Here are a few reviews of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies where they review or mention the music and/or Underworld’s involvement.
Emma Warren: “Banned! Music and The Opening Ceremony”
Underworld, who masterminded the soundtrack to the ceremony, subverted everything music is supposed to do at a showcase event like the Olympics. Instead of broadcasting pop hits that were built with profit in mind, or that smooth out the rough edges of life into a lowest common denominator average, they took the music not underground, because these were predominantly pieces of music we all know and love, but back to the margins, where all the most interesting things begin.
The Guardian: “Olympic opening ceremony: the music, reviewed”
Underworld, in fact, had a bit of a triumph: the builds and fades they learned in the world of dance music lent the sometimes overwhelming visual spectacle a sense of structure.
AP: “Olympic opener showed music is best of British”
Olympic ceremonies often play it safe. But Boyle, who brought in the electronic duo Underworld as musical directors, gave his show a cheeky edge. The Sex Pistols, once the outrageous face of punk, were included with their song “Pretty Vacant.” Boyle even slipped in a few bars of the Pistols’ snarling “God Save the Queen” (“the fascist regime”) early on.
CNN: “Dance beats, Bowie and a Beatle: Is London 2012 the rock ‘n’ roll Games?”
Let it be known from this day forth, the Olympic movement has seen the creation of the first ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ Games, and London 2012 will be remembered for all time as the venue of its birth
The Telegraph: “London 2012 Opening Ceremony, first review”
But this ceremony was also about Boyle the award-winning, popular filmmaker and it was steeped in his signature moves: break-neck speed montages, widescreen angles, fast zooms. More than anything it was a love letter to British film, TV and music, from Mary Poppins to Harry Potter, Lionel Bart to Soul 2 Soul. With his musical partners Underworld it paid homage to some of the greatest British hits of the last fifty years spliced together with the anarchic energy of the rave culture Boyle was the first director to really understand.