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Classical Gas for Class

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Published on Aug 18, 2006

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Learned Classical Gas to get out of doing homework.

**Mason Williams (he wrote the song) saw this, and said he dug it. Soo cool.

"Classical Gas" is an instrumental musical piece composed and originally performed by Mason Williams. Originally released in 1968 on the album The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, it has been rerecorded and rereleased numerous times since by Williams. One later version served as the title track of a 1987 album by Williams and the orchestra Mannheim Steamroller.

The title of the composition was originally "Classical Gasoline" but was changed to "Classical Gas" by the music copyist. On the original recording, Williams plays classical guitar and is accompanied by an orchestral backing. The orchestral arrangements for the composition were written by Mike Post, who was also its music producer. It was released in February 1968 on the album The Mason Williams Phonograph Record. In August 1968 it reached Number 2 on the American charts and went on to sell over a million copies; it also topped the Billboard Easy Listening survey.[1][citation needed] Williams re-recorded it as a solo guitar piece on his 1970 album Hand Made. In 1987, he recorded a version with the Mannheim Steamroller.

Williams was the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time of the piece's release and premiered the composition on the show. Williams performed it several times over several episodes. After the piece had reached the Top Ten, Williams asked an experimental filmmaker named Dan McLaughlin to create a video montage of classical art works edited in time to the music, using a visual effect now known as kinestasis. The pioneering work, 3000 Years of Art, premiered in the summer of 1968 and may have helped push the song high on the charts.[2][3]

During the 1970s and early 1980s, many television stations used the composition--or an updated version of it re-recorded by Telesound--as their theme song.

There is a common misconception that "Classical Gas" was composed and performed by Eric Clapton, when in fact Clapton was never even known to have recorded a cover of the song. This misconception may possibly be attributed to the fact that Clapton was musical director of, and played much of the guitar music for, the feature film The Story of Us, whereas the version of "Classical Gas" on the film's soundtrack is actually Williams's own solo-guitar re-recording of it, from his 1970 album Hand Made.[4]

Cozy Powell performed a version of Classical Gas on his 1992 solo album The Drums Are Back.

© 2006 Tobuscus

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