Louder Than Words – 21 fantastic instrumentals
Updated: May 30, 2021
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.