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BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Top 50 Worst Guitar Solos of the Millennium


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What would possess us to compile the worst guitar solos in history? I mean, come on, it's no great feat to list the best guitar solos ever. Just put Hendrix, Page, Clapton, and Gilmour in the Top 10 and everyone's happy. It's obscuring reality somewhat, but it's convenient.

The worst guitar solos, on the other hand, don't get talked about much. I know I left out plenty of deserving guitar dudes on this list (there's a lot of hammered shit out there, y'know). I took care to exclude bozos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and John McLaughlin because, frankly, their styles seem to have less to do with pure rock-n-roll than that of say, Eddie Van Halen. Anyway, it's a good bet that some of you will consider some or all of these solos the best of all time. For those about to sulk, we at Pitchfork salute you.

Pitchfork Media

Here's a teaser, number 50 is from Motorhead.

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  1. "Let It Rain" by Derek and the Dominos

Soloist: Eric Clapton

Album: Derek and the Dominos In Concert

Year: 1973

3. "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" by Ten Years After

Soloist: Alvin Lee

Album: Ssssh

Year: 1969

2. "Song of the Wind" by Santana

Soloist: Carlos Santana

Album: Caravanserai

Year: 1972

Nope, no "Oye Como Va" here, just some static atmospheric background music and Santana's irrepressible latin- tinged blues soloing. No memorable riffs. No hooks. I think he did a similar experimental album with the Mahavishnu Orchestra's John McLaughlin. On Caravanserai, Santana explores his "spiritual" and "artistic" side. Which means he loses himself in extended blues- scale ejaculatory sequences. At various points in "Song of the Wind" he pulls a tandem jerk-off session with none other than-- gasp!-- Neal Schon!

11. "Willie the Pimp" by Frank Zappa

Soloist: Frank Zappa

Album: Hot Rats

Year: 1969

Soloist: Jeff Beck

Album: Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop

Year: 1989

Although Jeff Beck's always been just a tad overrated...

32. "Sweet Jane" by Lou Reed

Soloist: Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner

Album: Rock 'N' Roll Animal

Year: 1974

I believe mercenary Steve Hunter, along with fellow partner- in- wankery Dick Wagner, collaborated with that horror guy Alice Cooper for a while. While in the service of Lou Reed, Hunter and Wagner's obnoxious proto- metal chops murdered old Velvets tunes, making them sound more like... um... Alice Cooper songs. Hunter and Wagner rape poor "Sweet Jane" by writing a pompous, extended "intro" and soloing their asses off. Complete and total disregard for the simple beauty of a rock classic, here.

I once thought this was a pretty impressive guitar solo. Then I read somewhere that Gilmour painstakingly sliced up a few different versions of the solo, and meticulously pieced them together in the studio. Okay, maybe you need a few takes to get it right, but this is preposterous. After all, what are we dealing with here? Rock 'n' roll or gene- splicing?

39. "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin

Soloist: Jimmy Page

Album: Led Zeppelin

Year: 1969

Page uses a bow on his Les Paul here, becoming rock's first lead cellist.

42. "Cold Shot" by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Soloist: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Album: Live Alive

Year: 1986

Okay, GIT students, here's the song and solo transcribed: Got somethin' cold somethin', yank, yank, yank, moan, plod, plod, moan, yank, yank. Overrated City, pal. Vaughan solos rarely varied; he used the same accents, and always soloed for the same egregious length of time......Stevie Ray is responsible for influencing legions of solo- happy Texas- style blues guitarists (Ian Moore, Jonny Lang, et. al.) who need a shitload of notes to get the job done. Funny thing is how old bluesmen like Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker were able to say so much more with much less technical prowess and mere handfuls of notes. 

Huh? This writer is absolutely out of his mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an idiot..

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I disagree with almost all of them

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Huh?  This writer is absolutely out of his mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What an idiot..

I haven't reviewed this, but I have to agree with DAIC. I have that Jeff Beck album and IMO, it happens to be quite good. Not everything needs to sound like E. Van Halen. I'm sure there will be many more disappointments when I read it.

:psychofun:

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Firstly, why the hell is it titled "..of the Millenium" when all solos are limited to the past 40 years-or so?

Secondly, I have to say I like their style - dis loads of well-established guitarists and watch the comments come in, the traffic statistcs rise and the advertising revenue increase also.

Huh? This writer is absolutely out of his mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an idiot.

Thirdly, am I to assume then, that anyone who's opinion you disagree with, is an "idiot?"

Lastly, where's the Hendrix solos? if anyone was deserving of being overrated it is surely he.

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QUOTE (Mr Mercedes)

:rotfl:

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  • 2 weeks later...
Firstly, why the hell is it titled "..of the Millenium" when all solos are limited to the past 40 years-or so?

Secondly, I have to say I like their style - dis loads of well-established guitarists and watch the comments come in, the traffic statistcs rise and the advertising revenue increase also.

Huh? This writer is absolutely out of his mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an idiot.

Thirdly, am I to assume then, that anyone who's opinion you disagree with, is an "idiot?"

