Tuesday, 22 March 2011

10 Great Songs Without Lyrics

It's almost a lost art in this day and age to release a song or two without the seemingly compulsory lyrics. Popular music seems to steer away from instrumentals leaving it to jazz or club music. Song is a great podium to speak your mind. Music can carry messages to all corners of the Earth. It is a great skill, however to use just music instead of words to motivate, inspire or merely tell a story. Here are 10 great tracks with the singer on a coffee break.

1. Ashley MacIsaac - "Brenda Stubbert"

1995's Hi, How Are You Today? exploded on the Canadian music scene, introducing the masses to a unique blend of east-coast fiddle music and contempary rock. MacIsaac had a few guest vocalists appear on the album at the time, but the majority was Ashley and his band letting the instruments do the talking. "Brenda Stubbert" is a catchy little number that also packs a pretty punch.

2. Jason Forrest - "War Photographer"

I almost got real selfish on you all here. This song was one of my favourite, secret all time discoveries, but it's too good not to include here. 5 stars. A plus. Perfect ten. Whatever ranking scale you want this one delivers on all fronts. The video is amazing too. A reimagining, if you will, of "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears, but I didn't catch on until the end. Enjoy!

3. Metallica - "Orion"

Greatly considered to be the late Cliff Burton's swan song, "Orion" is a step by step blueprint of how to convey emotion through music. It has verses, choruses, a bridge and multiple solos, but not a single word. Taken from their perfect album Master Of Puppets, to this day it remains one of my all time favourites.

4. Pink Floyd - "The Great Gig In The Sky"

Pink Floyd have a few instrumentals to choose from, but I think "The Great Gig In The Sky" is a special moment in history. Floyd knew they had something revolutionary in the works with 1973's Dark Side Of The Moon and with this track they brought in vocalist Clare Torrey. She was played a moving piano track and asked to add vocals to it. Roger Waters apparently told her to sing about death without using words. The result is simply beautiful.

5. Fleetwood Mac - "Albatross"

Before Stevie Nicks, before Rumours, before all the mainstream success, Fleetwood Mac had Peter Green. Green was a visionary on the guitar and had a great hand in Fleetwood Mac's ability to stand out among rock groups of the late 60's. "Albatross" showcases his styles and ingenuity wonderfully. Sadly Green was diagnosed with schizophrenia attributed to heavy drug use and was confined to a mental hospital for many years.

6. Oasis - "Fucking In The Bushes"

The opening track for Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants, and i'm not sure if i'm cheating here or not. This song contains words, but they seem to be samples from movies rather than sung lyrics. They definitely aren't the voices of Liam or Noel Gallagher. Fuck it. This is my list. It's on here.

7. Daft Punk - "Da Funk"

Ahh the confusion when this song was released. "No the band is called Da Funk and the song is called "Daft Punks!" 1996 was a simpler time. Though who could predict what a juggernaut of the electronic scene Daft Punk would turn out to be. This song lives up to it's name with the funk guitar riff that permeates through the entire track.

8. Buckethead - "Jordan"

With a catalogue of hundreds of songs spread out over 30 albums, Buckethead's contributions to the music world would be a crime not to mention. Yes he wears a KFC bucket on his head and yes he spent some time with Guns n' Roses, but he is a master of the electric guitar. "Jordan" brings his skill to center stage and that stage is soaring through space and backwards in time.

9. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Pretty Little Ditty"

A short, funky and GREAT little instrumental off 92's Mother's Milk. This song gained renewed fame in 1999 when Crazy Town sampled the middle riff for their hit song "Butterfly".

10. Huevos Rancheros - "What A Way To Run A Railroad"

I'll end this week's list with a pulse pounder. Huevos Rancheros were notorious for their quick tempoed surf music, even though they are from Calgary, Alberta. This song definitely has that chase-scene-in-a-movie feel, which is played up in the music video.

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