Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Listomania's Greatest Hits: Special Classical Has No Vocal! Edition

[This was one of the first Weekend Listomanias I ever put together (it originally appeared in in June of 2007, back when both your humble scribe and the world were whelps; I mean, I hadn't even met a certain Shady Dame at that point.) Anyway, if you were around during the last couple of days, you'll understand why I'm recycling it; I've made a couple of new selections and re-written it a bit, just so you guys don't think I'm the laziest gal in town. Enjoy! If possible!!!]


[Arbitrary rule: Joe Satriani, who I otherwise have no problem with, is prog, so don't nominate him. And if you nominate that Focus "Hocus Pocus" crap I'll come to your house and beat the shit out of you for your fucking lack of taste.]

Okay, my totally top of my head Top Ten is/are:

10. Rumble -- Link Wray

If you're of the opinion, as I often am, that the quality of a rock single depends mostly on its resemblance to a gang fight, then obviously this is Ground Zero.

9. Steve's Song --The Weasels (featuring some guy whose name rhymes with Sleeve Nimels)

Written and recorded around 1970 by moi, apparently when I was listening to a lot of Stephen Stills records. Hey, I was young.

8. Beck's Bolero -- Jeff Beck

The tragedy of Jeff Beck - and I mean tragedy -- is that there's not a musician in any genre on earth who can creatively challenge him. Can you imagine the burden? Seriously, If I was him I would have committed suicide years ago.

7. Apricot Brandy -- Rhinosceros

I actually saw these guys -- who were a sort of Los Angeles studio cats supergroup -- live at the Fillmore East. Very impressive musicianship, and they still totally sucked.

6. The Carlsberg Special -- Wizzard

Roy Wood is God. End of story.

5. Perfidia -- The Ventures


4. Sabre Dance -- Love Sculpture with Dave Edmunds

The guys who spun plates on The Ed Sullivan Show should have lived to hear this. Actually, maybe they did.

3. Theme from Star Wars -- Big Daddy

John Williams' most lucrative piece of work as it was always meant to be heard.

2. Like Long Hair -- Paul Revere and the Raiders

What was that argument we were having the other week about these guys?

And the most absolutely phenomenal rock non-prog instrumental ever, it's not even a contest, is ---

1. Cobwebs and Strange -- The Who

I rest my case.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?


cthulhu said...

It might be close to prog in some ways, but I still nominate the Allmans, from "Fillmore East", In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Maybe Duane Allman's greatest solo.

Gummo said...

cthulu, "Jessica" is right up there too.

Noam Sane said...

Jazz - Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold

Bonzos, of course

Anonymous said...

the whole Ronnie Montrose "Open Fire" album (especially "Town Without Pity")

Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" was just the start. Aside from "Future Games, they included beautiful instrumentals on each album through "Penguin" - the Madge jam, Earl Gray, Sunny Side Of Heaven, Caught in the Rain.

Wishbone Ash's Candlelight off of "New England"

The Pretenders' Space Invader

pete said...

Jeff Beck had lots of fine instrumentals - my favorite is "'Round the Plynth." When I listen to late Hendrix (Band of Gypsies excepted) I often wish the tracks had been issued without vocals. They make genius instrumentals but the disengaged singing and half-assed songwriting almost spoil them. I'm willing to bet his management (may they rot in Hell) said, "You gotta be like the Beatles and sing."

pete said...

Never heard the Raiders cut before. Love it!

Shriner said...

Hawaii 5-0 by the Ventures.

And, yes, Classical Gas.

Feral said...

I said it circa 2007 and I'll say it again:

The Who - Underture

SteveAudio said...

Telstar, by The Tornadoes. C'mon!

Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

10. Rumble -- Link Wray

I loved watching Jimmy Page positively swoon over this in "It Might Get Loud."

I prefer "Jeff's Boogie" to "Beck's Bolero" ---

The first four notes of Roy Buchanan's take on "Sweet Dreams" just killed me. Yes, I know, technically it's not rock, but in this case, I don't care. :-)

Oxy said...

Nuff said? I think this says it all, especially when the boys start to stretch.

Don't cheat their rockin' souls or yourself, for that matter. No one is too busy that they can't listen to the whole song in one take.

Do yourself a favor and mellow out with the long, live version. Kick back and let the music wash over you.

I would imagine that it's been years since anyone here went the distance with this song... - but it's certainly worth the effort. Enjoy!


Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

The tragedy of Jeff Beck - and I mean tragedy -- is that there's not a musician in any genre on earth who can creatively challenge him. Can you imagine the burden? Seriously, If I was him I would have committed suicide years ago.

One other thing: I still think that a collaboration between Prince and Jeff Beck would be astounding beyond belief.

Blue Ash Fan said...

I don't think this would count as prog:

FZ - Watermelon in Easter Hay

M_Sharp said...

Link Wray's "Rumble" - it made Jimmy Page play air guitar.

Ben's Vaughn's "Constellation Drive" is very noir-like and unknown, like most of his work.
He also does a great cover of "Sheba".

If '50's tracks are OK, Tommy Ridgley's "Jam Up" kicks ass, that's why the Geator uses it for his theme song.

cthulhu said...

My obligatory Who nominee: "Sparks", from the expanded Live at Leeds. Spine-tinglingly-good.

And I second all the Jeff Beck hagiography.

MJConroy said...

