The B List: 13 More Great Instrumentals

6. Mountain Jam – Allman Brothers Band: A band known for long jams, Mountain Jam is definitely the Allmans’ longest and jammiest. In 1970, Duane Allman sat in with the Grateful Dead for a few bars of Donavan’s First There Is A Mountain. Allman was so enthralled with the tune he took it back to his band and used the theme for the basis of a jam featuring every member of the ensemble (and even guests) getting a solo.

7. Summer Song – Joe Satriani: One of the better music trends of the early ’90s was the emergence of the instrumental rock guitarists, like Satch, Eric Johnson and Kenny Wayne Sheppard. Summer Song is Satriani’s most successful song hitting the pop charts and finding its way into a Sony commercial.

8. Bliss – Phish: The popular rock band Phish had a nice tradition of including an instrumental track on most of their albums. Bliss, from the 1996 album Billy Breathes, combines a number of open-tuned guitars ringing out against each other to create an aural orgasm of sounds.

9. Walk Don’t Run – The Ventures: The Surf Music Invasion of the late ’50s is one of the best sources for great instrumental tracks. The best of these tracks is Walk Don’t Run by Seattle’s The Ventures.

10. Machine Gun – The Commodores: Sadly, The Commodores are best known for Lionel Richie’s cheesy classics Easy and Three Times A Lady, instead of the groove wonderland the band took us to on their debut release. The title track of Machine Gun could be the boss funk track of all-time.

11. Franz Hanzerbeak – Tea Leaf Green: Franz Hanzerbeak shows all the instrumental strengths of San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green. It is no wonder the band led their first podcast with a blistering version of this rock epic.

12. Gypsy Queen – Santana: Gypsy Queen is the Third Stone From The Sun-sounding segment that follows every version of Santana’s Black Magic Woman you’ve ever heard. The track is brief on the record, but in concert Santana uses the piece as a raw display of his ridiculous guitar talent.

13. Red – King Crimson: Thirty-three years after this tune was first recorded, Red stands as Robert Fripp’s masterpiece. King Crimson was experiencing lots of turmoil during the recording of the song, creating a dark and powerful vibe that comes through clear on the record.

Feel free to copy and paste your comments from the first great instrumental B List, or if you’re feeling saucy, come up with some original commentary.

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3 Responses

  1. where the fuck is Cliffs Of Dover? You don’t give two shits about Eric Johnson? Shame, shame, shame on you, Mr.B…if that is your real name.

    ummmm……….SRV’s Little Wing? Santana’s Samba Pa Ti? Happily, you remembered Moti Mo from the Poplar B days (daze).

    I thought I knew you.

  2. I still can’t believe there’s been no Sanford n Son Theme Song on your list of now 26 Great Instrumentals. I thought I knew you, too, Scotty.

    But great list, as usual. Except the lack of Slipknot.

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