September is National Classical Music Month. While most music has been influenced at least indirectly by classical composers, we’ve made a list of artists that namecheck the founding fathers of modern music.
Brooklyn dream-pop group Miniature Tigers released this bummer of a song on their 2008 debut Tell It To The Volcano. Frontman Charlie Brand sings about getting drunk and listening to Tchaikovsky alone “I listen to Tchaikovsky and cry / Pour myself a glass of red wine.” Well, Tchaikovsky wasn’t the happiest of fellas, so it’s kind of fitting.
Sebastian Bierk (know by his stage name Sebastian Bach) famously fronted the ‘80s rock band Skid Row before breaking off on his own. Instead of doing a one-time tribute to the (slightly) more famous Johann, Sebastian decided to change his entire name to honor one of the most renown composers of all time. According to (Sebastian) Bach in an interview with Unholy Maunder, “It’s just a stage name I wanted to be known with. I loved the name Bach.” So yeah…that’s all there is to it.
Gazebo was an Italian disco artist who had a substantial amount of success due to his homage to Polish composer Frédéric Chopin in his track “I Like Chopin.” The song made it to number one in several countries across Europe including Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Apparently, Gazebo isn’t the only one who likes Chopin.
Eurythmics, the English pop duo responsible for the ‘80s mega-hit “”Sweet Dreams, released their ode to classical music and psychotic housewives with their track “Beethoven (I Love To Listen To).” The song was the first single off their 1987 album Savage.
Singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield released this track on her third album Strip Me. The British singer uses pianos and Mozart as a metaphor to spill out her emotional guts on this unbridled love anthem. “You don’t have to be a Mozart, if you just play it from the heart.”
Before getting back together with Blink-182, frontman Tom DeLonge released four albums with his side project Angels & Airwaves. On their 2007 album I-Empire, Angels & Airwaves pay tribute (sort of) to Russian composer Igor Stravinsky with their song “Rite of Spring.”
Arguably the greatest Christmas film ever made, the soundtrack to Die Hard is one thing that makes the movie so great. Michael Kamen’s score accompanies Detective John McClane as he attempts to take down Alan Rickman and his group of German extremists. The rest of the soundtrack is amazing as well, that includes tracks like Run DMC’s “”Christmas In Hollis and Stevie Wonder’s “”Skeletons.
Back in 2009, French outfit Phoenix released their most popular album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. The album featured hit tracks like “Lisztomania,” “1901” and “Countdown.” The band opted to pay tribute to an Austrian composer with their album title, as opposed to a French native like Berlioz or Rousseau.
A little over 200 years after Wolfgang, this 1985 one-hit wonder by fellow Austrian Falco hit number one in both the U.S. and the U.K. “Rock Me Amadeus” made its’ way to the top of the charts and then faded as quickly as it arrived. Granted, the song was featured in just about every 80s teen movie, along with current films like Adam Sandler’s Bedtime Stories and Adventureland, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds.
Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” is still identified as one of the most original and iconic rock ‘n’ roll songs of all time. Berry pays tribute to ol’ Ludwig with his track or as he puts it “This is a song about a man who had a lot to do with music. As a matter of fact, a relished memory in my mind he was, and a good musician might I say so. This man was named Beethoven. Ladies and gentlemen I ask him to forgive us, roll over and listen to a little of this…”