Now, with strings! Recordings of bands with orchestras
April 25, 2019 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I was browsing on Spotify and found this album - Indigo Girls Live With The University Of Colorado Symphony Orchestra. It's amazing! I want more! Can you recommend?

I love hearing songs I've heard before with the addition of an orchestra (not necessarily bands/songs that already come with orchestra - it's the addition that hits that spot for me). Even just added strings would make me swoon. I can't believe I didn't know this was a thing, and now that I know, I want to listen to ALL OF IT.

What do you suggest I listen to? No genre preference (truly). I thank you heartily in advance!
posted by rocketing to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Portishead - Roseland NYC Live, on YouTube

Not an album, but XX with the BBC Philharmonic
posted by sacrifix at 10:54 AM on April 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Metallica has their S&M show with the San Francisco Symphony.

Trey Anastasio (Phish) has done a bunch of shows with various orchestras: First Tube (Nashville Symphony), YEM (Colorado Symphony). There are a lot of others on YouTube.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is set to soon begin his Strings Attached tour, where he will perform shows with a full orchestra. Keep an eye out for that.
posted by bondcliff at 10:59 AM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

There's a Heart concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:05 AM on April 25, 2019

Procol Harum Live: In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, released in 1972, is said to be their best-selling album.
posted by Flexagon at 11:18 AM on April 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Roy Orbison with the London Philharmonic. Their rendition of "Unchained Melody" will give you chills.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:22 AM on April 25, 2019

Peter Gabriel has two orchestral albums: one of cover songs, named "Scratch my Back"; and one of his own work, named "New Blood".
posted by mkb at 11:25 AM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

There is almost certainly a Moody Blues instance of this. Heck there was a period where it seemed everybody was releasing albums of this kind of thing.
posted by rhizome at 11:31 AM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Cannot recommend Devotchka w/ the Colorado Symphony enough.

Standout track is "How It Ends". Just try not to feel everything all at once.
posted by lattiboy at 11:32 AM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love The Juliet Letters, which was recorded as basically a five-instrument group: The four string instruments of the Brodsky String Quartet and Elvis Costello's voice. (While looking for this I also learned that he's done many live shows with symphonies, some of which are available online.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:33 AM on April 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Much more silly than you're probably looking for, the Leningrad Cowboys with the Alexandrov Ensemble. As an example, Sweet Home Alabama live in Helsinki.
posted by Vortisaur at 11:39 AM on April 25, 2019

If this song grabs you at all (there are cellos beginning with the bridge), you'll like Dessa's live album with the Minnesota Orchestra, coming out in October.
posted by clavicle at 11:50 AM on April 25, 2019

Nas did a live version of 'Illmatic' with the National Symphony Orchestra.
posted by box at 11:58 AM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Eels with Strings: Live at Town Hall (2006) — Bus Stop Boxer
Kishi Bashi – String Quartet Live! (2015) — Bittersweet Genesis for Him and Her
posted by scruss at 1:30 PM on April 25, 2019

Tori Amos's Gold Dust!
posted by toastedcheese at 1:32 PM on April 25, 2019

José González + The String Theory - Royal Festival Hall, London - January 2017. Very interesting percussion in this show.
posted by sacrifix at 1:40 PM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Techno" with strings -- Carl Craig presents Versus, and Jeff Mills & Montpelier Philharmonic Orchestra.

* It's not strictly techno, and it's not just strings.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:45 PM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ben Folds at WASO and John Grant with the BBC philharmonic are good too!
posted by Middlemarch at 1:48 PM on April 25, 2019

An oldie: Deep Purple, Concerto for Group and Orchestra.
posted by dono at 1:51 PM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Elvis' The Wonder of You, and 'Elvis Symphonique' and 'Christmas with Elvis'.
posted by frodisaur at 2:30 PM on April 25, 2019

Response by poster: Holy cow. Thank you all! (also thank you WCityMike for that link assist) This is the best day ever!
posted by rocketing at 3:15 PM on April 25, 2019

Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues is a favorite of mine.
posted by Gray Duck at 4:56 PM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

If you know Ani DiFranco, she has recorded a couple songs with the Buffalo Philharmonic that are nice, like this one.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:58 PM on April 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

It's a Prog Thing, 70s Progressive Rock bands loved orchestral collaborations.

Mentioned above, Moody Blues, Procul Harum, Deep Purple, were the most famous at the time.

Keith Emerson of ELP had his infamous Piano Concerto on the 'Works' album.

Electric Light Orchestra had their very own light orchestra, of course.
posted by ovvl at 6:14 PM on April 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Kristin Hersh, lead vocalist of Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, also has solo albums. She released an EP Strings with chamber string arrangements along with her vocals.
posted by sol at 6:39 PM on April 25, 2019

Schooner Fare made an album, "Classic Schooner Fare," with the Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, recording arrangements of their music originally done for concerts with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. I don't think it's on streaming services, but it is available from Amazon.
posted by Jahaza at 7:32 PM on April 25, 2019

The London Symphony Orchestra did Tommy (1, 2) with most of The Who contributing vocals.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:58 PM on April 25, 2019

Ani Difranco's "Both Hands" live with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is just devastatingly wonderful. There are several songs like this on the live album collection "Living in Clip."
posted by erst at 8:22 PM on April 25, 2019

The 'acoustic' studio version came later, but here's Joanna Newsom's "Cosmia" with and without orchestra.

Ys is a fantastic album! You can find quite a few recordings of the songs without the orchestra, as she workshopped the songs with live performances, and then continued to perform them with her supporting musicians after her tour of concert halls. Here's a set that was recorded well: Emily, Monkey and Bear, Only Skin (1, 2), and Cosmia again.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:26 PM on April 25, 2019

The Church released a good one in this vein not too long ago: A Psychedelic Symphony, Live at the Sydney Opera House with the George Ellis Orchestra
posted by anthom at 5:01 AM on April 26, 2019

Elvis Costello has a fantastic album with the Metropole Jazz Orchestra - My Flame Burns Blue
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:20 AM on April 26, 2019

Ben Folds - Live In Perth with the West Australian Symphony
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:23 AM on April 26, 2019

Brandi Carlile - Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony Some great cover songs on the album as well as some fan-favorite songs. YouTube link.
posted by belau at 6:00 AM on April 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Guster put out an album with the [REDACTED] Orchestra:
posted by LouMac at 12:19 PM on April 26, 2019

Sir Mix-a-Lot with the Seattle Symphony.
posted by JimN2TAW at 1:13 PM on April 26, 2019

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