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Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D major and popular culture


The Johann Pachelbel's canon in D major may represent the most extraordinary instance of the crossover phenomenon in all of music. During a short period in the early 1970s it went from being a quite obscure work of early music to a universally familiar cultural item. It was played in countless versions in its original notes and instrumentation, as well as in arrangements for other instruments and in adaptations into other musical genres. The process shows no sign of abating.
The popularization is thought to have originated with the release of a 1970 recording of the work (Erato 98475) performed by the Paillard Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jean-François Paillard.

The canon was first adapted musically in a pop song by the Spanish vocal group Pop Tops on their 1968 hit "O Lord,Why Lord?", which made modest chart showings in both the USA (peaking at #79 on the Hot 100) and the Netherland. In more recent times, Australian-British string quartet bond played a modified, more updated version of the Pachelbel's Canon in their song Lullaby on their 2004 album Classified.


The soundtrack of the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser by Werner Herzog features the Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D major, it was also used in the film's trailer. The second half of Brian Eno's pioneering 1975 ambient music recording Discreet Music consists of a series of versions of Pachelbel's canon in D major to which various algorithmic transformations have been applied, rendering it almost unrecognisable. The chord progression of the canon also surfaces in Eno's 1983 Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks recording on the track AlwaysReturning. In 1991, RCA released a compilation CD called Pachelbel's Greatest Hit. It contained eight different versions of the piece, including performances by James Galway,


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CANON IN D: HISTORY

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Isao Tomita, and the Canadian Brass. Also released that year was the P. D. Q. Bach album WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio, a spoof of classical radio and the canon's ubiquity there (WTWP stands for "wall-to-wall Pachelbel").

Mark Knopfler, known to have gone through a classical musical training, seems to have been inspired by the harmonies in Dire Straits' "Tunnel of Love" (1980).
Used as the main theme in the Academy Award winning 1980 film Ordinary People.
In 1984, Japanese singer/actress Togawa Jun's song "Mushi no Onna" was adapted from Johann pachelbel Canon in D major with lyrics.
Also in 1984, The movie Electric Dreams featured a duet between a Cello player and Edgar the sentient computer.
In 1998, French film director Gaspar Noé used the Canon in his film Seul contre tous.

In 2000, The song was featured as part of the opening tune for Arthur's Perfect Christmas. The song plays a prominent role in the 2002 Korean comedy "My Sassy Girl."
In 2005, a video of a young Taiwan guitarist calling himself JerryC, short for Jerry Chang - who arranged and performed an energetic rock version of Pachelbel Canon in D major on electric guitar. Over 50 guitarists have published a "Canon Rock" video. In 2006, a Korean featured a beatboxer, turntables, traditional Korean instruments called gayageum, and b-boy Zero Nine. A slightly modified version of the canon is played on three alto saxes and one baritone sax annually in the Plymouth Canton Marching Band. The song is present in the animated version of the manga Ichigo 100%. A revised version of this song can be found in the Canon Groove, a popular song for the online game Audition Online.Canon in D is featured on the 2006 album, Piano Love Songs, by pianist Bradley Joseph

Musical adaptations of Johann Pachelbel canon in D major

Year

Song

Band, Album

Misc

1944

National Anthem of Russia

Alexander Alexandrov

 

1965

Pictures of Lily

The Who

the chorus

1965

In My Life

The Beatles

the piano break

1966

Spicks and Specks

Bee Gees

 

1967

Don't Sleep In The Subway

Petula Clark

 

1968

Rain and Tears

Aphrodite's Child

minor UK hit, most popular in France

1969

Streets of London

Ralph McTell

guitar and vocals

1970

Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer

Parliament

 

1971

Changes

David Bowie

 

1972

All the Young Dudes

Mott The Hoople/ written by David Bowie

chord progression and opening guitar melody

1972

Seek Ye First

Karen Lafferty/ arr. Douglas E. Wagner

hymn accompaniment

1974

Wenn ein Mensch lebt

Puhdys

a German version of the Bee Gees's Spicks & Specks with a different vocal melody

1974

In The Garden

Bob James, One

later sampled by Coolio and Die Firma for their "versions" of the "Canon in D"

1975

Three Variations on the Johann Pachelbel Canon in D Major

Brian
Eno,Discreet Music

 

1978

Go West

(Morali Belolo Willis) Village People

 

1980

Goodbye to Romance

Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz

chord progression

1982

Eyes Of The World

Fleetwood Mac, Mirage

used in the intro and bridge

1985

Variations on the Johann Pachelbel Canon in D major

George Winston, December

album

1986

Hometown

Joe Jackson, Big World

when played live as a piano/vocal

1989

Someday We Will All Be Together

Claire Hamill

single

1989

Decomposing Composers

Monty Python

Monty Python Sings album

1990

Variation on Pachebel Canon in D major / It's Not Too Late

Davy Jones

 

