Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Great Solo, Shame About The Song

What we consider to be great music is a matter of taste, that is what makes music so great because there are so many genres to pick and choose from.
Being a bit of a guitar freak, i ordered the 100 greatest guitar solo album as chosen by the good people of Guitar World magazine and there are some steaming solos on the 5 Cd's that would have anyone air guitaring around their living room.
As with anything like this, we all have our own opinion on what should be top and shake our heads at some at the choices others have made but i have something to moan about. Although the solos are mostly outstanding, most of the songs are not that great (in my opinion i hastily add).
My whinge is based on the top 10 which is: 1.Stairway to Heaven-Led Zeppelin, 2: Eruption-Van Halen, 3: Freebird-Lynyrd Skynyrd, 4: Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd, 5: All Along the Watchtower-Jimi Hendrix Experience, 6.November Rain-Guns n' Roses, 7. One-Metallica, 8. Hotel California-The Eagles, 9. Crazy Train-Ozzy Ozbourne, 10. Crossroads-Cream.
Great guitar work undoubtedly, but apart from November Rain, One and Hotel California,the songs themselves are not anything to get excited about (in my opinion i hastily add again).
I believe Slash to be the greatest guitarist that my ears have ever witnessed but the one solo i would put above all is the full guitar solo in My Sharona. A real stonker of a song and it didn't even make the top 100. Scandalous.
Any Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd lovers sharpening their keyboards to lay into me for not knowing great music when i hear it, i refer you back to my first sentence.

15 comments:

Miz UV said...

Hah, I get to comment before the musical know-alls. Out of those, I love 1, 3, 4, 8, and 10. And My Sharona kicks ass. Of course we're going to get smacked for that, Lucy!

Stephen said...

A lot of the ones you've mentioned are great, especially Watchtower, Hotel California, and Comfortably Numb.

However, if you've never heard Stevie Ray Vaughn wail away on his guitar, you're missing something special.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAG-kX_IlUw

The Fez Monkey said...

The finest guitar work I've heard isn't the loudest, most aggressive, or fastest.

Steve Hackett's work on Firth of Fifth is just amazing. Dextrous, skillful, and flawless.

Ook ook

Joe the Troll said...

Interesting choice, Fez, since Banks dominates that tune. I'll have to listen to it again with my attention more toward Hackett.

throckey said...

#2 is probably the best guitar solo on the best pure rock album ever, which was Van Halen's first, but it really doesn't thrill me as a song.

#10 is actually a cover of an ancient delta blues standard. Of course #5 is a cover of a nasally Minnesotan.

#1 and #3 are anthems and #6 tries so hard to be anthems that it comes off as a mockery of itself. Pretty much everything from that decade was a mockery of itself, so perhaps it deserves to be on the list.

Speaking of mockery, what My Sharona has is called a "hook." The guitar solo is completely forgettable. But you're free to like it if you like.

Jeff said...

"Pretty much everything from that decade was a mockery of itself, so perhaps it deserves to be on the list."

I think you're thinking 80s when you say that, but the Use Your Illusion albums actually came out in the early 90s, and the 90s had some really great music. G-n-R kind of helped bridge the gap between the glam cheeze of the 80s and the punk & riff rock-influenced grunge of the 90s.

Now that I got that out of the way, I'm appalled that Stevie Ray Vaughan's version of "Little Wing" isn't on that list, because it's the most stellar solo guitar I've ever heard.

Regarding the list in general, calling it the "greatest" is pretty misleading. Perhaps "most popular" or "most well-known" would be more fitting, and were that the case I wouldn't necessarily argue with anything on there. Page had much, much better solos than Stairway, but it is undoubtedly the most well-known of all of them.

The word verification for this post is yfyvvryy. I have a headache now from looking at it.

Apparently that wasn't it, because I got denied. I'm now trying yoztvphe.

Lucyp said...

That is the great thing about music, it really does depend on the listener and judging by the age of some of these songs, my guess would be that the readership of the magazine is 40+. If you asked a group of 20 year olds i imagine you would get a very different list.
I am unsure that the solo in the full version of My Sharona could be called a hook throckery, i would say there is a strong guitar riff and drum hook that runs through the song but the solo is over a minute of brillaint string bending and hammer on's.
I think Paula, we may get away with our bold statements about My Sharona rocking.

Jodie K said...

How long must a lick be to be deemed a "guitar solo"?

Anything The Edge plays is poetry.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, "China Girl"?

Chuck Berry, "Johnny B. Goode"?

