Underworld Feat. Dame Evelyn Glennie – And I Will Kiss
If you were going to put together a soundtrack for the opening ceremony of an Olympics to be held in the UK, there would be a few artists who would definitely come top of your list in terms of soundtrack duties. There are a few boxes these artists have got to tick, of course; capability of producing enormously stomping dance floor bangers? Check. A back catalogue boasting some of the past decade’s most popular culture’s seminal tracks? Check. As it happens, the British scene is healthy enough to offer up more than a couple of acts who fit that bill.
Step forwards veteran techno producers Underworld, who first smashed into our consciousness as they were responsible for ‘Born Slippy’ – the “shouting lager, lager” track that appeared in the film Trainspotting (annihilating dance floors worldwide ever since). There was no doubt they could make people move on the dance floor – but would they be able to move people to tears for the Olympics?
The answer was yes. They developed a 17 minute magnum opus to accompany Danny Boyle’s pandemonium sequence for the opening celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and what an opus it was. Underworld – who were actually chosen to direct the music for the ceremony – provided two original songs for it, the epic ‘And I Will Kiss’ and ‘Caliban’s Dream’.
“From the very first meeting Danny was determined to ‘break the curse’ that accompanied shows of that scale. If there were elements that made us laugh or things that we loved for whatever reason, we kept them. We threw the supposed rulebook out, avoided the rubbish,” said Rick Smith, Underworld’s music director in an interview with the Guardian.
“I started on the Pandemonium section in June 2011 when the band was touring,” Smith continued. “Danny wanted to frighten people. He was certain that by the end, people had to be going: ‘Christ, you can’t possibly do that to us for the next three hours.’ All the way along, he’d leave you with a sentence like that. That’s the kind of direction that leaves you empowered.”
‘And I Will Kiss’ is available on the Olympics 2012 soundtrack, ‘Isles of Wonder’, out now on Decca