British band Muse rocks the 2012 Olympics: “Survival” named official Games song (VIDEO)

This choice breaks tradition in a good way with an in-your-face rock anthem, but it doesn't sit well with some critics. Look for a starring role by Michael Phelps. Photo: Muse

SAN DIEGO – July 6, 2012 –  Members of the British trio Muse say they are honored to have their rock anthem “Survival” selected as the official song of the 2012 London Olympic Games. It will be played during the July 27-Aug. 12 games as athletes enter the venues and before medal ceremonies.

Frontman Matt Bellamy said the song was written specifically for the Games, and “expresses a sense of conviction and determination to win.” He added, “It’s a huge honor to have the track chosen as such a major part of the London 2012 Olympic Games.”

Muse was formed in 1994 and has sold 15 million copies of five studio albums. The trio participated in the Olympic torch run through their hometown of Teignmouth in southwest England on the flame’s 8,000-mile route to the games.

Since the International Olympic Committee won’t let anyone including Communities actually embed the video from its YouTube channel to play for you, click through and treat yourself to the bracing video featuring the human body in athletic motion in dozens of ways, edited to give the song even more punch. Look for a feature role by swimmer Michael Phelps.

London, 2012 Olympic Games official song: MUSE, “Survival”

The song breaks tradition with the swelling anthems featuring variations on the “let’s be friends in peace and harmony while we compete together” compositions selected as official Olympic songs over the past 40 years. Its “winning is everything,” in your face attitude set to an edgy blast of guitars has come in for criticism, with stodgy critics moaning about its clichés and bad manners.

Seriously? Lighten up and get over yourselves. Considering the age group of the athletes themselves, this is a far more fitting Olympic song than most of the draggy, gaggy, oh-so-sincere anthems of recent games. Can you sing even more than one of them from memory, assuming you can remember any of them? I thought not.

Let’s review some of them, shall we?

Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games official song: Giorgio Moroder, “Reach Out”

Moroder is the same guy behind “Flashdance.” It’s a little “Eye of the Tiger,” and it was well received at the time. It’s hard to judge in context. Your 1980s clothes and hairstyle didn’t age well either.

Seoul, 1988, Olympic Games official song: Koreana, “Hand in Hand”

This song ended up being wildly popular in East Asia and has remained a standard ever since its release.  

Barcelona, 1992 Olympic Games official song, Sarah Brightman and Jose Carreras, “Friends for Life”

This choice paled in comparison to the song that should have taken its place as the greatest Olympic Games song of all time, “Barcelona” by Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Spanish opera star Montserrat Caballé. Sadly, Mercury died 10 months before the Games of AIDS. The replacement was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, pairing another Spanish opera star with his ex-wife, British singer Sarah Brightman. This was Juan Antonio Samaranch’s favorite song and it was played at his funeral earlier this year. 

Atlanta, 1996 Olympic Games official song: Gloria Estefan, “Reach”

As Olympic songs go, this is the only one most of you can probably recall, perhaps even sing. It’s a little syrupy sincere, but Gloria Estefan can do little wrong, and it shines in comparison to its predecessors. It’s also the only one good enough to occasionally be revised. It was performed live by Estefan to open the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament.

Sydney, 2000 Olympic Games official song: Tina Arena, “The Flame”

Arena isn’t well known in North America, but she is Britney Spears and Paula Abdul rolled into one in Australia. She is a child singing star, a musical theater performer as well as a pop star, and a judge on one of Australia’s hit reality talent shows. The song was written by Australian composer John Foreman, who is now musical director of “Australian Idol.”

Athens, 2004 Olympic Games official song, Bjork, “Oceana”

Even mentioning the name of quirky Icelandic singer Bjork draws snickers or astonished gasps from a lot of people. Give credit for an avant-garde choice sure to polarize people. But it could have been far worse: Yanni, anyone?

Beijing, 2008 Olympic Games official song: Liu Huan and Sarah Brightman, “You and Me”

British singer Sarah Brightman makes a return appearance with Chinese singer Liu Huan. Huan, is one of the most popular male pop singers in China, but Brightman added her soprano to provide a familiar face to the Western world. As for the song, Brightman is lovely, but… eh.

Still think the Muse song isn’t up to snuff? Turn it up louder, sing along with Michael Phelps, maybe you’ll change your mind.


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at” when quoting from or linking to this story.   



Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

More from London 2012 Summer Olympic Games
blog comments powered by Disqus
Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


Contact Gayle Falkenthal


Please enable pop-ups to use this feature, don't worry you can always turn them off later.

Question of the Day
Photo Galleries
Popular Threads
Powered by Disqus