Published Aug 10, 2020Have you ever wondered what makes pop songs dang catchy? If the production is clean, the vocals ring true and the visual components slap, an artist is sure to deliver a worldwide hit. Sometimes, though, the only thing a musician needs to create a mega-hit is to look to the past.
Earlier this year, Maroon 5 boldly borrowed a classic chord progression from 15th century composer Johann Pachelbel for their song "Memories." The track was well-received and lauded as a vehicle for classical composition's return to the zeitgeist. But as it turns out, Maroon 5 are only the latest to adopt pieces of "Canon in D" in their work — as pointed out in a new TikTok video.
Thanks to mashup artist and TikToker Joebot the Robot, we can now trace the many instances of Pachelbel's influence on pop's recent history. In a new video, we see a collage of massive hits from Green Day, the Beatles, My Chemical Romance and Bob Marley that all also sound eerily similar to "Canon in D."
This is by no means a new phenomenon, nor is it by accident. In 2002, pop producer Pete Waterman admitted to the BBC that many songs he worked on — including Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky" and Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round" — were influenced by classical composers like Pachelbel, Mozart and Wagner.
"If I'm good at what I do, you shouldn't be able to hear where I've taken it from," Waterman said at the time, noting that he had borrowed from Wagner in his own work at least 20 times.
"Pop will come back to classical music," he predicted. And so it did.
Watch Joebot's clip below to compare for yourself.