Thursday, August 02, 2012

London Olympics 2012 Plays 60s+ UK Pops: Part I

The grand opening at the London Olympics 2012 was also a celebration of 60s  music and the selection featured songs from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Who, Queen, Eurythmics, and many more. From the folksy Danny Boy at the beginning to Paul McCartney singing, Hey Jude at The End, the stadium lit up to a 21st Century UK return of its own popular music in ol' London town.

Some of my favourite songs that could be heard that night were Vangelis: Chariots of Fire, Lionel Bart: Food Glorious Food, Eric Clapton: Wonderful Tonight, The Who: My Generation, The Rolling Stones: Satisfaction, Millie Small: My Boy Lollipop, Kinks: All Day and All Of the Night,  Led Zeppelin: Trampled Under Foot, David Bowie: Starman.
The list also included the Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams,  The Beatles: She Loves You, The End and Hey Jude, David Bowie: Heroes. 

If you had been watching the TV series in the 60s like Coronation Street, Doctor Who and Monty Python Theme/The Liberty Bell, the melodies were played that evening.

Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Monty Norman's The James Bond Theme were performed too and if it wasn't for the site below I couldn't have known about the songs presented. I fell asheep after the sleep appeared, I mean, asleep after the sheep appeared, counting them as I dozed off.

What interested me and Singaporeans were some comments from oversea readers below and overleaf:
1) Victor from London, UK believed Cliff Richard had more UK No.1 song hits than The Beatles, perhaps second only to his former idol, Elvis Presley. It would have been great to see a film clip of the young Cliff singing Living Doll..


Anonymous said...

My own playlist would have included some of the following:

Wondrous Place - Billy Fury
Gold Finger - Shirley Bassey
Tomorrow Never Know - Beatles
Jumping Jack Flash - Stones
Wont Get Fooled Again - The Who
Tam Lin - Fairport Convention
Queen Bitch - Bowie
Kashmir - Led Zep
The Great Gig In The Sky - Pink Floyd

Anonymous said...

After a pop ceremony, why not a pop theme for each event ?

I`m sure the athletes in the marathon would be inspired by 'Keep On Running' by Spencer Davis.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Rowan Atkinson's appearance was the subject of more twittering than any other of the surprises.

The comic actor who played Mr. Bean appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra. He struck a single note on the piano during the instrumental 'Chariots of Fire'.

But was he funny?

LOUCAST said...

Hello Andy,

I am not qualified to give my 2 cents worth of comment on the subjects in question.

All I can say is that the organizers went through great pains to produce a memorable historical account of the English culture through the times.

I would like to thank you in turn for all the educational, entertaining and nostalgic emails!

Please keep them coming, especially on the subject of music!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Loucast,
Thank you for your positive observation and comment. I know with people like you the world is a better place.

You are right; who am I to comment on the opening of the London Olympics.

Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry, two British directors named as the creative bosses of the opening ceremony, did such a fantastic job that I should not even have made the posting.

The whole concept was truly a work of art.

Pushing Ahead of the Dame said...

“Starman” is David Bowie’s Christmas carol. It offers a promise of deliverance, that the human race has been redeemed by greater powers, with a chorus built for a crowd to sing it.

It’s the song that finally broke Bowie, whose performance of it on a July 1972 Top of the Pops made him a nationwide, and soon worldwide, pop star.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

I guess each song that was heard during the Opening has a significant meaning to the director.

Would be interesting to find out how the songs are interconnected to form a meaningful theme for the 2012 Olympiad.

I haven't read enough. Do you have a clue?


Dear Andy,

Like many people over here, I was sceptical about the Olympic opening ceremony.

The pop music sampling section wasn't bad, although they missed out the influential popular music of the 50s in their typical eagerness to get to the Beatles. (Poor old Tommy Steele, Marty Wilde, Billy Fury, etc. always seem to suffer in this way).

Read Allan's full letter in the next blog posting about London 2012 Olympics.

BOB said...

Hi Andy,
A while back Larry responded that the theme music on his 60s programme 'Spin Around' on Rediffusion was John Barry's 'Hit And Miss'.

As I was certain it wasn't that, I searched further. So after more than 40 years search I've found IT !!! It's "Rum-Dee-Dum-Dee-Dah' also by John Barry.

In case Larry doesn't recollect the tune, he can download it at


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you Bob,

I have sent Larry Lai your email. Hopefully he will respond and we will get the matter settled.

I wondering too now!