Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wanking in Our Time

Interesting and alarming news from the Sceptered Isle: Over at yesterday's Telegraph, Brit writer Neil McCormick has listed what he considers the top ten guitar solos in rock history.

His choices:

1. Moonage Daydream - Mick Ronson
A sci-fi blowout: Ronson picks the song up and sends it spinning into outer space.

2. Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix
Evil blues from the greatest rock guitarist ever.

3. Since I’ve Been Loving You - Jimmy Page
Passionate, desperate lyricism.

4. Shine On You Crazy Diamond - David Gilmour
Moving, meditational, un-showy expression of melody and tone.

5. Like A Hurricane - Neil Young
Not technically adept, Young can play one note like a primal force.

6. Hotel California - Joe Walsh and Don Felder
Soaring, uplifting twin lead takes off into the ether.

7. Purple Rain - Prince
Wild, fluid and free as his soulful vocals.

8. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Eric Clapton
Seamlessly integrated, Clapton weeps and wails all over George Harrison’s mournful melody.

9. Love Spreads - John Squire
Bluesy slide work out to a funky beat gives Britpop wings.

10. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers - Jeff Beck
Heartfelt emotion on a Stevie Wonder cover from the most technically dazzling guitarist since Jimi.

I'm not going to argue the individual choices (most of which strike me as somewhere between obvious and banal) but the fact that McCormick didn't include the Neil Innes solo that slices this song in half...

...or the Innes solo that serves the same function on this track...

...means I probably won't need to worry about any of his opinions on anything else in the future.

C'mon, dude -- these two were scientifically proven to be the heaviest fretboard workouts of all time fricking AGES ago.

[h/t Kerrin L. Griffith]


ninotchka said...

steven, i don't know much about pop music- but even i know that first guitar solo in the bonzo dog doo dah band is stolen from guitar icon link wray's RUMBLE.

steve simels said...

The one in Canyons of Your Mind?

steve simels said...

I thought you were being ironic, but now that you mention it...

ninotchka said...

hahhah! yes-- give it a listen- - it is RUMBLE-someone knew his link!

Gummo said...

We're all Bonzos on this bus.

Wendy said...

Not to mention that he thinks Jeff Beck post-dates Jimi Hendrix.

Wendy said...

"Rumble" makes Jimmy Page very happy ...

All you guitar fans out there owe to yourselves to see "It Might Get Loud."

Anonymous said...

There should be at least one Richard Thompson solo!


Noam Sane said...

Theres a live BBC cut of that Bonzos song that out-sucks the studio version.

I think that's a pretty solid list though. I might sub "All Along The Watchtower" for "Voodoo" because it's a far more composed solo. But then again maybe not.

What about Larry Carlton's "Kid Charlegmagne" excursion?

"Sultans of Swing" might belong in there. It's hard to choose a Townshend solo, because everything he plays is sort of a combination of chording and soloing. Mick Taylor on "Can't You Hear Me Knocking". Dickie Betts on "Ramblin' Man".

steve simels said...

James Burton

Hello Mary Lou

End of story

dave™© said...

I always had a thing for the guitar solo in Steely Dan's "My Old School" - esp. the part that's all clicks, pops, and springs after the second chorus.

I assume it's either Skunk Baxter or Denny Dias... I was miffed at the kid playing with them when I saw their (first?) "reunion" tour a few years ago who completely fucked it up...

Anonymous said...

Johnny Kinkdom sez: Before writing off the Felder/Walsh histrionics, take a listen/watch to the version on HELL FREEZES OVER. It defines chamber rock and is damned inspiring as well. Besides, Joe Walsh is a really nice fellow and Felder got the raw end, don't you think?