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  #51  
Old 09-21-2017, 11:51 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Also, so far as I can tell, the instrumental came first, and then two sets of lyrics were penned to the instrumental. Does that make it not an instrumental by your definition, then?
Good question. Started out as an instrumental, ended up as a song?
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  #52  
Old 09-21-2017, 11:54 PM
terentii terentii is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yes, that is absolutely correct. I don't see the problem.
You ignored my second assertion.

Quote:
(Besides, at any rate, almost all the songs mentioned in this thread are "pure" instrumentals by your definition.)
Huh?
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  #53  
Old 09-21-2017, 11:57 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
You ignored my second assertion.
No, I saw it. I just don't think the distinction between "pure" instrumentals and instrumental versions of songs that have lyrics somewhere is particularly relevant to a pop music discussion. If an instrumental version of a song is a hit, then I'd consider that a "famous instrumental" for the purposes of this thread (or, really, just in general.)

Quote:
Huh?
I had thought in your initial post you were complaining that a lot of the songs mentioned in the thread were not instrumentals when you said "I understood "instrumentals" to mean tunes that never had lyrics. A lot of the ones mentioned do, whether they are well known or not." Perhaps I misunderstood. Maybe you were just talking about the list that was linked to.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-22-2017 at 12:01 AM.
  #54  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:15 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by buddha_david View Post
Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band by Meco reached #1 on the Billboard 100 for two weeks. It sold over 2 million copies and is (according to Wikipedia) the best-selling instrumental single in the history of recorded music. John Williams' version also reached the top ten.

I'd say that's a winner.
And I strongly suspect it hasn't been played anywhere since it dropped off the chart.

How about Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man"?
  #55  
Old 09-22-2017, 08:42 AM
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Because the Champs speak the word "Tequila" in that song, does that disqualify it from the running?
  #56  
Old 09-22-2017, 09:51 AM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
Because the Champs speak the word "Tequila" in that song, does that disqualify it from the running?
Previous thread: How many words can a song have before it is no longer "instrumental"?
  #57  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:08 AM
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"Classical Gas" is the first one I thought of, then "Dueling Banjos"; but I think "In the Mood" is a much better answer then both. "Girl From Ipanema" deserves a mention, even though it has lyrics it is most often played as an instrumental. I'd even go with "Take Five."

Based on the title, I had no idea what "Green Onions" was, but of course I recognized it as soon as I heard it. I don't think I'd put it in the top 10 though.

I agree with the person above who said that songs from earlier in the century have had a much better chance to build in the collective mind of the culture. In addition to "In the Mood" I would put "The Entertainer" in this category.
  #58  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:17 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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The Entertainer by Scott Joplin is not only one of the best known, but also one of the earliest having been written in 1902!

And I challenge anyone not to get an instrumental earworm after hearing it just mentioned. It really gives folks The Sting!

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 09-22-2017 at 10:17 AM.
  #59  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:44 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
Because the Champs speak the word "Tequila" in that song, does that disqualify it from the running?
Wipeout, mentioned on page 1, also has one word.

I've seen The Hustle classed as an instrumental, and it has several "lines", but only four words.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 09-22-2017 at 10:44 AM.
  #60  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:56 AM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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Me reading the OP: I have never heard the name "Green Onions" ever, I have absolutely no idea what that is supposed to be.

After listening to it on YouTube: Oh that one! Yeah, that's definitely got to at the top of the list.
  #61  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:32 AM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Is Hocus Pocus instrumental?
  #62  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:59 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Lots of contenders. A lot of them from the surf rock genre, such as Walk, Don't Run by the Ventures, Pipeline by the Chantays, Misirlou by Dick Dale and the Deltones and many, many more.

And a big shout-out to Glen Campbell playing the William Tell Overture on a 12-string guitar. So much fun to watch, especially the last 30 seconds!
  #63  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by K364 View Post
I would say ... <snip> ... "Hawaii Five-O"
Some Australian teens thought it was the US National Anthem.

(A reference to a scene from a favorite movie, The Dish: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zftKpiI6_sI)
  #64  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:46 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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This is a fun thread. Many good songs here. Classical Gas is a favorite, and several others that I didn't know what their titles were (Green Onions, Walk - Don't Run). Some fun ones not mentioned yet, and maybe they don't quite rise to the very top, are some played by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

