All throughout my childhood, I remember hearing in department stores, elevators, and patient waiting rooms, symphony orchestras like Arthur Feidler and the Boston Pops playing elaborately orchestrated instrumental versions of rock and roll tunes like the Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand
or the Doors Light My Fire
. I loathed that music! I remember thinking to myself "Do these guys know how ridiculous they sound? What is the point of all this? Are symphony orchestras trying to corner the youth market? Is it a social statement? Is the classical establishment rebelling against society and joining the peace movement? And if that's the case, will they invariably engage in protest marches, love-ins and experiment with mind altering drugs?" Of course, that was 30 years ago, and times have changed, and I ve changed along with them. I grew up, and in the process become more open and accepting of art and music, regardless of stylistic nuance, and less bothered by perceived culture, class, and generation gaps. So, when my editor at AAJ sent me this CD entitled The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays the music of Meatloaf
for review, I was ready to listen to this kind of music with a new appreciation. I anxiously slipped the disc into my CD player, only to find out that, after all these years, I still hate this music!
It's not the performances that are in question; come on....this is the Royal Philharmonic
! This orchestra is comprised of musicians that have the chops to play the most advanced, intricate, and difficult compositions on the planet. They have eyes that can read a speck of fly poop on a manuscript from a mile away. And that's exactly the point. Do we really need the R.P.O. to orchestrate a power chord, especially when there are serious modern classical composers out there today writing super heavy music, that would give their left you-know-what to have the R.P.O., or any other orchestra perform their works? This is not a stab at Meatloaf. The viability of what he does is not in question; his contributions to pop culture have been duly noted. And I feel that the addage "if it aint broke, don't fix it" especially rings true in this case. So it becomes a question of whether this music is essential, or even necessary. In life, and in music, some things are better left unsaid.