My colleague AJay McLaughlin is the co-songwriter, along with Richard Bush, for most of the tunes of the Philadelphia rock band The Peace Creeps. On their new album Time Machine is the song “Cold,” for which they wanted to have a string quartet accompaniment, à la “Eleanor Rigby” (Peace Creeps founder Richard, who also led The A’s way back when, makes no bones about his love for The Beatles).
AJay knows I write “classical music” and so wondered if I might like to take a crack at string arranging for them. He sent me a demo of the song, I was immediately hooked, and I wrote it up for quartet, doubling and quadrupling them at the high point. I sent them the score and mp3, and they hired the players and recorded them. Now the CD’s out.
Here’s part of a review:
The most surprising song on the album is “Cold”–just one minute and a mere ten lines long, with only a string quartet for accompaniment (arranged by Philadelphia composer Kile Smith)–perhaps a nod to Beatles producer George Martin, who pushed for the use of orchestral instruments in “Yesterday” and “Eleanor Rigby.” None of these are even close to being “copies” of Beatles songs, but their tone and attitude nevertheless pervade.