Lastly, where's the Hendrix solos? if anyone was deserving of being overrated it is surely he.

I'd say he was an ASSHOLE for this idiotic remark alone:

35. "Magic Man" by Heart

Soloist: Roger Fisher

Album: Dreamboat Annie

Year: 1976

I shouldn't even have to explain this one. God, who on the planet hasn't been subjected to this grating instrumental break? As we all know, the heavy rockin' Wilson sisters influenced a legion of equally- feminine '80s copycats: Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue, etc. Then, sadly, one of the Wilson sisters began retaining a bit of water. Game over.

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Thirdly, am I to assume then, that anyone who's opinion you disagree with, is an "idiot?"

:lol: No, but you might qualify...

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Firstly, why the hell is it titled "..of the Millenium" when all solos are limited to the past 40 years-or so?

Secondly, I have to say I like their style - dis loads of well-established guitarists and watch the comments come in, the traffic statistcs rise and the advertising revenue increase also.

Huh? This writer is absolutely out of his mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What an idiot.

Thirdly, am I to assume then, that anyone who's opinion you disagree with, is an "idiot?"

Lastly, where's the Hendrix solos? if anyone was deserving of being overrated it is surely he.

Hello Mr Stuzb, we're finally ready to do your long-needed lobotomy. We're quite sorry for the delay, but it's been difficult finding someone qualified to do the extensive work that your extreme condition requires. However, we've found the right man for the job, and I have to say, he's quite anxious to get started. So just count slowly to 10, if you're still able, while we administer the anesthetic. And rest assured you're in good hands with the famous Dr. Dude, who's cranking up the chainsaw now...........

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Luckily the edges arent sharpened...yet :rotfl:

Perhaps I will be benevolent and pass along the assignment-since its a Tuesday, there is someone else in our midst who is more qualified to do the job r.i.p.

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ah, how lovely <_>

To paraphrase (someone far more intelligent than most): "the essence of sleight of hand... is distraction and mis-direction, and those who beleive that through their own perspicacity have defined your hidden purposes, well, look no further"

So just count slowly to 10, if you're still able

...0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111, 1000, 1001, 1010.

Res ipsa loquitur :P

Thirdly, am I to assume then, that anyone who's opinion you disagree with, is an "idiot?"

No, but you might qualify...

:lol: and this you think is an insult? :lol:

We're quite sorry for the delay, but it's been difficult finding someone qualified to do the extensive work that your extreme condition requires.

Erm, it's merely severing of nerve pathways, I struggle to see how this could benefit anyone's intelligence? ...but then again I have knowledge on my side.

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:lol: Now you are getting into the spirit of things, Stubby..
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Erm, it's merely severing of nerve pathways, I struggle to see how this could benefit anyone's intelligence? ...but then again I have knowledge on my side.

Ah, Mr Stuzb, please don't get your hopes up too high. We never promised added intelligence *chuckle*. We know that there's as much chance of finding that in the old gourd as finding Bushie's WMD's, but we'll dig around for both anyway. But for heaven's sake, if you're keeping intelligence on your side, please allow us to put it on top where it should have originally gone. Maybe the Hendrix appreciation can be achieved yet!

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  • 1 year later...
17. "More Than a Feeling" by Boston

Soloist: Tom Scholz

Album: Boston

Year: 1976

Are they men or machines? Musicians or mathematicians? Girlish MIT grads do not good rockers make. These second rate lab- coats squeezed the lifeblood out of rock while making millions in the process. They loved that dated guitar harmonizing thing, which is about as interesting, if you think about it, as watching synchronized swimming. Somehow this solo always makes me think of of getting a cavity filled. It causes that bitter metallic taste to resurface in my mouth. Then my mind fills with the high- pitched buzz of a dentist's drill. That's the beauty of Boston, baby.

It wasn't a "bad" solo. I agree it isn't exactly the best, but I think he just wasn't a fan of the band, as is evident by his disdain for their "image" as "rockers" (whatever that means). On that point, I think he's a fucking idiot and should go back to shooting up heroin while getting snake tattoos on his back. Stop writing jerk-off.

Boston was a technically sound band. They could play their instruments with the best of them.

2. "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Soloist: Gary Rossington, Ed King, Allen Collins

Album: Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd

Year: 1973

Unless you're Forrest Gump, this isn't much of a surprise. This impotent three- pronged hillbilly guitar attack is exhausting to say the least. "Well, damn, bitch! They fingers bled on that thar solo," Junior Samples says. Well, I slammed my fingers in a car door when I was seven. They bled. That wasn't too bright, and neither is the soloing on one of the most revered rock compositions in history. For a solo that's supposed to be akin to a spontaneous "backyard jam," it sounds forced and phlegmatic as hell. A couple of years before, Neil Young (Skynyrd's arch enemy) recorded the ideal blueprint for long- playing guitar sparring matches on "Down by the River." The more you hear "Free Bird" the more evident it becomes how bereft of ideas these bloated, attitudinal hickoids really were.

