Friday, January 21, 2011

Top 10 Guitar Solos

Buddy of mine came up with this "topic" a few weeks ago.  No, we weren't wasted!  At least I wasn't.  Anyway, here's my necessary but not sufficient list:

1. "Blue Sky" - Duane Allman/Dickey Betts
Brings a tear to me eye ev'ry time.  Probably the only song on this list you can safely play in front of anyone (in-laws, toddlers, your boss, the elderly, etc.).

2. "Comfortably Numb" - David Gilmour
Wait, you never listened to this on your floor with your eyes bulging out of your head?  You should stop reading this right now and go organize your sweater drawer.

3. "Flight Over Rio" - Al DiMeola
They shoulda called this one "Blimp Over Sunset Park On Cough Syrup" but hey, Al's never been big on song titles.  A.D. rescues this proto-Screwed flange-fest from the tussin swamp around the three-minute mark, and proceeds to embarass the sweatpants off of Jan Hammer in a somewhat unconventional duel of licks (Les Paul vs. Mini-Moog?).  Al carves up a fucking bison while Jan spurts synth-jizz all over the console.

4. "Free Will" - Alex Lifeson
I already nailed this one in two words or less on two pills or more in my Permanent Waves review: positively horny.

5. "Heartbreaker" - Jimmy Page
I remember a guy I used to hang out with complaining about this one: "Blah blah blah... so sloppy... blah... noisy pickups... not that fast... blah..."  Notice I said used to hang out with that jerk.

6. "I Heard Her Call My Name" - Lou Reed
The gold standard for noisy guitar solos. My college roommate was out on the roof with his friend and a couple of girls one afternoon, totally wasted and pissing me off. I took their bad rap CD out and blasted this song, and they kept on dancing. Neither drunk got laid.


7. "Sinner's Swing!" - Eddie Van Halen
I nailed this one on Lee's Steez too, but I was so bombed I deleted it. Something about skinning an electric eel, or maybe wetting your pants in an electric chair? It was right on, whatever it was.

8. "St. Elmo's Fire" - Robert Fripp
Mr. Bojangles perfects his toggle-switch electric pan-flute routine here, and is given a courtesy reprise for his efforts.  Bravo!

9. "The Thing That Should Not Be" - Kirk Hammett
You wanna talk about guitar solos that enrich not only the song but the song-concept as well?  I do.  The Lovecraft theme is reinforced by a non-Euclidean guitar-poem that defies all known tonal and harmonic constructs.  Yog-Sothoth is belching in approval somewhere...

10. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (live) - Angus Young
We don't usually recommend bringing a breakneck juggernaut to a complete stop for a guitar solo; in fact, we forbid it.  Angus somehow gets it back up on the tracks and up to speed in about ten seconds, in front of thousands of screaming fans!  Breathtaking.

1 comment:

Charles Simone said...

OK, so first of all, I had no idea Robert Fripp played on "St. Elmo's Fire," but then again, you once called me musically challenged, so I guess that should come as no surprise.

Oh...you're not talking about the movie soundtrack. I guess I just proved you right.

Anyway, this list seems like a perfect candidate for one of your infamous mixes, although nothing could ever top "Breezin'".