London 2012: The '80s finally get 'their' Olympics
When a spoof of 1981's Chariots of Fire outshines a performance by Sir Paul McCartney, you know these 2012 Summer Games belong to the '80s generation.
Was there anyone at home, watching the opening ceremonies on Friday night, who didn't explode with joy at seeing Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) perfoming Vangelis' theme from the movie? According to Digital Spy, that spoof cause the biggest Twitter spike of the night. (Chariots of Fire itself is seeing a new burst of love; the movie was remastered and rereleased just prior to the Olympics.)
Now, pair that with the homage to British music through the decades. Biggest applause and crowd explosion? During the '80s, when the music of OMD and Frankie Goes to Hollywood were featured. Yes, the same Frankie song -- Relax -- that was long banned by the BBC for being a little too ... well, a little too everything.
The love affair began before the opening ceremonies, with a concert featuring Duran Duran, and after Friday as well. The Pet Shop Boys, the most successful duo in British music history, performed Saturday before tennis began at Wimbledon.
Neil Tennant seemed happy with the reception, writing this Pet Text for the duo's website: "Hi. We just played three songs at Wimbledon before the Olympics tennis started. A very friendly crowd watched us from Henman Hil" performing Always on my mind, What have I done to deserve this? and Winner with special backdrop videos. I think Winner will turn up on TV in the UK and around the world but no one has told us when! Neil x "
And has anyone noticed that more of more of the athletes seems older these days? It's a 30-and-over crowd at beach volleyball for sure. (Also mind-numbing: How all the younger athletes at the opening ceremonies were dumfounded by McCartney's Hey Jude. Seriously, how do you not know the lyrics to that? Make a note to borrow your parents' CDs when you get back home.)
The focus on '80s entertainment shouldn't be a huge surprise. The '80s generation -- those generally 35 to 45 years old -- are the sweet spot for advertisers, movie studios and networks these days. And Britain surely contributed as much -- if not more -- to that decade's entertainment as any other nation.
It'll be interesting to see what other '80s moments are ahead in the coming two weeks.