Who cares if it was forced or contrived? It still sounded good.

Most of the selections from this article have to do with the author's contempt for everything but the solo.

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OK, after 2 years, I have finally finished reviewing this.

Agree with the guy on the following:

46. "Radioactive" by the Firm

Soloist: Jimmy Page

Album: Radioactive

Year: 1985

44. "Cuts Like a Knife" by Bryan Adams

Soloist: Bryan Adams

Album: Cuts Like a Knife

Year: 1983

39. "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin

Soloist: Jimmy Page

Album: Led Zeppelin

Year: 1969

35. "Magic Man" by Heart

Soloist: Roger Fisher

Album: Dreamboat Annie

Year: 1976

26. "Ballbreaker" by AC/DC

Soloist: Angus Young

Album: Ballbreaker

Year: 1995

20. "When I See You Smile" by Bad English

Soloist: Neal Schon

Album: Bad English

Year: 1989

15. "Shooting Star" by Bad Company

Soloist: Mick Ralphs

Album: Straight Shooter

Year: 1975

Have to disagree on the following, however:

50. "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead

Soloist: "Fast" Eddie Clarke

Album: Ace of Spades

Year: 1980

47. "I Was Made for Lovin' You" by Kiss

Soloist: Ace Frehley

Album: Dynasty

Year: 1979

43. "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd

Soloist: David Gilmour

Album: The Wall

Year: 1979

40. "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" by Joan Jett

Soloist: Joan Jett

Album: I Love Rock 'N' Roll

Year: 1981

38. "Burnin' for You" by the Blue Oyster Cult

Soloist: Donald Roeser

Album: Fire of Unknown Origin

Year: 1981

30. "Big Block" by Jeff Beck

Soloist: Jeff Beck

Album: Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop

Year: 1989

29. "Anastasia (Pulling Teeth)" by Metallica

Soloist: Cliff Burton

Album: Kill 'Em All

Year: 1983

23. "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake

Soloist: Adrian Vandenberg

Album: Whitesnake

Year: 1987

21. "Tush" by ZZ Top

Soloist: Billy Gibbons

Album: Fandango

Year: 1975

18. "Hold the Line" by Toto

Soloist: Steve Lukather

Album: Toto

Year: 1978

17. "More Than a Feeling" by Boston

Soloist: Tom Scholz

Album: Boston

Year: 1976

16. "Marathon" by Rush

Soloist: Alex Lifeson

Album: Power Windows

Year: 1985

13. "No One Like You" by the Scorpions

Soloist: Matthias Jabs

Album: Blackout

Year: 1982

8. "Do You Feel Like We Do" by Peter Frampton

Soloist: Peter Frampton

Album: Frampton Comes Alive

Year: 1976

7. "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner

Soloist: Mick Jones

Album: Double Vision

Year: 1978

2. "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Soloist: Gary Rossington, Ed King, Allen Collins

Album: Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd

Year: 1973

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you guys spelled out a lot of great guitar work as being bad. but the guitar solo in the Tom Petty song. Running down a Dream,, it truly sucks. i been playing giutar for many years now and let me say ,, that guitar solo in Running down a Dream. is really bad... Can I do Better?? yes with no hands too.. so my vote goes to this one TP Tune

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I forgot to point out that the author began his article by calling guitar genius John McLaughlin a bozo - as if being a bozo has anything to do with guitar playing, which is beside the point.

I'm so sorry that Stubby left the forum. The guy was an interesting contradiction - he didn't like the fact that I own a used Mercedes, as if that meant I was bourgeois - the irony is that the poor guys walks around in life thinking about market share, to the point that he praises the joke of a critic above for creating controversy and potential enrichment for making stupid comments. The dick probably wrote the article.

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Umma:

QUOTE(Stuzb @ Jul 31 2004, 11:35 AM)

QUOTE (Mr Mercedes)

:rotfl:

:lol::lol::lol:

How the hell did I miss this 2 yrs ago. :lol:

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I hadn't noticed before that this was the end of stubz's membership.

You're a mean man Mr. Mercedes.

[there's today's tongue twister kids]

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Dude: malcontented malicious membership murdering mean man mister mercedes

and that's on a good day. :lol:

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I definitely think Neil Young's "rockin in the free world" should be on this list. It's the most horrible solo I think I've ever heard.

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I definitely think Neil Young's "rockin in the free world" should be on this list. It's the most horrible solo I think I've ever heard.

I'm a Neil Young fan and I agree with your assessment.

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Umma:

:lol::lol::lol:

How the hell did I miss this 2 yrs ago. :lol:

Don't know - I thought Kooperman's retort was classic :)

Ah, Mr Stuzb, please don't get your hopes up too high. We never promised added intelligence *chuckle*. We know that there's as much chance of finding that in the old gourd as finding Bushie's WMD's, but we'll dig around for both anyway. But for heaven's sake, if you're keeping intelligence on your side, please allow us to put it on top where it should have originally gone. Maybe the Hendrix appreciation can be achieved yet!

And Redneck, you forgot misanthropic :)

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