John Simon | Posted 4 months ago.
A request had come in last week for some music based on Classical composers' work. The only overt qualifier was "Please, not that song by The Toys" (A Lover's Concerto, based on Bach's Minuet in G Major). Here we go....
Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie - Blood Sweat & Tears ("Gymnopedie" revisited in 1968)
* Lady Lynda - Beach Boys (borrowed from Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and found on the 1979 LP "LA")
Oh Lord, Why Lord - Los Pop Tops (based on Pachelbel's Canon in D; charted 10/68; #78 on Billboard)
Reflections of Charles Brown - Rupert's People (one of several borrowings of "Air on a G-String" by JS Bach. This one is from 1967)
She Don't Care About Time - The Byrds (Roger McGuinn inserted JSB's "Jesu" into his guitar break on this 1965 b-side)
Life Is Large - The Kennedys (featuring Byrds guitarist Roger McGuinn reprising his "Jesu" guitar solo twenty five years later)
* A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum (yet another adapation of JSB's Air on a G-String. This one was a smash from the Summer of Love)
* In the Hall of the Mountain King - Electric Light Orchestra (from Grieg's "Peer Gynt" and adapted in 1973)
Never Fall In Love Again - Eric Carmen (adapted from Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 and reaching #11 in the Spring of 1976)
* Joy - Apollo 100 (Top Ten adaptation of "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" from 1972. Just think of the royalties!)
Classical Gas - Mason Williams (1968; a bit of a rarity: Mason Williams' huge hit without the addition of strings and brass)
Like, Long Hair - Paul Revere & The Raiders (more Rachmaninoff - "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor" - Top 40 in 1961)
Love Years Coming - Strawberry Children (Jimmy Webb's adaptation of Dona Nobis Pacem, from an uncharted single in 6/67)
* = listener requests
Coincidentally....WVBR was Cornell University's Classical Music radio station until about 1966. Back to our roots today!