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Why backing vocals matter

Every "sha-la-la-la" and every "wo-o-wo-oh"...Tom Service brings the backing singers of both the pop and opera worlds to the fore.
With backing singers David Combes and Izzy Chase, and Royal Opera House chorus member, Rebecca Lodge.

Available now

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Aretha Franklin

    I Say A Little Prayer

    • Atlantic.
    • 229-2411352.
  • Jason Donovan

    Any Dream Will Do

    • POLYDOR.
    • 523 860-2.
  • The Mamas & the Papas

    California Dreamin

    • MCA Records.
    • n-a.
  • Arthur Sullivan

    The Pirates of Penzance, or The slave of duty - comic opera

    Conductor: Charles Mackerras. Performer: Richard van Allan. Performer: Welsh National Opera Chorus.
    • Telarc.
    • cd80353.
  • J.Hayward

    Nights In White Satin

    Performer: The Moody Blues.
    • Polydor.
    • 515 002-2.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Nabucco - opera in 4 parts

    Conductor: Bernard Haitink. Performer: Royal Opera House Chorus. Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
    • EMI.
    • CDC7498492.
  • Mercury

    Somebody to Love

    Performer: Queen.
    • HOLLYWOOD RECORDS.
    • HR-61265-2.
  • Claude Debussy

    Syrinx for flute solo

    Performer: Emmanuel Pahud.
    • EMI.
    • EMI 5569822.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    L' Orfeo - favola in musica in a prologue and 5 acts

    Performer: Le Concert d’Astrée.
    • warner.
    • 0724354564253.
  • Henry Purcell

    Dido and Aeneas - opera in 3 acts Z.626

    Performer: Dame Sarah Connolly. Performer: Steven Devine. Performer: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
    • Chandos.
    • CHAN0757.
  • Igor Stravinsky

    The Rake's progress - opera in 3 acts

    Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Performer: Anne Sofie von Otter. Performer: Bryn Terfel. Performer: Deborah York. Performer: Ian Bostridge. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • DGG.
    • 4596482-.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Il Trovatore - opera in 4 parts

    Conductor: Bernard Haitink. Performer: Royal Opera House Chorus. Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
    • EMI.
    • CDC7498492.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Aida - opera in 4 acts

    Conductor: Riccardo Muti. Performer: Royal Opera House Chorus. Performer: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
    • EMI.
    • CMS 7 63450 2.
  • Carpenters

    Yesterday Once More

    • A&M.
    • 393-519-2.
  • J Weatherly

    Midnight Train to Georgia

    Performer: Gladys Knight & The Pips.
    • Columbia.
    • 4720-382.

Broadcasts

Why do we call it 'classical' music?

Why do we call it 'classical' music?

Tom Service poses a very simple question (with a not-so-simple answer).

Six of the world's most extreme voices

Six of the world's most extreme voices

From babies to Mongolian throat singers: whose voice is the most extreme of all?

How did the number 12 revolutionise music?

How did the number 12 revolutionise music?

How Schoenberg opened a new cosmos for composers and listeners to explore.

Why are we all addicted to bass?

Why are we all addicted to bass?

Bass is everywhere, but why do we enjoy it? Join Tom Service on a journey of discovery.

Watch the animations

Watch the animations

Join Tom Service on a musical journey through beginnings, repetition and bass lines.

When does noise become music?

When does noise become music?

We like to think we can separate “noise” from “music”, but is it that simple?

Podcast