Kitchen sink? Chuck it in!
September 7, 2011 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I Feel Love, Kids in America, Pinball Wizard, Let me Go, Maid of Orleans, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, I Need you Tonight, Big In Japan... The Benelux based Night of the Proms concerts have spend the last couple of decades or so pairing pop singers - often the ones we might remember best from dance floors - with large choirs and orchestras. This is now one of Europe's largest music events.

Many more clips here.
posted by rongorongo (14 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'm kind of surprised by how well I Feel Love works with an orchestra.
posted by empath at 11:45 AM on September 7, 2011

Jon Stevens is the poor man's Michael Hutchence.

I think I want to vomit listening to that performance of Need You Tonight.
posted by Talez at 11:47 AM on September 7, 2011

Truly the stuff of nightmares.
posted by the cuban at 12:22 PM on September 7, 2011

Yes, but Cyndi Lauper still is amazing. So there.
posted by grubi at 1:08 PM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was expecting the kind of arrangements that they threw at us in high school choir when they wanted something hip: "you know, for the kids!"

And some of these are terrible, but some of them work really well. They at least don't make all the songs seem like flat dead fish; which is usually what you get when you arrange pop music like this.

The Cyndi Lauper performance is fun, but the Donna Summer Hot Stuff-Bad Girls video and Coolio's Gansta's Paradise are really neat (even if I wish the backup singer had a little better voice in the Coolio one). They don't feel stilted and dead to me... They feel like honest arrangements.
posted by Tchad at 1:20 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is pretty great.

Except the backup singers, who, well... Are they actually singers or just random people off the street?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on September 7, 2011

INXS died with Michael Hutchence. As much as I think INXS was truly a collaborative band before Hutchence's death, it's an abomination that they continued calling themselves that after he was gone. That's a horrible Need You Tonight. Truly horrible.
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:02 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Just had to look up how old Cyndi Lauper is - even a few years ago, when that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was recorded, she was over 50, and she's skipping around the stage like she's half her age. (Also, XYLOPHONE SOLO!) Amazing energy, great performance. That Pinball Wizard is pretty awesome too.
posted by ZsigE at 2:34 PM on September 7, 2011

Nice post! That "I Feel Love" clip led me to this "MacArthur Park" performance from the same show. It's a great performance, with the full orchestra, her voice sounds great, and she sings the whole song, including the rarely heard bridge section.
posted by dnash at 2:46 PM on September 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

Should be called, I Felt Loved.
posted by Mike Mongo at 5:17 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's worth it if only for the exceptionally enthusiastic violin players in Gangsta's Paradise.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:12 PM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

The "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" one is indeed brilliant.
posted by joannemullen at 7:31 PM on September 7, 2011

Some of these are fun, but I think one of the problems I have with this sort of thing is that I'm a sad purist. Don't fuck with good things. You know? "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" is a glorious, bouncy, shimmery, eighties pop song, and it is sublime that way. Do you really want to put spastic cod-reggae horns over it and a totally inappropriate arrangement behind it? Because you can? Do you not have any sense of musical cohesion and appropriateness? I mean sure, Cindy is still great in that, but the music sounds... I can't even find the words to express why this is so wrong to me. It's like your uncool uncle said "Hey, that's a cool song, but I'm into big bands. Let me fix that for you."

No thanks, unc. I'll stick with my records. You go re-record "Rock The Casbah" with the Tijuana Brass. Go nuts.
posted by Decani at 10:59 AM on September 8, 2011

Decani: strangely enough "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is not only a song from the 70s, rather than the 80s - but it was written and originally performed by a dude: the late Robert Hazard.

But, regarding this song, we have previous.
posted by rongorongo at 5:05 PM on September 8, 2011

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