Good choice on Sabre Dance. I played that for my nephew who is a guitarist into thrash metal and shredding was very impressed with Dave Edmunds after that.

I'll nominate 2120 S. Michigan Ave. for the list.

Uncle Smokes said...

Y'all have already named many of my favorites (oh, Jeff Beck, how I love you), but here are some more in no particular order.

• B. Bumble and the Stingers, "Nut Rocker": I've loved this ever since I heard this as a little boy.

• The Durutti Column, "For Belgian Friends": Very pleasant groove

• The Edgar Winter Group, "Frankenstein": Yeah, yeah, an obvious choice, but hey, it's Halloween!

• Jimi Hendrix, "Third Stone from the Sun": Okay, there's a bit of talking, but Hendrix must be on this list—so hush.

• Pretenders, "Space Invader": I especially love the opening section.

• The Tornados, "Telstar": Always makes me happy, so optimistic—baby boomers off to space and beyond!

• Frank Zappa, "Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus": Okay, more on the jazz side, but it's got a killer break section [wait, does singing "La la la" and "Rum Pum Pum" disqualify this? I say not! I love this tune, and love conquers all.]

Anonymous said...

Let's keep The Who love fest going-The Ox!

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

more Zappa: "Black Napkins."

Ventures-"Driving Guitars" (also well-done by D. Clinton Thompson of the Morells)

Jeff Beck-"Cause We've Ended as Lovers"

Santana: "Samba Pa Ti"

Paul Revere/Raiders: "Night Train" and "You Can't Sit Down"

and on and on

Tony J said...

Ok, Repent Walpurgis-- but you already know that it is astounding and non prog.

Almost anything non vocal by Brian Wilson, especially from Pet Sounds.

Perfidia and most Ventures tracks.

Bill Frisell, and serval of my own doodlings on Grarage Band

Nashville Skyline Rag by Johnson Country, circa 1971 with SS sitting in.

Jeff Beck, Day in the Life live.

Green Onion live by Booker T (live is killer)


John F said...

This was a fun one, lots of nifty tunes I had not heard. Particularly enjoyed the Jeff Beck and PR&theRaiders ; also got a kick out of Nut Rocker, and Telstar was fun to hear again after a long while (thanks Uncle Smokes).

Agree with the Who tunes, and would add 'The Rock' from Quadrophenia.
Love 'Space Invader', great lead-in to 'The Wait'.

Here are a few others:
The Pixies - "Cecilia Ann", off of Bossanova. Cover of a Surftones tune; I think it stacks up well next to 'Rumble'.
Yo La Tengo - "Return to Hot Chicken", off of I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One. Dreamy.
James Brown - "Night Train". Ok, so maybe not 'no vocal!' - but close enough, yes? Seems like an instrumental track to me...
Pete Townshend/Ronnie Lane - "Rough Mix", off of Rough Mix. I've mentioned my love for this album in previous Listomanias, this sounds like it was fun one to record.

These are also great, but perhaps not rock enough?
Los Lobos - "Lil' King of Everything", off of How Will the Wolf Survive?. Probably my favorite instrumental ever. Why hasn't this band ever even been nominated for the Rock Hall of Fame?
Tom Waits - "Just Another Sucker on the Vine", off of Swordfishtrombones. Best track on the album, except for '16 Shells...'
The Pogues - "Metropolis", off of If I Should Fall From Grace with God. Wish I had had a chance to see this band live, back before McGowan had his troubles.
Vince Guaraldi - "Linus and Lucy". Not clear that I can approach this tune objectively, too much tied into kid-dom and TV Specials. But there was a cover band that played this during my college years, and it always brought down the house...

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

A few more to add to the pile.

Buck's Boogie (from Blue Oyster Cult's On Your Feet Or On Your Knees) - Buck Dharma's take on Jeff Beck, and yes, Jeff is the absolute best.

India from the recent Joe Walsh album, Analog Man.

Kenyan Heat Wave from the Mazarin album, We're Already There, and

The album version of La Krautoma from Amon Duul's Made In Germany.

Anonymous said...

What about "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny? And better yet was the original single's B side, "All Night Diner".

edward said...

Gotta put the Ventures "Walk, Don't Run" ahead of "Perfida" or "Hawaii 5-0"

Just about any version of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"

The Monochrome Set - Apocalypso

Jonathan Richman - Egyptian Reggae

Jools Holland - Bumble Boogie

and it's a slight cheat, but Madness - One Step Beyond

Alzo said...

If 'Rumble' is the King of rock 'n' roll instrumentals, the Dauphin is Henry Mancini's 'Peter Gunn.' Many have done it, but Roy Buchanan's take is a jaw-dropper.

Other funyuns not mentioned so far:
Booker T & The MGs: Time is Tight
Buzzcocks: Walking Distance
The Shadows: The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt
Billy Preston: Outa-Space
Iggy Pop: Repo Man
ELO: In the Hall of the Mountain King
Gary Glitter: Rock and Roll, Part 2 (JK! JK!)

pete said...

No "Amazing Journey"?

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

Damn...I missed this on Friday. Anyone who loves Link Wray's Rumble, should watch this, if you haven't already seen it. Link describes how he wrote (improvised) Rumble, in real time, at a teen dance. Priceless.

Honorable Mention to 2120 South Michigan Avenue by the Stones.