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  • Writer's pictureJO'B

Louder Than Words – 21 fantastic instrumentals

Updated: Apr 7

We all have our favourite lyrics and singers who we love. But sometimes, you just want a brilliant tune – you don’t need someone yodelling away over it.

1. Simple Minds - Theme For Great Cities

For a band with such a huge back catalogue of hits, this instrumental album track is one of my all time favourite songs by them. No disrespect to Jim Kerr but it's brilliant. It's been sampled by loads of dance acts, a truly seminal early 80s thumping dance track.

2. The Smiths - Money Changes Everything

Morrissey may not have had words to put to this, but Bryan Ferry did - it was latter reworked by Bryan and Johnny as The Right Stuff. I thought it was perfect as it was.

3. Phoenix - North

Chilled out guitar, almost hypnotic.

4. Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene Pt 4

Groundbreaking electronica, though for me it's the soundtrack to magician/hypnotist Tony Le Mesmer from Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge - doubt JMJ appreciates that it being permanently associated with the dance of Diabolos...

5. Gary Numan - Airlane

Gary's soundtrack to some imagined, dystopian sci-fi film.

6. Ultravox - Astradyne

Brooding 7 minute synth epic on Ultravox's first album with Midge Ure.

7. David Bowie - Speed Of Life

The opening track on Low, announcing a very different new Bowie in '77.

8. Booker T & The MGs - Green Onions

Organ driven classic, though album track Mo' Onions is even funkier.

9. Jimmy Smith - The Cat

The song we played at our wedding as we walked back up the aisle - our wedding was supercool and this belting bit of Hammond organ jazz was perfect!

10. Real Estate - April’s Song

A chilled out jangle by the New Jersey indie boys.

11. Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

THE cowboy theme song.

12. Belle & Sebastian - Fuck This Shit

The title misrepresents this gentle harmonica driven beauty, which sounds like it should be on the Paint Your Wagon soundtrack..,

13. Oasis - Fuckin’ In The Bushes

Yes, there is a little spoken word sample, but it's an instrumental, and the best thing Oasis had done for years.

14. Pixies - Cecelia Ann

Surf rock class.

15. Duane Eddy - Peter Gunn

Duane Eddy beefs up Henry Mancini's classic with some stunning twang!

16. Link Wray - Rumble

Soundtracks the milkshake scene in Pulp Fiction. Perfection.

17. Pink Floyd - One Of These Days

Pulsing Dr Who-esque genius.

18. Air - Alone In Kyoto

Divine accompanying piece for Lost In Translation.

19. The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five


20. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Stairway To Heaven

There was a guitar shop in Bexleyheath (Monkey Biz) which had a "No Stairway" sign - I believe Mike Myers lived round there when he was working in London pre-Wayne's World. I think Monkey Biz and Wayne would have allowed this stomping flamenco guitar romp through Led Zep's classic.

21. Andrew Oldham Orchestra - The Last Time

The Rolling Stone's manager produced a series of instrumental versions of his band's songs, but this is better known as the basis for Bitter Sweet Symphony.


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