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Any Major Flute Vol. 2

Any Major Flute Vol. 2

The first volume of the flute in pop (rock and soul) was well received. Perhaps there was a gap in the market. So here’s the second volume, with a third one in the works. Thank you to those who have given some very good ideas — in the comments section, on Facebook (become my friend) and elsewhere — seven years ago, when I first posted this, and on the recycled Any Major Flute Vol. 1, which ran in early April. You’ll find some suggestions from the first time around incorporated here, or in Volume 3. I think I will do fourth mix at some point of tracks recommended by readers (in 2016 and 2009). And, yes, I’ve caved and included the Tull. What next? Glockenspiel in rock?.

As ever, CD-R length, home-blown covers. PW in comments.

1. Manfred Mann – Mighty Quinn (1968)
Flutastic Moment: 0:01 Appropriately, the mix kicks off with the flute. What came first, the Mighty Quinn or Come Together?

2. The Coasters – Love Potion No 9 (1970)
Flutastic Moment: 1:38 The flute starts up suddenly and quite frantically as the whole Leiber & Stoller classic goes into funk mode.

3. Canned Heat – Going Up Country (1968)
Flutastic Moment: 0:01 The flute introduces the song until Alan Wilson’s odd counter-tenor vocals begin, making the occasional cameo appearance throughout.

4. Jethro Tull – Up To Me (1971)
Flutastic Moment: 0:02 The Tull giggle as though they are high (surely not!), and the almost percussive flute comes in.

5. Donovan – Sunny Goodge Street (1965)
Flutastic Moment: 1:33 Alas, poor Donovan. History underrates him dreadfully. But hear this and tell me he did not profoundly influence Nick Drake. The flute solo is quite lovely.

6. Minnie Riperton – Light My Fire (1979)
Flutastic Moment: 1:59 The interplay between keyboard and flute is impressive. José Feliciano comes in later to duet on this (superior) cover of his interpretation. One wonders how big Riperton might have been had cancer not claimed her. She had one of the most beautiful, sexiest voices in music, apart from her ability to surf the octaves.

7. Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. – You Don’t Have To Be A Star (1976)
Flutastic Moment: 0:04 The flute hook introduces the song by these two former 5th Dimensions, who by then had gone soul.

8. Albert Hammond – It Never Rains In Southern California (1972)
Flutastic Moment:0:08 The brief flute interlude, which recurs at 1:56, sets the scene for the vocals.

9. George Harrison – Dark Horse (1974)
Flutastic Moment: 1:08 The flute is going discreetly in the background until it decides to let its presence felt.

10. Marshall Tucker Band – Take The Highway (1973)
Flutastic Moment: 0:05 The flute drives this song from the start. A flute rock classic.

11. CCS – Whole Lotta Love (1970)
Flutastic Moment: 0:35 The purring flute holds its own against the thumping rhythms in the Collective Consciousness Society”s fantastic cover of boring old Led Zep, which British readers may know better as a theme for Top Of The Pops.

12. The The – Uncertain Smile (1982)
Flutastic Moment: 1:21 I don”t know if The The ever appeared on TOTP. For the flute in this, they (well, he) should have. Hear where Lloyd Cole got his ideas from.

13. Men At Work – Down Under (1981)
Flutastic Moment: 0:03 One of the most famous flute songs in pop, with perhaps the most recognisable flute riff. Men At Work are often seen as a naff “80s outfit (and written off as — calumny! — a one-hit wonder). They were fronted by Colin Hay, who is not in any way naff. And his recent letter of advice to the ghastly Ted Cruz was quite satisfying.

14. Saint Etienne Nothing Can Stop Us (1991)
Flutastic Moment: 1:17 The whole thing is a chilled-out house thing, but when the flute comes in, the song gets soul.

15. Esther Williams – Last Night Changed It All (1976)
Flutastic Moment: 0:30 Dance music in the mid-“70s made great use of flute hooks (and, yes, The Hustle will feature in Volume 3). What a groove!

16. The Chiffons – Just For Tonight (1968)
Flutastic Moment: 1:14 The alto flute solo gives the latter-day girl-band a whole new sound.

