Instrumentals are a mixed bag. Some aren't too bad, but most of the time aren't you really wanting a nice vocal melody over top of it?
I do enjoy some work by Joe Satriani; and I am a huge Eric Johnson fan, but a lot of his work includes his very good vocals. Jeff Beck is a master who has also often used vocalist...
Rush's "YYZ" might be the king of all rock instrumentals.
Here are 5 that came to mind today.
This one is a bit an excuse to give the drummer a solo but I still kind of like the dopey simple main riff and it kind of set the standard followed later by John Bonham's "Moby Dick"
Here is Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick", a great riff leads into Bonham soloing
Led Zeppelin "Moby Dick"
Just heard this on the way home on Sirius. Don't think I'd heard it before. I had certainly heard of the band. It featured the late Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop on guitars. Quite a tour-De-force
Paul Butterfield Blues Band "East West"
As a teenager I remember buying the Foreigner "Double Vision" LP at Korvettes for $3.99. I always thought this was a pretty cool instrumental. I never skipped this one on the album. I let it play.
Ian McDonald had a prog rock background, being a one time member of King Crimson. A definite Prog influence on this one.
I heard a different track from their "High and Dry" album today.
This one is quite good as instrumentals go
Def Leppard "Switch 625"
more to come.....