Tag: Queen

21: Rock on Strings

I always liked songs with special arrangements. For example, rock versions of classical pieces, like Bouree by Jethro Tull:

Or, how about this (Hall of The Mountain King by Apocalyptica)?:

But today I’m in a more romantic mood and this takes me to songs with a (predominantly) string arrangement – songs that use only or mainly string instruments as their accompaniment. These songs have a beautiful, melodious sound and give a bit of a sense of classical romantic music. So here are some examples:

We start with the great Beatles. Here are three of their greatest hits, all with a beautiful string arrangement. You surely (should) know these songs. You have heard them a million times. If you haven’t, you must be very, very, very young and shame on you. But did you pay attention to the accompaniment? Here is your chance. Try to focus on the arrangement, rather than the lyrics:

First, Yesterday:

Next, Eleanor Rigby:

And finally, She’s Leaving Home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYuNuzgGoYk

The eternal Beatles taught us everything in pop/rock. Even how to use string arrangements.

Now, we take this concept to the next level in scale. Not just a string quartet but a whole orchestra string section. The Israeli pop/rock singer Yehudit Ravitz with a powerful performance of End of the Story (סוף לסיפור). Again, pay attention to the accompaniment:

Wow.

There are many covers to Queen’s super song and super hit – Bohemian Rhapsody. I would never have believed it’s possible to render a good cover of this song using a string quartet, but I was proven wrong:

And last, we go to something minimalist and unique. A very unusual artist and unusual accompaniment. Joanna Newsom singing Leaving the City, accompanying herself with a harp:

Hmmm. So special. She reminds me a lot of Kate Bush.

So here we are. Rock/Pop songs with string arrangements. I’m sure there are many more beautiful examples. Can you share?