Top 10 Olympic and sporting themes

GregJohnson July 6, 2012 1
Top 10 Olympic and sporting themes

The last two weeks have seen music and sport come together in the entertainment headlines: Muse released their official Olympic song Survival, London 2012 organisers unveiled a special music service for spectators called Rock The Games, and football followers went mad over Euro 2012, with Italian fans taking over London’s Piccadilly Circus to honour their team with a hearty rendition of Fratelli D’Italia.

With all this in mind, and the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games is rapidly approaching, we thought we’d round things off nicely with a run down of some of the best sport-themed musical moments of recent years.

The list isn’t any particular order or ranking, so feel free to add your own suggestions in a comment at the end of the article.

Without further a-do, let’s kick off into this week’s top ten!

1. Chariots of Fire – Vangelis

One of the most iconic sports films of all time, Chariots of Fire and its soundtrack have become synonymous with the Olympic games, with Vangelis’ memorable main theme often used in TV coverage and montages.

2. Light And Tuneful – Keith Mansfield

Light And Tuneful is the opening theme to the BBC’s coverage of the Wimbledon. The 2012 edition of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships coincidently started last week!

3. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

If you aren’t sure why The Chain has been included on our list of sporting songs and theme then fast forward to 3:06, grab an imaginary steering wheel towards you and think of Silverstone and it’ll all become clear.

While many remember the riff, a surprising number of people are still unaware that the music they associate with Formula One, the grand prix, and motorsport in general, is from a Fleetwood Mac song.

4. Soul Limbo – Booker T & The MG’s

Another classic track that has become inseparable from the sport its associated with, which this time is cricket.

Again it was TV that made the connection, with Soul Limbo chosen as the theme music for the BBC’s Test Match Special programmes.

5. Drag Racer – The Doug Wood Band

Snooker – is a sport or is it a game? Regardless, Drag Racer has become the track most minds fall back on when thinking up tunes to go with their cues.

6. The Trap – Ron Goodwin

Ron Goodwin’s The Trap is the theme for the London Marathon, an annual event that has helped the tune pass into the public conciousness.

7. Pop Looks Bach – Sam Fonteyn

Time to switch climates for a more wintery feel.

Pop Looks Bach is of course the theme to the BBC’s Ski Sunday, the long-running TV series covering news, events and competitions from the alpine disciplines.

8. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

While to many Eve of the Tiger is the theme tune to Rocky, the track wasn’t actually used until the third film in the series, Rocky III.

Sylvester Stallone apparently asked the band Survivor to write the track as he was unable to use Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust.

Other notable fighting mentions include the theme from Saturday Night Boxing

and You’re the Best by Joe Esposito, which is to Karate Kid what Eye of the Tiger is to Rocky.

9. Theme From Grandstand - Keith Mansfield

What better way to mark Keith Mansfield’s second inclusion on our list than with an appearance from the man himself, who features as a conductor in the live performance of this unforgettable TV sporting theme embedded above!

10. We Are The Champions - Queen

We Are The Champions is the go-to anthem for teams, fans, TV producers or anyone covering, enjoying or associating themselves with victory, glory and winning.

Barcelona, the collaboration track between Freddie Mercury and Monteserrat Caballe is also worth a mention. The popular piece reached its peak sadly after the death of Mercury, with the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Want more sporting themes?

Play the music of the London 2012 Olympic Games with the official London 2012 Olympic Games Songbook from Musicroom.com.

Learn and enjoy 13 tracks including Phillip Glass’ The Olympian and Freddie Mercury’sBarcelona.

Read more about the official songbook on our preview blog post.

The Guest Spot series of songbooks for woodwind players have recently launched three new Sporting Themes titles for Alto Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet.

Did we miss any tracks that deserve a space on our list? Have we included any that don’t deserve to be there?

Leave us a comment below with your suggestions and favourite sporting themes.