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Paul McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’ Closes Out London Summer 2012 Opening Olympic Ceremony

Pool / Getty Images Sport

Paul McCartney was the one known quantity going into the Opening Ceremony at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, and the Beatle great did not disappoint.

The 70-year-old vocalist was the perfect capper to a triumphant opening event to kick off this year’s Olympic Games. By the time McCartney took to the stage, the production was closing in on four hours, but the event itself was widely regarded a success with theatrics, a light show and a strong dedication to the history of British music.

McCartney opened his performance by reciting a line from the Beatles classic, ‘The End,’ exclaiming, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make,” before taking his seat at the piano. From there, he led the entire Olympic Stadium in a chill-inducing sing-along of the classic song ‘Hey Jude,’ urging both men and women from the audience to take on separate parts of the song with a resounding response.

One other performance highlight from the Opening Ceremony came from the younger generation as the Arctic Monkeys played their massive breakout single ‘I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor’ as well as a cover of the Beatles’ ‘Come Together.’

Two Door Cinema Club vocalist Alex Trimble also received a vocal spotlight during the event, singing ‘Caliban’s Dream,’ a song penned by Underworld’s Rick Smith specifically for the Olympic Games. During Trimble’s performance, the Olympic Torch traveled through the stadium before the Olympic Cauldron was finally lit to the sounds of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Eclipse.’

Though there were only a handful of performers, the evening was filled with classic rock favorites providing the soundtrack for the night, as the Who‘s ‘Baba O’Riley’ and ‘My Generation,’ Sex Pistols‘ ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Pretty Vacant,’ the Clash‘s ‘London Calling,’ the Rolling Stones‘ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,’ the Beatles’ ‘She Loves You,’ Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Trampled Under Foot,’ David Bowie‘s ‘Starman,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Absolute Beginners,’ Queen‘s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the Kinks‘ ‘All Day and All of The Night,’ and Eric Clapton‘s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ all got airtime during the four-hour event.

The soundtrack to the event, titled ‘Isles of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games,’ was expected to be released to iTunes at the end of the performance. A physical release will follow Aug. 6.

Next: Underrated Paul McCartney Songs

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