After punk folk singer Frank Turner warmed up the Olympic Stadium crowd – pictured below – the Opening Ceremony officially kicked off at 9pm (BST), with cyclist and famous mod Bradley Wiggins ringing a huge bell to start proceedings.
Music played a huge part in the first half of the ceremony, with both classical and contemporary music represented. The event started with a version of Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’, before percussionist Evelyn Glennie led a team of 1000 drummers as the bucolic Olympic Stadium set was transformed by a reenactment of the industrial revolution.
After dancers dressed in outfits inspired by The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s uniforms entered the stadium, Mike Oldfield then played a 20 minute set which included soundtracking a section of the ceremony dedicated to the NHS with a swing version of his classic ‘Tubular Bells’ as well as ‘In Dulci Jubilo’.
Dizzee Rascal then headed up a segment which paid homage to British music from the 1960s up until the present day, performing his Number One single, ‘Bonkers’. Volunteers danced to a musical montage that included a host of classic British tracks, including OMD’s ‘Enola Gay’, The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, The Specials’ ‘A Message To You Rudy’, David Bowie’s ‘Starman’, Sex Pistols’ ‘Pretty Vacant’, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’, Soul II Soul’s ‘Back To Life’, Happy Mondays’ ‘Step On’, The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’, Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’, Amy Winehouse’s version of The Zutons’ ‘Valerie’ and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out’. Emeli Sandé then sang a poignant version of the hymn ‘Abide With Me’.
The soundtrack to the London Olympics’ Opening Ceremony will go on sale to the general public at midnight. The music from the ceremony will be released digitally and will also feature new tracks by Underworld who worked on the soundtrack to the event.
Titled ‘Isles Of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games’, the album will see a physical release on August 6. The event takes its title from the “Isles of Wonder” speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which Olympic director Danny Boyle cited as the inspiration behind the event.