Saturday, July 25, 2009

Instrumental oldies, pt. 1

As some of you have undoubtedly figured out, the problem with purely-instrumental songs is: No lyrics, so you can't look them up online.

And so, I've decided to play some instrumental oldies ... chances are, you've heard these tunes your whole life and never knew the titles.

One of the most pleasant parts of aging is knowing these arcane remnants of pop-culture. Young people I work with invariably call me on the extension: What's the name of that? (I am regularly called on to identify all kinds of music, spanning decades.) I have included a couple of tunes here that I am always asked about, as well as special favorites of mine.

Presented in more or less chronological order! Enjoy!


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Stephen King used this song in his horror movie Sleepwalkers (1992), which is what I once believed the title to be.

Sleepwalk - Santo and Johnny (1959)



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My parents played this in their band. I can't hear the bass line without thinking of my mother...

Walk, Don't Run - The Ventures (1960)



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Before you all object to the bullfighting motif, check the title! The bull has won and is now all alone in the ring... he's a lonely bull.

The Lonely Bull - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (1962)



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Grab that surfboard!

Pipeline - The Chantays (1963)



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You've heard this one in countless TV commercials. Fantastic vintage visuals!

Music to watch girls by - the Bob Crewe Generation (1966)



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Baby-boomers who grew up with the "ABC Movie of the Week" in the 70s, will recognize this as the theme song. Burt Bacharach named the song after his daughter with actress Angie Dickinson, named Nikki, who later committed suicide.

Nikki - Burt Bacharach (1966)



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A big favorite of Mr Daisy's:

The Horse - Cliff Nobles and Co. (1968)



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Love is blue (L'amour est bleu) - Paul Mauriat (1968)



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As star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet snuffed it in Franco Zeffirelli's film, they played this song... and all of us little girls sobbed our hearts out.

A Time for us (Theme from "Romeo and Juliet") (1968)



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Another well-worn TV-commercial tune...you've always wanted to know the name of it!

Outa-Space - Billy Preston (1972)



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Daybreaker - Electric Light Orchestra (1973)



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Big finale! Originally recorded in 1968, this is a live version from 1991. I was looking for the original when I found this, and of course, I simply couldn't settle for less.

I think this might be the greatest organ riff in history. Also check out legendary session musician Steve Cropper on guitar.

Hang em High - Booker T and the MGs (live 1991)



And I hereby promise, one of these days I'll get around to pt. 2 and beyond! :)

14 comments:

HolyInheritance said...

Great Post! I really enjoyed it!!!I loved all these, especially "Love is Blue" and "Theme from Romeo and Juliet".

On my blog, "A Delicious Decade of Music",(dedicated to 60's music), I recently posted an instrumental from the 60's you might remember called "Classical Gas", by Mason Williams, a one-hit wonder.

Come stop by:
http://adeliciousdecade.blogspot.com/

I love your blog and will be back!

God Bless,

Bethie

Doc Anchovy said...

Great stuff. Some of these I hadn't even thought about in twenty years, much less listened to.

Music, YAY!

-Doc

Meowser said...

I LOVE pop instrumentals! Thank you!

Poor Nikki Bacharach. She was aspie, and passed away about 10 months before I was DXed. They issued a statement saying her brain had been "ravaged by Asperger's." Uh, NOT. Aspies have an extremely high rate of suicidal ideation (I've seen figures as high as 50%) because people treat us like crap and we don't know why. And a lot of the time they don't know why they feel the need to snub us, either. They just do, is all. Her parentage would have been hard enough for an entie girl to try to live up to; Nikki must truly have felt like she was on the wrong planet, such was the lack of density in the air she breathed.

