockers Lightning Bolt. Hey, if you can get Fuck Buttons in the opening ceremony…