80s CLASSICAL, Volume 1: With The Orchestra Of Opera North (2023) HQ *0dayrox Exclusive*
Produced by pop master Steve Anderson, with the 50-piece symphony Orchestra Of Opera North arranged & conducted by Cliff Masterson, ”80s CLASSICAL, Volume 1” comprises 13 brand new studio re-workings of some of the biggest hits of the ’80s, plus a bonus remix by synthwave maestro L’Avenue.
This is the first release from a series of classical interpretations of 80s music based on the show of the same name. The 80s Classical show made its debut in 2019 at the Opera North In The City festival, in Millennium Square, Leeds.
Now in it’s fourth year, having hosted a line-up of appearances from John Parr, Belinda Carlisle, Kim Wilde, Jimmy Somerville, Heaven 17, Go West, Nick Heyward, Howard Jones, etc, the brand makes the transition from the stage to the studio for their debut album release via Cherry Red Records / Cherry Pop.
Featuring ’80s artists / songs from Nik Kershaw, Johnny Hates Jazz and T’Pau / Carol Decker they deliver extraordinary versions of their hits featuring the original vocals / instrumentation (guitars, drums, bass, synths) mixed with orchestra arrangements, alongside show favourites from Gavin Conder (performing TOTO’s classic ‘Africa’), Cliff Masterson (covering John Parr’s ‘St Elmo’s Fire’), Adetoun Ayoola (doing Eurythmics hit ‘Sweet Dreams’ in a terrific version), and a dreamy back-to-the-future L’Avenue / Nik Kershaw remix.
”80s Classical Volume 1” features Nik Kershaw, T’Pau singer Carol Decker and Johnny Hates Jazz performing their best-loved songs with the might of the strings, brass, woodwind and percussion of the award-winning Orchestra behind them.
The duo behind 80s Classical are arranger & conductor Cliff Masterson and producer Steve Anderson. whom also put together the recordings.
“Cliff’s arrangements are just fantastic for my songs”, says Carol Decker, who has returned by popular demand each year since her unforgettable performance at the first-ever concert. “It’s awe-inspiring to hear the Orchestra play them – the strings on ‘China in Your Hand’ in particular. He’s also an inspiring conductor: everyone’s glued to him. They make life so easy for you, then you just slot in on the top like the cherry on the cake, and it’s a complete privilege! I love them all, and all the backing vocalists. It’s a real treat to perform with such an epic orchestra and a fantastic conductor and arranger. I feel very lucky”
For Nik Kershaw, “Cliff’s arrangements bring a certain gravitas to the songs. It’s almost like they’ve been validated and are now officially pieces of music. He and Steve have turned them from tunes I bashed together in my kitchen to something one might listen to whilst wearing a bow tie.”
Nik, who recently celebrated his 65th birthday, reworks his perennial 80s hits including ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’, ‘The Riddle’, and ‘I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ on the album.
Great Eighties stuff re-imagined.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Adetoun Ayoola – Can You Feel It
02 – Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good
03 – Carol Decker – China In Your Hand
04 – Johnny Hates Jazz – Shattered Dreams
05 – Gavin Conder – Africa
06 – Johnny Hates Jazz – I Don’t Want To Be A Hero
07 – Nik Kershaw – Human Racing
08 – Adetoun Ayoola – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
09 – Nik Kershaw – The Riddle
10 – Carol Decker – Heart And Soul
11 – Johnny Hates Jazz – Turn Back The Clock
12 – Cliff Masterson – St Elmo’s Fire
13 – Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
14 – Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t It Be Good (L’Avenue Remix)