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  #1  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:28 AM
Equipoise Equipoise is offline
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Pop/rock songs lifting from classical music.

I just discovered that the melody of The Toys' 1965 song "A Lover Concerto" is from a Bach* piece, Minuet in G major!

What are some other examples?

I'm sure there are several threads about this topic but I haven't found them.



* it may not be by Bach.
  #2  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:48 AM
iamnotbatman iamnotbatman is offline
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This very recent thread is related:
Are great melodies universal, or limited to their genre?
  #3  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:55 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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What instantly popped into my mind:
Malcolm McLaren - Madame Butterfly
  #4  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:31 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Hook, by Blues Traveller.

It's Pachebel's Canon. Once you hear it you can't unhear it. And they've never even tried to cover it up. Given the content of the song it's hilarious.
  #5  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:39 AM
GreenElf GreenElf is offline
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Yes - Cans and Brahms, from the third movement of Brahms' Fourth Symphony in E minor

and with classical influence:
Electric Light Orchestra - Roll Over Beethoven
Carol King - Tapestry
Zombies - Odessey and Oracle
Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
The Who- Tommy
Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
Saturday Night Fever - Fifth of Beethoven
  #6  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:03 AM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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Eric Carmen, "All by Myself" - lifted from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor.
  #7  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:24 AM
SecretaryofEvil SecretaryofEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Hook, by Blues Traveller.

It's Pachebel's Canon. Once you hear it you can't unhear it. And they've never even tried to cover it up. Given the content of the song it's hilarious.
This comedian demonstrates about 14 different pop/rock songs that use Pachebel's Canon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM

Last edited by SecretaryofEvil; 01-28-2012 at 10:27 AM.
  #8  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:34 AM
K364 K364 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Eric Carmen, "All by Myself" - lifted from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor.
And his followup single, "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" – based on the main theme of the slow movement of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2
  #9  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:35 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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There's been a long argument over whether Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" actually used a Bach melody or just sounded like it did. Wikipedia says sounded like.

In the 1970s, Michael Kamen, a classically trained rocker who had been with the New York Roll & Roll Ensemble, and before he became a big name in Hollywood, performed a rock ballet with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. As far as I know it was never done again, never recorded, and I can't even find a reference to it on the web. Granting that I didn't hallucinate the whole thing, it was the best rock/classical fusion piece I've ever heard.

If anybody else knows of any reference to this I'd love to know more about it.
  #10  
Old 01-28-2012, 11:35 AM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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Sting's Russians.
  #11  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:16 PM
lawbuff lawbuff is offline
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I used to know 4 or 5, I'll rack my brain.

One I do know is, on Barry Manilow's song "Could it be the magic", it states on the label the intro was inspired by "Prelude in C Minor, Chopin".
  #12  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:21 PM
lawbuff lawbuff is offline
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I just remembered another one;

Copied from Wikipedia;

"A Groovy Kind of Love" is a pop song written by Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager for the Screen Gems music publishing company. It is heavily based on the Rondo movement of Sonatina in G major, op. 36 no. 5[1] by Muzio Clementi. The song was released first by Diane & Annita in 1965, and several covers have since appeared on worldwide music charts.
  #13  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:26 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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The Nice would often interpolate classical melodies into their songs, and, of course, Emerson Lake and Palmer did "Pictures at an Exhibition." I wouldn't be surprised if Emerson put classical riffs on their albums and one of their biggest concert hits was "Hoedown" by Aaron Copland.

Blood, Sweat and Tears started out their second album with a song based upon "Tres Gymnopedies" by Edgar Varese.

Frank Zappa often quoted from Igor Stravinsky.
  #14  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:28 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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The first half-dozen albums by Renaissance all featured songs that lifted from classical music.
  #15  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:29 PM
GreenElf GreenElf is offline
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Tomita
  #16  
Old 01-28-2012, 12:41 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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More Emerson Lake and Palmer: Nutrocker.
  #17  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:05 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
More Emerson Lake and Palmer: Nutrocker.
A hit first by .. I kid you not .. B. Bumble and the Stingers. First recorded by Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks. And people say that The Beatles didn't rescue rock 'n' roll.

Even more astounding: it wasn't a ripoff of Tchaikovsky, but done legally, with copyright permission.

The strange story is on Wikipedia.
  #18  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:26 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equipoise View Post
* it may not be by Bach.
Whoa, that's really interesting. Apparently, following the Wikipedia links, it was established in the 70s that "Minuet in G" was written by Christian Petzold. None of my sheet music ever reflected this. I had no idea.
  #19  
Old 01-28-2012, 01:28 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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It's well known that the Beatles song Blackbird owes a lot to Bach's Bourrée in E minor (Wiki) (you especially notice it when you play them both on the guitar). However, that isn't the only Bach piece that Paul McCartney took a cue from. See if Bach's Arisoso (from BWV 156) reminds you of anything.

