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All Instrumental Top 20 Songs

All the best instrumentals since 1960 including every Pop Top 20 popular instrumental song since 1960, and more, on four pages.
October 1966 through June 1973, page three


Dec 1959
through
Jun 1962
Sep 1962
through
Oct 1966
Oct 1966
through
Jun 1973
Nov 1973
through
present
Hit Rock
Instrumentals

Tune Timeline of Hit Instrumentals


blue # = pop chart

  1 Summer Samba (So Nice) 20   Oct 1966  
  Walter Wanderley  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Instrumental song Summer Samba (So Nice) peaked in at number 20 to give Latino organist and musician Walter Wanderley a one hit wonder  

  2 Music To Watch Girls By 16   Feb 1967  
  The Bob Crewe Generation  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Sidney Ramin.  

  3 Hey, Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You 5   Feb 1967  
  Jimmy Castor  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Jimmy Castor and John Pruitt.  

  4 Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 9   Feb 1967  
  Cannonball Adderley  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!. It was written by: Johnny Watson, Larry Williams, Josef Zawinul.  

  5 I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman 10   Jun 1967  
  Whistling Jack Smith  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The near instrumental song I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman was the only top 20 hit and the only song to receive measurable radio airplay by Whistling Jack Smith. This song was written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.  

  6 Soul Finger 5   Jul 1967  
  The Bar-Kays  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by: Jimmy King, Phalon Jones, Carl Cunningham, Ben Cauley, Ronnie Caldwell, James Alexander.  

  7 Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu) 1   Feb 1968  
  Paul Mauriat And His Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Blooming Hits.  

  8 Mission--Impossible 11   Mar 1968  
  Lalo Schifrin  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show Mission: Impossible. It was written by Lalo Schifrin.  

  9 Soul Serenade 19   May 1968  
  Willie Mitchell  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Luther Dixon and Curtis Ousley.  

  10 The Good, The Bad And The Ugly 1   Jun 1968  
  Hugo Montenegro  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Ennio Morricone.  

  11 The Horse 4   Jul 1968  
  Cliff Nobles & Co.  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The Horse was actually the B-side instrumental version of Love Is All Right.The vocals by soul singer Cliff Nobles were not included, leaving just backing band 'company' on the song. Some of these musicians later formed popular 1970s instrumental band MFSB. Cliff Nobles & Co. followed-up with Horse Fever which received some notice. The Horse was written by Jesse James.  

  12 Grazing In The Grass 1   Jul 1968  
  Hugh Masekela  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  A few months after Hugh Masekela reached number 1 with his instrumental song Grazing In The Grass, The Friends Of Distinction reached number 3 with a vocal version.  

  13 Classical Gas 4   Aug 1968  
  Mason Williams  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Mason Williams.  

  14 Soul-Limbo 13   Aug 1968  
  Booker T. & The MG's  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Soul Limbo. It was written by: Steve Cropper, Donald V. Dunn, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones.  

  15 Listen Here 18   Sep 1968  
  Eddie Harris  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Eddie Harris had a top 20 one hit wonder with instrumental song Listen Here. This song was written by Eddie Harris.  

  16 Soulful Strut 4   Jan 1969  
  Young-Holt Unlimited  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Even while instrumental number 4 hit Soulful Strut was popular, Barbara Acklin received airplay with a vocal version called Am I The Same Girl. This song was written by Eugene Record and Sonny Sanders.  

  17 Hang 'Em High 16   Feb 1969  
  Booker T. & The MG's  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Soul Limbo. It was written by Dominic Frontiere.  

  18 Time Is Tight 3   May 1969  
  Booker T. & The MG's  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie and album Uptight, and it was written by: Steve Cropper, Donald V. Dunn, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones.  

  19 Hawaii Five-O 13   May 1969  
  The Ventures  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show Hawaii Five-O. It was written by Mort Stevens.  

  20 Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet 1   Jun 1969  
  Henry Mancini, His Orchestra And Chorus  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Nino Rota.  

  21 Quentin's Theme 9   Jul 1969  
  The Charles Randolph Grean Sounde  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Charles Randolph Grean was a song writer and producer. His band was most famous for Quentin's Theme. The song was from the TV show Dark Shadows. This song was written by Robert Cobert.  

  22 Keem-O-Sabe 20   Sep 1969  
  The Electric Indian  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The Electric Indian included keyboard player Daryl Hall, and others who later became part of group MFSB. The instrumental song Keem-O-Sabe was a number 20 song and the most popular song by The Electric Indian. The group received some airplay with other songs too, including the B-side, Broad Street. Keem-O-Sabe was written by Bernice Borisoff and Bernard Binnick.  

  23 Kool And The Gang 17   Oct 1969  
  Kool And The Gang  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The namesake song by Kool And The Gang was an instrumental.  

  24 Midnight Cowboy 8   Dec 1969  
  Ferrante & Teicher  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie Midnight Cowboy. It was written by John Barry.  

  25 Overture From Tommy (A Rock Opera)   Aug 1970  
  The Assembled Multitude  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Overture From Tommy (A Rock Opera) was a near top 20 miss for The Assembled Multitude. The group also received some radio airplay with Woodstock. The original movie Tommy was a rock opera performed by The Who. The song reached #16 on both Cashbox and Billboard charts which weighed sales more. This song was written by Pete Townshend.  

  26 Theme From Love Story 16   Mar 1971  
  Henry Mancini And His Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Francis Lai and Carl Sigman.  

  27 Booty Butt 14   Apr 1971  
  The Ray Charles Orchestra  
    YouTube    
  For the instrumental song Booty Butt, Ray Charles went by The Ray Charles Orchestra. This song was written by Ray Charles.  

  28 K-Jee 16   Aug 1971  
  The Nite-Liters  
    YouTube    

  29 Scorpio 4   Dec 1971  
  Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Dennis Coffey.  

  30 Jingle Bells 18   Dec 1971  
  Don Charles Presents The Singing Dogs  
    YouTube    
  Jingle Bells came out in 1955, and made the top 20 in 1971. The novelty of dogs barking to the music produced some airplay for the other side of the single too, Oh Suzanna.  

  31 Joy 10   Feb 1972  
  Apollo 100  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Joy was built from Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring by classical era composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Joy was the only top 20 hit for Apollo 100. The group, with keyboardist and arranger Tom Parker, received minor airplay with some other instrumentals including a remake of Telstar, the 1962 number 3 song by The Tornadoes. The song Joy was from album Joy.  

  32 Jungle Fever 11   Mar 1972  
  Chakachas  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Jungle Fever was the only top 20 hit for Chakachas. The group received no mentionable airplay with any other song. This song was written by Bill Ador.  

  33 Taurus 10   Apr 1972  
  Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Dennis Coffey.  

  34 Outa Space 3   May 1972  
  Billy Preston  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Billy Preston.  

  35 Amazing Grace 17   Jun 1972  
  The Pipes And Drums And Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This instrumental version of Amazing Grace was the only top 20 hit for Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The group described itself as 'Scotland's senior regiment and her only regular cavalry.' This song was written by Reverend John Newton.  

  36 Rock And Roll Part 2 8   Sep 1972  
  Gary Glitter  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Gary Glitter and Mike Leander.  

  37 Popcorn 15   Oct 1972  
  Hot Butter  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Popcorn was the a top 20 one hit wonder hit for Hot Butter, the group received minor radio airplay with other instrumental songs including a remake of the 1962 number 11 hit Percolator by Billy Joe & The Checkmates. This song was written by Gershan Kingsley.  

  38 Dueling Banjos 2   Mar 1973  
  Eric Weissberg  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Dueling Banjos was the only top 20 hit for Eric Weissberg. In 1975, Eric Weissberg & Deliverance received minor radio airplay a remake of the 1958 number one song Yakety Yak by The Coasters. Comedian Martin Mull also received some radio airplay with a spoof of Dueling Banjos entitled Dueling Tubas. Dueling Banjos was from the movie Deliverance.  

  39 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) 4   Mar 1973  
  Deodato  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie 2001 A Space Odyssey. It was written by Richard Strauss.  

  40 Frankenstein 1   May 1973  
  Edgar Winter Group  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Edgar Winter.  

  41 Hocus Pocus 9   Jun 1973  
  Focus  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Hocus Pocus was the only top 20 hit for mostly instrumental group Focus, the group received minor airplay for other songs like Sylvia and Harem Scarem. The song Hocus Pocus was from album Moving Waves.  

  42 Soul Makossa 7   Jul 1973  
  Manu Dibango  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Soul Makossa was the only top 20 hit for Manu Dibango. He followed-up with Dangwa, which received slight radio airplay. This song was written by Manu Dibango.  


Related Song Features for All Instrumental Top 20 Songs


Top 100 Instrumental Songs

Overall top 100 best instrumental songs since 1960 in popularity order

Top Instrumentals Of The 1970s

1Love's Theme
 Love Unlimited Orchestra
2The Hustle
 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
3A Fifth Of Beethoven
 Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band
4TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
 MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees
5Rise
 Herb Alpert
6Theme From S.W.A.T.
 Rhythm Heritage
7Frankenstein
 Edgar Winter Group
8Scorpio
 Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band
9The Entertainer
 Marvin Hamlisch
10Dueling Banjos
 Eric Weissberg
11Feels So Good
 Chuck Mangione
12Outa Space
 Billy Preston
13Pick Up The Pieces
 AWB
14Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)
 Bill Conti
15Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)
 Deodato
16Music Box Dancer
 Frank Mills
17Express
 B.T. Express
18Space Race
 Billy Preston
19Soul Makossa
 Manu Dibango
20Rock And Roll Part 2
 Gary Glitter
21Star Wars Theme Cantina Band
 Meco
22Jungle Fever
 Chakachas
23Joy
 Apollo 100
24Hocus Pocus
 Focus
25Taurus
 Dennis Coffey And The Detroit Guitar Band
26Popcorn
 Hot Butter
27Amazing Grace
 The Pipes And Drums And Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
28Booty Butt
 The Ray Charles Orchestra
29Theme From Love Story
 Henry Mancini And His Orchestra
30K-Jee
 The Nite-Liters
31Jingle Bells
 Don Charles Presents The Singing Dogs
32Tubular Bells
 Mike Oldfield
33Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless)
 Barry De Vorzon And Perry Botkin, Jr.
34The Rockford Files
 Mike Post
35Machine Gun
 Commodores
36Dynomite
 Tony Camillo's Bazuka
37Movin'
 Brass Construction
38Star Wars Main Title
 The London Symphony Orchestra with John Williams conductor
39Hijack
 Herbie Mann
40Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)
 Maynard Ferguson

Instrumental Downloads

Click on the album covers to go
15 best instrumental songs of the 1950s and 1960s. 12 of these were top 20 songs. The other three were big instrumentals too.
 
18 best instrumental songs of the 1960s. 12 are original top 20 songs listed here. The other 7 were all top 20 near miss songs.
 
18 pop-soul best instrumental songs of the 1960s. 15 of these are original top 20 hits listed here. The other three were very popular too.
 
18 best instrumental songs of the 1970s. 14 of these best instrumentals are original top 20 hits listed here.

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