WATCH: Prague Cello Quartet goes viral with new takes on the Police and the Bee Gees

A pair of 1970s pop hits have been reworked in a classical vein to sound like they never have before.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 12.10.2021 19:00:00 (updated on 12.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Pop hits from the 1970s by the Bee Gees and the Police have been reimagined by the Prague Cello Quartet into rather uplifting instrumentals.

Their two most recent releases – covers of the Police’s “Roxanne” and the Bee Gees “How Deep Is Your Love” – have gone viral on YouTube.

Prague Cello Quartet – which consists of Jan Zvěřina, Petr Špaček, Ivan Vokáč, and Jan Zemen – mixes musical genres with their interpretations of not only classical favorites but also film music, jazz, rock, and pop. All four musicians were born in 1988 and have been playing since childhood.

“Their goal is to entertain the audience with their adaptations of well-known compositions and intelligent sense of humor, breaking the boundaries between fun and classical music,” the group’s website says.

The Police’s “Roxanne” first hit the airwaves in 1978, both as a single and a track on the album “Outlandos d'Amour.” It has been ranked by both Rolling Stone and VH1 as one the greatest rock songs of all time.

Prague Cello Quartet’s tango-infused cover was released Sept. 30 and in less than two weeks has almost 55,000 views on YouTube, with people commenting that it was “ingenious” and “amazing.” Many people were equally impressed with the video’s location, which is the famous library at Strahov Monastery.

The Bee Gees originally released “How Deep Is Your Love” as a single in 1977, and it appeared on the soundtrack to the film “Saturday Night Fever,” which still remains the second-biggest-selling soundtrack album ever.

Prague Cello Quartet’s cover of “How Deep Is Your Love” was released Aug. 31. In the six weeks since then it has garnered over 100,000 views on YouTube, and praise in a wide variety of languages from around the world, with “stunning,” “beautiful,” and “wonderful” coming up repeatedly. The location for the video is another room in the Strahov Monastery complex.

In terms of viewers, both new cover videos have a long way to go before they catch up with the originals. The official video of “Roxanne” has 117 million views on YouTube, while the Bee Gees’ “How Deep Is Your Love” has over 418 million views. Both videos have been online for 11 years.

But there is hope the new covers will eventually make it into millions of views. Prague Cello Quartet’s cover of “Phantom of the Opera” has a respectable 29 million views. Their take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” released at the end of 2019, has already racked up 3.7 million views, and their version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” has hooked 2.1 million viewers.

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