It was 27 July 2012, the night of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The Queen got into a helicopter. Men with top hats walked on Glastonbury Tor. The Queen jumped out of a helicopter. Danny Boyle’s pageant in Stratford took Britain on a journey through the centuries, from prehistoric settlements to James Bond films, and the miracle of satellite bounced it all into hundreds of millions of homes around the world.
Seasoned watchers of stadium-sized spectaculars would have noticed that the music in Boyle’s ceremony – which included Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, Led Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot”, snatches of Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, and jittery patterns of drum’n’bass – was quite different from the MOR singalongs that usually grace these occasions. Did anyone subconsciously get the connection between the disparate musical elements? If they didn’t, it was there in black and white the following morning, when newspapers printed the ceremony’s running order.