The World Is Full Of Great Guitar Solos
Do you have a favourite guitar solo? You know, one that sends a cold chill down the back of your neck? One, that for some unknown reason seems to fit the song so perfectly that you couldn’t imagine any other guitar solo being played in that song? I bet you have a few you could mention. I’m going to list five all time classic solos that influenced me when I was starting out. See what you think.
Something by George Harrison – A beautiful solo for a beautiful song. I heard a story that the final solo used on the Abbey Road album was actually a mix of a few solos George had recorded. There is no doubting that he excelled himself on this song. It just goes to show that sometimes the simplest of licks will suffice. Thanks for the memories George….
All Right Now by Paul Kossoff – An absolute classic rock solo!!. A composition within itself you might say. This solo features no right hand tapping, no full throttle speed licks and no wammy bar heroics. Instead we have a brilliantly constructed solo with a definite beginning, middle and end. Check out the way Paul gently pulls the listener in by using a couple of licks to introduce the solo and then builds up to a fantastic ending. This solo is a prime example of how to play a great rock solo.
All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix – Jimi plays Dylan. This is probably one of my all time favourites. This is one of those solos that I really do not want to analyse. I just want to sit back, listen and enjoy. To be honest, there are many of Jimi solos I could have included in this but, to me, this one is simply outstanding. It’s one I never, ever tire of listening to. Each and every time it just blows me away. The whole feeling of this track is just amazing.
Cliffs Of Dover by Eric Johnson – This is a prime example of great technique being mixed with a great feel for the music being played. As with Jimi, there are many Eric Johnson tracks I could have chosen. I decided on this one because it was the first thing I ever heard Eric Johnson play. Back in the mid to late 80’s Guitar Player magazine included it as a freebie flexidisc in one of its issues. I loved it then and I love it now. If you haven’t heard this track check it out as soon as you can.
I’m Goin’ Home by Alvin Lee – A song by helicopter! This is just plain old rock n’ roll from the wonderful Alvin Lee. I’ve chosen this one because it was a big favourite of mine when I was first starting to play. It is raw, exciting, and it makes you want to play. I remember being knocked out by the sheer speed of Alvin’s fingers when I first heard this one. A gem from one of the greats.
Obviously there are many great solos I have had to miss from this list. Who could forget, Django Reinhardt’s Nuages, Larry Carlton’s Kid Charlemagne, Elliott Randall’s Reeling In The Years, Brian May’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Eddie Van Halen’s Beat it, Albert Lee’s Country Boy, Bert Jansch’s Angie, David Gilmour’s Comfortably Numb, Jimmy Page’s Stairway To Heaven, Steve Vai’s For The Love Of God, Eric Clapton’s Sunshine Of Your Love, Brian Setzer’s I Won’t Stand In Your Way, Mason Williams’ Classical Gas, Jimi’s Little Wing, Chet Atkins’ Yakety Axe, Scotty Moore’s That’s All Right Mama…..etc…etc….etc…. The list goes on and on.
The five I chose were important in my early years as a player. If compiling the same list next week, I might come up with something completely different. My tastes have changed over the years and I am sure they will continue to do so.
What five guitar solos would you list and why?