One Better – Les Claypool (live)
Alright: not everyone uses the cello to do cover songs. I chose this live version of One Better because Les Claypool is a very eccentric and talented musician. The addition of a cello gives an interesting edge to a song driven by Les’ crazy slap bass line. In such a groovy song, you wouldn’t expect to find a classical string instrument… and yet, you do! Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
Well, enough with the hard rock and metal. How about this groundbreaking song by the Beach Boys? The beautiful instrumentation and experimental use of Electro-Theremin is accentuated by a one-note cello, played by Jesse Ehrlich. The punctuant cello adds sustain and drama to the bass walking line, subtly blending in – but impacting and changing the mellow and dreamy tone of the song. Brian Wilson’s magnificent musicality takes each individual instrument and makes it into something special.
I’m Gone – Josh Flowers & The Wild
To wrap things up, here’s Josh Flowers & the Wild. They are (or were?) a rock band that adds a cello to its formation. It’s interesting to see how well a cello can blend in, just like an acoustic guitar or a keyboard would. This is not the first time that a rock band adds a classical instrument to its lineup – however, it seems to fit rather well with the list.
So there you have it: the cello can appear in rock and pop songs. Some bands solely have cellos in their lineup; others use it as an additional instrument (just like any other modern one). What do you think of the list? What would you add or change? Comment below!