Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Classical Music for Rock Fans: The Best Metal, Punk, Country-Rock and Prog of the Past 500 Years

Never one to say no to a challenge, Rock Revival has endeavored to think about which classical composers would hold the greatest appeal for rock fans.

We have already done Jazz (see post) but this is a much trickier task.

1. Heavy Metal = Wagner (1813-1883)

Inspirer of fanatical devotion, actual inspiration for German Industrial Metal band Rammstein, sludge metal themes of Black Sabbath, mythological obsessions. It all adds up to Wagner being the father of Heavy Metal.

The Ride of the Valkyries could easily be the name of an album by Dragonforce.

2. Blues = John Dowland (1563-1626)

Father of blues long before Robert Johnson ? Well his lyrics fit, he was one depressing dude !

Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night's black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Even sadder is the fact that Sting recently chose to make a complete album of John Dowland's songs: Songs From the Labyrinth (2006), dreadful stuff !

3. Country-Rock = Liszt ( 1811-1886)

At first I had Liszt down as Progressive Rock because it's super complicated, but he, and Schubert, Chopin and other Romantic composers are pretty famous for setting folk songs to classical music, blending the two genres.


4. Punk = Schonberg (1874-1951)

He smashed the classical music of the 18th and 19th Centuries to bits by creating an atonal 12 tone technique (Translation: Cats wailing BUT wailing beautifully !). Some took him seriously, including Frank Zappa by the way (or at least a simialar composer called Varese), many walked out of the theatre on hearing a few notes

5. Rhythmn and Blues = Bach (1685-1760) (the other Sebastian)

Because Bach is Funky, he has rhythmn ( In formal terms Baroque and rock share contrapuntal structure and steady rhythmic patterns) and his word have Soul.

Image: Courtesy Merovingian Music

No comments: