Sunday, October 16, 2011

B. Bumble & The Stingers

I had a friend and we were about 20. Said friend had a father who tried to impress us with his knowledge of classical music. “The music you guys listen to is crap,” he told us, and he’d put on Smetana, and explain the musical poetry to us.

It wasn’t long after that I started listening to the classics myself, learning about the development from Bach to Haydn and Mozart to Beethoven and on to the romantics. And so I came back to father-guy, now armed with knowledge, appreciation, and understanding. “I’ve been listening,” I told him. “to Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto,” I said, “it amazes me.”

“I don’t like Beethoven so much,” was his answer. “I prefer Tchaikovsky.”

“Sure,” I thought, and I’m an outdoors enthusiast, but I don’t like fresh air so much…

B. Bumble & The Stingers weren’t so much a group as an idea. Various musicians played on the various recordings they made, most of whom were not(or none of whom were, I can’t figure it out) part of the touring band. The group didn’t last but the idea did, morphing into ELO incorporating Beethoven’s 5th into Roll Over Beethoven, Walter Murphy’s Big Apple Band rendering the same symphony as disco, and ELP energizing Mussorgsky into major label art rock. Go team…

B. Bumble & The Stingers:

Bumble Boogie – Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight Of The Bumble Bee. Sort of. The truth is that this appears in versions a lot more jazzed up than this. The oddest version, though, is probably the harmonica-only one by The Adler Trio. From the spring of 1961.
Nut Rocker – March from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. ELO covered this as an encore to Pictures At An Exhibition. From the spring of 1962.

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