The Opening Ceremony to the London Olympics will feature an eclectic mix of British music including The Beatles, Handel, The Sex Pistols, Adele, David Bowie, Muse and The Chemical Brothers, as well as songs from movies, TV shows and the West End.
According to a report in the British tabloid The Sun, the director of the ceremony, Danny Boyle, will use a 79-track playlist during the three-hour spectacle on July 27. A more-respected periodical, The Telegraph, also reported the leaked setlist. Olympic officials haven't confirmed (or denied) the playlist's authenticity, but if you read between the lines of that Telegraph story, it seems more real than fake. Let's treat it as if it's the former and analyze Boyle's musical selections.
• The show begins with "The Eton Boating Song," an old hymn evoking early 20th-century London that you've never heard, but have probably heard a thousand times. It's scheduled to be followed by Elgar and Benson's "Land of Hope and Glory," which you may remember from every graduation you've ever attended and its well-known section, "Pomp and Circumstance." Then Boyle fast-forwards to a cut from 1970s punk band The Jam and one from current rockers, Muse.
• After an intro from the chimes of Big Ben, the guitar riffs of the Sex Pistols will crash in, as Boyle's most controversial selection, The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen." Will Boyle let lines like "God save the queen/She ain't no human being/There is no future/In England's dreaming" play as Queen Elizabeth sits in Olympic Stadium? My money's on no. Boyle is subversive, but everything he's said and done over the past 18 months suggest he knows the gravity of the moment. That, coupled with the fact that some songs will only be played in snippets, and the Opening Ceremony's big rebellious movement may come down to a few power chords.
• In a move sure to anger the brothers Gallagher, Oasis has one fewer song than some tossers from Liverpool. The Beatles have the most tracks (three), just as you'd expect. But rather than turn the ceremony into a history lesson of the British invasion, Boyle uses a blend of music from all eras of the nation's history. Rest assured, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Led Zeppelin each make an appearance. Solo efforts from members of those bands were mostly ignored. Sorry, Wings.
• Handel, Sir Hubert Parry and Elgar are among the classical composers to have works featured in the leaked setlist.
• The "Chariots of Fire" theme song is there, too, hopefully with a live appearance from Vangelis (featuring Yanni?!)
• No Spice Girls, but Sugababes gets the lead-off of the second portion with "Push the Button." It's followed by a track from "Oliver" and something off "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," hopefully with a live appearance from Angela Lansbury (featuring Yanni?!)
• Other snubs: Robbie Williams (boy, is Robbie Williams going to be mad), Rod Stewart, Shirley Bassey, Cheryl Cole and Take That. The two most egregious snubs: Elton John and Tom Jones. "What's New Pussycat?" Only that Frankie Goes to Hollywood is now thought to be more emblematic of a nation than the man who sings "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," that's what.
• Some of the classics: "My Generation," "Satisfaction," "All Day and All of the Night" (come on; surely there are 80 better Kinks song than that), "She Loves You," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "The End," and "Hey Jude."
• Modern classics: "Creep," "Song 2," "Bittersweet Symphony," "Wonderwall," "Paper Planes" and "Rolling in the Deep."
• Coldplay song: "Viva La Vida."
• The playlist ends with David Bowie's "Absolute Beginners," which may seem like an odd choice, but given its anthemic qualities and video featuring Bowie traipsing around in a trenchcoat, it could be a perfect choice to close Boyle's Olympic ode to all things England.
The Opening Ceremony setlist (?)
Captain Algernon Drummond, William Johnson Cory - Eton Boating Song
Elgar, AC Benson - Land of Hope and Glory
The Jam - Going Underground
Muse - Map of the Problematique
Big Ben Chimes
Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen
The Clash - London Calling
Simon May - EastEnders Theme
The Shipping Forecast
Sir Hubert Parry, William Blake - Jerusalem
Elgar - Nimrod
Handel - Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Eric Coates - Dambusters March
Handel - Music for the Royal Fireworks
Monty Norman - James Bond Theme
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield - In Dulci Jubilo
Vangelis - Chariots of Fire
BBC News 1954
Arthur Wood - The Archers Theme
Winifred Atwell - Black and White Rag
Sugababes - Push the Button
OMD - Enola Gay
David Rose - The Stripper
Lionel Bart - Food Glorious Food
Irwin Kostal, Richard Sherman, Robert Sherman - Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Rizzle Kicks - When I Was a Youngster
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Colin Tully - Gregorys Girl Theme
William Pitt - City Lights
The Who - My Generation
The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop
The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night
The Beatles - She Loves You
Mud - Tiger Feet
Led Zeppelin - Trampled Under Foot
The Specials - A Message to You Rudy
David Bowie - Starman
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
Duran Duran - The Reflex
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 Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Prodigy - Firestarter
Underworld - Born Slippy
Jaan Kenbrovin, John William Kellette - Im Forever Blowing Bubbles
Blur - Song 2
Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers
Tigerstyle - Nachna Onda Nei (contains Michael Jackson - Billie Jean, Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure and Ilaiyaraaja - Naanthaan Ungappanda)
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse - Valerie
Radiohead - Creep
Muse - Uprising
Kano & Mikey J - Random Antics
Tinie Tempah - Pass Out
MIA - Paper Planes
Coldplay - Viva La Vida
The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict a Riot
Roll Deep - Shake a Leg
Adele - Rolling in the Deep
Oasis - The Hindu Times
Oasis - Wonderwall
Emeli Sande - Heaven
William Monk/Henry Francis - Abide With Me
Pink Floyd - Eclipse
The Beatles - The End
The Beatles - Hey Jude
David Bowie - Heroes
Eric Spear - Coronation Street Theme
Ron Grainer - Doctor Who Theme
John Philip Sousa - Monty Python Theme/The Liberty Bell
David Bowie - Absolute Beginners
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