The Memory of Trees Enya US December 5, 1995 Moonlight Cocktail Glenn Miller US February 28, 1942 Heartaches Ted Weems US March 15, 1947 Twelfth Street Rag Pee Wee Hunt US August 28, 1948 Blue Tango Leroy Anderson US May 17, 1952 The Song from Moulin Rouge[2][3] Mantovani UK August 14, 1953 Oh Mein Papa[note 1][3][4] Eddie Calvert UK January 8, 1954 Let's Have Another Party[3][5] Winifred Atwell UK December 3, 1954 Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)[3][4] Perez Prado UK April 29, 1955 Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)[6] Perez Prado US April 30, 1955 Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)[4] Eddie Calvert UK May 27, 1955 Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White) Perez Prado Germany October 8, 1955 Autumn Leaves Roger Williams US October 29, 1955 Lisbon Antigua Nelson Riddle US February 25, 1956 The Poor People of Paris Les Baxter US March 17, 1956 The Poor People of Paris[3][5] Winifred Atwell UK April 13, 1956 Moonglow/Theme from Picnic Morris Stoloff US June 2, 1956 Tequila[note 2] The Champs US March 17, 1958 Patricia[6] Perez Prado US July 28, 1958 Patricia Perez Prado Germany October 18, 1958 Hoots Mon[note 3][3][7] Lord Rockingham's XI UK November 28, 1958 Side Saddle[3][8] Russ Conway UK March 27, 1959 [9] Dave "Baby" Cortez US May 11, 1959 Roulette[3][8] Russ Conway UK June 19, 1959 Sleep Walk Santo & Johnny US September 21, 1959 Theme from A Summer Place[10] Percy Faith US February 22, 1960 Apache[3][9][11] The Shadows UK August 25, 1960 Wonderland by Night[10] Bert Kaempfert US January 9, 1961 Calcutta[10] Lawrence Welk US February 13, 1961 On the Rebound[3][12] Floyd Cramer UK May 18, 1961 Kon-Tiki[3][12] The Shadows UK October 5, 1961 Mexico Bob Moore Germany January 27, 1962 Wonderful Land[3][9] The Shadows UK March 22, 1962 Nut Rocker[3][13] B. Bumble and the Stingers UK May 17, 1962 Stranger on the Shore Acker Bilk US/UK
[note 4] May 26, 1962 The Stripper[10] David Rose US July 7, 1962 Telstar[3][9] The Tornados UK October 4, 1962 Telstar[14] The Tornados US December 22, 1962 Dance On![3][15] The Shadows UK January 24, 1963 Diamonds[3][11][16][17] Jet Harris and Tony Meehan UK January 31, 1963 Telstar The Tornados France February 9, 1963 Foot Tapper[3][15] The Shadows UK March 29, 1963 Il Silenzio Nini Rosso Germany July 19, 1965 A Taste of Honey[14] Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Bass US November 27, 1965 Love is Blue[18] Paul Mauriat US February 10, 1968 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly[18] Hugo Montenegro US June 8, 1968 Grazing in the Grass[18] Hugh Masekela US July 20, 1968 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly[3][19] Hugo Montenegro, his Orchestra and Chorus UK November 13, 1968 Albatross[3][9] Fleetwood Mac UK January 29, 1969 Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet[18] Henry Mancini US June 28, 1969 Amazing Grace[3][9] Royal Scots Dragoon Guards UK April 15, 1972 Popcorn Hot Butter France July 13, 1972 Mouldy Old Dough[note 5][9] Lieutenant Pigeon UK October 14, 1972 Frankenstein[18] The Edgar Winter Group US May 26, 1973 Eye Level[3][9] Simon Park Orchestra UK September 29, 1973 Love's Theme[20] Love Unlimited Orchestra US February 9, 1974 TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)[note 6] MFSB featuring The Three Degrees US April 20, 1974 Pick Up the Pieces[note 7][20] Average White Band US February 22, 1975 The Hustle[note 8][20] Van McCoy and the Soul City Orchestra US July 26, 1975 Fly, Robin, Fly[note 9] Silver Convention US November 29, 1975 Theme from "S.W.A.T."[20] Rhythm Heritage US February 28, 1976 A Fifth of Beethoven[20] Walter Murphy US October 9, 1976 Gonna Fly Now[note 10] Bill Conti US July 2, 1977 Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band[note 4] Meco US October 1, 1977 Rise[20] Herb Alpert US October 20, 1979 One Step Beyond Madness France March 7, 1980 Chariots of Fire[20] Vangelis US May 8, 1982 Miami Vice Theme[20] Jan Hammer US November 9, 1985 Song of Ocarina Jean-Philippe Audin and Diego Modena France January 18, 1992 Doop[note 11][3][21] Doop UK March 19, 1994 The X-Files Mark Snow France June 8, 1996 Flat Beat[note 12][3][22] Mr. Oizo UK April 3, 1999