Tijuana Taxi
Spanish Flea -- made popular by TV's "The Dating Game"
A Taste of Honey
  #65  
Old 09-22-2017, 03:38 PM
Eyebrows 0f Doom Eyebrows 0f Doom is offline
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Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
The Beatles version with lyrics is way more famous than any instrumental.
  #66  
Old 09-22-2017, 04:48 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebrows 0f Doom View Post
The Beatles version with lyrics is way more famous than any instrumental.
Maybe I've listened to more Herb Alpert than the average person, but I definitely recognize the Alpert song more than the Beatles song. I didn't even realize those were the same songs until just now.
  #67  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:05 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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OK, I've finally gotten around to looking it up. Yeah, I've heard "Green Onions", though I never knew that was its title. But even after having heard it, there are still plenty of other instrumental songs I've heard way more often than it. I can't even tell you what context I would have heard it in.
  #68  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:22 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
Because the Champs speak the word "Tequila" in that song, does that disqualify it from the running?
There's a long tradition of instros having the name spoken in some way, usually at the end. I say it's OK.
  #69  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:08 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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I don't want to live in a world where "Yakkity Sax" is only #98.
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  #70  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:31 PM
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"Telstar" is nowhere on that list? That was the first one that came to mind.
  #71  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jerez View Post
"Feels So Good" (Chuck Mangione) hasn't been mentioned and doesn't appear in the OP's link.
That's definitely the most popular instrumental song in Arlen, Texas.
  #72  
Old 09-22-2017, 09:09 PM
drad dog drad dog is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
No, I saw it. I just don't think the distinction between "pure" instrumentals and instrumental versions of songs that have lyrics somewhere is particularly relevant to a pop music discussion. If an instrumental version of a song is a hit, then I'd consider that a "famous instrumental" for the purposes of this thread (or, really, just in general.)



I had thought in your initial post you were complaining that a lot of the songs mentioned in the thread were not instrumentals when you said "I understood "instrumentals" to mean tunes that never had lyrics. A lot of the ones mentioned do, whether they are well known or not." Perhaps I misunderstood. Maybe you were just talking about the list that was linked to.
NM

Last edited by drad dog; 09-22-2017 at 09:11 PM.
  #73  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:23 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Originally Posted by jerez View Post
"Feels So Good" (Chuck Mangione) hasn't been mentioned and doesn't appear in the OP's link.
Chuck Mangione. Wow as a teenager of the 1970s his "Geels So Good" was so popular back then -- 1978, he and his flugelhorn reached #4 in June with that single. I looked that up.
  #74  
Old 09-22-2017, 11:30 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyebrows 0f Doom View Post
The Beatles version with lyrics is way more famous than any instrumental.
The Beatles did "A Taste of Honey"? OK, gee, I guess they did -- news to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Maybe I've listened to more Herb Alpert than the average person, but I definitely recognize the Alpert song more than the Beatles song. I didn't even realize those were the same songs until just now.
Same here, Herb Alpert's version of A Taste of Honey is very recognizable. The Beatles', not at all.
  #75  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:52 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
The Beatles did "A Taste of Honey"? OK, gee, I guess they did -- news to me.
Just so you know, that's not the actual Beatles singing it. The arrangement is relatively close to what's on "Please Please Me." It's really difficult finding original Beatles songs on Youtube these days.
  #76  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:57 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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ETA: Actually, reading through the comments, it sounds like this may be the B-side to an early record, but not the album take of the song. But I can't tell for certain. It doesn't sound quite like the Beatles to me, but who knows. I expect drag dog could give a relatively definitive answer here.

ETA2: No, my initial instinct was correct. Here is the same version by what apparently is a tribute band called "Zoom Beatles." I thought for a second I was going crazy when people in the comments were saying that was a Paul McCartney vocal, and I was thinking that it didn't sound like him at all.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-23-2017 at 01:01 AM.
  #77  
Old 09-23-2017, 01:16 AM
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OK thanks. I found a version of "A Taste of Honey" done by The Hollies. It's weird hearing a version with lyrics. And I much prefer the Herb Alpert version. Still, Eyebrows's point is made, this isn't a purely instrumental song.
  #78  
Old 09-23-2017, 01:26 AM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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Percy Faith's "Holiday for Strings" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2u0BvyDxdM

"Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson is still played a lot at Christmas. It was originally an instrumental, but later lyrics were added.

Other compositions of his were well known.

"Blue Tango" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnHLKM8hQR8

It was the #1 single on Billboard magazine's Top Hot 100 songs of 1952, America’s number one hit record for five weeks in the spring of 1952, on Billboard's national singles charts for 38 weeks and in the top 10 for six months.

"The Syncopated Clock" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6vvkXd9GRw

https://theamericanscholar.org/syncopated-clock-indeed/
Quote:
...beginning in the 1950s, a Percy Faith recording of “The Syncopated Clock” introduced movies on the long-running Late Show that aired on some CBS stations. When neighbors in Woodbury heard that he was a composer and asked what music he’d written, Anderson, the ever-reticent Swede, would reply, “I wrote the theme of The Late Show.”
"Plink, Plank, Plunk" was used as the opening and closing theme of "I've Got a Secret" from 1952 to 1961. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGbUT4bgYuw
  #79  
Old 09-23-2017, 02:49 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Apache by the Shadows.
The Vision On Gallery Theme.
Oxygene by Jean-Michel Jarre.

