Five Killer Rock Violin Songs
I’ve been preaching about mixing rock and violin, and you believe me… Or do you?
“Yes, I trust you: rock is flexible; strings and other classical instruments can rock out, too”. However, words are not enough. Please, allow me to provide evidence of some fine rockin’ tunes featuring fantastic fiddles.
Turn those speakers up to 11… here we go!
Starless – King Crimson
Violinist: David Cross
Few bands can achieve the vast spectrum of moods and atmospheres like King Crimson. They are one of the finest progressive rock acts, along with artists such as Yes or Genesis. They formed in 1969, and had a long list of highly talented and skilled musicians amongst their members. Between 1972 and 1974, violinist David Cross joined the lineup, leaving just after recording their LP “Red” – which closes with this gem.
I think the violin brings a lot to the song; both at its mellow and tense peaks.
Black Napkins (solos) – Frank Zappa
Violinist: Eddie Jobson
Frank Zappa is hard to categorize, with his eccentric style and constant experimentation that expanded throughout his enormous career. He also included a huge variety of guest musicians on his records – he even performed with John Lennon and Yoko Ono! Eddie Jobson is a violinist with an intense and diverse career of his own, having played also with Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, or Curved Air.
This shows exactly how a rock tune can feature the violin front-and-centre. Guitar gods? Move aside!
White Bird – It’s A Beautiful Day
Violinist: David LaFlamme
Ahhh, the 60’s, man! It’s A Beautiful Day were a Californian band that was active around the late 60’s to mid 70s’. Highly underrated, they were one of the big names during the Summer of Love (such as Jefferson Airplane, or the Grateful Dead) but never made it as big. It’s a shame, since they had something similar to Jefferson Airplane – both a male and a female lead vocalist – but with a twist: they introduced rock violin in their lineup as any other “popular” instrument.
LaFlamme was the violin soloist for the Utah Symphony Orchestra. If he could go from that to full-blown-rocking-hippie, then what are you waiting for?
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