Various Artists

Instrumental Gems of the 60's

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A good concept for a collection, one that will appeal to many rock listeners, although this is mostly not rock. Two CDs and 40 tracks, covering most of the biggest non-rock instrumental hits of the '60s, songs that were played on the AM dial right next to the Beatles and Motown. Think of the biggest songs of the type from the era, and they're likely to be here: "Love Is Blue" (Paul Mauriat), "Theme From a Summer Place" (Percy Faith), "Calcutta" (Lawrence Welk), "Classical Gas" (Mason Williams), "Washington Square" (the Village Stompers), "Bonanza" (Al Caiola), and so on, including some more obscure numbers and some nearly forgotten one-shot hits by the likes of Arthur Lyman and Bill Purcell (whose "Our Winter Love" has some of the most overmodulated electric bass ever captured on record). A few rock instrumentals do pop up by the String-A-Longs, the T-Bones, and Bill Black, but by and large this doesn't have much to do with rock, encompassing movie themes, pseudo-classical, bossa nova jazz, cocktail jazz, novelties, and more. Sure, some of this is sappy, but many of the tunes are enduring, and sometimes imaginative (or even innovative) in a way found in few easy listening/popular instrumental recordings from subsequent decades.

Track Listing

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blue highlight denotes track pick