Nev's top guitar solos...
We know this is contentious, but is that not what blogging is all about? A while ago I was asked to contribute 15 solos to a Top 100 that Total Guitar was compiling.
They already had the list chosen and I simply selected those I fancied writing about, so here they are (three here and three there building up to the final GRAND TROIS!
If you fancy adding your own, why not cut and paste this format, replace my words with yours and let the world see which solos have floated your boat.
Here's my first trio of offerings...
Track: Goodbye To Love
Artist: The Carpenters
Who played it: Tony Peluso
UK chart position: 9
Why it rocks: In one move Tony Peluso creates the perfect spicy foil for Karen Carpenter’s sugary vocal and provides the precedent for all rock-style guitar solos in weepy ballads. Tone’s tone may be a bit on the fuzzy side, but check out that outro solo where he nails every chord perfectly. A giant of a solo!
Find it on: The Singles: 1969-1981
Did you know? Not all Carpenters’ fans liked Peluso’s solo. Richard Carpenter: “Tony’s solo is one of the best in recording history, but it did provoke some hate mail from people who claimed we had sold out and gone HARD ROCK!”
Track: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Artist: The Beatles
Who played it: Eric Clapton
UK chart position: 1 (The White Album)
Why it rocks: This fabulous solo shows another facet of Clapton’s playing: the ability to fit in as a session guitarist on someone else’s song. Clapton uses slowly let-down three-fret bends laced with heavy vibrato to evoke the weeping guitar of George’s lyrics. As with so many solos on this list, you can sing it from start to finish.
Did you know? Eric Clapton used a Les Paul Goldtop refinished in cherry red for this solo. He then gave the guitar to Harrison, it was later stolen and George had to trade another vintage Les Paul to get it back!
Track: Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Artist: Jeff Beck
Who played it: Jeff Beck
UK chart position: Didn’t chart
Why it rocks: This minor key Stevie Wonder instrumental begins with Jeff using the ‘violining’ effect on his Strat, ‘swelling’ the notes using the guitar’s volume control. In typically inventive style Beck wrenches the notes from his guitar, pulling and bending strings, switching pickups and adding reverb. A trade show demonstrator’s favourite!
Find it on: Blow By Blow
Did you know? Stevie Wonder had promised Beck his track Superstition, but Motown Records felt it was just too good to give away. Stevie recorded it on his album Talking Book and donated this track by way of recompense.