1991

Lemmings intro

DMA Design

video game

1991

All Together Now

The Farm

single

1993

Go West

Pet Shop Boys

Village People cover

1993

Christmas Eve

Tatsuro Yamashita

 

1994

Basket Case

Green Day

song

1994

Domain

Future Sound of London, Lifeforms

 

1994

Whatever

Oasis

single

1994

Pachelbel Canon in D major

Steven Halpern on (Accelerating) Self-Healing

a new age/meditative adaptation based on Pachelbel's Canon

1995

Forbidden Paradise (Deep Trance Mix)

DJ Tiesto

 

1995

Don't Look Back in Anger

Oasis, (What's the Story) Morning Glory?

hit

1995

Pachelbel's Prayer

Sam Rowland

 

1996

Christmas Time

2 Brothers On The 4th Floor

 

1996

It's Not Too Late

The Monkees

 

1996

Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying

Belle and Sebastian

 

1996

Walking on the Milky Way

OMD

 

1996

Forever

Stratovarius, Episode

chord progression

1996

Courage

Manowar, Louder than hell

chord progression and similar melody

1997

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

Spiritualized

album title track

1997

C U When U Get There

Coolio

 

1997

Estoy Tan Cansado

Moenia

Spanish pop song

1997

Sugarbabies

Five Tones

By Jake Williams of JX Fame (Son Of A Gun, Nothing I Won't Do)

1997

Je me souviens

Menelik

 

1997

To Love You More

Celine Dion, Let's Talk About Love /p>

pop hit

1997

(Pachelbel) Cannon

the drapes

The Silent War..., album track 7

1997

The Ring of Steel

Nocturnal Rites, Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Heavy Metal song, used as an intro and bridge (album issued in Europe in 1998)

1997

Pachelbel's Soldier

Standing Room Only

 

1998

Christmas Canon

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Christmas Attic

Christmas lyrics

1998

Letthe Music heal your Soul

Bravo All Stars (Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync etc.)

 

1998

't Dondert en het bliksemt (Meters Bier)

Guus Meeuwis

single

1998

Opus 40

Mercury Rev

single

1998

On & On & On

Catch 22, Keasbey Nights

reference in the middle of the song

1998

Crazy

Maria Lux

 

1999

Vízöntő

Republic

the end of the song there's a tune from the Canon

2000

Canon in D [Silver Mix] (also entitled Pachelbel's Canon (Silver Remix))

The Cynic Project

Mixed And Remixed Volume 2, album track 15

2000

In Me 너에게

People Crew

 

2000

An Improvisation on the Canon

Robin Spielberg

bonus track of album Dreaming of Summer

2001

La Belle et le Bad Boy

MC Solaar

track

2001

Crack City Rockers

ska/punk band Leftöver Crack

song

2001

Este Canon

Alejandro Filio

Trova song (Nueva canción)

2002

Can't Stop Loving You

Phil Collins,Testify

 

2002

Canon in DD

Emocapella

parody

2002

Set This World On Fire

Rage

Heavy metal

2002

ID/Hindsight

Snapcase

melody and chord progression

2002

Canon

Zox,Take Me Home

reggae/punk with violin

2003

Looking For Something

Era, The Mass

album

2003

I Want To Get Married

Showbread, Life, Kisses And Other Wasted Efforts,,

album

2003

Everytime

Britney Spears, In the Zone

 

2003

Sanctus

Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois

Show title - Harmonic Journey; lyrical variation used.

2003

Love Is Color-Blind

Sarah Connor

 

2003

Pachelbel 8000

Mars

 

2003

Storm II

Seventh Avenue

 

2003

Flourish (DJ Angel & DJ Chucky remix)

DJ Angel

Hardcore/Trance

2004

Pachel Bells

"internet"

jingle bells melody

2004

Life Is Cool

Sweetbox

single

2004

Lullaby

bond, Classified

pop arrangement

2004

Canon-D Part of Memories #1

Banya

anime-style music video, for the game Pump It Up Exceed 2

2004

Canon Ball

Jan Vayne

 

2004

Classic

Classic OST

 

2004

Skachabelian Ballad (Lola and Mani)

Three Years Accident Free

 

2004

Heaven Ride (Canon)

angels

 

2004

Paris

Delerium

 

2004

Pachelbel meets U2

Jon Schmidt

 

2004

Pachelbel Canon in D major

Naturally 7

 

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