Opinion: Glen’s Favorite Rock & Roll Instrumentals, Part Two

Hello and welcome back to the Chops Percussion blog!

Two weeks ago I introduced this series of posts on rock and roll instrumentals with some of my favorite, radio-friendly tracks. We covered five classics, such as Rush’s “YYZ”. If you missed it, its available here. Today I’m going to continue by introducing some more obscure tracks.

#1 – “Peaches en Regalia”, Frank Zappa, from Hot Rats

In 1969 Frank Zappa released Hot Rats, a classic, largely instrumental album. At the time of its release, Hot Rats was innovative due to Zappa’s creative use of 16-track recording equipment. “Peaches en Regalia” quickly became one of Zappa’s better known works, and a jazz fusion standard.

Funny story, back in 2012 I was at game five of the National League Division Series between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. When the Reds lost, after previously holding a 2-0 series lead, the stadium DJ immediately played “Peaches en Regalia”. It was a surreal moment, hearing an obscure Zappa tune after a demoralizing, season ending loss. Such is the life of a Reds fan.

#2 – “Beck’s Bolero”, the Jeff Beck Group, from Truth

Inspired by Ravel’s Boléro, “Beck’s Bolero” was written for Beck by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Who bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwhistle joined Beck in the studio for the original recording, which appears on Beck’s 1967 classic, Truth.
While the original is a classic, I highly recommend the live version featured here, from his 2008 album Live at Ronnie Scott’s. This album featured Vinnie Colaiuta on drums. That’s all you need to know.

#3 – “Flight”, the Climax Blues Band, from Plays On

#4 – “Hocus Pocus”, Focus, from Focus II

Before compiling this list of rock and roll instruments, I didn’t know “Hocus Pocus”, or Focus, but I’m glad that I do now. “Hocus Pocus” is a great, if somewhat silly track. Check out the short drum solos, and the yodeling.

#5 – “Cliffs Of Dover”, Eric Johnson, from Ah Via Musicom

This is my last day at Chops for the foreseeable future, so until next time, go practice!

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