It’s hard to think of something more universally loved than a good ole fashioned guitar solo. A couple of years ago I wrote about some of the best drum solos ever; let’s focus on the guys in front of them now with 10 of the best guitar solos of all time.
I tried to get a good mix throughout the decades and focused on solos that really make the song, not just accent it.
Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
I’m sure this might take some folks back to the days of getting home from track practice and lighting up a doobie of crappy weed only to listen to this song for what seemed like two and a half hours. Not many songs have a cult following and I think it’s due in large part to the solo that erupts at the end.
Prince – Purple Rain
In addition to being a great guitarist, Prince might be able to pick up the award for the most colorful and unique collection of guitars. Of course the ironic solo in “Purple Rain” is the highlight of the ballad for many fans.
Bonus – Because why not?
The White Stripes – Ball and Biscuit
Sure “Icky Thump” could easily be substituted in, but there’s something about the three separate solos in Ball and Biscuit. Each one brings something a little different to the table. Someone throw millions at Meg to try to convince her to play again; Jack has confirmed he would be interested and has released old White Stripes recording recently.
Official B&B Solo Rankings: 3rd – 2nd – 1st
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Every time I hear this song I think of Christopher Moltisanti. This song made The Departed soundtrack killer and is David Gilmour’s best guitar solo in my opinion.
Rage Against The Machine – Sleep Now In The Fire
Leaving a Tom Morello work of art off this would be a crime worthy of prison time. I can’t comprehend how he pulls off his sound, but “Sleep Now In The Fire” is my favorite solo of his. Crank it to 11 below.
B.B. King – The Thrill is Gone
B.B’s rewrite of this Roy Hawkins song became one of his biggest hits and features arguably his best guitar work. With Woodstock that summer, it served as a reminder that blues was still alive and well in the late 60’s. I thought it was interesting to learn that B.B. was a pilot and used to fly alone to a lot up his gigs for over 30 years.
Radiohead – Paranoid Android
When you think guitar solos, Radiohead might not come to mind first. However, Johnny Greenwood is a complete genius and is a major reason why OK Computer is regarded as one of the best albums of all time. His two solos in “Paranoid Android” takes the cake as his best guitar soloing, enjoy below.
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Coming off the 80’s, this guitar solo helped transcend culture and that’s why it’s on here. Kurt thankfully cranked the gain on his amp and showed the world a different style with 1991’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child
Since Jimi shreds on every song it’s tough to select his best solo of all time. “Voodoo Child” is always a reliable choice because he pretty much solos during the entire song. Hearing that opening riff makes people want to go out and spend their hard earned dough on an electric guitar, it doesn’t matter if it’s 1966 or 2016.
Dinosaur Jr. – Get Me
More people need to go by their first letter of their first name, I adore that move. If you’re a Dinosaur Jr. fan I’m sure a pillar of that decision was based on the sound of J’s guitar. “Get Me” was released 23 years ago but sounds like it could of came out today.
There’s a bunch of other selections that could of easily made the cut.The sad thing is it seems like the art of the guitar solo is declining a bit as time goes on when looking at the music world as a whole.