Oboes in popular music
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The soprano oboe (in C) and its alto version, the English horn (in F) , are instruments generally associated with art music, but they have been used sporadically in popular music recordings, generally by (often uncredited) studio musicians on recordings of specific songs.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, several bands emerged that featured oboists as members, including The Moody Blues (Ray Thomas), Henry Cow (Lindsay Cooper), New York Rock & Roll Ensemble (Martin Fulterman and Michael Kamen), Roxy Music (Andy Mackay), Electric Light Orchestra (Roy Wood), Wizzard (Roy Wood), and Japan (Mick Karn). The oboists in these bands generally used the oboe as a secondary instrument, not playing it on every song. Japan and Roxy Music, however, did use the oboe quite frequently. However, Iva Davies, the frontman of the Australian rock band Icehouse (formerly "Flowers) studied oboe at the Sydney Conservatorium and played both oboe and cor anglais in many of the band's songs.
Since the 1990s, the oboe has been used in rock most notably by Sigur Rós (played by Kjartan Sveinsson), as well as by indie rock musician Sufjan Stevens (who also plays cor anglais and often overdubs both instruments on his albums). Jarlaath, the vocalist of the French gothic metal band Penumbra, plays the oboe in a number of the band's songs, as does Robbie J. de Klerk, the vocalist of the Dutch melodic doom/death metal band Another Messiah. In America, a band called Hoboe defines itself as a rock band showcasing amplified oboe, fronted by oboist Zen Ben.. The band Liminal Phase uses amplified oboe, played by Lisa Hirst Carnes along with bassoon, harmonium, cello, keys, guitar, drums & noise to create an electronic chamber sound.
Below is a historical sampling of songs and albums in which the oboe (ob) or English horn (Eh) is featured:
- 1964 – Marianne Faithfull – As Tears Go By (Eh)
- 1964 – Gerry & the Pacemakers – Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying (ob)
- 1964 – Peter and Gordon – I Don't Want to See You Again (ob)
- 1965 – Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe (ob)
- 1966 – The Left Banke – Pretty Ballerina (ob)
- 1966 – The Beach Boys – I'm Waiting for the Day (Eh. Leonard Hartman)
- 1966 – The Beatles – Original version of Penny Lane had two English horns playing the bridge instead of a piccolo trumpet
- 1966 - The Chiffons - "Sweet Talkin' Guy" features an oboe and cello during the instrumental break.
- 1966 – Donovan – Legend of a girl called Linda
- 1966 – Eduardo Rovira – Solo en la multitud – tango (ob. Pedro Cocchiararo)
- 1967 – Bee Gees – Turn of the Century (ob.)
- 1967 – Boudewijn de Groot – Eva (ob. Han de Vries)
- 1967 – The Turtles – Happy Together (ob)
- 1967 – The Rolling Stones – Dandelion (ob. Brian Jones)
- 1968 – Dion – Abraham, Martin & John
- 1968–69 The Moody Blues – In Search of the Lost Chord and On the Threshold of a Dream (ob. Ray Thomas)
- 1969 – The Classics IV – Traces [of Love] (ob)
- 1970 – Essra Mohawk – Primordial Lovers (ob. George St. John)
- 1970–71 The Move – Looking On and Message from the Country (ob. Roy Wood)
- 1970–74 – King Crimson – Lizard and Islands and Red (ob. Robin Miller)
- 1971 – Electric Light Orchestra – The Electric Light Orchestra (ob. Roy Wood)
- 1971 – Loggins and Messina – "House at Pooh Corner" (ob. Jon Clarke)
- 1971 – The Carpenters – For All We Know (Eh. Bob Messenger), Superstar
- 1972 – Roxy Music – Sea Breezes, Ladytron and Virginia Plain (ob. Andy Mackay).
- 1973 – Tower of Power – Just Another Day (ob. Doc Kupka)
- 1974 – Mike Oldfield – Hergest Ridge (ob. Lindsay Cooper)
- 1975 – Tangerine Dream – Rubycon (ob. Mellotron tapes) 
- 1975 – Judy Collins – Send In The Clowns (arr. Jonathan Tunick) (Eh. George Marge)
- 1976 – Braulio – Mujer De Solo Una Noche (ob)
- 1978 – Art Garfunkel – Bright Eyes.
