London 2012 Opening Ceremony – What Was Missing, Music-Wise?

The Olympics opening ceremony was pretty special, wasn’t it? Sure, we could have done without a mega-Macca-mug-along, but from Frank Turner on the pasture, to Dizzee MCing at East London’s best house party ever, to Alex Turner’s pompadour and Helders’ tracksuit – the music was close to perfect.


And yet, Perhaps it was because the running time was apparently cut at the last minute, but Muse’s specially commissioned track ‘Survival’ didn’t feature at all, nor did Oasis or Radiohead (both of which were on the playlist that leaked back in June). Perhaps it was for the best that the Daily Mail‘s predictions were also off the mark. We can all be relieved that we’ve been spared the spectacle of Russell Brand singing “a comic version of the Sex Pistols’ song ‘Pretty Vacant’ with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders”.


Though 2-Tone, Britpop, glam and punk got their look in, it felt as if the big hitters of the past 20 years felt under-represented. Where were The Smiths? Or The Cure? Or The Police? Was there even an argument for acknowledging someone like Calvin Harris, love-him-or-hate-him probably our biggest global music export right now? Where were our female vocalists? Yeah, we had Emeli Sande there, but over 75% of the playlist was male artists. I can only find Eurythmics, Millie Small, Soul II Soul, Sugababes and Amy Winehouse. Where were Girls Aloud?

And what about Britain’s groundbreakers? Yes, grime and punk got a shout out, but where was Kate Bush? What about Gary Numan? And no, Rizzle Kicks don’t count. And how about metal? Iron Maiden are one of the most successful bands this country has ever produced. Black Sabbath invented the entire genre. Did those acts not deserve a mention?

I don’t want this to sound overly critical. Overall, it was an incredible celebration, and a wonderful fusion of the best music of the past fifty-odd years. Nevertheless, if you could fit something else into the programme, what would it be? What do you think was left out?


Olympic opening ceremony playlist:
The Who, ‘Baba O’Riley’
Muse, ‘Map Of The Problematique’
Fuck Buttons, ‘Surf Solar’
Sex Pistols, ‘God Save The Queen’
The Clash, ‘London Calling’
Mike Oldfield, ‘Tubular Bells’
OMD, ‘Enola Gay’
Rizzle Kicks – ‘When I Was A Youngster’
The Jam, ‘Going Underground’
The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’
The Beatles, ‘She Loves You’
Mud, ‘Tiger Feet’
Millie Small, ‘My Boy Lollipop’
Led Zeppelin, ‘Trampled Under Foot’
The Specials, ‘A Message To You Rudy’
David Bowie, ‘Starman’
Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Eric Clapton, ‘Wonderful Tonight’
Sex Pistols, ‘Pretty Vacant’
New Order, ‘Blue Monday’
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ‘Relax’
Soul II Soul, ‘Back To Life’
Happy Mondays, Step On’
Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This’
The Prodigy, ‘Firestarter’
Blur, ‘Song 2’
Underworld, ‘Born Slippy’
Dizzee Rascal, ‘Bonkers’
Amy Winehouse, ‘Valerie’
Muse, ‘Uprising’
Tinie Tempah, ‘Pass Out’
David Holmes, ‘I Heard Wonders’
Arctic Monkeys, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’
The Beatles, ‘Come Together’ (Covered by Arctic Monkeys)
Pink Floyd, ‘Eclipse’
Underworld/Alex Trimble, ‘Caliban’s Dream’
The Beatles, ‘The End’
The Beatles, ‘Hey Jude’