"Classical Gas" is an instrumental musical piece composed and originally performed by Mason Williams. Originally released in 1968 on the album The Mason Williams Phonograph Record, it has been re-recorded and re-released numerous times since by Williams. One later version served as the title track of a 1987 album by Williams and the band Mannheim Steamroller.
Williams was the head writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour at the time of the piece's release and premiered the composition on the show. Williams performed it several times over several episodes. After the piece had reached the Top Ten, Williams asked an experimental filmmaker named Dan McLaughlin to create a video montage of classical art works edited in time to the music, using the visual effect now known as kinestasis. The pioneering work, 3000 Years of Art, premiered in 1968 and may have helped push the song high on the charts; it peaked at Number 2 for two weeks in August that year.
Mason Williams (born August 24, 1938) is an American guitarist and composer, best known for his guitar instrumental "Classical Gas". He is also a comedy writer, known for his writing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and Saturday Night Live. He is also an eclectic poet and lyricist who has published several books.
What can you say except this brings back memories of the young depressed chain-smoking fornicating too-much-drinking miserable old bohemian black-turtlenecked chess-playing manic coast-to-coast-to-coast wheelman me.
Album: Hand Made
Artist: Mason Williams
From vinyl this 1970 release by guitarist Mason Williams, "Classical Gas" is an all time favorite instrumental.