Rock Songs With the Best Instrumentals

A lot of great songs have great lyrics, but some songs have some pretty great instrumental parts as well. These are the best of those songs, whether they're completely instrumental or not.
The Top Ten
1 Orion (Metallica)

Just when everyone thought Metallica was history, they released "Death Magnetic." That stuff is a little redundant on the riffs but still shows they can jam harder and longer than any band so far.

This song is proof of how great a bassist Cliff Burton was. Metallica started it all, then Dream Theater followed. Then many bands began making their own instrumental songs.

No one beats the great interlude with the guitars going and the bass with the drums keeping it together and not making it too fancy. End of story. Orion!

2 YYZ (Rush)

Eruption is overrated (I know at least three guys who can definitely play Eruption). YYZ, however, is quite the opposite. Alex Lifeson showcases one of the greatest guitar solos ever in the famous instrumental YYZ.

Rush is underrated, and Alex's guitar skills are too underappreciated.

There are no lyrics. It's an instrumental! In my opinion, the greatest band of all time. And also, this is a fact: the greatest drummer of all time.

This song will have you playing air drums and air bass the whole way through, and that third drum solo will make anyone go insane.

3 Eruption (Van Halen)

One of the only true "instrumentals" on the list. And one of the best ever made.

Van Halen was one of the greatest bands of the 1980s and of all time in my opinion.

The best instrumental ever! And one of the best guitarists too.

You can never go wrong with this song.

4 The Call of Ktulu (Metallica)

This song is incredible. I love Metallica and all their work, but I don't know how someone can say Orion is better than The Call of Ktulu!

The song is beautiful and badass. As an experienced guitarist, I still can't fully play this song.

Every now and then I like to put on this song and savor every single bit of it.

5 Sleep Walk (The Ventures)

Sleep Walk by Santo & Johnny is a classic.

6 Scene Seven: I. The Dance of Eternity (Dream Theater)
7 Red (King Crimson)
8 Soothsayer (Buckethead)

If we could hear God in music, Buckethead would be his prophet. The raw emotion and depth carried by this song are unreal. No other guitarist in the world can match his skill.

Let's say Soothsayer is here to represent Buckethead as there are far more great songs from him. This one has both feeling and technicality. I can't think of any other guitarist that reaches such a high level both technically and in writing.

How in the name of God isn't Soothsayer in the top 10?! It saddens me to see how underrated Buckethead is. This song is easily better than most of the ones in the first 10.

9 Jessica (The Allman Brothers Band)

Great song. I'm 15 years old, but I love the Allmans. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed is pretty good as well, but not as good as Jessica.

I read they named it Jessica because when they were writing it, Dickey's daughter Jessica (who was a baby at the time) was dancing around to the tempo of the song, so they named it after her. Dickey is my hero, the #7 best guitarist of all time in my opinion. Have a great day, all y'all.

I agree with this guy's assessment. Greatest rock and roll instrumental song of all time by a long way. Awesome Dickey Betts on guitar and Chuck Leavell on piano. Nothing else comes even close.

10 La Villa Strangiato (Rush)

What is wrong with the voters? Have they ever listened to this masterpiece? Any place lower than 2nd is witless! This song has one of the best guitar solos ever made.

The problem is, most of the listeners of this generation don't know music. They tend to know the most popular band and go with them. Orion and La Villa Strangiato are the best instrumentals ever.

Greatest instrumental track in my opinion. For everyone else complaining, this list is dedicated to the instrumentals of any song, not songs that are only instrumentals. The description of the list states this.

The Contenders
11 Son of Alerik (Deep Purple)
12 Maggot Brain (Funkadelic)

The best guitar instrumental ever.

13 Genghis Khan (Iron Maiden)
14 Misirlou (Dick Dale)
15 Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)

Amazing guitar and drums in this song. It should be an instrumental! Great song! My most favorite rock song.

Wow, the greatest instrumental, definitely deserves the top five. And THAT SOLO! Jimmy Page is the king.

16 Trampled Under Foot (Led Zeppelin)
17 Crimson Tide and Deep Blue Sea (Nightwish)

The best instrumental by the best rock group, no doubt. One of the best cover songs ever. It takes one's soul to the depths of the oceans.

Best instrumental song ever, no question.

18 To Live is to Die (Metallica)

This song is so beautiful! What an amazing tribute to the greatest bass player of all time! From headbanging riffs to somber melancholy music, this song truly has everything (except lyrics).

No, no, no. To Live Is to Die is the best instrumental song dedicated to the best bassist by the best band. It's more than a song. It's a masterpiece! Sometimes words are not enough to make you cry. This is my favorite instrumental song of all time!

19 Time to Wake Up (30 Seconds to Mars)
20 Frankenstein (Edgar Winter)
21 On the Run (Pink Floyd)
22 Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin)
23 Baba O'Riley (The Who)

This song has one of the greatest riffs ever, in all of its simplicity. Oh, and it also has a violin solo.

24 Little Martha (The Allman Brothers Band)

What a great acoustic masterpiece!

25 Stream of Consciousness (Dream Theater)

This and DoE are probably the best instrumentals I've ever listened to. Dream Theater is certainly a groundbreaking band when it comes to pure musicianship. Just can't beat them.

I can't believe this is below New Divide by Linkin Park of all things (which, as the posters above me pointed out, isn't even an instrumental), let alone not in the top ten. But anyways, whatever, DT will never get the recognition they deserve it seems. I'm just glad that I and some others can comprehend the master musicianship they have to offer. Amazing song.

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