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  #101  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:13 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
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.
What, you want I should play that "Think" music from Jeopardy! for you?
  #102  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:32 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells should be in the list. Theme from the Exorcist. But the full version does have lyrics. At least live.
Only of you count the Master of Ceremonies part (or the cave man part.) And the official live release on Exposed doesn't have the MC part, though I have some on Deluxe reissues that do.

Anyhow, given it was #1 in England for a year it should count - but not in the US.
  #103  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:52 PM
CelticKnot CelticKnot is offline
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Sleepwalk makes me weak in the knees. I'm sad it hasn't been mentioned yet.

Last edited by CelticKnot; 09-23-2017 at 06:52 PM.
  #104  
Old 09-23-2017, 06:52 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Only of you count the Master of Ceremonies part (or the cave man part.) And the official live release on Exposed doesn't have the MC part, though I have some on Deluxe reissues that do.

Anyhow, given it was #1 in England for a year it should count - but not in the US.
I wonder: does Pomp And Circumstance count?

Last edited by The Other Waldo Pepper; 09-23-2017 at 06:53 PM.
  #105  
Old 09-23-2017, 07:57 PM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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Originally Posted by Ranger Jeff View Post
That was my first thought, too. #2 on that blogger's list as well.

With something like this, I always have to ask: most famous when, exactly?

1) The 20th century instrumental that's best known now?
2) The 20th century instrumental that was best known at the end of the 20th century?
3) The 20th century instrumental that was most widely known at the time of its greatest popularity?
  #106  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:08 AM
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Another instantly recognised theme: Entrance of the Gladiators / Thunder and Blazes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OkkU-UJc5o
  #107  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:29 PM
wonky wonky is offline
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I was trying to top some of the ones in this thread and couldn't, but my first thoughts:

Soul Bossa Nova
Sing, Sing, Sing
Love is Blue
Love's Theme
  #108  
Old 09-27-2017, 05:07 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
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The Jaws theme.
  #109  
Old 09-27-2017, 06:11 PM
pohjonen pohjonen is online now
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Originally Posted by Dropo View Post
Maybe not the most famous, but a favorite, for sure. Still gives me goosebumps even after all these years.
  #110  
Old 09-27-2017, 06:56 PM
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How about "The Stripper"? It hit number 1 in 1962.
  #111  
Old 09-28-2017, 11:00 AM
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For most of my life I never quite processed that #37 "Soulful Strut" by Young Holt Unlimited and #26 "The Horse" by Cliff Nobles were two different songs. I had "The Horse" stuck in my head several months ago, and when looking it up was dumbfounded there was no Holt in the artist's name.
  #112  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:00 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Of all the instrumentals mentioned in this thread, the only one I listen to on a regular basis is Green Onions. I can't imagine putting Yakkity Sax on a playlist, as much as I love Benny Hill.
  #113  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:34 PM
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Lots of stuff by Henry Mancini. Peter Gunn. Pink Panther. Baby Elephant Walk.
  #114  
Old 09-28-2017, 12:49 PM
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Twilight Zone theme music.

Years ago I ran across an interview with the composer, Marius Constant, who mentioned the tiny royalty checks he occasionally got for the TZ theme. He said they were barely enough to buy cigarettes.
  #115  
Old 09-28-2017, 01:25 PM
pnschofield pnschofield is offline
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I wanted to address the question "Is it still an instrumental if someone writes lyrics for it?"

I think it helps to distinguish a song - the original composition on paper - from an arrangement or recording made after the fact. If the original composition is an instrumental, it forever remains an instrumental, regardless of how many recordings or arrangements are made featuring lyrics after the fact.

Since the OP uses the word "song" and not "recording" or "arrangement," in my opinion, it is referring to cases where the original composition was an instrumental. It is not asking about famous recordings or arrangements, but rather famous songs, IMHO.

Now, to throw a monkey wrench into my argument: what if an instrumental is written, which only ever becomes famous because of a new arrangement with lyrics? I don't have a good answer for that. Are there any famous cases where this has happened?

Last edited by pnschofield; 09-28-2017 at 01:26 PM.
  #116  
Old 09-28-2017, 02:54 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Originally Posted by pnschofield View Post
I wanted to address the question "Is it still an instrumental if someone writes lyrics for it?"
Many jazz standards had lyrics written sometime after the original music. Many of Duke Ellington's works are like this, including Take the A Train, Mood Indigo, Don't Get Around Much Any More, Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me.

