Every great rock and roll song usually has the main hook that ties everything together. No matter what the song might be about, there’s always that little melody that lingers in the back of your head that keeps you singing along whenever it comes on the radio. It’s not easy writing songs like that, let alone songs that don’t even have words to sing along to.
For all the hooks that these artists might have crammed into these songs, none of them have any words to them, either being carried entirely as an instrumental or the musicians using their voice more as an instrument than actually stringing together any poetry in between the music. These songs might not have been frontrunners for singles aiming to get on the radio all that often, but when you picked the proper album, these were the tracks you couldn’t quite take your ears off of.
Since you don’t need to worry about what they’re singing, these songs are more about painting a certain picture in your mind, with the band members jamming to capture a mood in between their phrases. Some of the brilliance may seem lost when you take the lyrics out of the picture, but what you’re left with without the words is just pure emotional music. Anyone can relate to a poet, but you’re hearing someone’s soul being let out through their guitar here.
10. Funeral for a Friend - Elton John
Around the same time that Elton John's star started to rise, his studio time wasn't exactly rosy. He was a few years away from writing songs like Someone Saved My Life Tonight, but Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was barely recorded in one piece, originally going to Jamaica and having to be taken out of the country by police after the political unrest got too out of hand around their recording spot. Elton definitely had a morbid streak, and his opus kicked off with one of his most vulnerable recordings.
For all of the great ballads that he's written over the years, Elton has always ben a fan of the funeral dirge style of music, and this piece was built around the kind of music that he would have wanted to hear at his own funeral. Coming from the same album that has songs like Bennie and the Jets and Candle in the Wind, this is a far more epic way to start things off, as Elton takes to the pipe organ to create this cathedral like sound in your headphones before the rest of the band comes in.
That's just the beginning of the madness though, with the song transitioning into Love Lies Bleeding, giving us the more lighthearted side of Elton's music with the same kind of downtrodden lyrics, talking about everything splitting apart and Elton having to tend to his own emotions once his relationship leaves him wounded. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was already going to be a massive undertaking, but both sides of this song are a good indicator of the light and the dark that was to come.