Why are there no more hit instrumentals?

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swelle
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Post by swelle » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:17 am

Didn't Satriani have a big instrumental hit? I don't remember what it's called, I just remember it was awful.

Alex Netick
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Post by Alex Netick » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:27 pm

I don't think he's had a hit in over 10 years. I used to take lessons from Joe when he tought at Second Hand Guitars in Berkeley. He was kind of a dick, but he was a pretty good guitar teacher, definitely the best I've had.
swelle wrote:Didn't Satriani have a big instrumental hit? I don't remember what it's called, I just remember it was awful.

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Post by Alex Netick » Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:09 pm

Come to think of it, maybe it's because the instrumental became, especially with Satriani and E. Johnson et. al, a kind of inane diversion -- a sort of masturbatory self-indulgent ego trip as opposed to art or entertainment. Guitar players like them sort of lost sight of music making people feel good, and saw it instead as a narcissistic tool. So we don't hear any instrumentals anymore, good or bad, because they became synonymous with the guitar solo, as opposed to a good melody and groove (e.g., booker T.).

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tummymondo
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Post by tummymondo » Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:49 pm

explosions in the sky makes a living off their formula of instrumental "post-rock".

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Post by Jay Reynolds » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:15 pm

ubertar wrote: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.
Wasn't that The Art of Noise? And what about "Oh Yeah" by Yello?
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ned
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Post by ned » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:03 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8MIgBLqmzI

can't believe nobody has mentioned that one yet (although i'm too young to know how popular it was when it was released).

a couple of years ago, i found an absolutely MINT copy of this album that my mom had purchased back in the '70s and i couldn't stop listening to it - it's absolutely incredible.

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Post by leigh » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:44 pm

Alex Netick wrote:Come to think of it, maybe it's because the instrumental became, especially with Satriani and E. Johnson et. al, a kind of inane diversion -- a sort of masturbatory self-indulgent ego trip as opposed to art or entertainment. Guitar players like them sort of lost sight of music making people feel good, and saw it instead as a narcissistic tool. So we don't hear any instrumentals anymore, good or bad, because they became synonymous with the guitar solo, as opposed to a good melody and groove (e.g., booker T.).
Dude, I was gonna offer up Eric Johnson's 1991 "Cliffs of Dover" as a recent-ish instrumental hit... and now you crapped on my parade. Jus' kidding. But seriously, I think Satriani and Johnson are among the best in class for instrumental rockers... there's plenty of wankers out there with far less compositional sense.

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Post by percussion boy » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:07 pm

curtiswyant wrote:There's plenty of downtempo/trip-hop/electronica/ambient that is fairly popular with no vox . . .
Thank you. The whole history of dance music for like the past three million years has been about instrumentals -- house, techno, drum'n'bass, etc.. A lot of humans sure do like that stuff, doesn't that make it a hit? Plenty of musical innovation there too.
"The world don't need no more songs." - Bob Dylan

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Post by Alex Netick » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:10 pm

I'd take Jeff Beck over any of them (Wired, Blow By Blow, blah blah), but when you're fifteen years old, and Joe Satriani is 2 feet in front of you in a chickenshit little guitar store in Berkeley, it could have been Esteban for all I cared. I still fired him, though, because I thought he was kind of a peanut.
leigh wrote:
Alex Netick wrote:Come to think of it, maybe it's because the instrumental became, especially with Satriani and E. Johnson et. al, a kind of inane diversion -- a sort of masturbatory self-indulgent ego trip as opposed to art or entertainment. Guitar players like them sort of lost sight of music making people feel good, and saw it instead as a narcissistic tool. So we don't hear any instrumentals anymore, good or bad, because they became synonymous with the guitar solo, as opposed to a good melody and groove (e.g., booker T.).
Dude, I was gonna offer up Eric Johnson's 1991 "Cliffs of Dover" as a recent-ish instrumental hit... and now you crapped on my parade. Jus' kidding. But seriously, I think Satriani and Johnson are among the best in class for instrumental rockers... there's plenty of wankers out there with far less compositional sense.

Leigh

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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:08 am

How about that Chuck Mangione megahit. I forget the title. "Feels So Good" or something. Also, "Chariots of Fire" theme. Also, the "Love Theme" from Top Gun. Those aren't really current hits though, are they.

Remember when movies used to have a "Love Theme" that you could buy on the soundtrack? I think every new rock album should come with at least one song titled "Love Theme", an instrumental about halfway through the track order.

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The death of melody

Post by kweis7 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:47 am

People have less and less listening skills and so their melodic sense is not too keen (...shriveled up and fallen off). How would you like to listen to some instrumental hip-hop? That would be catchy, huh?

Although it wasn't a 'hit', except in a few elevators and a Publix commercial (sorry Pat), Last Train Home by Metheny was from the late 80's I think (87?) and got a good bit of play. Chariots of fire and Rockit are both early 80's. Were there ZERO instrumental hits in the 1990's?
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Post by LeedyGuy » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:30 am

Tatertot wrote:How about that Chuck Mangione megahit. I forget the title. "Feels So Good" or something. Also, "Chariots of Fire" theme. Also, the "Love Theme" from Top Gun. Those aren't really current hits though, are they.

Remember when movies used to have a "Love Theme" that you could buy on the soundtrack? I think every new rock album should come with at least one song titled "Love Theme", an instrumental about halfway through the track order.
Feels so Good or whatever = ew.

"Theme from Ice Castles" and "Theme from Love Story" - there are copies of piano or concert band versions of these in practically every band or music room I have ever been in in a school.

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Post by leigh » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:46 am

Tatertot wrote:Also, the "Love Theme" from Top Gun. Those aren't really current hits though, are they.
The "love theme" from Top Gun was Berlin's "Take My Breath Away." Not an instrumental, although I think instrumental edits are used a lot in the movie.

Leigh

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leigh
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Re: The death of melody

Post by leigh » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:52 am

kweis7 wrote:Were there ZERO instrumental hits in the 1990's?
Hey, I hate to beat a dead horse, but again with the Eric Johnson - he had three instrumentals chart in the Billboard top 10 in the 1990's. And I remember those tracks getting a lot of play on the radio at the time.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Johnson:

1990 - "Cliffs of Dover" - (from Ah Via Musicom) - Mainstream Rock Tracks - #5
1991 - "Righteous" - (from Ah Via Musicom) - Mainstream Rock Tracks - #8
1991 - "Trademark" - (from Ah Via Musicom) - Mainstream Rock Tracks - #7

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Post by pwrb » Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:10 am

Has anyone mentioned Air yet?
-Pete

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