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Pop music makes classical better, confirms Classic FM

By | Published on Monday 11 September 2017

Classic FM

Classic FM is marking its 25th birthday by publishing a list of the top pop hits that have sampled classical pieces over the last quarter century. In doing so it hopes to prove that violins and stuff can still be worth listening to, even if you weren’t born in the eighteenth century or whatever.

“This list of hits from the past 25 years is fantastic, because it confirms just how relevant classical music is to our lives”, says Classic FM presenter John Suchet. “These 25 hits reinforce how inspiring and important classical music is to music today”.

Yeah, that’s right, classical music is super relevant, and this list proves it. Or maybe it just shows that, even though classical music is totally boring and pointless, when put in the right hands – like those of Zayn Malik, for example – something can be salvaged from it.

Taking his own view, rapper Professor Green – whose ‘Upper Clapton Dance’ from 2006 features on the list – says: “The world of rap has huge respect for classical music. Myself, along with lots of contemporary artists, recognise the value and the importance classical music has on our music making, and it has often played a big part in my song writing. It’s a real shame when people say that it’s outdated and not relevant to today’s music scene”.

He continues: “The ability [of classical music] to evoke emotion and take a listener on a journey – to effectively tell a story without narration – should speak enough about its importance. I’m a huge fan of TV and film scores which classical music has a huge influence over – Eric Serra’s work on ‘Leon’ helped make a good script into a great film”.

I’m not sure film soundtracks count when you’re trying to talk up classical music. It’s cheating when the music is accompanied by cool visuals of people getting shot up and kicked in the mouth and stuff to take your mind off it. I mean, come on, some of those classical songs are like an hour long. Who has the time? Even the titles are so long they send you to sleep. ‘Prelude in C# minor, Opus 3, Number 2′ blah blah blah and a side order of chips and coleslaw. Shut up, Sergei.

Of course, a short snippet of that hour long classical track with no mention of its stupidly long title, now that makes sense. And with that in mind, here – in reverse chronological order – is Classic FM’s list of reasons why you were right to get your classical fix in short sharp shots via pop radio over the last 25 years…

2017: G-Eazy, Carnage and Thirty Rack – Guala (Erik Satie – Gnossienne No 1)

2016: Zayn Malik – Blue (Johann Sebastian Bach – Prelude No 1 in C major from The Well-Tempered Clavier)

2015: Muse – Drones (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Benedictus from Missa Papae Marcelli)

2014: David Guetta – Dangerous (Ezio Bosso – Symphony No 2 Under The Trees – 4th movement)

2013: Little Mix – Little Me (Gabriel Fauré – Pavane in F# Minor)

2012: Alicia Keys – Piano Mash Up (Ludwig Van Beethoven – Piano Sonata No 14 in C# minor Moonlight, 1st Movement)

2011: Dizzee Rascal – Nutcrackerz feat Giggs (Pyotr IlyichTchaikovsky – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker)

2010: NDubbs and BodyRox – We Dance On (Johann Pachelbel – Canon in D major)

2009: Lady Gaga Alejandro (Vittorio Monti – Csárdás)

2008: Beyonce – Ave Maria (Franz Schubert – Ave Maria)

2007: Alicia Keys -As I Am (Frédéric Chopin – Nocturne No 20 in C# minor)

2006: Professor Green – Upper Clapton Dance feat CORE and Chynaman (Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5 in F♯ minor)

2005: Bright Eyes – Road To Joy (Ludwig Van Beethoven – Symphony No 9 in D minor, 4th movement Ode To Joy)

2004: The Farm – All Together Now (Johann Pachelbel – Canon in D major)

2003: Nas – I Can (Ludwig van Beethoven – Bagatelle No 25 in A minor Für Elise)

2002: The Streets – Same Old Thing (Antonín Dvorák – Symphony No 9 in E minor, From The New World’ 1st movement)

2001: Ludacris – Coming 2 America (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Dies Irae from The Requiem in D minor)

2000: S Club 7 – Natural (Gabriel Fauré – Pavane in F# minor)

1999: Puff Daddy – Hate Me Now (Carl Orff – O Fortuna from Carmina Burana)

1998: Sweetbox – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Johann Sebastian Bach – Air On The G String)

1997: Puff Daddy – I’ll Be Missing You (Samuel Barber – Agnus Dei)

1996: Celine Dion – All By Myself (Sergei Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor, 2nd movement)

1995: Take That – Never Forget’ (Giuseppe Verdi – Tuba Mirum from the Requiem Mass)

1994: 2 Unlimited – The Real Thing (Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor)

1993: UB40 – I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ (Jean-Paul-Égide Martini – Plaisir d’Amour)

1992: Madonna – In This Life (George Gershwin – Prelude No 2 in C# minor)