Pop song on the radio sound familiar? That might be because you've heard it before!
1. Lady Lynda by The Beach Boys
Those surfing dudes of the 60s used the actual melody of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring in their 1979 composition.
The combination of those famous Beach Boy harmonies and the mesmerising chords of Bach, makes for a very charming little ditty!
2. A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum
Another Bach ‘hit’, this time more of an inspiration, but close enough to compare it to Air on a G String. There’s been much discussion on what the lyrics actually mean, but it’s a fantastic, totally psychedelic classic!
3. Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis
The feuding bro’s 1995 smash is just one that is heavily inspired by the chord progression that is Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
Probably more pop songs over the decades have been inspired by Pachelbel’s famous melody than any other piece of classical music. It pops up on The Pet Shop Boys’ Go West, Alphaville’s Forever Young, The Farm’s All Together Now, Coolio’s C U When U get there, and Sweetbox’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.
4. Joy Bringer by Manfred Mann’s Earthband
This joyous, uplifting song from the 1987 album entitled Masques is subtitled Songs and Planets and features parts of Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite. Joybringer samples Jupiter.
Far out, Mann!!!
5. Could It Be Magic by Barry Manilow
The dramatic piano chords on the intro of this great Bazza ballad are taken from Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, which you’ll also find on the Donna Summer ‘Disco’ version, but not on the 1992 cover by Take That.
This has definitely got the Magical Manilow trademark we know and love!
6. All By Myself by Eric Carmen
Taken from Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No 2, film lovers will recognise this tune from the 1945 classic Brief Encounter where the melody runs through it, building on the drama and sadness of the story.
Canadian warbler Celine Dion recorded a version in 1996 which was used in the opening titles of the 2001 film Bridget Jones Diary. A heartbreaking song all round, really.
7. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
This one was a surprise, the queen of crazy costumes has borrowed from Bach! His Fugue no. 24 in B Minor, from The Well Tempered Clavier, is sampled on her hit Bad Romance.
The amazing video has a definite baroque feel to it, in fact, we’re sure that Johann himself would go Gaga for this Lady!