What, no Spandau?

A Rio 2016 playlist without some of the Gold regulars


Every four years, after the talking and the training are done, pre-match hype over, the games begin. How many times can Spandau Ballet’s Gold be included in a montage of sporting triumphs? Answer: no number is enough. Fans of 6Music are likely to have heard Belle & Sebastian’s The Stars of Track and Field, Gene’s Olympian, Cake’s Going the Distance Shed 7’s Going for Gold, The Chemical Brothers’ Velodrome and The Spencer Davis Group’s Keep On Running over the past fortnight. There have sadly been precious few airings of Spandau’s arch-rivals Duran’s ode to the host city.

In the interests of forming a few new playlists before Gold (Gold!) rings out again (no bad thing), here’s a suggestion for Rio 2016:-


For Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow
Milk The Bronze Medal
The Bristol acoustic indie act have the perfect name for the men who finished third (Tom for second successive Games). Give Me Land might have a more appropriate title for divers but have gone for this liquid-based song instead.

For Jessica Ennis-Hill
Silver Lady David Soul
Jessica is a big Jay-Z fan so Roc Boys (And The Winner Is) should in general be her theme tune. For a World Champion with a gold medal from London, silver is still a great result taking on a 21 year-old with five out of seven personal bests.

For Louis Smith
Silver Platter Club – John Grant
Silver seemed to upset him but this song would raise a smile, even if it’s 4 minutes and 11 seconds of constant whingeing.

For Nick Skelton and Katherine Grainger
Our Last Summer – ABBA
What has this to do with the Olympics? Well, they’re both retiring after this and it’s from More Gold – even though she won silver.

For Max Whitlock
Make Them Gold Chvrches
To win two gymnastic medals in a day, it was either this or A Horse with No Name or J-Lo’s Get On The Floor but that involves Pitbull.

For Andy Murray
Stay Gold – First Aid Kit
Sweden is cold and full of natural beauty. It’s practically Scotland. Who didn’t just win gold, four years later it stayed on his chest.

For Mo Farah
The Golden Path – Chemical Brothers and Wayne Coyne
Mo could go for Phoenix’s Run Run Run, or Chumbawamba’s Tubthumpin’ after getting knocked down but getting up again to win the 10,000m, or Gold by Prince but the Chems and The Flaming Lips, like Mo and long-distance make a winning combination.

For Usain Bolt and Jason Kenny
3 Is The Magic Number – De La Soul
Three medals in Beijing, three medals in London and in Rio, let’s not jinx it. But Jason got three.

For Sir Bradley Wiggins
Wheels – The Flying Burrito Brothers
Sir Brad already gets soundcheck by some voguish Mod or Nouveau Mod styling like but if we don’t go for The Chemical Brothers’ Velodrome or Edwyn Colllins’ The Wheels of Love, the Burritos would be a great fit for our biggest medal grabber.

For Giles Scott
Ride Like The Wind – Christopher Cross
Because you ride and get wind in sailing. And cos it’s a tune.

For Lutalo Muhammad and Jade Jones
Ain’t That A Kick in the Head – Dean Martin
If you don’t understand why, you haven’t watched Taekwondo. Lutalo could have had Next’s So Close with one second from a gold.

For Ryan Lochte
Dear Lie – TLC.
Earlier in the week, anything from Ryan Adams’ Gold album would have been fine. For a while, The Rescue Blues. Been Caught Stealing or this, from TLC, would be better.

For Bryony James
Take the Silver – Sarah Cracknell featuring The Rails
You could have Trampoline by Tinie Tempah and 2 Chainz but this song is much better.


Former editor of Smash Hits and Q, writes on music here, for the BBC Entertainment & Arts website, Reaction.life and others. Favourite artists include Prince, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Daft Punk, Joni Mitchell, John Grant, Velvet Underground, Stevie Wonder, The Blue Nile and too many others to mention.