Music on Mondays (7-28-14)—Rock instrumentals

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Instrumental music by hard rock, heavy rock, and heavy metal groups always has seemed kind of oxymoronic to me.

As I was doing research for this post, I remembered that my all-time favorite rock/pop star, Sir Paul McCartney, and his group, Wings, won a Grammy Award in 1980 for “Rockestra Theme” in the category “Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” It was a new category that year and was eliminated beginning with the 2012 awards.

So for today’s Music on Mondays, let’s listen to some rock instrumentals, beginning with my favorite two, both by Black Sabbath:

“Laguna Sunrise,” Black Sabbath, 1972

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“Fluff,” Black Sabbath, 1973

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Next I have three instrumentals associated with my all-time favorite non-classical group, The Beatles.

“Flying,” The Beatles, 1967
This is the first Beatles song
which had the writing credited to all four Beatles.

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“Rockestra Theme,” Wings, 1979

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“Marwa Blues,” George Harrison, 2002
This was on the album “Brainwashed,” released posthumously.
It illustrates Harrison’s distinctive guitar style at its finest.

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Sting weighs in with the instrumental that got me to thinking about rock instrumentals.

“Saint Agnes and the Burning Train,” Sting, 1991

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One of the first rock instrumentals came along in 1962 and hit #1 on the charts in both the United States and Great Britain, a unique feat.

“Telstar,” The Tornados, 1962

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There are many rock instrumentals based on classical music, usually done by musicians who were classically trained before hopping over to the rock/pop genre. Here are my favorite two:

“In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Electric Light Orchestra, 1973

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“Abaddon’s Bolero,” Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1972

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Metallica, a heavy metal group if ever there was one, checks in with a very heavy metal instrumental from their “Master of Puppets” album, arguably their heaviest heavy metal album.

“Orion,” Metallica, 1986

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I would be remiss in my instrumental duties if I did not include something by The Who—and there are many—so I chose one from their classic rock opera, “Tommy.”

“Underture,” The Who, 1969

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My music computer includes complete music collections from many groups. Three of those groups which are relevant to instrumental music are The Alan Parsons Project, Rush, and Yes. Picking just one song from those three groups is arduous. Here I go, though:

“Mammagamma,” The Alan Parsons Project, 1982

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“YYZ,” Rush, 1981

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“Sign Language,” Yes, 1997

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There are hundreds more that I have in my music collection but I didn’t want to totally overwhelm you this Monday morning. We’ll visit rock instrumentals again in the future.

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19 thoughts on “Music on Mondays (7-28-14)—Rock instrumentals

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Few people choose something off of Led Zeppelin I as their best, but that whole album is a classic, albeit underappreciated, album.

      I intentionally left Led Zeppelin off of this list because I’m going to give them their own Music on Mondays.

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      1. songtothesirens

        Yes, that whole album rocks. So does their first and third and forth. Sort of a Zeppelin fan as they figured prominently in the “album rock” format of the radio stations I listened to as I grew up.

        Cool! Zeppelin gets their own music Monday! Bron-yr-aur is another really good instrumental.

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          1. songtothesirens

            It is indeed epic 🙂 They have one the BBC sessions, i think called “White Summer/Black Mountain Side” or something like that, that’s pretty cool too.

            Here’s an oldie but a really good instrumental: “Embryonic Journey” Jefferson Airplane “Surrealistic Pillow”

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              1. songtothesirens

                😀 Mine too…..I think I was born in the wrong decade perhaps……but I also have many Baroque composers in my music library as well as the alternative stuff that came out of the 90’s……don’t have too much from the 2000’s except electronica and trance house music……never had any use for Rap……so maybe I am in the right decade after all 🙂

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