There are few films that capture the devil may care spirit of the last day of school better than Dazed and Confused. VSQ pays tributes to the rock and roll sounds of this cult classic with rousing string interpretations of its most memorable songs, including Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and more. Listen to it today — it’d be a lot cooler if you did!
1. Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith)
2. School's Out (Alice Cooper)
3. Free Ride (Edgar Winter Group)
4. Do You Feel Like We Do? (Peter Frampton)
5. Low Rider (War)
6. Love Hurts (Nazareth)
7. Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
8. Tush (ZZ Top)
9. Rock and Roll All Nite (Kiss)
10. Cherry Bomb (The Runaways)
11. Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
12. Slow Ride (Foghat)
Who can forget the first few measures of Aerosmith's monster ballad "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing?" Orchestrally robust, the song became the unforgettable theme song to the '90s blockbuster summer film Armageddon as well as one of Diane Warren's biggest hits. However, the strings in Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" definitely helped define the hair ballad era in the '80s. Both tunes are dripping with melodramatic romance (yet rocking with bad boy attitude) — but which song uses strings best? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing"
Guns N' Roses' "November Rain"
Also, check out the following releases if you're a fan of either band:
Alison Krauss and Union Station’s first album in seven years was released this week, and reviews suggest that the album, Paper Planes, was worth the wait. This award winning and much beloved blues-country outfit is led by singer and fiddle player, Alison Krauss, who filled in the band’s hiatus with 2007’s Raising Sand. This album, a collaboration between Krauss and music legend and former Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, was a lush, gorgeous roundup of original and covered material. Listening to it still gives us goosebumps. (See “Polly Come Home” for proof.)
In honor of this epic rock/country collaboration, we give you other great cross-genre collaborations.
The Duo: Eminem feat. Dido
The Song: “Stan”
Eminen’s 2000 track about the obsession and eventual suicide of a fan, Stan, samples English singer Dido’s “Thank You.” On its own, Dido’s ambient love song is nothing but sweet. Paired with Eminem’s dark lyrics, the pretty song takes a decidedly sinister turn. Eminem also made headlines when he performed “Stan” with Elton John (who did Dido’s part), at the 2001 Grammy Awards.
(That’s Dido playing Stan’s wife at the beginning of the music video).
The Duo: Run DMC and Aerosmith
The Song: “Walk This Way”
This 1986 collaboration between hip hop outfit Run DMC and rock legends Aerosmith is cited as the moment when the walls between rock and rap came down. Literally. The song’s video features Steven Tyler busting through an actual wall with his mic stand to jam with Reverend Run and the boys.
The Duo: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney
The Song: “Say, Say, Say”
This 1983 George Martin-produced hit comes from McCartney’s Pipes of Peace album. Jackson wrote the song’s lyrics and McCartney played percussion, synthesizer, guitar and bass. McCartney’s wife Linda and Jackson’s sister LaToya both appear in the video. The music legends also collaborated on “The Girl is Mine” from Jackson’s massive Thriller.
The Duo: Danger Mouse and James Mercer
The Project: Broken Bells
All the indie kids went crazy for Broken Bells eponymous debut album last year. Producer Danger Mouse (Beck, Gorillaz, MF Doom) and Shins’ vocalist Mercer decided to collaborate after meeting at a Danish music festival in 2004. They made good on that promise six years later with their critically acclaimed album. A follow-up EP, Meyrin Fields, was released last month.
Be sure to check out:The String Quartet Tribute to Dido
Available now at iTunes and AmazonThe String Quartet Tribute to Aerosmith
Available now at iTunes and Amazon Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to Michael Jackson
Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Paul McCartney
Available now at iTunes and Amazon
In recent years a lot of great bands have done the orchestral thing and decided to play some shows backed by a symphony orchestra. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous. But when did all this start?
The first rock concerts backed by an orchestra are recorded as happening when Deep Purple did some shows in 1969 supporting their third album, Concerto for Group and Orchestra. There’s a video of them doing it again years later below in commemoration, though with a different score, as the original had been lost.
Since then, bands like Metallica and Portishead have done orchestral live albums. Even Aerosmith got into the act by doing an MTV Music Awards performance in a symphonic style.
Recently, a lot of indie bands have been jumping on the bandwagon and performing with orchestras. The Brooklyn Art Museum (BAM) started a concert series a couple years ago with local bands such as Grizzly Bear doing symphonic shows. This lead to a lot of indie bands putting together such shows, like the Decemberists booking a whole tour with a backing orchestra.
Often times, bands will do one-stop shows with an orchestra. Joanna Newsom did some shows with an orchestra on a couple stops off her 2008. Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallet did similar shows on his most recent tour. It seems as if musicians aren’t afraid to be artists anymore, meaning a symphony can now be heard while drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Here are some videos of recent instances.
DecemberistsFinal Fantasy (Owen Pallet)Grizzly BearMy Morning JacketJoanna NewsomRadioheadPortisheadMetallicaAerosmithDeep Purple and Ronnie James Dio (RIP)An old Pink Floyd video of a one time performance (1/3)
We know you've been waiting patiently (well, some of you) for Vitamin String Quartet sheet music to become available. Well your wait is almost over. This summer will mark the arrival of our first two sheet music releases. Drumroll please...by popular demand, we will be releasing Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” and Aerosmith's “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
We hope you are all as excited as we are about this new development. Please feel free to keep posting requests in the comments. We love to get your feedback!