Kos, your word verification string reminds me of the last name of Steve Martin’s character in The Man With Two Brains.

throckey said...

Jeff sez: "I think you're thinking 80s when you say that, but the Use Your Illusion albums actually came out in the early 90s, and the 90s had some really great music. G-n-R kind of helped bridge the gap between the glam cheeze of the 80s and the punk & riff rock-influenced grunge of the 90s."

I dunno Jeff, G-n-R is kindof a backwards looking band and really put the exclamation point on late 80's LA-based glam rock cheese. Interesting though that they do bridge the gap between that and grunge, which was really the merging of the early 80's LA punk sound with the perpetually backwards Northwest sound. I swear every one of the apocryphal (I had no idea what this word means, but it makes me sound smart) grunge bands was playing Led Zeppelin covers until the year they all broke out.

I should also point out that everything Stevie Ray played was better than anything on this list.

Lucy may want to consider an in depth exploration of Stevie Ray Vaughan's music in order to dispense with her notion that the Knack is anything more than a well conceived marketing campaign.

That's about as snarky as I get.

Cody Bones said...

"Lucy may want to consider an in depth exploration of Stevie Ray Vaughan's music in order to dispense with her notion that the Knack is anything more than a well conceived marketing campaign."

Hear Hear, and you a Buzzcock fan as well Lucy.

Cheezy said...

You people are all crazy. These are the best snippets of quality 'axe-work' in rock history...

*Neil Young on 'Cortez the Killer' and 'Powderfinger'.

*Jimmy Page on the live version of 'Since I've Been Loving You' (from the film 'The Song Remains the Same').

*Bernard Sumner (of Joy Division & New Order) - 'Transmission' and 'Sunrise'.

*Frank Zappa - 'Watermelon in Easter Hay'

*Dave Gilmour - I can't separate the axe-work on 'Time', 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', and 'Comfortably Numb'...

*Noel Gallagher - 'What's the Story Mornin' Glory?'

*Jon Squires (Stone Roses) - 'I am the Resurrection'

*Marty Wilson Piper (The Church) - 'Reptile' and 'Hotel Womb'

*J.Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) - 'Freak Scene' and 'Feel the Pain'

*John Frusciante (Chilli Peppers) - 'Can't Stop'

*Joey Santiago (Pixies) - 'Debaser'

*Bob Mould (Husker Du) - 'Ice Cold Ice' and 'Bed of Nails'

*Andy Gill (Gang of Four) - 'Damaged Goods'

*Keith Richards & Mick Taylor trading solos on the live version of 'Sympathy for the Devil' on the album 'Get Yer Ya Yas Out'... (PS: Charlie's drumming during this one is also fantastic).

...or they're my favourites anyway :)

Joe the Troll said...

Cheezy! You amaze me. I was also thinking about "Watermelon in Easter Hay" ( and also "Zomby Woof", "Crew Slut", and a couple others), and I have an identical David Gilmour issue.

I'd add a few that I deem obvious -

Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple's "Highway Star". I know this one by heart.

Brian May, Queen's "We Will Rock You". Who DOESN'T know that one by heart?

Eric Clapton, The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

And a few that you all might not have heard.....

Robert Fripp, King Crimson's "Easy Money". Intense.

Jeff Beck Group (mark II) "I'm Going Down".

Jerry Garcia , "Eyes of the World" at the Coliseum in Greensboro, NC on 3-31-91. There was nothing like the way Jerry would play when he just plain FELT LIKE doing a particular song, and he really felt like playing this song that night. They played it for 24 minutes, roughly double the usual time.

throckey said...

Cheezy sez:
"*Andy Gill (Gang of Four) - 'Damaged Goods'"

Excellent points, Cheezy, but I'm particularly fond of this one, having seen it live way back in the day.

I love the Gang of Four. Perhaps that why I can't work, I can't achieve. Someone really needs to send me back.

Stephen said...

I'll throw out a couple more:

Pete Townshend, The Who - Sparks

Edge, U2 - Until the End of the World, or Bullet the Blue Sky (take your pick).

O' Tim said...

Wow, great add-on lists from all the music know-alls ;)

Esp: Yea Cheezy! "Cortez the Killer" is sublime!

Jeff - SRV's "Little Wing" almost puts Jimi to shame. Almost.

Speaking of Jimi, I actually prefer Dave Mason's acoustic work on "Watchtower."

For Zappa, I vote for "Hot Rats" or maybe "Po-jama People"

hzlicu

okay now it's jidwqfx. Does my Blogger comments do this publish twice shit like Lucy's and Cheezy's?