From their earliest days, Phish has always played instrumentals. Many, they wrote themselves, and some, like "I Am Hydrogen" and "Buried Alive", have achieved legendary status, while others, like "Flat Fee" and "All Things Reconsidered", have faded into obscurity.
There is also a long history of covers of the instrumental variety, from the numerous Duke Ellington tunes ("A Train", "Donna Lee", "Jump Monk") to Edgar Winter to The Safaris. Most notable is their cover of Diado’s "2001", which has become ensconced in the band's DNA. They like the instrumentals so much that Page even went as far as to craft an album from pieces of improvisation sessions that yielded the ever-popular "What’s The Use", along with the always controversial Quadrophonic Toppling. With the success of instrumentals across their career we decided to offer 9 suggestions for the band to pursue, maybe even to craft a completely instrumental set.
9 The Meters - Cardova
Why Phish has never taken a stab at the Meters is a mystery, but it seems like an obvious choice. With stalwarts like "Cissy Strut" and "Look Ky Pa Pa" on the board, we went with a lesser-known gem, "Cordova". This would give the whole band a chance to shine on a mid-tempo funk vamp.
8 King Crimson - Discipline
The title track to the 1980s reformed King Crimson’s debut LP is an obvious choice. The band has been teasing Discipline as Dave’s Energy Guide for years, why not just play the original?
7 Young-Holt Unlimited - Soulful Strut
Like a warm summer breeze, Chicago’s Young-Holt Unlimited swept across America in 1968 with this jazzy lite pop hit. It would be a great chance for the band to fall back into a smooth groove.
6 Link Wray - Rumble
Wray stabbed the speaker of his amplifier with a pin to get the distorted sound on this down and dirty instrumental, perfect for when Phish is feeling frisky or things are heated on the rail.
5 Radiohead - Meeting In The Aisle
Off the band’s OK Computer album, this one would give the band a chance to recapture some of that 99-00 feeling the band has ostensibly abandoned.
4 Henry Mancini/Emerson Lake and Palmer - Peter Gunn
The band has taken a stab at Baby Elephant Walk in the past, why not try this Mancini classic that was turned into a monster by Emerson Lake and Palmer. Let Page have the glory on this synthesized classic
3 Kool And The Gang - Summer Madness
They will need a cool-down song and this one, like a cool day at the beach, Fishman could do magic with the cymbal run and hearing Page hit that synth run is the stuff dreams are made of.
2 Pavement - 5-4 = Unity
We all know Trey is a Pavement fan, why not take a stab at this brilliant little instrumental that goes from jazz to rock in a single breath.
1 - Pink Floyd - One Of These Days
Come on, you know you want to hear them play this.