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Mumby Magic

Alternative Instruments used on hit records

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Didgeridoo -

by Yothu Yindi.

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That's pretty much all I can recall offhand, but there are doubtless many many more. So I did a little Googling. Some of these tripped my memory, some were new to me.

 

Balalaika - used by Boney M and Camper van Beethoven. Not often they appear in the same sentence!

 

Hurdy Gurdy - Gallows Pole, by Led Zep.

 

Penny Whistle - You can call me Al, by Paul Simon.

 

Ondes Martenot - Radiohead have, perhaps unsurprisingly, used this from time to time.

 

Spoons - Soundgarden used these in, er, 'Spoonman'.

 

Comb & Paper - Crosstown Traffic.

 

Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield... I forget the name of the record. :P 

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On Led Zeppelins Bron-Y-Aur stomp John Bonham played spoons and castanets and John Paul Jones played on an acoustic five-string fretless bass

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There is a crowbar used in 'Dancing in the Street' by Martha & the Vandellas! :O 

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Led Zeppelin used a mandolin on Going to California, Battle of Evermore, Boogie With Stu, Black Country Woman and Hey Hey What Can I Do.

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Led Zeppelin used a mandolin on Going to California, Battle of Evermore, Boogie With Stu, Black Country Woman and Hey Hey What Can I Do.

And, of course, John Peel mimed the mandolin when Rod Stewart did 'Maggie May' on TotP, much to the annoyance of the Musician's Union.

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Roy Wooten, aka 'Futureman' from Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, plays all the band's drums on a SynthAxe.

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Pat Metheney has been known to play the Pikasso, for reasons best known to himself.

 

pikasso1.jpg

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Electric Light Orchestra had a cellist and a violinist in their regular recording and live line up for years, the latter appearing on most if not all of their biggest hits.

 

I thought there might be a sitar on 'My Sweet Lord' by George Harrison, as he was very much into his Indian musical influences, ol' George, but according to Wikipedia, that particular song doesn't use a sitar, but does have a zither on it.

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Hose and funnel on "I'm the Urban Spaceman".

Trivia: the Bonzos nicked the idea from Dennis Brain, who performaed a Mozart Concerto on the hose and funnel at one of the Hoffnung Music Festival Concerts.

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Nowyatalkin'!!  Gerard Hoffnung!  All London police stations display a red light. Ignore all Keep left signs, they are merely political slogans.  And Dennis Brain: the Rondo from Motzart's 4th Horn Concerto was my party piece as well as his.

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Los Lobos have had hits featuring the Requinto jarocho, Guitarron, Jarana huasteca and Bajo Sexto.

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Didgeridoo - Treaty by Yothu Yindi.

 

One of those also on 'Sun Arise', a UK Top 3 hit by R*** H*****

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The Grateful Dead had a percussion instrument called The Beam. Essentially, a girder with strings.

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Bagpipes - 'Mull of Kintyre' and (lest we forget), We have a Dream by B.A.Robertson, with John Gordon Sinclair and the Scotland Football squad.

 

 

Midipipes on loads of Runrig tracks, plus the Hampden Park Crowd on "Loch Lomond".

 

Bagpipes on everything the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have ever produced.

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Panpipes on 'Whenever, Wherever' by Shakira. Probably on everything else she's ever done too, but that's the only one I can remember hearing.

 

Sleighbells, on every Christmas record ever made, by anyone, ever.

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I remember 'The Dreaming' by Kate Bush being one of the maddest sounding records I'd ever heard by a mainstream artist when it was first released in the early 80s. True enough, a quick googling reveals a whole host of weird and wonderful instrumentation on it including harmonica, mandolin, bullroarer (?) , bouzouki, bouz, pipe, penny whistle, uilleann pipes, didjeridu (played by, you guessed it, R*** H*****) , stick, and additional sound effects by Percy Edwards!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dreaming_%28album%29

 

A lot of Kate's subsequent work was equally bonkers, or just genius at work, depending on your own particular taste in music.

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I remember 'The Dreaming' by Kate Bush being one of the maddest sounding records I'd ever heard by a mainstream artist when it was first released in the early 80s. True enough, a quick googling reveals a whole host of weird and wonderful instrumentation on it including harmonica, mandolin, bullroarer (?) , bouzouki, bouz, pipe, penny whistle, uilleann pipes, didjeridu (played by, you guessed it, R*** H*****) , stick, and additional sound effects by Percy Edwards!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dreaming_%28album%29

 

A lot of Kate's subsequent work was equally bonkers, or just genius at work, depending on your own particular taste in music.

I'd say 'The Dreaming' was her oddest album, and that's saying something!

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I'd say 'The Dreaming' was her oddest album, and that's saying something!

 

Yep, though I'm definitely in the 'genius at work' camp when it comes to Kate Bush. :)

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