Orchestras with Rock

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There's been a little discussion on the board recently about KISS and their Alive IV album. And of course over the years it seems nearly every major rock band has had some kind of song or even album using an orchestra. Metallica had S&M with Michael Kamen. Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton have both utilized the servicdes of Kamen as well. Zeppelin, Queen, the Stones, and countless others have had some kind of symphonic sound in their albums/in concert. Obviously it has a place in rock, but where do they add to the music, and what cases do they detract?

Bryan Moore (Bryan Moore), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 00:08 (sixteen years ago) link

Obviously it has a place in rock

not obvious

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 00:19 (sixteen years ago) link

No sir, I don't like it.

Scaredy cat (Natola), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 00:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Obviously it has a place in rock

I am NOT a fan either for the most part, although there are exceptions. Whether or not one is a fan, the facts are pretty clear that use of symphony in rock, while not extensively used, is not a passing trend but rather something that has been integrated into rock music for many years. That is all I meant by the statement.

Bryan Moore (Bryan Moore), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 00:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Orchestras don't compress naturally (like tube amps do), so you have to blend two very different sets of dynamics. I'm not aware that this problem has ever been properly solved (except for some Zappa, eg. "200 Motels", which during its orchestral passages is neither rock nor acceptable as music. "Lumpy Gravy" is quite ok in a "somebody should have tried" way though, but it falls into the lounge-/soundtrack orchestra trap--they play only what's possible in context).

nestmanso (nestmanso), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 02:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Every time the Beatles used it, it sounded magnificent. I think some bands try to use it because they think it will automatically equate to increased sophistication and maturity.

Spiritualized I like a lot, and I don't think that the whole "compression" thing is really that big of a problem. I mean, sound is sound is sound, and compressed or not, certain sounds can work together.

David Allen, Wednesday, 23 July 2003 05:00 (sixteen years ago) link

Portishead used an orchestra well on their live record.

David A. (Davant), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 06:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Portishead got away with it quite nicely.

Craig Armstrong's endeavours at getting orchestras rockin', with added 'rock instrumentation', sometimes succeed and sometimes don't.

Goran Bregovic has come up - on indivdual tracks - with a few magnificent orchestral/rock combinations.

Then again, Scorpions' live rockband+orchestra thingy they did in my home coutry was an absolute dud-o-drama. (If the orchestral musicians were paid fairly well, for a change, then that must've been the only "redeeming" aspect of the whole musically miserable affair, d'oh)

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 12:41 (sixteen years ago) link

a dozen string players /= an orchestra.

g--ff c-nn-n (gcannon), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 12:50 (sixteen years ago) link

-- g--ff c-nn-n,
your admonishing finger is pointed at which particular examples on this thread?

t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 13:02 (sixteen years ago) link

what about hip hop & orchestras?

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 14:15 (sixteen years ago) link

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