Hi everyone, Merry Christmas in advance. A friend of mine asked me the other day, what was the last instrumental single to top the charts? I couldn't answer. So what was it? And if it's not too much trouble and just for my own curiosity, what were the last three instrumentals to top the charts? Also (just to really push a friendship) could anyone do a year-by-year run down of how many instrumentals reached No.1. What was the peak year for instrumentals (I'm guessing late 1950s-early 1960s)?
1972 saw Gary Glitter top the charts with his "Rock&Roll Part 2" - which in my opinion is instrumental on the basis that the band members shout HEYYYY and grunt and hiss and there's no real discernible lyric.
If you want PURE instrumentalism, then look no further than 1968, when Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra recorded an easy-listening version of "Love Is Blue" which went to #1.
Other notable instrumental #1 tracks of the '60s include:
"Bombora" by THE ATLANTICS (1963) "Tamoure" by BILL JUSTIS (1963) "Pipeline" by THE CHANTAYS (1963) "Theme from The Boys" by THE SHADOWS (1963) "The Lonely Bull" by HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS (1962) "Midnight In Moscow" by KENNY BALL & HIS JAZZMEN (1962) "Stranger On The Shore" by ACKER BILK (1962) "Let There Be Drums" by SANDY NELSON (1962) "Mexico" by BOB MOORE AND HIS ORCHESTRA (1961) "Wonderland By Night" by BERT KEAMPFERT & HIS ORCHESTRA (1961) "Walk Don't Run" by THE VENTURES (1960) "Beatnik Fly" by JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES (1960) "Joey's Song" by BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS (1960)
Great stuff guys. Thanks for your quick responses. And I'd agree that Gary Glitter's Rock 'n' Roll Pt 2 is basically an instrumental. So 1962 & 63 with four instrumental tracks topping the charts each are the record years? And then came the Beatles... So Popcorn by Hot Butter is the last chart-topper? I'm so surprised that there's been nothing else in the last 45 or so years. I guess there have been some high-charting instrumentals but not No.1's. Fascinating stuff. Thanks again
A Fifth Of Beethoven - Walter Murphy got to #1 in the US charts in 1977 for one week, taking 19 weeks to get there - does it count?
Some others that come to mind. Not sure if they quite got to #1 but they would have come close: Apache - The Shadows (1960) Green Onions - Booker T and The MCs (1962) A Walk In The Black Forest - Horst Jankowski (1965) (as any Goodies fan will tell you ) Time Is Tight - Booker T and The MCs (1969)
I thought that 'Axel F' by Harold Faltemeyer may have come close in 1984, it was a chart-topper internationally, but only #6 in Aust. Also I remember that 'Hooked on Classics' rubbish being huge, but again, top 10 but not #1. One of my favourite instrumentals is Hank Marvin's 'Sacha' -- a Sydney #1 hit and #2 in Melbourne (according to Gavin Ryan's state chart books). Just wondering how high did it go nationally? Last edited: