Today, we’re searching for the best guitar solo. Fact or fable — You choose. The issue about guitarists and the 100 greatest guitar solos will be debated for years and years.
But, there are some sweet contenders in the guitar playing world. Some musicians will agree on a few.
Not an easy project. Is there anything more involved than looking for and finding the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time?
Guitar music has been the definitive rock and roll instrument of choice for more than 50 years, with virtuosos of different eras, different styles and different countries all leaving their mark on the musical landscape.
Starting a Top 100 Guitar Solo List
Where, then, does one begin with a list? Do you start with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode“?
Would you consider Marty McFly’s loving rendition of the same in “Back to the Future” a worthy entering on the list of 100 greatest guitar solos?
Or would you prefer to head straight to the most recognized virtuosos, the likes of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani?
“Everyone is Beautiful, In Their Own Way ..”
… as sings Ray Stevens and the same is true with guitar solos. So you see, it’s not the easiest list to make. It’s not even the easiest list to think about, because guitar solos have a way of effecting different people in disparate ways.
I may love David Gilmour’s chops as shown on “Money,” but someone from a more technical point of view would never list that particular solo in his or her top thousand, let alone 100. It’s a very personal thing.
I spent much of my time pondering the 100 greatest guitar solos when I was in my “Pearl Jam” phase in the mid 1990s. ”
Alive” comes readily to mind. Since then the guitar solo has not precisely gone away, but it’s played less of a central role over the last fifteen years of music.
Jack White Comes to Mind
Luckily there are still great guitar players like Jack White of The White Stripes, whose 7 Nation Army reminds us all of the raw power and emotional impact of the instrument.
His driving, thunderous solo is appreciated by guitarists, critics, fans and even anti-fans. Do you know anyone – I mean anyone! – who doesn’t recognize Jack White’s greatness?
How to Choose a Great Guitar Solo
I suppose this factor should come to mind first when looking at the 100 greatest guitar solos.
Even if you’re not a fan of the song… is it undeniably great? I may not be the biggest Van Halen fan ever, but even I can recognize that Eddie Van Halen’s “Explosion” belongs on the list.
As do probably half a dozen other solos he churned out over the years.
Let’s face it, talent is talent and the record industry seldom puts people on their labels who don’t have any. Music is relevant and in the ear of the beholder.
Add Two to the List of 100 Greatest Guitar Solos
An opinion still but worthy of mention. Of course, I’ve waited until the end to mention the two men who will probably show up most often on the list of the 100 greatest guitar solos: Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.
Page, of course, was the supercharged dark lord of “Led Zeppelin,” and he’s solos ranged from the moody and and innovative “Dazed and Confused” to the straightforward, raw firepower of “Whole Lotta Love.”
Hendrix, meanwhile, is probably still considered the greatest guitarist ever to wear the axe according to some. And “Red House” is his greatest guitar solo – and in the eyes of many musicians, the greatest solo of all time.
Your Top Guitar Solo List
Have some fun with this. Gather some music loving friends and make up your own top list of the 100 greatest guitar solos. It will differ from most others but will let you know what songs you want to buy. Now, are you ready to learn guitar note mastery? Check out the options here.
Filed under: Strickly Music