17. Marvin Gaye – Stubborn Kind Of Fellow (1962)
Flute Moment: 1:04 But the flute solo also did a fine job in early Motown.

18. Love – Orange Skies (1966)
Flutastic Moment: 0:31 The flute comes in to echo and emphasise the singers declaration of love. When he sings about how happy he is, the flute responds as if it was a cartoon bird. It”s like Mary Poppins for love-struck hippies.

19. Chicago – Color My World (1970)
Flutastic Moment: 1:54 Damn, Chicago were good before the group was hijacked by the extravagantly coiffured Peter Cetera. The flute solo takes a long time coming, but when it arrives, it is quite beautiful and it sees out the remaining minute of the song.

20. The Guess Who – Undun (1969)
Flutastic Moment: 2:15 The Guess Who might have given English teachers nightmares, but they knew how to use a flute to good, albeit far too brief, effect.

21. Lou Reed – Sad Song (1973)
Flutastic Moment: 0:01 Is the flautist trying to get to the melody of Somewhere Over The Rainbow?


Any Major Flute Vol. 1
Any Major Flute Vol. 3
Any Major Flute Vol. 4
Any Major Flute Vol. 5

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  1. halfhearteddude
    February 27th, 2009 at 01:11 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. February 27th, 2009 at 01:41 | #2

    I’m really enjoying all the fluteness! I liked the Minnie Riperton. :) Anyway, don’t really have anything to add, except that I, for one, think “Glockenspiel in rock” could be the Next Big Thing. Oh, yeah.

  3. February 27th, 2009 at 02:12 | #3

    Donovan came up on the iPod yesterday funnily enough.

    Meanwhile, Saint Etienne – did you know that was a sample? The original tune it’s on is Dusty Springfield ” I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face”. There are a pile of versions of the song: Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and my own personal favourite version Baby Washington. Which is here:


    I don’t have an electronic version of the Dusty at the moment, but it is superb.

  4. February 27th, 2009 at 02:50 | #4

    There’s a nice flute part in Joe Walsh’s “Days Gone By” on Smoker You Drink….

    Chicago was more done in by the death of Terry Kath than by Cetera, although he sure didn’t help matters. IMO!

  5. February 27th, 2009 at 02:58 | #5

    Your “Flute Posts” are awesome. Totally original idea. And your little comments on each song are a blast to read.
    Good stuff!

  6. Tom
    February 27th, 2009 at 15:14 | #6

    Great job on flute posts. What about ‘Get ’em Out By Friday’ with Peter Gabriel’s excellent flute solo.

  7. February 28th, 2009 at 01:28 | #7

    Leave it to Lizzle to have the perfect word: fluteness! Another good selection, whatever word one uses. Thanks!

  8. February 28th, 2009 at 11:49 | #8

    Thanks for all the kind comments and recommendations (though I can’t find the Joe Walsh track). And ‘fluteness’ is a fantastic word.

    Simon, thanks for the Baby Washington song. Great call. And I do have the Dusty version, which shall feature in the third volume (in fact, I dug out the album it’s on, and was reminded of a track I’ll want to post in the next Originals instalment next week, so thank you twice!).

  9. Liberty
    February 28th, 2009 at 11:56 | #9

    Great post! Check out the beautiful instrumental by the Grateful Dead called Sage & Spirit from the Blues for Allah album.

  10. March 1st, 2009 at 03:36 | #10

    Just a glockenspiel thought: If you do that series, you must — repeat, must — lead off with “Born to Run”! Best use of glock in rock! (And there’s your title: Any Major Glock in Rock)

  11. itallstarted
    March 1st, 2009 at 04:02 | #11

    Colin Hay is wonderful – definitely not naff!

  12. itallstarted
    March 1st, 2009 at 04:04 | #12

    Oh, and The National’s latest ‘So Far Around The Bend’ has all kinds of flute goodness going on. Lovely stuff.