Last edited by Martian Bigfoot; 01-28-2012 at 01:30 PM.
  #20  
Old 01-28-2012, 02:31 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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How about Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven," which is a reworking of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.

Also by Murphy, "Flight '76," which was based on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee."

Last edited by cochrane; 01-28-2012 at 02:33 PM.
  #21  
Old 01-28-2012, 02:42 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
See if Bach's Arisoso (from BWV 156) reminds you of anything.
I know the Arioso well, working a lot of weddings, but I can't place what Beatles song that is supposed to remind me of. However, I also would not have made the connection between the Bouree and Blackbird.

Last edited by pulykamell; 01-28-2012 at 02:44 PM.
  #22  
Old 01-28-2012, 03:52 PM
Ximenean Ximenean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
It's well known that the Beatles song Blackbird owes a lot to Bach's Bourrée in E minor (Wiki) (you especially notice it when you play them both on the guitar). However, that isn't the only Bach piece that Paul McCartney took a cue from. See if Bach's Arisoso (from BWV 156) reminds you of anything.
They remind me of Cavatina and other well-known classical guitar hits. Beatles songs, not so much.
  #23  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:39 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I know the Arioso well, working a lot of weddings, but I can't place what Beatles song that is supposed to remind me of. However, I also would not have made the connection between the Bouree and Blackbird.
Hint:
SPOILER:

Hey Jude,
don't make it bad,
take a Bach song,
and make it better*
remember, to let it into your heart,
'cause it's all Bach...


*Or worse, depending on whether you're a bigger fan of the Beatles or Bach.
  #24  
Old 01-28-2012, 04:49 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
Hint:
SPOILER:

Hey Jude,
don't make it bad,
take a Bach song,
and make it better*
remember, to let it into your heart,
'cause it's all Bach...


*Or worse, depending on whether you're a bigger fan of the Beatles or Bach.
Now that you point it out, I see the resemblance. This link has a clarinetist and pianist play both of them back to back in a similar arrangement to highlight the similarities. Beatles tune starts at 4:20. It's not a connection I would have made, but it's clear to me how others would find them similar.
  #25  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:21 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Blood, Sweat and Tears started out their second album with a song based upon "Tres Gymnopedies" by Edgar Varese.
I think that should be Erik Satie.
  #26  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:30 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Lou Christie's Rhapsody in the Rain, from Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet."
  #27  
Old 01-28-2012, 05:31 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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The James Gang's "The Bomber" has "Bolero" in the middle of it. (video links right to "Bolero" section)
  #28  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:01 PM
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is offline
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Rob Dougan's Clubbed to Death lifted bits from Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme Op. 36 - Enigma.
  #29  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:10 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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If you mention Bourée, then the mention has to go first to Jethro Tull's Bourée from the Stand Up album.
  #30  
Old 01-28-2012, 06:48 PM
K364 K364 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
It's well known that the Beatles song Blackbird owes a lot to Bach's Bourrée in E minor (Wiki) (you especially notice it when you play them both on the guitar). However, that isn't the only Bach piece that Paul McCartney took a cue from. See if Bach's Arisoso (from BWV 156) reminds you of anything.
From the notes of Walter Everett's excellent books "The Beatles as Musicians":

"McCartney ascribes the song's origins to the treble/bass counterpoint of 'a well-known piece by Bach,' which may be a reference to the G-major outer-voice parallel tenths in the best know minuet from the Anna Magdalena collection. (the same counterpoint also appears in the same key in the Allemande of Bach G-major French Suites.)'

For Hey Jude, Everett speculates:

"...whether he would have known a certain liturgical work by John Ireland from his choirboy days. Ireland's "Te Deum laudamus" (1907) begins with, and returns to, [gives example] ... which is untransposed in Hey Jude..."

link to Ireland's work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY16QQXdcWA
  #31  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:05 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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It's not specifically from a classical composer, but Todd Rundgren's Don't You Ever Listen from his album Something/Anything is actually a 12-tone composition. I had no idea until he was a guest professor at Indiana University.
  #32  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:28 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Eric Carmen, "All by Myself" - lifted from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor.
I hadn't realized how many pop songs were lifted from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. I was going to mention Sinatra's Full Moon and Empty Arms. Apparently two of his other songs are also based on it.

Wiki says;

Quote:
The Moderato provides the basis for Frank Sinatra's "I Think of You"[citation needed] and "Ever and Forever".[6] Muse's "Space Dementia" and "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)" contain references to this movement.[citation needed]
The Adagio sostenuto theme appears in Eric Carmen's 1975 ballad "All by Myself". Carmen first composed the song's interlude, then took the verse from Rachmaninoff and the chorus from his own "Let's Pretend". Carmen explained that Rachmaninoff was his "favorite music".[7] This movement also provides the basis for Amici Forever's "Nostalgia" from the album Defined[citation needed]. The opening chords of Adagio sostenuto also appears in the orchestrated version of Aria di Mezzo Carattere from Final Fantasy VI.
The second theme of Allegro scherzando provides the basis for Frank Sinatra's 1945 "Full Moon and Empty Arms"[6] and The Gospellers's "Sky High," which was also the opening theme for the anime Nodame Cantabile's Paris arc.[citation needed] The same theme is quoted by Muse's "Butterflies and Hurricanes".

