Throwback Thursdays EDM Song: Tiesto “Adagio for Strings”


This week, EDM RANKS’ Throwback Thursday EDM features one of the most widely recognized names in EDM: Tiesto’s “Adagio for Strings”.

The song was originally released on 2004’s Just Be and was the album’s fourth single. It gained him much praise from critics and substantial fame when he performed it at the Athens Olympics that same year. MixMag readers even voted it the “second greatest dance record of all time” in 2003.

Aside from being a banging trance hit, “Adagio for Strings” is a unique breed of EDM. Tiesto based it off of a 1936 composition of the same name by American classical composer Samuel Barber. The original was meant as a mournful, ominous piece; it was played during announcements of the deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, and at the funeral of Albert Einstein. All this makes it an even more unlikely pick for anything that would qualify as dance music. Somehow, Tiesto managed to turn it into one of the biggest hits of his career.

Tiesto’s version keeps the thematic chords and melody of the original but sets them on top of a trance beat that gives it an energetic treatment it had never seen before. Just Be was an album that defined the peak of Tiesto’s fame and “Adagio for Strings” can be credited with playing a major role in that.

Enjoy this ground-breaking record this Throwback Thursday and we’ll see you here next week for more EDM classics!

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