The 15 Greatest Cello Performances in Popular Music


6 aug 2009, 02:51

The Cello is the second largest and deepest string instrument on the scale after the double-bass. While it is mainly used in classical orchestras and solo pieces, the Cello as also been used in many popular rock and pop songs. Here are my picks for the best Cello songs:

15. Atom Heart Mother
This 23 minute epic instrumental song is one of PF's best in my opinion. What makes this song a really master piece is its use of classical instruments; horns, flutes, and of coarse some nicely done cello work.

14. Enter Sandman (Instrumental Version)
I could have picked any song by this band (they are a Cello Metal band after all). But this song really stood out to me because: 1) Its a cover of a very popular Metallica song and 2) Its performed with only string instruments. Too awesome.

13. Fuego!
This unique indie band employs cellos in most of their songs. This songs cello music falls right into place overlapping the guitar, bass, and vocals perfectly.

12. Bookworm
This tracks mellow guitar and piano melody, haunting vocals, and underlining violin and cello rhythm makes this track one which you'll want to play over and over.

11. Aerials
While a cello is played throughout this entire track, it is most noticeable in the short intro, setting the perfect mood for this great song.

10. Record Function
This Michigan indie band actually uses two cellos in most of their songs. To me, with out the cellos carrying the sound of the song the track would be quite bland. However with the inclusion of the cello the track is a great gem.

9. Bang Bang
The thick cello "rift" that plays throughout this power-ballad from the beloved artist Cher turns this into one of the few good Cher songs. Nuff said.

8. Apoligize
The beautiful cello playing mixed with the wonderful vocals in the first verse of this song are truly magical, but when the synth and drums come in...... it kinda ruins it. still worth a listen.

7. Disarm
The quick and soft cello bursts that place throughout the song real set the angry/soft tone of this classic SP song.

6. The Flag
This song is quite the change of pace for this usually upbeat and bouncy band. However you can't argue with the masterfully placed cello that mixes perfectly with both the guitar and vocals.

5. Art Is Hard
This very alternative sounding band isn't really where you'd expect to find a cello player. However the cellist in this band is one of the best out there. Their songs, more than any others I've heard really seem to be built around the instrument.

4. Transylvanian Comcubine
This track really shows off what the cello and violin can do in a rock song. Rasputina is actually the founder of the 'cello rock' genre, so they really know how to play!

3. Dumb
This song actually inspired me to write this journal! I don't know what it is but there is just something magical about those four cello notes before the chorus.

2. Eleanor Rigby
When you think string instruments in music this is certainly one of the first tracks that come to mind for most people. The ensemble of all the different strings added with the harmonizing vocals make this a fantastic track.

1. Wonderwall
Thats right. I'm sure you saw this coming. No surprises here. Oasis's biggest hit plus one of the best songs of the 90's in my opinion. The cello turns this song from good to masterpiece.


  • dimitri1111

    try Young Blood by Learning Team

    4 nov 2012, 22:56
  • Mitchymitch77

    Wonderwall is without doubt a masterpiece. But sadly no cello is played on this song so you will have to remove it from this list!!

    26 apr 2013, 18:55
  • JoyWeinberg

    Hi, First I wanted to say Thank You So Much for posting this wonderful list! I want to start composing music for cello and this has been a great way to delve in and learn about great tracks I'd never heard. Hey--two great songs left out of your list: Leonard Cohen's "Halleluyah" and Harry Chapin's "Tangled Up Puppet."

    16 sep 2013, 03:05
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