Last month, I listed my top ten heavy rock guitar solos. http://duncansmithguitars.com.au/top-ten-best-guitar-solos/ This month, it’s back to the mainstream. No metal this time, just classic rock.
Once again, a couple of disclaimers. This is off the top of my head so it’s not the top ten best. When I’ve got a spare month sometime, I’ll sit down and have a go at making that list. Also, I’ve tried to ignore the usual clichéd selections for the sake of some lesser known songs. So Hendrix, Clapton, and Page are missing. God knows, they get enough coverage elsewhere.
So, again in no particular order, here they are.
Kid Charlemagne – Larry Carlton, Steely Dan.
Carlton shredding over jazz pop fusion is one reason The Royal Scam will always be Steely Dan’s best album.
A Point in the Distance – Bob Spencer, Skyhooks
Little known track from 1970s Australian band, Skyhooks. A great solo is always enhanced by meaningful lyrics, as in this song about reunion with friends left behind.
Back in Business – Angus Young, AC/DC
Wait, don’t you mean ‘Back in Black’? No. That’s a great solo, but I’m trying to avoid the obvious. This hidden gem is buried at track #9 on one of AC/DC’s least popular albums. It rocks.
Lines on my Face – Peter Frampton
Frampton was a pop idol in the 70s, but he was no airhead. This highlight from the double live album features not one but four guitar solos. No wonder Bowie hired him to play guitar on his 1987 world tour.
Hocus Pocus – Jan Ackerman
The actual guitar solo may not be perfect, but really the entire song is a solo. A crazy piece of Dutch prog from the 70s.
Profession of Violence – Paul Chapman
Always in the shadow of Michael Schenker, the man he replaced, this emotive end solo is a highlight of Chapman’s time in UFO.
Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers – Jeff Beck
Beck has probably got better solos, but this one stands out from the pack, just as it did on the Blow By Blow album.
Mrs Pressure – Roy Buchanan
I wanted to get something by Buchanan on here. Could’ve picked ‘After Hours’ or ‘The Messiah Will Come Again,’ but I’ll go with this instrumental he named after his old piano teacher. You can hear why Beck thanked Roy for showing him the ‘violin sound’ volume knob trick.
We Will Be Strong – Scott Gorham, Snowy White, Thin Lizzy
Opening track from the unfairly maligned Chinatown album, this features the trademark Lizzy two guitar sound.
Heaven and Hell – Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath
OK, I put one of his solos in the metal list, but so what? This is payback for all the years the Sabbath master was ignored by mainstream guitar mags. I’ll stick Tony’s solo in here to round off my top ten.
Can you spot the influences?
I’ve been influenced by all these fine players, so I’ll take the liberty of linking to some solos from the new Lighthouse XIII album, Cultown. Click on the audio samples on the right of the page.
Cultown is a ‘music novel,’ a book with its own original soundtrack album by Lighthouse XIII. It is available in Australia from www.vortexwinder.com, and will be released internationally in March. To order, contact firstname.lastname@example.org