The London Olympics come to an end with a Symphony of British Music
The 2012 Olympics came to an end with a spectacular closing ceremony – seriously, the best ever – and a great send-off to a British Olympics which couldn’t have really gone much better for the host nation. The closing programme included a 30 song Symphony of British Music concert, intended to “celebrate the best of British pop music, all over the ages”.
This Symphony of British Music included the much touted performance by The Spice Girls, who arrived in five London cabs to perform to the joy of many twenty-something girls; and to the equal disappointment of many sad men who had their wank bank memory of their particular favourite spice girl ruined forever by this appearance by the Old Spice Girls. The sight of five aging, botoxed, and strategically clothed Spice Girls wailing “Spice Up Yer Life!!” while holding on to the zimmer-frames erected to each London cabs as they drove around the Olympic stadium, was, a tad unsightly. But of course, completely necessary.
What wasn’t necessary at all was Jessie J. Her performance of “Price Tag” was somehow fit to make this list of 30 songs, at the expense of many seminal British artists such as Primal Scream, Black Sabbath, Joy Division, The Clash or The Rolling Stones. To rub salt in the wounds, Jessie J performed twice more, first joining Taio Cruz and a placid Tinie Tempah for a ridiculous cover of The Bee Gees “You Should be Dancing”. The real crime, however, was her performance with Brian May and Roger Walters as she sung “We Will Rock You” to end this Symphony of British Music.
Equally unnecessary was George Michael, who performed “Freedom” and then his new song, “White Light”, which you’ll never hear again.
Beady Eye performed “Wonderwall”, so 1-0 to Liam Gallagher on that one. Not sure how Noel can outdo a concert seen by half the planet. And yes, clearly the Olympics can bring everyone together… except the Gallagher brothers. And also except Take That, who performed later on in the closing ceremony after the Symphony segment, with band member Robbie Williams absent, much to the dismay of millions of women around the world, including my mother.)
The Kaiser Chiefs (yes, really… I know… no idea…) arrived with a crew of Mods on scooters, and then performed The Who’s “Winball Wizard”.
A pleasant surprise was Mr Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, who played a couple of his most famous tracks. Equally good were Muse, with Matt Bellamy shredding the hell out of “Survival”, the somewhat anonymous official anthem of the 2012 Olympics.
The real star of the show, however, was Freddie Mercury. The Olympic stadium roared back at the sight of a giant Freddie Mercury hologram on a jumbotron tall screen which stood in the centre of the stadium. The crowd and viewers around the world roared back the call of “Deyo, deyo” to a giant Freddie, as a real life (and still totally kicking) Brian May and Roger Taylor backed him with “Brighten Rock”. If only the giant Freddie had stayed to play us out to “We Will Rock You”, but instead Jessie J had that honour… damp squib.
The full playlist is below. Hit up Amazonor iTunes to use this playlist to recreate some special Olympic magic in your own home!
Symphony of British Music playlist:
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody” (snippet)
John Lennon/The Beatles – “Imagine” performed by the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and the Liverpool Signing choir.
George Michael – “Freedom”
George Michael – “White Light”
Kaiser Chiefs – “Pinball Wizard”
David Bowie montage of “Space Oddity”, “Changes”, “Ziggy Stardust”, “The Jean Genie”, “Rebel Rebel”, “Diamond Dogs”, “Young Americans” and “Let’s Dance”
David Bowie – “Fashion”
Annie Lennox – “Little Bird”
Ed Sheeran – “Wish You Were Here”
Russel Brand and Bond – “I Am The Walrus”
Fatboy Slim – “Right Here, Right Now”
Fatboy Slim – “The Rockafeller Skank”
Jessie J – “Price Tag”
Tinie Tempah – “Written In The Stars”
Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”
Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz – “You Should be Dancing”
The Spice Girls – “Spice Up Your Life”
Beady Eye – “Wonderwall”
Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr Blue Sky”
Eric Idle – “Always Look on the Bright Side Of Life”
Muse – “Survival”
Brian May and Roger Taylor – “Brighton Rock”
Brian May and Roger Taylor + Jessie J – “We Will Rock You”
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
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