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
“Fluff,” Black Sabbath, 1973
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.
“Rockestra Theme,” Wings, 1979
“Marwa Blues,” George Harrison, 2002
This was on the album “Brainwashed,” released posthumously.
It illustrates Harrison’s distinctive guitar style at its finest.
Sting weighs in with the instrumental that got me to thinking about rock instrumentals.
“Saint Agnes and the Burning Train,” Sting, 1991
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
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
“Abaddon’s Bolero,” Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1972
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
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
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
“YYZ,” Rush, 1981
“Sign Language,” Yes, 1997
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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