Irving Mills was Duke Ellington's manager and music publisher. Mills would often write lyrics to Ellington's pieces to give himself songwriting credit and the share of the royalties that came with this. In most cases these lyrics weren't sung on the original recordings, and in many cases they weren't ever recorded.

Mitchell Parish was a lyricist who seemed to specialize in writing words for instrumental pieces after they'd become popular. He did this with Stardust, Sleigh Ride, Sophisticated Lady and Moonlight Serenade.

Love Is Blue was originally written as a song with lyrics, but one of the best-known recordings has no vocal.

Given that many instrumental pieces have had lyrics written for them, and that it's possible to perform any piece of music without a vocal, I'd say that an instrumental is a type of performance, not a type of composition. A famous instrumental is a vocal-free performance that's known by many people.
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  #117  
Old 09-28-2017, 04:55 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnschofield View Post
I wanted to address the question "Is it still an instrumental if someone writes lyrics for it?"

I think it helps to distinguish a song - the original composition on paper - from an arrangement or recording made after the fact. If the original composition is an instrumental, it forever remains an instrumental, regardless of how many recordings or arrangements are made featuring lyrics after the fact.

Since the OP uses the word "song" and not "recording" or "arrangement," in my opinion, it is referring to cases where the original composition was an instrumental. It is not asking about famous recordings or arrangements, but rather famous songs, IMHO.

Now, to throw a monkey wrench into my argument: what if an instrumental is written, which only ever becomes famous because of a new arrangement with lyrics? I don't have a good answer for that. Are there any famous cases where this has happened?
You might want to check your use of the word “song” there, if you’re being pedantic. “Tune” sounds more like what you’re looking for. Note also that the OP considers "In the Mood" a reasonable answer for his topic, which does have lyrics to it, so I don't think it was the OP's intent to exclude instrumental versions of songs.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-28-2017 at 04:59 PM.
  #118  
Old 09-29-2017, 11:49 AM
pnschofield pnschofield is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
You might want to check your use of the word “song” there, if you’re being pedantic. “Tune” sounds more like what you’re looking for.
Good point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Note also that the OP considers "In the Mood" a reasonable answer for his topic, which does have lyrics to it, so I don't think it was the OP's intent to exclude instrumental versions of songs.
Another good point. So the OP is really after famous instrumental recordings.

I'm not adding anything useful to the conversation, am I?
  #119  
Old 09-30-2017, 05:25 PM
Dancer_Flight Dancer_Flight is offline
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I was sure "Lily Was Here" was going to be on the list somewhere, but wiki-ing it I see it was of Dutch origin and only hit 11 on the American top 40 charts. And I'm obviously too much a child of the eighties/nineties.

-DF
  #120  
Old 09-30-2017, 05:53 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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On the other hand, what if there's no one definitive recording of a particular song, but it's been performed by many different artists, and listened to and known by a very large number of people? That wouldn't be a famous recording, but it would be a famous instrumental.
  #121  
Old 09-30-2017, 07:03 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
On the other hand, what if there's no one definitive recording of a particular song, but it's been performed by many different artists, and listened to and known by a very large number of people? That wouldn't be a famous recording, but it would be a famous instrumental.
This describes much of the music from the jazz age.
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  #122  
Old 09-30-2017, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Out of all of the works mentioned in this thread, "Green Onions" is the only one I've never heard of. I find it hard to say that it's the most famous.
Glad to know that I'm not the only one who's never heard of the not-so-famous "Green Onions"!
  #123  
Old 10-01-2017, 08:36 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Glad to know that I'm not the only one who's never heard of the not-so-famous "Green Onions"!
Totally cool that you and Chronos haven't heard of it or heard it, but use this as an opportunity to listen to it. It is deeply good stuff. Booker T's organ is sublime, Duck Dunn's bass is so cool, and Steve Cropper's guitar work, including a stinging lead that guitar geeks regularly cite to this day - it's worth giving a listen.
  #124  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:26 AM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is online now
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Totally cool that you and Chronos haven't heard of it or heard it, but use this as an opportunity to listen to it..
While you're at it, take in some of the group's other pieces. Hang 'Em High is also great, and Time Is Tight is their best.
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  #125  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:31 AM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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Sleepwalk makes me weak in the knees. I'm sad it hasn't been mentioned yet.
Good for you, CelticKnot! Instantly recognizable, if not by the actual title.

My own favorite instrumental is definitely "The Cruel Sea" by the The Ventures. Unfortunately, I don't think it's popular enough to be submitted for the OP's purpose.
  #126  
Old 10-01-2017, 11:42 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
Good for you, CelticKnot! Instantly recognizable, if not by the actual title.

