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Solos that speak

BCR Greg

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Aside from the general wanking that can occur, name some guitar solos that really get to you.

For me, the Brian May's effort on "Killer Queen" STILL makes me stop and listen. The solo in Tesla's "Love Song" is another. "I remember you" by Skid Row is another.

Not fancy or fast, just TASTEFUL.

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For me, the Brian May's effort on "Killer Queen" STILL makes me stop and listen.

Amen to that. I am a huge Brian May fan. I always try to get anything to sound like his guitar, and I've never gotten close enough to even fake it. Anyway, I also love his solo work on live versions of "Now I'm Here." I love that song.

SRV's "Riviera Paradise" and "Little Wing" are definitely among the greatest guitar solos of all time, in my humble opinion.

I also like a lot of Steely Dan solos.

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There's Rocky Mountain Way, Sweet Emotion and then that Peter Frampton tune...

...we're not talking about "speaking solos"?

Solos that are memorable to me include "I Want You To Want Me"-not overly complex, but fun, it fits the song perfectly and I think it sounds great-same with "Just What I Needed" by the Cars and "Tattooed Love Boys" by the Pretenders.

There are thousands of solos that turn my head around, but the one from "Crazy Train" still takes me back to the first time I heard it. "Rainbow in the Dark" is another. Good lord that guy could play fast.

Edited to add that Brian May alone has more than his share of classic solos and phrases. The epitome of guitar tone to me.

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While no song in particular, but any solos off the follwing Saxon albums:

Wheels Of Steel

Strong Arm Of The Law

Denim And Leather

This is pre wanking at its best, and the guy's tone is unusal. I believe it is a Strat, but not real sure.

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Two that come to mind are Slash on Sweet Child of Mine and Mark Knofler on Brothers in Arms.

I wish that I could do 0.5% of that!


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Most of the solos found through the latter Beatles catelog are devoid of any wanking. Many are simply spot on musically. There are really too many to list but a few that come to mind include the breaks in Something, Tax Man, Get Back, and the long but exquisit lead by Clapton in While My Guitar Genty Weeps.

"Speaking" is a perfect term because in so many cases, a great solo is phrased as a person would sing. This is in stark contrast to to the yodeling heard in much of R&R.

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Tesla's Love song is a good one, Greg.

Hearing John Petrucci's solo in "Under a Glass Moon" from Dream Theater amazes me everytime I hear it. He crams so many techniques into the solo it's scary. Blues, whammy tricks, crazy picking.

I always liked Clapton's "Forever Man" solo.

The solo in "Jenny" from Tommy Tutone is quite memorable too, LOL.

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The solo in "Smoke on the Water" gets me every time I hear it.

It's probably one of the tastiest solos you'll ever hear.

Maybe that's why everyone that has ever held a guitar tries to learn the intro part.

"Dun dun dun....dun dun DUN-DUN...dun dun dun...dun dun..."

Wait a minute...that's "Dun dun dun..." No..."Dun dun DUN..."


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The live or the studio version? I prefer the studio version of that one. More "moody".

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I really can't argue with ANY of the ones mentioned. But I have to add Mark Knopfler in Sultans of Swing and David Gilmour in Time and several cuts off of The Wall. Just incredible stuff.

And I still think that Peter Frampton's solos on his so-called "live" album are some of the tastiest ever.

I hate to say to a lesser degree, but.... to a lesser degree I think Jimmy Page's solo on Stairway is timeless.

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David Gilmour on "Comfortably Numb" Oh, by the way, which one's Pink?

Mark Knopfler - Sultans, Romeo, Tunnel, Brothers., etc.

Martin on "Aqualung"

Carlos on "Europa"

too many from Steely Dan to list...

Dicky Betts on "Jessica", etc.

Danny Kirwin (Fltwd Mac) on "Sands of Time" (one of my favorite songs of all time)

Tommy Bolin on "Alexis" etc.

Satriani on "I Believe"

Jorma Kaukonen "Genesis", etc.

Pat Metheny - too many

Doug Boyle on Plant's "Ship of Fools"

I guess Bela Fleck doesn't qualify :-(

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Guest galejt

That have stood up over the years....?

Hendrix: "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", Electric Ladyland

Derringer: "Back in the U.S.A.", Edgar Winter's White Trash, Roadwork

and in the Jazz realm

Ralph Towner: "Nimbus", Solstice (if you have never heard this, drop me a line).


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Alex Lifeson - Limelight.....it's exactly what a solo ought to be, every note exactly where it ought to be, sweeping bends and harmonic delights.

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Leslie West, just about every one, but standouts are the solos on Mississippi Queen and Theme From an Imaginary Western;

Jeff Beck - People Get Ready

Gary Moore - Parisienne Walkways, Still Got the Blues

Duane Allman and Dicky Betts - Jessica (or is it Melissa?) you know, the one where the harmony solo part shifts to a different tempo and time signature and the wole band just nails it.

Richard Thompson - She Twists the Knife Again

B.B. King - every time he starts a solo by sliding up to the root/octave on the high e string and shakes it with that perfect B.B. vibrato.

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Wow, the list could be endless, but these songs still haunt me because of the solos.

1) George Lynch on Dokken's - Until I Know (slight return)

2) SRV - Little Wing

3) Hendrix - Voodoo Chile

4) Clapton - Sunshine Of Your Love

5) Michael Hedges - Ritual Dance

6) Gilmour - Comfortably Numb

7) Vai did one on the double live album, forget the name at the moment, but WOW! His timing was so sick on that one that it scares me.

8) Rowan Robertson's work on Dio's Lock Up The Wolves was fantastic.

Those off the top of my head, the list goes on and on.

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My drummer just requested we cover Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne", and I'm learning Larry Carlton's solo. That's a killer solo over interesthing changes, and one of my favorites. Other favorite Steely Dan solos include "Don't Take Me Alive" and of course, "Reelin' in the Years".


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