Last edited by Colibri; 01-28-2012 at 07:28 PM.
  #33  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:28 PM
Happy Lendervedder Happy Lendervedder is offline
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Because by the Beatles, which is basically Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata backwards.
  #34  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:08 PM
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Eric Carmen, "All by Myself" - lifted from Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor.klasik müzik dinle
  #35  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:11 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Originally Posted by GreenElf View Post
Tomita
And Wendy (Walter) Carlos.
  #36  
Old 01-29-2012, 03:35 AM
Beastly Rotter Beastly Rotter is offline
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Grieg's "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" gets The Who treatment, with Keith Moon on spooky noises. May contain traces of amphetamines.
  #37  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:22 AM
X. L. Lent X. L. Lent is offline
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The borrowing of classical music is nothing new. The popular music composers
a century ago were doing the same thing. A few examples:
- Russian Rag by George Cobb (1918) uses part of Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor
- Hungarian Rag by Julius Lenzberg (1913) is based on Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody #2
- Operatic Rag also by Julius Lenzberg (1914) uses pieces of several different operas
- That Mesmerizing Mendelssohn Tune by Irving Berlin (1909) uses a piece by Mendelssohn (obviously)
If anyone is curious what these pieces sound like, they can all be found on youtube.com.

Last edited by X. L. Lent; 01-29-2012 at 05:23 AM.
  #38  
Old 01-29-2012, 07:51 AM
brocks brocks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
Hint:
SPOILER:

Hey Jude,
don't make it bad,
take a Bach song,
and make it better*
remember, to let it into your heart,
'cause it's all Bach...


*Or worse, depending on whether you're a bigger fan of the Beatles or Bach.
Vaguely similar, but I doubt Bach will sue. Actually it's pretty clearly a ripoff of his Air on a G string.
  #39  
Old 01-29-2012, 07:56 AM
brocks brocks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X. L. Lent View Post
The borrowing of classical music is nothing new. The popular music composers
a century ago were doing the same thing.
If you ever see "The Outlaw," the movie that Howard Hughes made to make Jane Russell famous, you'll hear passages from Tchaikovsky's 6th stolen note for note. And some of the music from the original Star Wars movie is very reminiscent of Tchaikovsky's 4th.

I forget who it was, but there's a story that some composer who won an Oscar for his score said in his acceptance speech something along the lines of, "I'd like to thank Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff ..."
  #40  
Old 01-29-2012, 07:59 AM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Emerson Lake and Palmer did Mussorsky's Pictures an an Exhibition. Not a song, but an entire album.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture...ibition_(album)
  #41  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:25 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Elvis's "It's Now or Never" owes a little bit to "O Sole Mio."
  #42  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:29 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brocks View Post
If you ever see "The Outlaw," the movie that Howard Hughes made to make Jane Russell famous, you'll hear passages from Tchaikovsky's 6th stolen note for note. And some of the music from the original Star Wars movie is very reminiscent of Tchaikovsky's 4th.

I forget who it was, but there's a story that some composer who won an Oscar for his score said in his acceptance speech something along the lines of, "I'd like to thank Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff ..."
I kind of remember that, except that he said--without irony--"I'd like to thank my COLLEAGUES Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff ..." He was never heard from again.
  #43  
Old 01-29-2012, 12:40 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Here are a couple I haven't seen mentioned yet, though they may not fall quite into the "pop/rock" category:

The musical Kismet had songs based on melodies by Borodin, such as "Stranger In Paradise."

An early Amy Grant song, "Sing Your Praise To The Lord," has an intro (though not the main melody of the song) taken from Bach's Well-Tempered Klavier.
  #44  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:47 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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I kind of remember that, except that he said--without irony--"I'd like to thank my COLLEAGUES Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff ..." He was never heard from again.
Couldn't find the exact quote, but it was Hans Zimmer, who won for his score for The Lion King in 1994. And he was, in fact, heard from again, though not by Oscar.
  #45  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:14 PM
infinitii infinitii is offline
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S Club 7 with "Natural" and Norma Ray with "Tous Les Maux D'Amour" (which "Natural" is just an English language version of) both use Gabriel Fauré's "Pavane" as the basis for the song.
  #46  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:35 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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There are eight notes, plus accidentals. There will be some overlap.

And if you are going to steal, steal from the best.
  #47  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:38 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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This thread is incomplete without a reference to The Pachelbel Rant.
  #48  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:40 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Done in post 7.
  #49  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:45 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Well, now it's twice as not-incomplete.
  #50  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:49 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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It does bear repeating.
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