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Top 5 Rock Trumpet Songs

March 9, 2017


Splendid logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


With the Artist of the Week Series, I’m hoping to do at least a Top 5 with each Artist.

In honour of Miles Davis, a celebration of his primary instrument, the Trumpet.

Top 5 Rock Trumpet Features!


5. Moist, Creature
Though the band name is decidedly unappealing, the trumpet feature here is anything but.


4. Billy Joel, Zanzibar
Bonus marks for including a vibraphone part.


3. The Cure, Close to Me
Surely the #1 Trumpet outro.


2. Sloan, Everything You’ve Done Wrong
Sorry HMO 🙂


1. The Beatles, Penny Lane
In university, my roommate Lee was convinced that the reason for my seemingly constant optimisim was that Penny Lane was constantly playing in my head, providing the continuous soundtrack to my life. It’s a valid theory – and one could do a lot worse for a looping soundtrack!


Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to the aforementioned Lee, inevitably the first person to email me every year on my birthday. The streak’s still alive & well!

From → Uncategorized

  1. Interesting list! I see potential in a rock saxophone list, though the 80s will be difficult to sift through! When is your birthday, Geoff?

    • That’s a fine Top 5 idea!
      December 1st – when students ask me how old I am, I like to reply that I’m 1 day older than Britney Spears!

      • Ha ha, hope that makes you more popular with them! I read your review of her 1st album the other day. Can’t believe it’s actually on the 1001…it’s cringeworthy! Apart from “Hit Me”, of course. The album with “Toxic” was good though, if I remember correctly. I also appreciate your fair review of her artistry and relevance as a whole.

        I think Woody Allen’s December 1st too. Adele is 1 day older than me!

      • You’re in good almost-birthday-buddy company!
        Her album was a turning point for me I think in recognizing these are ‘significant’ albums rather than inherently ‘spectacular’ albums.
        And I don’t think anyone would argue that she didn’t have a significant impact on pop culture (for better or worse) with that late 90s debut!

  2. I’ve always liked this (admittedly obscure) song by Vigilantes of Love about Eleanor Roosevelt, featuring a trumpet solo:

  3. Nice idea, and one that could (like many found in these good pages) go on and on.
    A couple that would demand consideration in my Top 5 would be (in no particular order):
    The Temptations — Papa was a rolling stone (featured in the VC piece ‘Mama was a rolling stone)
    Steely Dan — The royal scam

    But my outright #1 would be this…

  4. Nirvana — Smells Like Teen Spirit (version with Flea on trumpet from Outcesticide)

    • Just watched the live clip – I didn’t know that he’d joined them with the trumpet, fun!

      • I ordered that CD for a buddy of mine back in 94-ish…and that was most definitely the weirdest track!

  5. Cool list. SLOOOO-OOOOOAAANNN!!!

    I would definitely add Blood, Sweat & Tears’ Spinning Wheel. All through the track, but especially at 2:00-2:37…

    • Much as I enjoy the trumpet on One Chord to Another, I did enjoy the liner notes for Live at the Palais Royale – I think it was something like, tuning? overrated. horns? who needs ’em!

  6. A fine list, but no list would be complete without Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire sitting at number one!

  7. Perhaps this also (trumpets start around 3:15)

  8. I’d include the seriously beautiful and Miles Davis approved “Oh Patti” by Scritti Politti. Miles was a huge fan of the band and had previously covered their song “Perfect Way” on a previous album. Green Gartside, singer and songwriter wanted to add a gentle trumpet solo to this shimmering pop ballad and guess who turned up to play….why Miles Davis of course!

    • I like those kinds of stories – I remember when Modest Mouse was looking for a guitarist like Johnny Marr they eventually thought, why don’t we just ask Marr to be our Johnny Marr-esque guitarist!

  9. I’m surprised Chris Botti isn’t included on this list. I know he is more in the jazz arena but his music is really amazing. I saw him in concert a few years back and it was magical.

  10. I love Penny Lane! One of my favorites. Agreed, phenomenal use of the trumpet!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Top 5 Rock Trumpet Songs – David Kaufman

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