View Full Version : Where have all the instrumentals gone?

Exhaust Port
05-01-2004, 10:40 PM
Remember when bands would have an instrumental song on each album? Where have they gone? Sure a few bands still throw one on the occasional album but they are very few and far between. Instrumentals of old use to become hits on the radio. Could this ignoring of the instrumental be an indicator of a decrease in artist/band skill? That it's more about the image and sound than the actual artistic skill?

I still love listening to these old instrumentals. I remember the first few times I heard them how I was blown away by the ability of the band without bothering with words. YYZ by Rush for example showcases Neil Pearts amazing drumming as well as shows that Geddy and Alex are pretty darn good as well. Not only is it about their ability as instrument players but shows how they can put together a song without words to carry the tune.

Could any of these modern bands even be able to put out a decent instrumental? I doubt it. No one really impresses me that they are truly gifted players but just a pre-packaged group that fits the marketing profile. Once the flavor of the month is up they can't change with the times because of their limited musical ability leaving them to continually rehash their old material/sound (ie Korn).

Look at the diversified sounds within older bands album discography. Led Zepplin, The Beatles, Rush, Yes, The Rolling Stones to name a few.

What's your take on this?

05-01-2004, 10:55 PM
If you're looking for some good instrumentals, let me recommend a few:

Girls- by Death in Vegas
Alone in Kyoto- by Air
Treefingers-by Radiohead

The first two are from the "Lost in Translation" score, which is about 70% instrumentals and it's amazing. The second is off Radiohead's "Kid A".
Those are the only few off the top of my head, but i think instrumentals as an artform are just in a decline. I can't recall when an instrumental was on the radio waves, but i don't listen to radio much. I don't think it's that bands skills are decreasing as i listen to a lot of bands that i love, but i don't think instrumentals are going to be big on the radio in this day of pop crap. I'm sure bands have instrumentals, but they don't get much radio play.

For my share of instrumentals though, i listen to OLD school, like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. :crazed:

James Boba Fettfield
05-01-2004, 11:21 PM
It's still out there, Dream Theater being an example of a group still doing instrumentals.

I always felt more emphasis was placed on the singing and not the playing with many of the current groups. It's like more than a minute without any vocals is a sin. Got to get out those catchy lyrics like "let the bodies hit the floor" or "get down with the sickness."

05-01-2004, 11:27 PM
STP has had a few short ones on their albums
Press Play
No Memory

05-02-2004, 12:00 AM
Music Of The Mind and Bullet by Jamiroquai.

05-03-2004, 02:08 AM
The Skoidats (the best Oi! band ever) always throw 2 or 3 instumentals on each album. Those are usually some of my favorite songs on them.

Exhaust Port
05-03-2004, 11:13 AM
Dream Theater is one of those classic bands that still makes instrumentals. Rush is the other one that even after all these years still includes them.

I never said that instrumentals don't exist in modern music but it's a dying artform. The few recent albums I've bought have nothing of the sort. I would attribute it to lack of talent more than anything else.

I can't recall when an instrumental was on the radio waves, but i don't listen to radio much.
Here are a few of the instrumentals that still get airplay that I came up with off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more...

YYZ - Rush
Frankenstein - The Edgar Winters Group
Eruption - Van Halen

05-03-2004, 11:34 AM
Yeah, what about "walk don't run" or "Telstar" ??? course, most of us wouldn't recall when those tunes came out

Maybe "Pipeline" by SRV, or "Scuttlebuttin'"...

Mebbe "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric(??) Johnson...
It's really true, what EP said in the lead-off post... the "music buying public" don't actually like the music at all anymore, which is why instrumentals (pure music, in most cases) don't really fly anymore

The "death of the virtuoso", so trumped up by all the "genius" and "Fresh and exciting" lip-service the industry lauded on the whole "grunge" thing (which was, as previously stated somehwhere else, basically a "lowering of the expectations" so that new "big things" could be easily slapped together, rather than having to rely on talent honing itself to razor sharpness in Garages everywhere) is to blame.... people were shown that music was really just posing and crying and letting big simple chords swell..

See, if people don't want stuff that's difficult to come up with, the industries' job is that much easier... people with skill tend to be more demanding than people who feel "lucky to be here"

Hendrix wasn't "lucky", he was AWESOME and eventually the right guy saw him, not as a diamond in the rough but as a frightening force- sure, Chandler was an opportunist, but it wasn't Jimi's hairstyle that he thought was the winner...
Nowadays, on American Idol, people are told that while they have "skill", they don't have "it"... Jimi may not have even happened nowadays, because the industry turned the truly skilled into pariahs in the mainstream.... man, the NWOBHM was the beginning and the end.... who knew

El Chuxter
05-03-2004, 01:13 PM
It makes you wonder if classics like Green Onions, Hideaway, Miserlou, or Frostbite could be hits in this day and age. :(

Eh, who cares? I'll blast those classics anyway. :beard:

Exhaust Port
05-03-2004, 01:36 PM
... man, the NWOBHM was the beginning and the end.... who knew
I never really thought about that but you're probably right. Just when that genre and similar off-shoots came about, it quickly spawned a cheaper/image driven version that killed the more talented orginal. Rock music wouldn't be what it is today without the NWOBHM but we can only image what it would have become if that genre had lived a bit longer.

05-03-2004, 02:31 PM
If you're looking for some good instrumentals, let me recommend a few:

Girls- by Death in Vegas
Alone in Kyoto- by Air
Treefingers-by Radiohead

Hey JMG, I'll also add Radiohead's Hunting Bears from Amnesiac. That ones become one of my fav 'songs'.

And REM's New Orleans Instrumental from Out Of Time.

Exhaust Port
05-03-2004, 07:04 PM
Alone in Kyoto- by Air:crazed:
Is that particular song originally off of their new album, Talkie Walkie? I read that TW is as good as Moon Safari which is one of my favorite albums. Lost in Translation wasn't one of my favorite movies but the soundtrack was outstanding. It's on my list of albums to buy in addition to Talkie Walkie.

05-04-2004, 06:21 AM
the last track on anathema's 'natural disaster' is a ten minute plus instrumental called 'violence' which starts off really quietly, builds wonderfully and then quietens down again towards the end. fantastic track.

and nine inch nails and ministry have done a few good instrumentals too.

05-04-2004, 09:49 AM
I know alot of European bands still do, Opeth and Anathema still have them ont he albums.