Like Classic Rock Hits? Thank Mozart, Bach, Brahms, et.al.,
Why are some songs timeless, why is it no matter how many times they're heard on the radio we continue to hum them to ourselves or warble along alone in the car at the top of our lungs with the radio blasting? What is it about some songs that make them classic rock hits?
One reason is many of the songs we love today have sections and whole passages copied from the masters.
The biggest hit Elvis Presley ever recorded, took samples of note progressions from Jean-Paul-Egide Martini's Plaisir D'Amour. You've heard it from the King of Rock and Roll as I Can't Help Falling in Love With You. Did you slow dance to Elvis' It's Now or Never? You'd have been at home hearing Eduardo di Capua's O Sole Mio.
James Pankow wrote a song that filled the dance floors with romantic swayers for decades having been inspired by Bach's arpeggios. Pankow named the band after his hometown Chicago and everyone danced to Color My World.
Other than copying Buddy Holley's style, the Beatles also leaned heavily on the classical composers; Eleanor Rigby - Antonio Vivaldi's Winter from The Four Seasons. How about All You Need is Love? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and She Love's You, Witold Lutoslawski.
One could go on and on but you get the idea. These musicians studied the classical composers, loved them, learned from them and the classical symphony music many of us turn our noses up at comes filtering down to our ears vis a via Procol Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale, which is more like a whiter shade of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Look up some of your favorite songs, often you'll find they're based somewhat on the compositions of the great masters who first discovered the pleasing notes that soothe us savage beasts.
The main reason I mention this is because the Lake Charles Symphony Orchestra is set to close out their 60th season on May 26th at 7:30 PM at the First United Methodist Church, 812 Kirkman in Lake Charlie town.
The band, er.. the orchestra will feature selections from Mozart and Schubert, tickets are $30 at 337-433-1611 and for more information visit the Lake Charles Symphony website here.
This is not to criticize or lessen the work and talent of the artists of the 20th century, but to share with you what moved them to be able to inspire us, and to provide a job for me playing their songs on the radio.
Let down your hair, experience the timeless odyssey of the sounds that have always and continue to still our hearts and take away our breath.