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My 10 Favorite Guitar Solos

John on January 23, 2006 at 12:50 am

And now for something completely different…

Here is my list of my 10 favorite guitar solos with my comments. Understand I am not claiming these are the best solos or that I’ve heard everything worth hearing. These are simply the ones I never get tired of hearing.

Here they are with mp3 samples:

10. La Villa Strangiato (Alex Lifeson) – One of my favorite players. Alex still sounds good 30 years later. [25 secs]

9. Any Way You Want It (Neil Schon) – Neil Schon has long been my favorite melodic solo player. I saw him with the reformed Journey in 2004 and his version of the star spangled banner was the highlight of the show. [16 secs]

8. Crossroads (Eric Clapton) – I’m not a Clapton connisseur, but I’ve always liked this solo. [23 secs]

7. Eruption (Eddie Van Halen) – The solo which introduced the world to finger tapping. Eddie has done a lot of nice solos in his career, but this one wins on pure originality. [30 secs]

6. Crazy Train (Randy Rhoads) – Another great tapping solo. Sorry he’s gone. [28 secs]

5. Attitude Song (Steve Vai) – I laugh every time I hear this song. Off his first album and Vai has admitted this was pure self indulgence. Absurdly brilliant. [27 secs]

4. Cult of Personality (Vernon Reid) – My wife grits her teeth when this comes on, but I love the insane frenzy of this solo. Mostly noise, but what a glorious noise! [30 secs]

3. Hordes of Locusts (Joe Satriani) – I saw him play this live in 1989, 2nd row. He played most of his solos with his eyes closed. Scary talent. [35 secs]

2. Far Beyond the Sun (Yngwie J. Malmsteen) – Bach rock was out of style about 10 minutes after it was in style, but I still like Yngwie and especially the Rising Force album. Listening to Malmsteen in his prime makes me understand why people long ago believed the rumor that Niccolo Paganini had sold his soul to the devil to aquire his mastery of the violin. It’s impossible that anyone can play like this and yet there it is. [30 secs]

1. Comfortably Numb (David Gilmour) – I know it’s a predictable choice but the outro solo in this song is a work of art. Gilmour puts more pathos into his solos than anyone, anywhere. [25 secs]

Favorite players left off this list but not forgotten: Elliot Easton, Stevie Ray Vaughn and of course Jimi Hendrix. Love them all, but these are the solos that came to mind.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program…

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