Time to geek out: Even though we're old metalheads 'round these parts, we don't believe in soloing for the hell of it or just because you can. The song is always king in our book. But sometimes nothing is more inspiring or exciting to hear than an able six-stringer chokin' that baby AND bringing the song to new heights. The following do it for us (in chronological order):
Neil Young Everybody Knows This is Nowhere [Reprise-1969]
Ah, the one-note solo. Awesome. And we too, could probably be happy for the rest of our lives with a cinnamon girl.
"Since I've Been Loving You"
Led Zeppelin III [Atlantic-1970]
Sure, he could sometimes be a little bit on the sloppy side with his soloing but, damn, this is some killer shit Jimmy Page is playing here. Although we've listed the original seek out the live version from How The West Was Won [Atlantic-2003] or even The Song Remains The Same [Swan Song-1976] concert movie. (The soundtrack does not include the song.) Plus, according to a recent confession, our taking a younger, more talented sibling to a midnight showing of TSRTS, helped indoctrinate him in the ways of the six-string. So, there's that.
The Knack Get The Knack [Capitol-1979]
Bert Averre simply kicks ass with a tasty, lyrical solo that's practically a song onto itself.
"Driven To Tears"
The Police Zenyatta Mondatta [A&M-1980]
As his post-Police jazz albums demonstrate, Andy Summers is a very underrated guitarist. This track features some cool out licks of the kind more commonly associated with fellow guitarist and collaborator, King Crimson leader Robert Fripp. If you can find a copy of the long out-of-print new wave compilation Urgh! A Music War [A&M-1981] check out the fiery live version included.
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
Guns 'N Roses Appetite For Destruction [Geffen-1987]
After years of forced exile, overnight the wah-wah pedal was rendered cool again thanks to Slash and this track. The solo is a two-parter: a faux classical start that builds up and leads into a ballsy conclusion that rocks so hard you forget this was a ballad you were listening to. Yeah.
"I Want You To Want Me"
Cheap Trick Live At Budokan [Epic-1979]
Crunchy and tasty, fits the song to a T. Loved it. Still do.
Smashing Pumpkins Gish [Caroline-1991]
Billy Corgan's scorching solos towards the end of this tune still make our day.
"Sick Of Myself"
Matthew Sweet 100% Fun [Zoo-1995]
One of our favorite songs of the '90s and home of one of the most loud, raucous, joyous, grin-inducing guitar solos ever captured on tape, courtesy of former Television guitarist Richard Lloyd. "One more time", indeed.