Why are there no more hit instrumentals?

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arbitropia
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Post by arbitropia » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:48 pm

To respectfully correct the first post, the hit version of "Rumble" was an original by the late great Link Wray (and his Ray Men), although I'm guessing Duane Eddy performed it as well. I believe Eddy's biggest hit was "Rebel Rouser." Off-topic but worth mentioning: saw Link Wray perform in the late '90s at the Khyber in Philly with a young bassist and drummer, and he absolutely tore it up. He must have been nearing 70 at the time, and cranked out some of the dirtiest, heaviest guitar I've ever heard. They opened (and closed) with "Rumble," and I was just astonished by the overwhelming raw power. Totally inspirational from a "you don't have to get lamer as you get older" perspective, which is not out-of-the-ordinary in jazz and blues but seemingly less so in rock.

Switching gears, how about Percy Faith's "Theme from 'A Summer Place'"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mERbQIvgJXs

I can't think of any recent instrumental hits, and that's a shame. Not sure why, but some of the reasons mentioned in this thread make sense. I think one reason could be that there are far fewer instrumental bands than there were in the heyday of instrumental rock, but I guess that's a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Are there fewer instrumental bands because there isn't a market for it, or isn't there a market for it because there are fewer instrumental bands?
:?

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Post by LeedyGuy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:17 pm

"Watermelon Man" too, right? I think the hit version was by that conguero though, not the Herbie version.

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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:00 am

Did I dream that there was a Nickel Creek instrumental hit a few years ago? Really, I swear, I heard it three or four times a day at work in about 2003 or 2004. Anybody?

Then of course nobody's mentioning Kenny G's ongoing hitstorm/shitstorm. He's doing fine without singers. I guess it's been a couple of years since a new Kenny G one made it big, though, innit?

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Post by LeedyGuy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:35 am

Tatertot wrote:Did I dream that there was a Nickel Creek instrumental hit a few years ago? Really, I swear, I heard it three or four times a day at work in about 2003 or 2004. Anybody?

Then of course nobody's mentioning Kenny G's ongoing hitstorm/shitstorm. He's doing fine without singers. I guess it's been a couple of years since a new Kenny G one made it big, though, innit?
Oh no...Kenny G...oh no...

I think the Nickel Creek tune might have been "Ode to a Butterfly" or something? Even if it wasn't that song, that song rocks anyway and deserves to be a hit tune just because it's such an awesome romp.

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Jay Reynolds
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Post by Jay Reynolds » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:44 am

swelle wrote: It's either big orchestral soundscapes, or just a raided record collection (blame Tarantino + the Big Chill).
The Dick Dale cover of "Miserlou" that was featured in Pulp Fiction was probably a bigger hit in the 90's than it ever was in its original release.
And then there's that instrumental from Kill Bill. With the sampled horn hit and the metallic snare sound. No idea what its called, but its been licensed to the Bujeezus Belt.

Also, why do I feel guilty suggesting that Fatboy Slim's hits are instrumentals?
Prog out with your cog out.

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apropos of nothing
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Post by apropos of nothing » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:28 am

Counterexample: Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet's theme for the Kids In the Hall show, "Having An Average Weekend". I betcha that sold them a whole lot of records.

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Post by PeterAuslan » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:38 am

I agree that there is a lack of instrumentals electrifying the airwaves but on the positive side there seems to be a very active instrumental rock thing going on: Pelican, Kinski, Mogwai, GodSpeed You Black Emperor, Explosions in the SKy etc.

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Post by pwrb » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:45 am

My main band is instrumental (or "mostly-instrumental") and, boy, do we move product! :roll:
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Post by audiodrome » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:20 pm

If you define an instrumental as a song with no singing in it, that covers about half of the current Top 40 right there! :lol:
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Post by LeedyGuy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:28 pm

audiodrome wrote:If you define an instrumental as a song with no singing in it, that covers about half of the current Top 40 right there! :lol:
Well played!
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Post by JefffM » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:31 pm

Don't forget Telstar by the Tornados - the first record by a British band to reach number 1 in America and written and produced by the great Joe Meek.

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Post by kdarr » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:03 pm

jessemesasavage wrote:That Kernraft 400 Zombie Nation song is mostly instrumental. At least they always play just the instrumental hook at every sporting event since it came out. That shit is only a few years old. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5LW07FTJbI
That song, BTW, is a whole-sale ripoff of an old Commodore 64 SID chip tune called "Lazy Jones" by David Whittaker.

[<|>]

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Post by audiodrome » Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:55 am

One of my all-time favorites is "Soulful Strut" by Young-Holt Unlimited - classic soul!
Paul

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ubertar
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Post by ubertar » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:01 am

Herbie Hancock-- Rockit

whatever that one was with the "music box" song, back in the 80s... they play it on ice cream trucks now. back in roller-rink days.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by curtiswyant » Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:55 am

'cuz nobody likes them anymore? Duh. hehe. There's plenty of downtempo/trip-hop/electronica/ambient that is fairly popular with no vox, just not very much pop/rock music.

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