My own favorite instrumental is definitely "The Cruel Sea" by the The Ventures. Unfortunately, I don't think it's popular enough to be submitted for the OP's purpose.
My favorite version of Sleepwalk is Brian Setzer's solo version, using a bit of echo, and amazing whammy bar work to fill in a feeling of rich orchestration: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fDvfzxVDxl8
  #127  
Old 10-01-2017, 03:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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OK, I'd neither heard nor heard of "Sleepwalk" before, but how the heck does Setzer get both a bassline and melody out of a single guitar, there?
  #128  
Old 10-01-2017, 03:31 PM
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OK, I'd neither heard nor heard of "Sleepwalk" before, but how the heck does Setzer get both a bassline and melody out of a single guitar, there?
It's just that he's that good. He's kinda muting the lower notes so that the echo effect fills in the sound, and he more sharply picks the higher notes so they stand out. Supreme control.
  #129  
Old 10-01-2017, 06:54 PM
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Leo Kottke's version of Sleepwalk

If it's from the album i think it is, there's also an interesting version of the theme from The Night of the Hunter.
  #130  
Old 10-02-2017, 01:23 AM
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To me, the piece that illustrates the forties and The War is Moonlight Serenade, by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band.

Last edited by movingfinger; 10-02-2017 at 01:25 AM. Reason: to me is not one word, but two
  #131  
Old 10-02-2017, 04:09 PM
Don Draper Don Draper is offline
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I don't understand this list. Any list of "100 Greatest Instrumentals" ought to be, you know, instrumentals -- no sung/spoken lyrics. But just a cursory glance, and I saw several songs with well-known lyrics: "Born Free", "Moon River", "Don't Be Cruel" "Fly Me to the Moon"? How do they count as instrumentals?


"Embryonic Journey" by Jefferson Airplane as it is always, always, ALWAYS used in every documentary about the 1960s, up to and including Ken Burns' new Vietnam series).
  #132  
Old 10-02-2017, 09:39 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by Don Draper View Post
"Embryonic Journey" by Jefferson Airplane as it is always, always, ALWAYS used in every documentary about the 1960s, up to and including Ken Burns' new Vietnam series).
Oddly, I don't recognize that song at all.
  #133  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:09 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
Apache by the Shadows.
The Vision On Gallery Theme.
Oxygene by Jean-Michel Jarre.

No? Okay then.
According to the movie Sample This, "Apache" is the most recorded/sampled song in the world.

Usually this version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY-Z6wm6TMQ

(Sample This is a fascinating movie, btw, worth your time. Nice history lesson.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDw4MM_W0e8

Here's yet another version of Apache, this one by the sublime Frank Vignola and friends.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeVJP6xpe88

And I think we all know the worst version in the world, which has become monumental in its own right:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6tnj7IEI0E
  #134  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:27 AM
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Green Onions is one of the greatest Instro song(IMHO) that it should rate higher but my fav Instro band in the beginning was The Ventures. I started playing guitar because of them. I love playing it.

Now that we have Kraftwerk which is 4 guys with their synthesizers I am fascinated with their songs. They had become my fav Instro band. Some of their songs will have a little vocals but they are well done.

This is one of my fav song by them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqmGZ_6LaUw
  #135  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:45 PM
Snake_Plissken Snake_Plissken is offline
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It should be 'Villanova Junction' by Jimi Hendrix.
  #136  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:19 PM
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It's certainly this. I mean c'mon. Heck, hundreds of sans lyrics video game themes could crowd out 98% of what's already been suggested.

...or are we all being snobs and not including them for some reason?
  #137  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:59 PM
Baal Houtham Baal Houtham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
My favorite version of Sleepwalk is Brian Setzer's solo version, using a bit of echo, and amazing whammy bar work to fill in a feeling of rich orchestration: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fDvfzxVDxl8
Hi WordGuy; I like Setzer enough to be annoyed when Rolling Stone left him off their list of Top 100 Guitarist, but... that version of Sleepwalk is a working definition of "change the beauty of the melody, until it sounds just like a symphony." If there was ever a song that didn't need 16th notes, it's Sleepwalk. It destroys all the sleepwalkishness.

Mr Chronos, this is the original 1959 version.
  #138  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:45 PM
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Hi WordGuy; I like Setzer enough to be annoyed when Rolling Stone left him off their list of Top 100 Guitarist, but... that version of Sleepwalk is a working definition of "change the beauty of the melody, until it sounds just like a symphony." If there was ever a song that didn't need 16th notes, it's Sleepwalk. It destroys all the sleepwalkishness.

