With Strings Attached: Orchestral Pop

I was re-listening to Katie Melua’s “I Will be There” the other day and noticed how beautiful the grand, orchestral instrumentals were. This made me think of several classic pop tunes that also fall under this category, three of which are featured in this post.

Katie Melua, “I Will be There” (2013)

“I Will be There” is a song written by Mike Batt, and was the final track on Ketevan, the sixth studio album by Georgian-British singer Katie Melua. The album was released in the UK in September 2013. Here is the accompanying music video of the song.

Rod Stewart, “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 2019

This song was written by Danny Whitten and was first recorded by American rock band Crazy Horse in their 1971 eponymous album. But it was the raspy voice of British singer, Rod Stewart who made the song famous. Stewart first performed it in 1975. Here is a reprise of the “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” with the accompaniment of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

John Denver, “Annie’s Song” (1974)

“Annie’s Song” was written by the late John Denver and remains one of his best-loved songs. This version is a beautiful blend of voice, acoustic guitar and the magisterial sounds of orchestra, led by the strings section.

Luther Vandross, “The Impossible Dream”, Luther (1994)

“The Impossible Dream” is popular song from the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha, composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. The song was also featured in the 1972 film of the same name starring Peter O’Toole. A veritable list of who’s who in American pop music has performed this song, including Glen Campbell, Matt Monroe, Andy Williams, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley among others. This version is by American singer, Luther Vandross, performed at Britain’s Royal Albert Hall.

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