Truly great rock instrumentals

I’m currently in the middle of a huge downloading frenzy of songs and I would love to hear some examples for one of my favorite types of rock song, the instrumental.

To clarify rock instrumental, I mean to say a rock song with no words (obviously) where a band just jams. The kind of song where you can’t help but tap your feet or bang your head or play the air guitar.

As it stands right now I’ve got:

Megadeth - Into the Lungs of Hell
Faith No More - Woodpecker From Mars
Metallica - Orion, Call of Ktulu, To Live is to Die (small concession that it does have a few words, but I still consider it an instrumental)
Mad Season - November Hotel

I know there must be more out there, any suggestions? Time period is irrelevant as I like Zeppelin or The Doors as much as I like Pantera or Foo Fighters. All I ask is that it be rock/metal and not classical.

Thank you.

Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan

Rush, “La Villa Strangiato”
Dick Dale, “Miserlou”
Pink Floyd, “One of These Days”
Iron Maiden, “Losfer Words”
Joe Satriani, “Satch Boogie”
Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Little Wing”
Toadies, “Mexican Hairless”

And pay for the music you’re stealing, you cheap bastard!

“Fire on High” by ELO

“Frankenstein” by the Edgar Winter Group

“I, Robot” by the Alan Parsons Project

“Lucifer” by the Alan Parsons Project

“Fanfare for the Common Man” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Well, please don’t take these songs unlawfully. I am answering what I think is the question in your OP.

I’ll confine myself to what I’ll call “guitar tour de forces”:

  1. Child in Time - Deep Purple from Deep Purple in Rock

  2. Phoenix - Wishbone Ash

  3. Jimi Hendrix - almost anything from Electric Ladyland but check out All Along the Watchtower and House Burning Down

  4. Sabre Dance - Love Sculpture

  5. The Hall of the Mountain King - SRC

“Into the Unfathomed Tower”, by Candlemass

I’d just like to say that of the songs I listed, I own the corresponding cd for each one.

As far as the recommendations, I thank you for your contributions. I am downloading them from Napster, I do not think that that is illegal. Unethical perhaps, but that is a discussion to be had in a different thread.

If I download the song, and I like it, chances are high that I will end up purchasing the cd it is on, so please do not fret too much over the legality or ethics of the matter.

If you object to my method, I can respect that, and I’ll ask that you do not make any suggestions, as I will go about retrieving them in this fashion.

King Crimson, “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part One” and especially, “Part Two.”

Best enjoyed before… the munchies.

Check out Don Caballero’s first album, For Respect.

Also, in the same arena are Breadwinner’s The Burner and Batro’s Diablo Guapo


That should read …Bastro’s Diablo Guapo

yeah, Definitely Frankenstein.

Also check out Jessica by the Allman Brothers

big dittos on Sofa King’s suggestion.
Larks Tongue partII rocks. The album was almost as good as “…court of…”.
also agree with bordelond on Frankenstein. A classic!
I was a big ELO fan a long time ago, but “fire on high” never did much for me.
I would toss out “cause we’ve ended as lovers” and “diamond dust” from jeff beck.

Johnny Winter’s “Mean Town Blues.” There are a few lyrics at the beginning and end, but since they’re mostly growled they don’t count.

“Freebird” by Lynard Skynard and “Won’t be Fooled Again” by The Who are my favorite. (Those have lyrics, but the majority is instrumental.)

Also from Rush “The Rhythm Method” off of A Show of Hands is an awesome drum solo. Neal Peart is God.
YYZ is also nice and The Trees doesn’t have too many lyrics to it.

Allman Brothers and Phish, pick a song at random, chances are it’s instrumental.

Oh oh oh! Dueling banjos!

Some of these are off topic but will still amaze you. Please try them all and your mind will be blown.
[li] Water Song[/li][sup]HOT TUNA[/sup]
The introduction’s false crescendo breaks perfectly into the more complex mainline of the song.

[li]Lady Goes To Church[/li][sup]JOHN RENBOURN[/sup]
The central passage of this acoustic piece contains an intricate combination of harmony and melody line.

[li] Take Five[/li][sup]Dave Brubeck[/sup]
Composer Paul Desmond’s immortal saxophone riff so perfectly embodies a sense of pure elation.

[li] Always With You Always With Me[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
The classical phrasing of the fundamental melody line is almost painfully lyrical.

[li] Bulgarian Dance[/li][sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]
The guitarist’s complicated and nearly atonal “Turko-Arabic” motif resolves in and out of harmonic phase.

[li] Definitely Maybe[/li][sup]JEFF BECK[/sup]
Seeing him play this by making slide excursions directly over the guitar’s pickups with perfect voicing reinforced the beauty of this song for me.

[li] Cliffs of Dover[/li][sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]
Rock-solid meter and harmony almost mandates the blistering transition passages in this rock instrumental masterpiece.

[li] The Crush of Love[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
What seems to be an almost classical rock piece suddenly cranks over into ripples of pure speed metal.

[li] Birdfingers[/li][sup]LARRY CORYELL[/sup]
The fluttering fretwork of this fleet jazz gemstone sparkles with a crystal clarity.

[li] Righteous[/li][sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]
The harmonica and guitar crescendo near the end pour on the coal to superheat this bit of molten blues rock.

[li] Fingerbuster[/li][sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]
This slick blast of boogie woogie glides down the scale in perfectly interlocked licks.

[li] Fanfare for the Common Man[/li][sup]Aaron Copeland[/sup]
The dignified scrolling of the brass section comes into a final resolution that sets the soul to keening.

[li] Now That We’ve Ended As Lovers[/li][sup]Jeff Beck[/sup]
An almost weeping electric guitar suddenly flares with daredevil virtuosity in this unabashed jewel of hotshot jazz rock.

[li] Whammer Jammer[/li][sup]J. Geils Band[/sup]
Magic Dick’s stellar harmonica work is unrivaled in this scintillating old fashioned rock and roll treasure.

PS: The 1999 Live in Japan recording of Jeff Beck’s “Brush With The Blues”. “Little Martha” by the Allman Brothers.

I can’t believe I’m the first to mention Green Onions by Booker T & the MGs.

“In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” – Allman Brothers
“Atom Heart Mother” – Pink Floyd
“Out-Bloody-Rageous” – Soft Machine
“Cruise Control” – Dixie Dregs
“Incident at Neshabur” – Santana
“Dr. Jazz” – Bonzo Dog Band
“Cobwebs and Strange” – The Who
“Whammer Jammer” – J. Geils Band
“Jane Seymour” – Rick Wakeman (I think that’s the one – it’s from “The Six Wives of Henry VIII,” but I’m not sure which cut I mean)
“Bouree” – Jethro Tull

As far as the recommendations, I thank you for your contributions. I am downloading them from Napster, I do not think that that is illegal. [/quiote]

Without getting too involved, I’ll point out that the courts think otherwise. And the law clearly says you can’t.

It would be hard to do without **Hocus Pocus ** by Focus unless you counted yodeling as singing, which I don’t. This one always makes me smile.

Much of Mountain’s ouevre consists of killer jams. “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” is a favorite

Don’t overlook John Mayall and his various lineups. “California” from his Turning Point album has a few lyrics, but also a long instrumental part with some tasteful rock/jazz fusion.

Jimmy’s “Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock

Santana especially “Jingo”