Mr Chronos, this is the original 1959 version.
Not to mention the 9th 11th and 15th chords. He seems to be trying to quote pet sounds in places, but he leaves the sting out of the song. It makes it a different song.

Is it prejudiced of me to think that this is OK on TNN but might not fly on a more citified network? It seems vegasy to me anyway.
  #139  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:46 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
Hi WordGuy; I like Setzer enough to be annoyed when Rolling Stone left him off their list of Top 100 Guitarist, but... that version of Sleepwalk is a working definition of "change the beauty of the melody, until it sounds just like a symphony." If there was ever a song that didn't need 16th notes, it's Sleepwalk. It destroys all the sleepwalkishness.

Mr Chronos, this is the original 1959 version.
'Tis true, I put it's Setzer-ifficness before its sleepwalkishness
  #140  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
It's certainly this. I mean c'mon. Heck, hundreds of sans lyrics video game themes could crowd out 98% of what's already been suggested.

...or are we all being snobs and not including them for some reason?
No, we should not exclude them, they are good stuff. It had to be composed just like any other songs.

My Commodore 64 has a fantastic sound chip as well as graphic. I had a truckload of games I bought from a mail order software house. Most of them were cracked games.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Racui9jJI&t=10850s
  #141  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:52 PM
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The Top 100 list has a number of pieces with lyrics: "Exodus," "Route 66," and "A Time for Us (Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet)," f'rinstance. Even "Hawaii Five-O" had at least two sets of lyrics the last time I looked.
Actually "A Time for Us (Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet)" was initially an instrumental. By Tchaikovsky.
  #142  
Old 10-12-2017, 05:59 PM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
The most famous instrumental no one can name? Might be Powerhouse.
Just because it's in a zillion cartoons? Along with the third movement of the "William Tell Overture"? ("Lone Ranger" is the fourth movement.)

If you don't recognize the reference, visualize a cartoon of dawn breaking over a farm. The music in your head is the third movement of the overture.
  #143  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:02 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by MacLir View Post
Just because it's in a zillion cartoons? Along with the third movement of the "William Tell Overture"? ("Lone Ranger" is the fourth movement.)

If you don't recognize the reference, visualize a cartoon of dawn breaking over a farm. The music in your head is the third movement of the overture.
Well, this actually was the one I thought of visualizing that scene.
  #144  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:24 PM
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Point taken - that one too!

But this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJTIMlwQT_A is what I meant.
  #145  
Old 10-13-2017, 04:54 PM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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It's amazing how much of our knowledge of things is based on cartoons, especially Warner Brothers.

I was trying to explain some music choices for an upcoming gig to one of the ensembles I play in. I said stuff like "semi-comic take on classical music" and "Wagnerian leifmotif" and they kinda looked sideways at me. I said, "Kill the wabbit!" and people said, "I'M SO IN!"
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Last edited by TubaDiva; 10-13-2017 at 04:55 PM.
  #146  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:13 PM
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You have to watch this "Flash mob in the Copenhagen Metro. Copenhagen Phil playing Peer Gynt." The glorious moment when the train comes out the tunnel into the Sun just as the music swells.
  #147  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:02 PM
C. Montgomery Burns C. Montgomery Burns is offline
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How could it not be Scott Joplin's The Entertainer? Everybody knows that.
  #148  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:33 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by terentii View Post
I understood "instrumentals" to mean tunes that never had lyrics. A lot of the ones mentioned do, whether they are well known or not.

The first thing that came to my mind was "Classical Gas" (which, so far as I know, is indeed lyric-less).
That was my first thought, although I was thinking more along the lines of "one of the best" rather than most famous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Out of all of the works mentioned in this thread, "Green Onions" is the only one I've never heard of. I find it hard to say that it's the most famous.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one! Green Onions?
  #149  
Old 10-15-2017, 03:39 AM
Some Call Me... Tim Some Call Me... Tim is offline
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I'm rather surprised that as far as I can tell no one has mentioned Axel F yet. Unambiguously pop, got a lot of radio airplay at the time on top-40 stations.

Perhaps you have to be about the right age to remember that one.
  #150  
Old 10-15-2017, 05:10 PM
LukeOwens LukeOwens is offline
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The first popular instrumental i thought of was "The Overture to 'Tommy'" by the Who. This may say more about my taste in music, though, as I despise most instrumental music. IF it doesn't have lyrics, I just don't want to know about it.
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