No? Okay then.
  #80  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:52 AM
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I came to sat "Yakkity Sax." But then I remembered
Baby Elephant Walk
  #81  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:54 AM
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John Cage - 4'33"
  #82  
Old 09-23-2017, 05:55 AM
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"Green Onions" is nothing to me. And this definition of "pop" seems to mean post-1439.

But I was interested to see that Japan has a tradition of playing "closing time" instrumentals too. Two that I heard were "Londonderry Air" and Largo From the New World. Most of the tourists in Japan are Japanese, but maybe the choose closing melodies for the benefit of Americans? Who knows.

I'm a child of the 70's. In /my/ cohort, Tubular Bells (the melody that underpinned (Virgin Atlantic) would have to be a contender
  #83  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:09 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin is not only one of the best known, but also one of the earliest having been written in 1902!

And I challenge anyone not to get an instrumental earworm after hearing it just mentioned. It really gives folks The Sting!
I came to say this.
  #84  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:25 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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What about the theme from TV's Law & Order? Or Star Trek? Or Hogan's Heroes?

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 09-23-2017 at 09:25 AM.
  #85  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:50 AM
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On the popular instrumentals nobody knows the name of theme, thanks to Carl Stalling and Warner Bros. animation, Raymond Scott's work is known probably world-wide -- certainly in the US -- with hardly anyone knowing their or his names.

Example: Powerhouse B (It is bookended by the almost as famous "A")

Second example: Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals.

And finally, Ali Baba Goes to Town (if you can get past the distractions).
  #86  
Old 09-23-2017, 10:57 AM
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"Harlem Nocturne"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfAv8yAaHps
  #87  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:25 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Theme from The Pink Panther?
  #88  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:26 PM
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POP song?

How about Hot Butters version of POPcorn?

It was in the top 10 in 1972.
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  #89  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:37 PM
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What about Spring Rain by Bebu Silvetti? They played that on the radio ad nauseam in the 70's.

As did they Breezin and the Entertainer.

And chariots in the 80's.
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  #90  
Old 09-23-2017, 12:51 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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If "In the Mood" is on the list, we should also include Take the A Train.
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  #91  
Old 09-23-2017, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
What about the theme from … Hogan's Heroes?
it, umm, had lyr-icks


Last edited by eschereal; 09-23-2017 at 01:45 PM.
  #92  
Old 09-23-2017, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
The Colonel Bogey March?
That's what I thought of.
  #93  
Old 09-23-2017, 02:36 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Theme from The Pink Panther?
That one is actually on the list linked in the OP, at #90 – a rung above Brubeck's Take Five.
  #94  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:04 PM
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The answer should be YYZ but it isn't.
  #95  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:28 PM
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The first one that came to mind was Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross.

Followed by Telstar.
  #96  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:29 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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(Just saw this thread.)

In the OP's link, "Yakety Sax" seems way too low at #99, as does the Pink Panther theme at #90.

Where's Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy"?

Seems like there ought to be more TV and movie themes. I know The Simpsons, Hawaii Five-O, and Star Wars have already been mentioned in this thread. But I haven't seen the theme songs (instrumental as played) from M*A*S*H, Star Trek, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson... and I'm sure I'll think of more.
  #97  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:36 PM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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The Theme from A Summer Place
  #98  
Old 09-23-2017, 03:50 PM
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Sleepwalk
  #99  
Old 09-23-2017, 05:25 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabre_Dance

"Sabre Dance" has entered the realm of popular music as one of the 20th century's signature pieces."[7] It was further made popular by covers by pop artists,[8] first in the US and later in other countries, such as the UK and Germany. Its use in a wide range of films and TV series over the decades have significantly contributed to its renown.[9] Sabre Dance has also been used by a number of figure skaters from at least five countries in their performances. Tom Huizenga of NPR describes it as "one of the catchiest, most familiar—perhaps most maddening—tunes to come out of the 20th century."[10] Billboard magazine calls it "a piece that's known to every pops orchestra in existence."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpqYU3Nzbts
This is a somewhat unconventional version....



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_of_the_Bumblebee

"Flight of the Bumblebee" is an orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, composed in 1899–1900. Its composition is intended to musically evoke the seemingly chaotic and rapidly changing flying pattern of a bumblebee. Despite the piece's being a rather incidental part of the opera, it is today one of the more familiar classical works because of its frequent use in popular culture."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yZPrrboTkY
  #100  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:03 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Satin Doll by....I dunno, Duke Ellington? ...... Harlem Nocturne, Take 5, and Take the A-Train, everyone has heard them.
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