Danny Boyle’s position as artistic director for the 2012 Olympics opened up a number of interesting possibilities for the event. Boyle has made a career of making the UK look kind of dodgy, with movies like Trainspotting showing the grittier, heroin-addicted side of the realm, and 28 Days Later turning England into the victim of a zombie plague. Now, with the task of making London look presentable as the world watches on, Boyle has set out to highlight the best the city has to offer.
A recently leaked document lists 86 songs chosen by Boyle to be played during the games, revealing that, above all else, the show will be very Boylian. Among the songs listed are several British punk classics including, naturally, “London Calling” by The Clash, “Going Underground” by The Jam and—in a controversial move—The Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen,” which was added to the list while the monarchical anthem itself remains absent.
As an attempt to highlight London’s rich musical history, the list succeeds in capturing everything from Handel’s Music For The Royal Fireworks to the ecstasy-laden pop of the Happy Monday’s “Step On” and Underworld’s “Born Slippy” (which famously appeared on the soundtrack to Trainspotting). In between are the ubiquitous theme songs of Monty Python and the James Bond series and, because no Olympic games would be complete without it, Vangelis’ title track from “Chariots Of Fire.”