- 1978 – Donna Summer – Last Dance (ob. Nellie Waldrop).
- 1978 – Lindisfarne – Run for Home (Eh)
- 1979 – The Clash – London Calling
- 1979 - Wire - A Mutual Friend (Eh)
- 1980 – Randy Crawford – One Day I'll Fly Away (Eh)
- 1980 – Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids (ob)
- 1982 – Alan Parsons Project – Old and Wise (ob)
- 1982 – Icehouse – Street Cafe, Trojan Blue from Primitive Man
- 1982 – Juice Newton – The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)
- 1983 – Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (ob. Andy Fletcher)
- 1983 – China Crisis – Working with Fire and Steel - Possible Pop Songs Volume Two (ob. Steve Levy)
- 1983 – Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth (ob. Kate St. John)
- 1983 – David Thomas – Variations on a Theme (ob./eh. Lindsay Cooper)
- 1983–85 Durutti Column – Another Setting and Without Mercy (ob. Manaugh Fleming)
- 1984–87 – a-ha – Living a Boy's Adventure Tale (ob. Claire Jarvis) and The Sun Always Shines On Tv and "The Living Daylights"
- 1985 – Madonna – Crazy for You (ob. George Marge) 
- 1985 – The Dream Academy – Life in a Northern Town (Eh. Kate St. John)
- 1987 – Icehouse – Man of Colours (Eh. Iva Davies)
- 1987–88 The Go-Betweens – Bye Bye Pride from Tallulah and Clouds from 16 Lovers Lane (ob. Amanda Brown)
- 1988 – Tanita Tikaram – Twist in My Sobriety (ob. Malcolm Messiter)
- 1989 – Shelleyan Orphan – Shatter on Century Flower (ob. Paul Goodey)
- 1989 – Camouflage – Love Is a Shield (ob. Simone Winter)
- 1989 – Dyango – El Que Mas Te Ha Querido (ob)
- 1991 – Daniel Bélanger – Les Insomniaques s'amusent (Eh. Lise Beauchamp)
- 1991 – Electronic – Some Distant Memory (ob. Helen Powell)
- 1991–92 REM – Out of Time and Automatic for the People (ob. Deborah Workman).
- 1992 – Roxette – Queen Of Rain (ob. Bo Ericksson)
- 1993 – Mariah Carey – Hero (ob).
- 1992–94 Several Portastatic recordings feature oboe.
- 1993 – Blur – Star Shaped on Modern Life Is Rubbish (ob. Kate St. John)
- 1994 – Seal – Kiss from a Rose from Seal II and Batman Forever (ob. David Theodore)
- 1994 – Steven Halpern & Guillermo Cazenave Iberian Nocturne Spanish Impromptu (ob. Ronald Lloyd)
- 1995 – Queen – It's A Beautiful Day from Made in Heaven (ob. John Deacon (?)).)
- 2000 – Robbie Williams – It Was a Very Good Year on Swing When You're Winning.
- 2000 – S Club 7 – Natural from 7
- 2000 – Frankie Bomobabo – Me and My Oboe
- 2001 – Stereophonics – Cover of Mike d'Abo's Handbags and Gladrags (ob. Pete Long)
- 2002 – Tracy Chapman – Goodbye (ob. William Bennett) 
- 2002 - Rodrigo Lessa - Mouro Amor (ob. Leo Fuks)
- 2008 – ABBA – Mamma Mia, musical Honey, Honey.
- 2008 – Dave Matthews Band – Bartender (ob. Leroi Moore).
- 2008 – Opeth – Watershed (ob. & Eh. Lisa Almberg)
- 2009 – Cameron Blake – When It Comes Down To It from En Route (ob. Shea Scruggs))
- 2009 – Hoboe – I'm Your Man/Charlie single (ob. Zen Ben)
- 2010 – Bo Burnham – "Oh Bo"
- 2011 – Skálmöld – "Kvaðning" from Baldur (ob. Gunnar Ben)
- Berling, Michael (29 September 2016). "Rubycon". Voices in the Net.