And "The Horse" is one of my very favorites. Cliff Nobles...I see he passed away last year, and I hope he had a good sense of humor. Why? Because the one and only hit that bears his name, he had nothing to do with. You see, Cliff was a singer who didn't write or play an instrument, and "The Horse" was actually an instrumental B-side version of a song called "Love Is All Right," on which Nobles sang lead. Exact same track without the vocals, and THAT was the hit. Not a Nikki Bacharach-level tragedy to be sure, but imagine having to spend the last 40 years of your life explaining that.

iamnotamuse said...

Thanks for a wonderful nostalgia trip. Looking forward to parts 2 & 3 (& 4 & 5 & 6 &.....)

mikeb302000 said...

Daisy, Thanks so much. That's the most fun I've had on a post since I don't know when. You covered my whole life. Some of those tunes I haven't heard in all these years yet I was humming along as if I'd been hearing them all along.

I love the way music gets in the brain and stays there. They're like hibernating earworms which burst back to life upon hearing the famaliar notes.

CyberCelt said...

Oh, I just had to listen to Romeo and Juliet. When I saw that movie, I was about 15 and I thought it was the most moving song I had heard.

I love all these. I am old enough to remember them. LOL Is it time to get our purple dresses and red hats?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Meowser, yeah, I thought that too, but I didn't want to comment or second-guess her parents. That must have been very tough. I recall an interview in Ms magazine with Angie Dickinson (during her time on the TV show POLICE WOMAN) wherein she refused to discuss her daughter, only saying that she had been institutionalized. I had assumed all these years that she was totally non-functional, certainly not functional enough to commit suicide... so that shocked me to read the Wikipedia entry.

"Ravaged by Aspergers"? I thought, huh?

Now, when I hear it, the song sounds so sad.

I've heard "Love is all right"--but like most people, didn't particularly like it! I much prefer (love!) the rhythm section version! Mr Daisy was earworm-haunted by it his whole life and some years ago, embarked on the mission to find the title... so that's for him. :) Otherwise, I wouldn't know.

Meowser said...

For the record, though, I don't blame Burt Bacharach or Angie Dickinson for that statement. They were in shock and grief, and I doubt they said much of anything coherent around that time. It's their boneheaded PR flack I hold responsible. Even if they DID say it, it's the PR person's job to know better than that.

SnowdropExplodes said...

nice selection.

My all-time favourite instrumental is Jessica by the Allman Brothers Band. It used to be the theme tune for a motoring television show called Top Gear (they've done a naff soft-metal 'testosterone-ized' version of the tune for it now, alas) and that's where I first heard it.

(by coincidence, the word verification is "mentank", which about sums up the Top Gear show!)

Ann oDyne said...

I just love Booker T & The MGs.
The moment I saw your header 'instrumentals' I thought of The Lonely Bull, then Duane Eddy, Burt Kaempfert, Bombora - the Atlantics, and the longest druggiest one - Led Zeppelin of course KASHMIR.
it's so trippy you can be straight when it starts and ripped silly when it finally ends.

Marshall-Stacks said...

Flatt & Scruggs
Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

yee hah.

N. Rosa said...

Daisy, thanks so much for clearing up the mystery of The Horse - Cliff Nobles and Co. I love the song but never who did it! What a peppy and cool tune.

I LOVE anything by Herb Alpert, "A Taste of Honey" is my favorite.

Anxiously waiting for your parts 2 and more posts of this. You wouldn't believe what I went through trying to figure out the name of Blue Rondo A La Turk by Dave Brubeck? Love the song, took many searches and hunting to find out the name. Anyway, thanks for posting these songs, they're fabulous!

Anonymous said...

i've been looking for that damn herb alpert thing all my life. just found your blog by accident, and listened to that by accident to. holy fuckin shit, success at last!

even tho your politics are wacky, you are now one of my fave ppl for finally giving me that. been looking for at least 30 yrs.

thank you, dear lady.

byzantine said...

count me in anon, looking 4 bull song since 1984. came here from yr link to istrumentals + didnt expect 2 find one i <3 so much

THANK U! THANK U! THANK U! happy happy happy