Have you heard the news yet? India’s favourite dream pop duo, Parekh and Singh, are all set to take Mumbai by storm this weekend. The musical sensations take the stage at The Royal Opera House to perform tracks from their 2016 album, Ocean, as well as some from the upcoming follow-up album. And they’re going to make their performance venue-appropriate by playing new arrangements of these tracks along with a Western classical string quartet comprising two violins, a viola and a cello.
This is such a novel concept for India, but there are plenty of instances from across the world where popular musicians collaborated with orchestras to produce rich renditions of their music. #QueMag rooted around the melodious depths of the Internet to find seven tracks that will show you just how different your favourite tracks can sound when rearranged this way.
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Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
In 1969, the influential rock band Deep Purple collaborated with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The first-of-its-kind concert was later released as a live album and went on to inspire many of the performances further down on this list. Luckily for you, we managed to find a decent recording of the entire concert.
Winds of Change, The Scorpions and the Berlin Philharmonic
We’ll never get tired of watching people drop their best surprised look when we tell them that The Scorpions are a German band. But, we like to up the ante by showing them this video and watch as their minds are blown.
Come with Me, Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page
There were many things wrong with 1999’s Godzilla remake, but this track was not one of them. Before Puff Daddy was Diddy (or is it P Diddy or Puffy or Sean Combs? We can’t keep up with the name changes!) he teamed up with the legendary guitarist Jimmy Page and an orchestra to angrily rap over the refrain from Led Zepplin’s Kashmir. It’s so over the top that it’s amazing.
Enter Sandman, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony
This is just one track of 21 that Metallica collaborated with the San Francisco Symphony on. This effort was later released as an album titled S&M (get your minds out of the gutter, because that’s short for Symphony and Metallica) and it went multi-platinum almost immediately, proving that the world still had an ear for classical music.
Roads, Portishead and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Not content with being one of the pioneers of the Trip Hop genre of music, the English band Portishead teamed up with the New York Philharmonic to produce a stunning rearrangement of one of the most moving tracks. If you wanted to get through today without crying, we’re sorry to have to do this to you.
Every Breath You Take, Sting and Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile
Sting is one of those artists who has spent his entire career pushing the boundaries of pop as far as his doting audience will allow him. Over the last two decades, he’s been collaborating with orchestras around the world to give his most famous tracks a dimension that hadn’t been explored before. But this 2011 performance of possibly his most iconic song, featuring the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chile, is our favourite.
Solsbury Hill, Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel is a living legend and an international treasure. In his younger years, he was the lead singer of progressive rock band Genesis, but it wasn’t long before he departed the band to pursue an extremely successful solo career. This phenomenal orchestral rearrangement of his first ever single, Solsbury Hill, debuted on the David Letterman show in 2011 and gave the live studio audience a night they’ll likely never forget. Bonus points if you catch the orchestra sneak in a little bit of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
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