Back in 2007, Machine Head released their epic masterpiece, The Blackening. When this album came out, it was on constant rotation for me for quite some time. I’ll never forget putting the album on and when it got to the song “Halo,” I was compelled to play it again and again and again. Not only was this song a stand out and totally monumental in the bands catalog but, the guitar solo is totally hypnotic. The dueling guitars and harmonies by Robb Flynn and Phil Demmel are astounding. When this album was released, I found myself needing to go see Machine Head live so I could hear this song live. “Halo” live is not only a staple live, it’s one of those songs that when it’s played live, it absolutely gets the crowd going. So, take a few moments and let this song take over and the guitar solo hit you hard.
By now I’m sure everyone knows about Temple Of The Dog. The one off band/album that was created by the late Chris Cornell as a tribute to the late Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone. Of course everyone know about the song “Hunger Strike” and the classic pseudo-duet between Cornell and Eddie Vedder. There is one song though on the album that has always stuck out to me and that is the opening track, “Reach Down.” This is one of the songs that is directly influenced by the death of Andy Wood but, that’s not the reason why it hit me. It’s the badass guitar solo that is in it. The solo which was done by Mike McCready (of Pearl Jam) is over 5 and a half minute long and it’s sensational. According to the story, this Temple Of The Dog album, was also the first recording studio experience for both McCready and Vedder. Regarding McCready, Cornell said, “You almost kind of had to yell at him to get him to realize that in the five-and-a-half-minute solo of ‘Reach Down’, that was his time and that he wasn’t going to be stepping on anybody else.” And the end result, well, you’ll just have to take it all in.
Metallica’s “Black Album” is quite a classic at this point. Not only did it mark a shift in style but, it’s also a game changer. Think about it, it truly is a game changing album when you examine the album. That’s a topic for a different day and one that will come up soon on Audioeclectica. There are a ton of songs on that album that deserve more acclaim and to be played live. One song that has been a staple for the most part since the album was released in 1991 is “The Unforogiven.” That song is absolutely epic. The melodic nature of the song and power that is emitted in this one is astounding. The other thing about this song that stands out is the guitar solo. Damn this solo is so good. Kirk Hammett really nailed a perfect complimentary solo to go along with the song. The video is pretty awesome too.
I still remember the first time my parents played Cream for me. They had a best of Cream playing and the song “White Room” came on and I was hooked but, it wasn’t until a couple songs later that I became mesmerized and that was when “Crossroads” came on. Holy hell that song is spectacular. Everything about this song is perfect. Plus, Clapton’s solo on it, well, that’s a whole other league of its own. And on top of that, the fact that Cream was a three piece and they created a sound this huge, just goes to show how damn good they were. Check out Cream playing “Crossroads” from their Reunion show Live At Royal Albert Hall in 2005.
Cream- Crossroads (Live At Royal Albert Hall, 2005):
The Doors have long been a huge favorite of mine. They were one of the first bands I ever heard as a kid and have stuck with me since that point. When you look back at their catalog, there is a plethora of amazing songs hidden amongst all the songs you know. Even the ones you know, certain ones tend to become a bit underrated or under appreciated. For example “When The Music’s Over,” from their second album Strange Days, is definitely one that fits both that. Plus, on top of that, Robby Krieger’s guitar solo in this song, is superb. It’s got this amazing psychedelic sound that twists and turns in a way that slithers through your body, just as Jim Morrison would.
There is a really distinct sound about the way David Gilmour plays guitar. The way he picks the right tones and chords is truly astounding. He is beyond a master at his craft and this song is a perfect example of that. The solo for “Comfortably Numb” is one that you could seriously put on repeat and go for a long drive and just let it take over. It’s soothing yet impactful and full of beautiful melody. David Gilmour truly outdid himself on this one.
Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb:
David Gilmour-Comfortably Numb (Live At Pompeii 2016):
Simply put, John Frusciante is a guitar legend. He is seriously amazing. Over the years, I’ve really come to love his input in the band and style he brings. This song, is off their album By The Way, which is quite underrated for many reasons. One of them being that, this is a very John driven album. “Don’t Forget Me” is one of the best songs on the album and it’s one of the bands best too. Just so happens to be a favorite of mine too. I could have easily put this in the alternate versions section but, this solo is just so damn good, it has to go here. So, enjoy what you are about to witness and hear!
Jimmy Page is a master of his craft without a doubt. Led Zeppelin is for sure one of the best bands ever and beyond inspirational and influential. Their album Presence, is one of the most overlooked albums in rock history. That is something I never will understand. Over the years, I’ve really come to love that album and all that it has to offer. “Achilles Last Stand” is truly one of the best songs the band ever wrote and I’d even go as far to say that it’s better than “Stairway To Heaven.” When you listen to this song, you truly get swept away by the sheer force and magnitude of it’s rock. Plus, the solo’s that are featured on this song are astounding.
Led Zeppelin- Achilles Last Stand (Live in Los Angeles 1977):
This topic is quite fun to do. Going back and listening to these songs, especially the solos, has been pretty cool. When you really take the time to listen to the structure of the solo and how it’s played, it’s no wonder these are considered the best of all time. Obviously, this topic can’t go on without acknowledging “Eruption” by Van Halen. So here it is.
Van Halen- Eruption:
When I first started this topic I could have very easily picked this song to be the first one featured. Between “Hotel California” and “Free Bird,” it’s really all a matter of preference as to which one usually gets picked as the all time best. There is certainly a case for “Free Bird” to be the all time great. There is a bit of fun history that comes with this song too. When writing the song, the guitar solos that finish the song were added originally to give singer Ronnie Van Zant a chance to rest his voice, as the band was playing several sets per night at clubs at the time. This solo is truly on another level and still to this day is iconic. Like “Hotel California,” it’s very memorable and you can sing along to the solo. I know every time I hear this song, it makes me want to play air drums or air guitar along with it.