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History of Olympics Music
by Alex Cosper (2/15/2014)


The Olympics go back centuries but the Olympic Games we know today began to take shape in 1859. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed in the 1890s, taking control of the international sporting event. The "Olympic Hymn" was first performed as an opening theme at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. A theme that has frequently been used by television networks during the Olympic Games has been "Bugler's Dream" by Leo Arnaud. The 1981 instrumental hit "Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis was the theme to a factual movie about the 1924 Olympics.

The following is a list of songs that have been associated with Olympic Games either as opening themes, music played by television networks or live musical performances at the event. Devo made a comeboack at the 2010 Winter Olympics and introduced new songs from an upcoming album called Fresh. Music featured during the 2014 Winter Olympics includes "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" performed by International Philharmonic Ensemble, "Olympic Spirit" by The Festival Torch and "March of the Olympians" by The Moscow Underground.

*official opening songs

1960 - Walter Simon - Parade of the Olympians
1964 - Helmut Zacharias - Tokyo Melody
1968 - Leo Arnaud - Bugler's Dream
1968 - Long John Baldry - Mexico Theme Song
1972 - Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert & John Denver - Victory Is Peace
1972 - Harry Chapin - Circle
1976 - Rene Simard - Bienvenue a Montreal*
1976 - Barry DeVorzon & Perry Botkin, Jr. - Nadia's Theme
1980 - Tonis Magi - Olimpiada*
1984 - Paul Engemann - Reach Out*
1984 - John Williams - Olympic Fanfare and Theme
1988 - Koreana - Hand in Hand
1988 - Whitney Houston - One Moment In Time
1988 - Koreana - Hand In Hand*
1992 - Sarah Brightman & Jose Carreras - Amigo Para Siempre (Friends For Life)
1992 - Freddiie Mercury & Montserrat Caballe - Barcelona*
1996 - Celine Dion - The Power Of The Dream
1996 - Gloria Estefan - Reach*
2000 - Tina Arena - The Flame*
2000 - Nikki Webster - We'll Be One
2008 - Liu Huan & Sarah Brightman - You & Me
2004 - Bjork - Oceana*
2008 - Various Artists - Welcome To Beijing*
2012 - Music with London Symphony Orchestra - Survival*
2012 - John Lennon - Imagine
2012 - Underworld - Soundtrack to the Opening Ceremony
2012 - London Symphony Orchestra - Chariots of Fire
2012 - Trinchy Stryder & Dionne Bromfield - Spinnin For 2012
2012 - Chemical Brothers - Theme For Velodrome
2012 - Arctic Monkeys - Come Together
2012 - Madness - Our House
2012 - Emeli Sande - Read All About It
2012 - Ed Sheeran - Wish You Were Here
2012 - Beady Eye - Wonderwall
2012 - Take That - Rule The World
2012 - Brian May & Jessie J - We Will Rock You
2012 - The Who - Baba O Reily/My Generation
2016 - Luiz Melodia - Aquele Abraco





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