  13. March 1st, 2009 at 13:35 | #13

    The The definitely appeared on TOTP in ?1988 with The Beaten Generation. Not sure if they did before that, though…

  14. Boogieman
    March 2nd, 2009 at 16:56 | #14

    Here are a couple of tunes with flute that have just crossed my mind:

    Heart – Dreamboat Annie (the version with orchestral arrangement)

    King Crimson – I Talk To The Wind (From the album “In The Court Of The Crimson King)

  15. Fakeem
    March 3rd, 2009 at 21:11 | #15

    Here are some songs with flutes for you:

    Funky Flute – Jimmy Z ft. Dr. Dre
    The Whistle Song – Frankie Knuckles [ yes there is flute in it ]
    The Flute – Pipedream

  16. Kara Hamilton
    May 2nd, 2009 at 05:47 | #16

    This is great information. Do you know how I can access sheet music for these pieces?

  17. May 2nd, 2009 at 23:19 | #17

    There’s quite a bit on the Internet, it seems. At least, that’s what it looked like when I googled the songs for further info.

  18. Anonymous
    October 4th, 2009 at 22:42 | #18

    lol totally forgot about men at work having a flute in it

    stubborn flute is amazing…. thinking of motown, heres a story u might like…. one of my favourite flute/piccolo (not sure what it is) parts is in the background on the second verse of “ill pick a rose for my rose” by marv johnson… i remember the vinyl totally distorting my shit record player on that part and killing the vocal and everything, and then buying a motown ‘remastered’ cd and it being really quiet in the mix…. sometimes a bit of analog saturation/distortion is what makes the tune, i think the remaster is awful!

    you’ll find the original mix on either the motown single (probably posted on youtube a few times) or the vinyl issue of motown chartbusters 3

    i think thats my favourite ‘pop’ flute part in a song….

  19. May 12th, 2016 at 12:26 | #19

    Some Soul Music with Flutes: http://soulmusicsongs.tumblr.com/tagged/Flute

  20. halfhearteddude
    May 12th, 2016 at 13:25 | #20

    That’s a wonderful collection.

  21. dogbreath
    May 12th, 2016 at 13:36 | #21

    Cool stuff indeed, nicely put together. And it must comfort you to know there are one or two other Jethro Tull songs in which the flute makes an appearance! Many thanks.

  22. Ben
    May 12th, 2016 at 15:24 | #22

    I’m enjoying the flute collections. I loved “Undun” with it’s jazzy chords and harmonics. The song was actually a b side to one of their hits, as I recall. A good selection on the Soul side for a future collection is 100 Proof (Aged in Soul) – “Everything Good is Bad.” It too has some jazzy flavoring and a sweet flute.


  23. JohnnyDiego
    May 12th, 2016 at 16:58 | #23

    For just about forever any mention of flute and rock and roll immediately conjured Jethro Tull in my brain, a band that I despised. So at first when I saw the header Any Major Flute I simply passed it by.
    But today I took time to look at the music compiled and I began to remember that so much of my favorite music contained a flute intro or a flute solo and that didn’t automatically mean ProgRock or Jethro Tull.
    Now I have both volumes and eagerly await the third. Thank you.

  24. Dave B
    May 12th, 2016 at 18:02 | #24

    Originals next week? One of my favourite recurring themes, perhaps the one that made me put you in my favourites list. I collect original versions myself. Though you’ve probably got the next mix all set, maybe you’ll find this as interesting as I did:

  25. halfhearteddude
    May 13th, 2016 at 23:11 | #25

    I really want to do Originals mixes, but the work in narrating these things intimidates the hell out of me… Maybe you’ve just motivated me. But even then, I have a nujmbder of mixes already lined up and test-driven in my car…

    I wrote about Midnight Plane To Houston here: http://www.halfhearteddude.com/2011/08/the-originals-vol-43/

  26. Anders Franzén
    May 14th, 2016 at 11:30 | #26

    Glockenspiel? Can’t think of anyone else than Mike Oldfiled using those. I only know that because Viv Stanshall read it out load in Tubular Bells.

  27. Dave B
    May 17th, 2016 at 16:33 | #27

    Flute : Bad Blood by Neil Sedaka

  28. Pookerella
    July 6th, 2023 at 05:57 | #28
  1. March 15th, 2009 at 14:49 | #1