100 Greatest Guitar Things Of The Last 25 Years

Guitarist magazine celebrates its 25th Anniversary this issue with a special Collector's Edition, on sale now.

The bumper magazine comes in a special wallet, containing a stunning fold-out cover featuring some of best gear of the last 25 years. Want to see how they did the cover? Check out this behind-the-scenes video:

The cover feature is The 100 Greatest Guitar Things Of The Last 25 Years – a massive 18-page celebration of gear, artists, albums and more. MusicRadar and members of The Guitarist team will be revealing parts of the list throughout the week. Read on for the first 10 excerpts we've chosen to whet your appetite…


10 things from the list


92. The Apple iPhone

IT, phone home

The myriad applications for Apple's wonder gizmo include interactive chord dictionaries, guitar tuners and much, much more. With an integrated iPod it'll even play mp3s for your backing tracks too.


87. Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi

Giving rock a good name

The New Jersey quintet shot into the stratosphere back in August 1986 with this album. Two chest-thumping anthems, a tear-jerking ballad and a ditty about steel horses helped Bon Jovi bring rock back to the masses. Richie Sambora rebirthed the talk box and went pinch-harmonic potty.

76. James Trussart Rusty Holey Steelcaster
So wrong, it's right

Rusty, hollow, metal and full of holes? The concept is barking mad, but the reality is bloomin' magnificent! One of only two guitars that every single member of the Guitarist team wants for themselves. The other one would be entry number 65…


66. 1984 by Van Halen
A diamond in the rough…

Thanks largely to the phenomenally successful single Jump, this is Van Halen's most commercially successful outing. Another highlight is Sir Ed's inventive use of the obscure Kramer Ripley Stereo guitar on Top Jimmy.


59. Line 6 AxSys 212
The first of a plethora of modelling amps

Founded by Michel Doidic and Marcus Ryle in 1996, Line 6 became the leader in digital amp modelling, revolutionising the whole amp world. This 2 x 12 combo, reviewed in December 1996, was the genre's first serious commercial offering. It sounded good by 1996 standards, but the front panel and menus were utterly baffling. Valve purists remain unmoved, but the jack-of-all-trades convenience of DM amps is the more compelling argument – the sales figures speak for themselves.

51. Guitar Hero
Plastic fantastic

It might provoke sneers of derision from diehard guitar nuts, but the fact is Guitar Hero – and indeed Rock Band – have exposed a new generation to the wealth of amazing guitar music out there. What's not
to like about that, eh?


43. Marshall JMP-1
Rack 'n' ruin

This unassuming four-mode tube preamp was the shortcut to obtaining the whole world of Marshall tones past and present. All three Iron Maiden guitarists still use the unit as the core of their sounds, as has the Guitarist CD on occasion.


38. Squier Standard Stratocaster
Bringing in the young 'uns

Following the vintage-derived Japanese Squiers of 1982, 1985's Standard emerged with an updated feature set, soon becoming the first affordable yet quality step on the ladder of classic guitar veneration for countless players.

25. Yngwie Malmsteen
Stockholm is where the heart is

Word gets around when a new hot-shot hits the streets, and the arrival of the Swedish neo-classicist and his jaw-dropping 1984 debut Rising Force caused those who place technique above all else to finally find their Messiah. "Trying to determine who picks more notes per second is ridiculous," he said. "What is important is the quality of the music." Tell it to the hand, dude.


13. The Compact Disc
The shape of things to come

They were around in 1982, but the CD didn't arrive properly until 1985, when Brothers In Arms went platinum. It hasn't looked back – with improved durability, sound quality and convenience, it became a true universal medium – even in the face of MiniDiscs, DVDs and mp3s. But will it survive another 25 years?


For the full list, see Guitarist issue 323, December 2009. On sale now!


Comment on Facebook