1982 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Hooked On Classics (Parts 1 & 2)
The British arranger Louis Clark trained at Leeds College of Music. He played bass for a group after schooling and then began working with ELO. Louis played keyboards and arranged and conducted music for several of the group’s albums.
In 1982, Jeff Jarrett and Don Redman produced an album for K-Tel Records called Hooked On Classics, using Louis as the arranger and conductor. The album featured music from the history of classical music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, set to a disco beat. In some countries, the album even used the title Disco Classics. The first five minutes of the album included a medley of over five minutes of music from over a dozen classical pieces.
An edit cut the song down to 3:48, a length that is more radio-friendly. It included the first five pieces, skipped the next five, and then included the rest of the classics.
The single reached #10 on the Hot 100 and remained there for two weeks before fading off the chart completely. The record also reached #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart and peaked at #2 on the UK chart.
A series of Hooked On Classics albums followed, but there were no additional singles that charted.
Other unrelated artists also released records that used the phrase “Hooked On” that year with less success.
While he continued working with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, he also arranged and/or conducted music for a wide variety of acts, including America, Asia, Kiki Dee, Roy Orbison, and Ozzy Osbourne.
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