August 17, 2007 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Help me find more songs featuring a xylophone.

I really love songs that feature a xylophone solo or an otherwise prominent xylophone. Ones I've found so far are:

Belle & Sebastian - Seeing Other People
Belle & Sebastian - The Fox in the Snow
Dr. Octagon - Earth People
Granddaddy - I'm on Standby
Guided by Voices - Cheyenne
Manitoba - Crayon
Mark Mothersbaugh - Snowflake Music / Mr. Henry's Chop Shop
Mates of State - For the Actor
Ms. Dynamite - Dy Na Mi Tee
Richard Cheese - Fight for your Right
The Shins - Saint Simon
Sublime - Doin' Time
Phish - Train Song
The Violent Femmes - Gone Daddy Gone

Any others? Glockenspiel, vibrophone, or other variations are welcome as well.
posted by SBMike to Media & Arts (49 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Schnappi, das kleine krokodil
posted by lain at 4:18 PM on August 17, 2007

The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret by Queens of the Stone Age
posted by The World Famous at 4:21 PM on August 17, 2007

Oingo Boingo used xylophones/marimba quite a bit. Check out Grey Matter off Nothing to Fear or Boingo Alive.

Regarding vibes, there is no finer mallet man than Milt Jackson. Check out The Modern Jazz Quartet, especially The Last Concert.
posted by lekvar at 4:40 PM on August 17, 2007

Barry Adamson - Sweetest Embrace and The Vibes Ain't Nothing But The Vibes, Baby
Angelo Badalamenti - Moving Through Time
posted by infinitewindow at 4:54 PM on August 17, 2007

For glockenspiel, you can't go wrong with Springsteen's Born to Run album. And check out Cory Arcangel's The Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" Glockenspiel Addendum for added fun.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:56 PM on August 17, 2007

The Boy Least Likely To is an awesome, twee band with a variety of random, toy instruments, glockenspiel included.
posted by logic vs love at 4:57 PM on August 17, 2007

The Velvet Underground "Sunday Morning."
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:01 PM on August 17, 2007

Frank Zappa - Inca Roads. Lots of xylophone in that era of Zappa music. Ruth Underwood was one great percussionist.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:02 PM on August 17, 2007

"Camelot" by the Highway Beautiful

"Junkyard" by Page France

two of my favourite songs, and i think it might be because of the xylophone!
posted by gursky at 5:12 PM on August 17, 2007

This question totally got the Magnetic Fields' "Xylophone Track" stuck in my head. Weirdly, I can't actually remember if there's a xylophone in it, but it's still a pretty rad song.
posted by crinklebat at 5:19 PM on August 17, 2007

Here is the xylophone tag over at MetaFilter Music, it's only a few songs, but hopefully you'll like them.

Disclaimer: one of the songs is mine.
posted by micayetoca at 5:46 PM on August 17, 2007

Haircut 100 "Love Plus One"? Not prominent but definitely memorable.
posted by rolypolyman at 5:52 PM on August 17, 2007

(also it's featured in the opening of their music video (youtube) )
posted by rolypolyman at 5:53 PM on August 17, 2007

Well, Captain Beefheart used a fair amount of marimba/xylophone on some of his material, though certainly not all of it.

And seconding micayetoca's comment on the xylophone tag, and another disclaimer: one of the songs is mine!.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:55 PM on August 17, 2007

There's a Buddy Holly tune with glockenspiel featured prominently, but I can't remember which one exactly...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:57 PM on August 17, 2007

Calexico songs regularly feature the marimba. The other one that jumps out for me is Hitsville UK, The Clash, where the glockenspiel parrots the melody.
posted by mudpuppie at 5:59 PM on August 17, 2007

Everything Lionel Hampton ever recorded.

Also, I just picked up an amazing album called "The History of Space Age Pop, Volume 2: Mallets in Wonderland." You may be able to find via the usual torrent channels.
posted by saladin at 6:00 PM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

An oldie, but a wonderful xylophone solo: "Moonlight Feels Right" by Starbuck.
posted by ROTFL at 6:17 PM on August 17, 2007

I believe that Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" was the first to use the xylophone orchestrally, at least in any significant way.
posted by nkknkk at 7:09 PM on August 17, 2007

Slight diversion, but you might enjoy this cartoon.
posted by happyturtle at 7:24 PM on August 17, 2007

You can often find the Judybats' criminally underrated debut album Native Son for $2.99 at a used CD store. On this album you will find a track called "Convalescing in Spain." This is your song.
posted by escabeche at 8:02 PM on August 17, 2007

Moving this even further out of the range of western pop music (but, IMO, deeper into the range of sonic interest and such), I'd suggest you look into recordings of the African balafon. Check it out.

