If you’re looking for the the best, the essential or the greatest classical music works ever, you will find dozens of CDs promising the crème de la crème of the repertoire. But for those of us looking for something a little more specific, you might have some trouble sifting through these purportedly superlative albums to more targeted options. We’ve combed through the lists, and found five of the more original albums conceits available.
1. 50 Shades of Grey Spin-Offs
Marketed as the listening companion to "50 Shades of Grey," an album of the same title became a top seller on the classical charts. The album carries the music that Christian Grey, the protagonist of the steamy novel, had on his playlist: some Thomas Tallis, plenty of Bach and the prelude to La Traviata (perhaps foreshadowing a doomed love affair). The album’s success has begotten a box set called "50 Shades of Emotions," which “encourages fires of passion to burst forth” with tracks to “encourage your romantic yearnings.”
2. 'Love Notes' Compilations
Produced under a Love Notes label, this series of three CDs doesn’t mask its intent to set the mood and seduce. The alliterative albums—Shacking Up to Chopin, Making Out to Mozart and Bedroom Bliss with Beethoven—all carry “Parental Advisory” warning stickers. From the playlists we see, the only thing explicit about compilations is the provocative cover art.
3. Music for Your Pets
You may love classical music, but how about your dog? Through a Dog’s Ear produces CDs that claim to set your pampered pooch at ease. (Who knew that Fido is a fan of piano sonatas?) The company has produced six albums, including a "Driving Edition—Music to Calm Your Dog in the Car" and an edition for elderly canines that boasts to provide “a therapeutic sound system for mature dogs.”
4. Schroeder's Greatest Hits
Our favorite animated pianist—sorry Lang Lang—Schroeder from the comic strip Peanuts, may not be real but he does have his own greatest hits album. Though the character was famously obsessed with Beethoven, the CD features pieces by Mozart, Scarlatti, Schubert and Schumann, as well as his go-to Moonlight Sonata.
5. Keep Calm and...
The British poster campaign from World War II, Keep Calm and Carry On, which begot a design empire, also inspired a two-disc album filled with stress and anxiety busting tunes like the Barcarolle from Les contes d’Hoffman and Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1. Best of all, the iconic poster image doubles as CD-cover art.
Weigh in: What's the most odd or outlandish compilation album that you've seen? Leave your comments below: