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Pop and Rock Chart Archive
and Music Encyclopedia

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.
November 1973 to present, page four


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


red # = rock chartblue # = pop chart

  1 Space Race 8   Nov 1973  
  Billy Preston  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Billy Preston.  

  2 Love's Theme 1   Jan 1974  
  Love Unlimited Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Barry White.  

  3 TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) 2   Apr 1974  
  MFSB Featuring The Three Degrees  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  TSOP became the theme for TV show Soul Train. MFSB stood for Mothers Fathers Sisters Brothers. MFSB had a string of soul and instrumental songs that received radio airplay. The Three Degrees also had a string of hits including the 1974 number 2 song When Will I See You Again. This song was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  

  4 Tubular Bells 11   Apr 1974  
  Mike Oldfield  
    YouTube    
  While Tubular Bells was a top 20 one hit wonder for Mike Oldfield, he had a string of instrumental songs that received pop and rock radio airplay, including the 1988 number 8 rock top 20 song Magic Touch. The song was from the movie The Exorcist. This song was written by Mike Oldfield.  

  5 The Entertainer 2   May 1974  
  Marvin Hamlisch  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Top movie score producer and song writer Marvin Hamlisch had his own top 20 one hit wonder with his production of the Scott Joplin song The Entertainer from the movie The Sting.  

  6 Machine Gun 20   Jul 1974  
  Commodores  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Machine Gun featured group member Lionel Richie on saxophone.  

  7 Pick Up The Pieces 1   Feb 1975  
  AWB  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  AWB stood for Average White Band. The group went by either name, sometimes usnig one for albums and the other for single records, as with Pick Up The Pieces. The song was from album Average White Band.  

  8 Satin Soul 18   Apr 1975  
  Love Unlimited Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Barry White.  

  9 Express 4   Apr 1975  
  B.T. Express  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Do It ('Til You're Satisfied). It was written by: Barbara Lomas, Ennis Rowe, Carlos Ward, Orland Woods, Richard Thompson, Louis Risbrook, William Risbrook.  

  10 Hijack 12   May 1975  
  Herbie Mann  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  About the same time that Herbie Mann brought this more instrumental version of Hijack into the top 20, Barrabas had a popular dance version of the song.  

  11 The Hustle 1   Jul 1975  
  Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The mostly instrumental one hit wonder song The Hustle was a number one song and the only top 20 hit for Van McCoy. He followed up with a string of fairly popular dance and soul songs like Change With The Times. This song was from album Disco Baby. This song was written by Van McCoy.  

  12 Dynomite 10   Jul 1975  
  Tony Camillo's Bazuka  
    YouTube    
  Dynomite was a popular saying by J.J. Walker on the comedy TV show Good Times, and a top 20 one hit wonder hit. This group, sometimes called Tony Camillo's Bazuka, Bazuka Featuring Tony Camillo, or simply Bazuka, had a few other songs that received slight radio airplay like Love Explosion. Dynomite was written by Tony Camillo.  

  13 The Rockford Files 9   Aug 1975  
  Mike Post  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show The Rockford Files. It was written by Pete Carpenter and Mike Post.  

  14 Brazil 16   Oct 1975  
  The Ritchie Family  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Ary Barroso.  

  15 The Homecoming 16   Feb 1976  
  Hagood Hardy  
    YouTube    
  The Homecoming was a top 20 one hit wonder for its writer, Hagood Hardy. He received minor radio airplay for other songs too, like Love Theme From Missouri Breaks. Hagood Hardy also wrote commercial jingles and movie music. The Homecoming was from the movie The Waltons.  

  16 Theme From S.W.A.T. 1   Feb 1976  
  Rhythm Heritage  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show S.W.A.T.. It was written by Barry DeVorzon.  

  17 Movin' 12   Jun 1976  
  Brass Construction  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Movin' was the a top 20 one hit wonder for Brass Construction, the group had a few other songs that received radio airplay, like Changin' and Ha Cha Cha (Funktion). The song was written by Randy Muller and Wade Williamston. and from album Brass Construction.  

  18 A Fifth Of Beethoven 1   Sep 1976  
  Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song A Fifth Of Beethoven was a top 20 one hit wonder for Walter Murphy. He had other songs that received minor radio airplay like Themes From E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial). This song was from show and album Saturday Night Fever. It was written by Ludwig Van Beethoven.  

  19 Nadia's Theme (The Young And The Restless) 8   Nov 1976  
  Barry De Vorzon And Perry Botkin, Jr.  
    YouTube    

  20 Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) 20   May 1977  
  Maynard Ferguson  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The Maynard Ferguson version of Gonna Fly Now was a popular disco song. The song was from the movie Rocky.  

  21 Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky) 2   Jun 1977  
  Bill Conti  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie Rocky. It was written by: Carol Connors, Bill Conti, Ayn Robbins.  

  22 Star Wars Main Title 16   Aug 1977  
  The London Symphony Orchestra with John Williams conductor  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie Star Wars. It was written by John Williams.  

  23 Star Wars Theme Cantina Band 4   Oct 1977  
  Meco  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Meco was known for making disco versions of movie themes. This song was written by John Williams.  

  24 Theme From Close Encounters Of The Third Kind   Feb 1978  
  John Williams  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song actually hit #13 on each three other charts, Billboard, Cashbox, and Radio & Records. Here, on the Pop Top 20, it was a near-miss. The song was from the movie Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. This song was written by John Williams.  

  25 Feels So Good 3   May 1978  
  Chuck Mangione  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Chuck Mangione.  

  26 Music Box Dancer 3   Apr 1979  
  Frank Mills  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Frank Mills.  

  27 Rise 1   Sep 1979  
  Herb Alpert  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  As of Rise, Herb Alpert started regularly crossing over to soul stations. The song was written by Andy Armer and Randy Bandazz. and from album Rise.  

  28 Give It All You Got 15   Mar 1980  
  Chuck Mangione  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Give It All You Got was the theme song of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, USSR.  

  29 Empire Strikes Back (Medley) Darth Vader/Yoda's Theme 19   Aug 1980  
  Meco  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from movie The Empire Strikes Back. It was written by John Williams.  

  30 The Theme From Hill Street Blues 7   Nov 1981  
  Mike Post Featuring Larry Carlton  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show Hill Street Blues.  

  31 Hooked On Classics 7   Jan 1982  
  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was formed in 1946 and finally had a hit in 1982. Hooked On Classics was a dance medley of classical songs. The song was from album Hooked On Classics.  

  32 Chariots Of Fire - Titles 1   Apr 1982  
  Vangelis  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Chariots Of Fire, the theme of the movie, was the only top 20 song for Vangelis. Vangelis went on to join Jon Anderson of Yes as Jon And Vangelis. The duo hit the rock top 20 three times. Chariots Of Fire - Titles was written by Vangelis.  

  33 Sleepwalk 11   Apr 1982  
  Larry Carlton  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  In 1959, Sleepwalk was a number one hit for Santo & Johnny, as Sleep Walk. This Larry Carlton song was from album Sleepwalk.  

  34 Axel F 2   Jun 1985  
  Harold Faltermeyer  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Axel F was a top 20 one hit wonder for Harold Faltermeyer who was known mainly as a movie score writer, but also wrote hit songs for other artists, especially Donna Summer. The song was from the movie Beverly Hills Cop. This song was written by Harold Faltermeyer.  

  35 Miami Vice Theme 1   Oct 1985  
  Jan Hammer  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Miami Vice Theme was the only top 20 hit by Jan Hammer, his later song, Crockett's Theme also received some radio play. Miami Vice Theme was an instrumental. The song was from the TV show Miami Vice. This song was written by Jan Hammer.  

  36 Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire 12   Nov 1985  
  David Foster  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This was the only top 20 hit for David Foster, who wrote and produced many famous songs for others. The song was from the movie St. Elmo's Fire. This song was written by David Foster.  

  37 Songbird 3   Jul 1987  
  Kenny G  
    YouTube download at Amazon  

  38 Silhouette 10   Dec 1988  
  Kenny G  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Kenny G.  

  39 Lily Was Here 11   Jul 1991  
  David A. Stewart Introducing Candy Dulfer  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  David A. Stewart, writer of Lily Was Here, was in group Eurythmics. Saxophonist Candy Dulfer was famous with jazz audiences. This song was from the movie De Kassiere.  

  40 Forever In Love 14   Mar 1993  
  Kenny G  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Breathless. It was written by Kenny G.  

  41 Theme From Mission: Impossible 7 5   Jun 1996  
  Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen  
    YouTube    
  Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen were members of U2. As a side-project, this instrumental was the duo's only top 20 song. The song was from the movie Mission: Impossible. This song was written by Lalo Schifrin.  

  42 Southampton 11   Mar 1998  
  James Horner  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Southampton was the only top 20 song by James Horner. He had no other songs that received significant airplay. The song was from the movie The Titanic.  

  43 Auld Lang Syne (The Millennium Mix) 10   Dec 1999  
  Kenny G  
    YouTube download at Amazon  


There have been no pop top 20 instrumentals since 1999 -- not a single one. Here are the only three top 30 instrumentals from 2000 on:

  44 Sandstorm 28   Aug 2001  
  Darude  
    YouTube    

  45 E 25   Apr 2003  
  Drunkenmunky  
    YouTube download at Amazon  

  46 Axel F (The Frog Song) 21   Aug 2005  
  Crazy Frog  
    YouTube download at Amazon  


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 Since 1980

1Chariots Of Fire - Titles
 Vangelis
2Miami Vice Theme
 Jan Hammer
3Axel F
 Harold Faltermeyer
4Theme From Mission: Impossible
 Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen
5Songbird
 Kenny G
6Southampton
 James Horner
7Axel F (The Frog Song)
 Crazy Frog
8Hooked On Classics
 The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
9Auld Lang Syne (The Millennium Mix)
 Kenny G
10The Theme From Hill Street Blues
 Mike Post Featuring Larry Carlton
11E
 Drunkenmunky
12Lily Was Here
 David A. Stewart Introducing Candy Dulfer
13Sleepwalk
 Larry Carlton
14Forever In Love
 Kenny G
15Sandstorm
 Darude

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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