Classic Quadrophenia hits the top spot of the classical chart – or that would have been the headline if the album had been eligible for the official classical chart. As it is, in the first week of release, it reached No.32 in the overall album chart with sales figures that would guarantee the top classical spot several times over. In comparison, the actual classical No. 1, Andre Rieu’s Magic of the Violin features at number 100 on the overall album chart.
As we know (click here to read more) the album is not eligible due to the original music being rock. The current rules state that
each album will be judged on the works performed on the album – and that these works must be composed by recognised classical composers and/or in a publicly-recognised classical idiom or form
Additionally, a spokeswoman for the Official Chart Company said that “There’s nothing unusual here, classical covers of pop/rock works have never qualified for the Official Classical Charts, and the rules are agreed in committee with the music industry (including the band’s label). Classic Quadrophenia will be treated like any other album of contemporary music recorded in a classical style.”
However, supporters of the album point out that in 2003 The Queen Symphony, also performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was included in the Classical Chart. Composer Tolga Kashif used the melodies of Queen hits such as Radio Gaga, We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You and the release reached No.4 in the Classical Chart.
On the face of it this would seem to be unfair but I suspect the answer lies in the amount of new material penned for each album. To qualify for the classical chart, 60% of the music needs to be classical (as judged by the current rules) and The Queen Symphony, while using several Queen songs as a base, has a lot of new additional music written by a recognised classical composer. Classic Quadrophenia on the other hand, is an orchestrated cover of a rock album.
The question I’m asking today is: Is this fair? Should the classical chart open the doors to new forms of classical music, creating new classical classics (as it were) or would that lead to classical music being sidelined in it’s own area? What if it were Alfie Boe’s next classical album (hypothetical album!) that were kept off the top spot by an album that may not be strictly classical? We know Alfie’s thoughts on this as he tweeted this week (amongst others)
Classic Quadrophenia apparently is not eligible for the Classical charts. It’s moments like this that prove the classical industry is still run by narrow minded arseholes.
but I don’t know the answer and I’m not sure there is a right answer so please help us out with your thoughts – please leave a comment!
Classic Quadrophenia is available now:
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