Matter of fact, I think I'll head over to the blue and make a balafon FPP!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:10 PM on August 17, 2007

I automatically thought of Space's Female of the Species
posted by Jilder at 8:15 PM on August 17, 2007

nas and q-tip - one love
posted by ofthestrait at 8:29 PM on August 17, 2007

Little Wing, by Hendrix.
posted by lemonwheel at 8:32 PM on August 17, 2007

Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade uses the xyophone (and marimba) a lot, as does Les himself last year's solo album, Of Whales and Woe.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 8:43 PM on August 17, 2007

Radiohead - Let Down
posted by heeeraldo at 9:57 PM on August 17, 2007

Under My Thumb, Rolling Stones.
posted by missouri_lawyer at 10:13 PM on August 17, 2007

(all of the songs that came to my mind have already been mentioned)

a side note- I once saw This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb play when Terry (the bassist) had a broken wrist. She played an accompaniment for every song with what I think was a glockenspeil. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure there are a few bootleggy recordings of this arrangement live somewhere, as a)(AFAIK) they played a whole tour like this, and b) a friend was talkin' about a this bike song that had a glockenspeil on it, and (again, AFAIK) they don't have any actual releases featuring one.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:41 PM on August 17, 2007

Andrew bird plays a glockenspiel in several of his songs, although I can't tell you offhand which ones.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:50 PM on August 17, 2007

I'm pretty fuzzy at the moment, but I could swear Men Without Hats used a xylophone in "Pop Goes The World."
posted by Clay201 at 1:06 AM on August 18, 2007

XTC's Poor Skeleton Steps Out from Oranges and Lemons makes excellent use of the marimba. It's the sound of bones. There's also the added bonus of a great monster/ogre singing along on the chorus.
posted by wsg at 1:39 AM on August 18, 2007

Assuming you're as interested in vibraphone as xylophone (aluminum bars instead of wood), you'll probably enjoy heading in the direction of jazz, where its possibilities are perhaps more fully (and gorgeously) explored. I'll 2nd the Lionel Hampton if you like swing at all; his stuff with the Benny Goodman trios/quartets is just amazing (and helped cause at least one near-riot), but this collection of WWII-era recordings after he left Goodman is hard to beat for an intro: "this band...had the most instruments that had to be plugged in ever seen at the time."

Milt Jackson and the Modern Jazz Quartet are amazing (I'd go for the early-mid-50s stuff, when they were doing incredibly intricate bop without horns), but for more modern sounds you should try Bobby Hutcherson. All of his 60s Blue Note albums are worth hearing and some are stunningly good experimental, accessible gems for a vibes lover. Someone who's not late for work should probably recommend some Gary Burton, too.
posted by mediareport at 6:06 AM on August 18, 2007

Adeus Maria Fulo by Os Mutantes
posted by umbĂș at 6:21 AM on August 18, 2007

Steve Reich: Sextet/Six Marimbas
Hans Zimmer: You're So Cool from the True Romance soundtrack
Thomas Newman: American Beauty soundtrack
posted by bricoleur at 6:27 AM on August 18, 2007

Also, an African word for xylophone is "balafon." Try searching on "balafon" at Amazon. For instance.
posted by bricoleur at 6:30 AM on August 18, 2007

Speaking of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits's recent albums — which have an acknowledged heavy Beefheart influence — make wonderful use of the marimba. Check out anything between Swordfishtrombones and Mule Variations, although the latter is my personal favorite.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:36 AM on August 18, 2007

SBMike: As threatened upthread, I did head right over to the blue to make a balafon post. It's here if you wanna take a look.

There's also a tradition of marimba music in Mexico (Chiapas region?), and here's a MySpace Music page where you can hear a group of gringos who are doing it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:42 AM on August 18, 2007

The version of Proceed II by the Roots on Stolen Moments - Red Hot and Cool has Roy Ayers. He's known for his xylophone, though I'm trying to figure out if he actually plays it on my favorite tracks of his. Even if it doesn't have xylophone, you should check out Running Away.
posted by hue at 8:25 AM on August 18, 2007

"The Nurse" by the White Stripes
"Speed of Sound" by Chris Bell
posted by Andy Harwood at 8:43 AM on August 18, 2007

Klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz played with a fantastic percussionist. Track 12 on this cd [terrible title, great klezmer] has some incredible xylophone solos, and it's just plain fun.
posted by bassjump at 8:43 AM on August 18, 2007

Tortoise and American Analog Set both use vibraphones a lot in their songs.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:57 AM on August 18, 2007

Aloha - Summer Away
posted by RobotHeart at 12:20 PM on August 18, 2007

"Ballerina" on Van Morrison's amazing Astral Weeks has great, Belle and Sebastian-like vibes, as do other songs on that album. And "Take a Look at Yourself" on Guru's first Jazzmatazz comp uses a great mix of vibes and hiphop.
posted by mediareport at 8:54 PM on August 18, 2007

Klezmer clarinetist Mickey Katz played with a fantastic percussionist.

I'm not really up on my Klezmer, but apparently there's a long tradition of xylophone playing in that genre. And folks like this fellow seem to be keeping the tradition alive.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:25 PM on August 18, 2007

Sounds like you're into Indie/Rock/Electronic music, but if you like funky jazz, Billy Wooten's live album, The Wooden Glass Recorded, is for you. Best vibraphone ever.
posted by QueSeraSera at 5:18 AM on August 19, 2007

Preview can be heard here (MP3)
posted by QueSeraSera at 5:24 AM on August 19, 2007

Oh, shit, forgot one of my all-time fave vibes songs (vibes is my favorite instrument to listen to, btw): Procul Harum's "Boredom" (brief clip here). It's a catchy xylophile's delight, very poppy and Belle-y.
posted by mediareport at 9:40 AM on August 19, 2007

Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple
posted by euphotic at 1:43 AM on August 24, 2007

« Older Where do muscular/broad-chested guys get their...   |   Has anyone ever started or managed a company... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.