Musical Dice -- Instrumentals

     Welcome to the music section of my Musical Dice website! For you music trivia enthusiasts, and those who love to learn about the stories behind the music, you've come to the right place! I love sharing my knowledge of music trivia, so that's why I created this section.

     Often times, I like to listen to tunes that don't have any lyrics to them at all. For these tunes, the melody by itself is what carries the tune. This article is dedicated to tunes like that, or instrumentals, as they are commonly known as. Sadly, you don't hear too many new tunes that are instrumentals. Here's a list of great instrumentals in the Rock Era. When you listen to them, you'll see why they are such classics. If you feel like I've missed some, please let me know by emailing me at


     SPECIAL NOTES: I'm sure this is not a complete list because I didn't want to overload this article with all the top ten hits of known instrumentalists like Duane Eddy and Herb Alpert. And yes, a lot of these instrumentals are themes from movies or TV shows. But a great tune is a great tune, regardless. One other thing that I should point out is the fact that back in the day, vocal and instrumental versions of the same song both became hits. Such was the case with the instrumental version of "Memphis" by Lonnie Mack, as well as the vocal version by Johnny Rivers (#2 for 2 weeks in 1964--of course, originally recorded as a vocal by Chuck Berry called "Memphis, Tennessee"). Another example was the song "The In-Crowd" which was first a #13 hit vocal for Dobie Gray in 1965, before the Ramsey Lewis Trio made a bigger hit instrumental out of it later the same year. One more example of this is "Grazing In The Grass," first a #1 hit instrumental for Hugh Masekela in 1968, before Friends Of Distinction made a #3 hit vocal version of the tune in 1969. Some of you may already know that "One Mint Julep" was first recorded as a vocal by the Clovers before Ray Charles made a hit instrumental out of it. Also, "Soulful Strut" was originally recorded by Barbara Acklin as "Am I The Same Girl." It was recently said by the Professor of Rock that the beat of "Ballroom Blitz" by the Sweet was inspired by "Teen Beat." And "Joy" samples a piece of classical music by composed Bach, as does "A Fifth Of Beethoven" by Beethoven. And the Nadia referred to in "Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless)" was gymnast Nadia Comaneci from Romania, the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10.

     Before I conclude this article, I think it's only fair to mention some great instrumentals that you wouldn't find in the top ten on the pop charts. For one, "The Chase" by Giorgio Moroder from the movie "Midnight Express" deserves an honorable mention, even though the tune never got higher than #33 on the chart in 1979. Another under-rated instrumental in my opinion was the "Empire Strikes Back" movie medley, which topped out at #18 in 1980. And another great instrumental I'm going to mention, I think got overshadowed in 1985 by "Axel-F" and the "Miami Vice Theme," was the instrumental "Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire" by David Foster, which only reached #15 in 1985. And I'd be totally remiss if I didn't mention the classic instrumental that's commonly as the Peanuts Theme, but is actually called "Linus And Lucy" as originally recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio in 1964. Finally, some of you don't know that Billy Joel did some great instrumentals on some of his early albums. I'll conclude this article, mentioning the one he named his newsletter after, "Root Beer Rag."

     Of course, I DO NOT own the rights to these tunes. I'm only providing the links to where you can hear them on YouTube. Until next time! ☺