Borderline cases

Some recordings which include brief examples of the human voice are typically considered instrumentals. Examples include singles with the following:

A few songs categorized as instrumentals may even include actual vocals, if they appear only as a short part of an extended piece (e.g., "Unchained Melody" (Les Baxter) or "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" or "Pick Up the Pieces" or "The Hustle" or "Fly, Robin, Fly" or "Do It Any Way You Wanna" or "Gonna Fly Now" (Bill Conti)). Falling just outside that definition is "Theme From Shaft" by Isaac Hayes.

See also


  1. ^ Contains several vocal interjections of the title track.
  2. ^ Features vocal interjections of the title track at the end of each chorus.
  3. ^ Contains several Scottish sounding grunts at the end of each chorus and immediately beforehand.
  4. ^ a b Stranger on the Shore hit #1 on the end of year UK charts, but NOT the weekly UK charts. Despite this, it is the highest selling instrumental single worldwide and in the UK; in the US, this honor falls to Meco's Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band.
  5. ^ Contains vocal interjections before, during, and immediately after the choruses.
  6. ^ Contains vocals at the beginning and during the fade-out.
  7. ^ Contains vocal interjections at the end of the second and third verses.
  8. ^ Contains screams of "do the hustle!" at the end of each chorus.
  9. ^ Contains vocal interjections of the title track at the end of each chorus and "up, up to the sky" as an ending.
  10. ^ Contains vocals, which total thirty words and thus contains the most amount of lyrics of any instrumental song to hit #1.
  11. ^ Contains, during its choruses, several nonsensical vocal interjections of the title.
  12. ^ At the beginning, before the main piece begins, it features the lyrics "Oh yeah, I used to know Quentin, he's a real, he's a real jerk".


  1. ^ Osborne, Ben (12 March 1999). "The toy done good".  
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Mantovani: Biography".  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Instrumental #1s". 
  4. ^ a b c Mawer, Sharon. "Eddie Calvert: Biography".  
  5. ^ a b Mawer, Sharon. "Winifred Atwell: Biography".  
  6. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Pérez Prado: Biography".  
  7. ^ Mawer, Sharon. "Lord Rockingham's XI: Biography".  
  8. ^ a b "Pianist Russ Conway dies".  
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h McNair, James (10 December 2009). "Whatever Happened To The Hit Instrumental?".  
  10. ^ a b c d "All Instrumental Top 20 Songs, every top 20 instrumental, Dec 1959 - Jun 1962". Tunecaster. 
  11. ^ a b "The Shadows founder member dies". BBC News. November 29, 2005. 
  12. ^ a b "Country Music Hall of Fame To Welcome Floyd Cramer and Carl Smith".  
  13. ^ Perrone, Pierre (23 September 2008). "Obituary: Earl Palmer".  
  14. ^ a b "All Instrumental Top 20 Songs, every top 20 instrumental, Sep 1962 - Oct 1966". Tunecaster. 
  15. ^ a b "Rhythm magazine".  
  16. ^ "The Shadows founder member dies".  
  17. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Jet Harris – Biography".  
  18. ^ a b c d e "All Instrumental Top 20 Songs, every top 20 instrumental, Oct 1966 - Jun 1973".  
  19. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hugo Montenegro: Biography".  
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "All Instrumental Top 20 Songs, every top 20 instrumental, Nov 1973 - now".  
  21. ^ "All the No.1s: Doop – Doop".  
  22. ^ Siegler, Dylan (April 2000). "Mr. Oizo".  

External links

  • Every instrumental top 20 hit song from 1960 to the present from with a sample of each
  • Instrumentals Examples of Instrumentals

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