Author Topic: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time  (Read 7037 times)

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Offline TheSunshineFund

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The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« on: May 16, 2018, 08:55:41 pm »
As someone whose guitar skills lie somewhere on the spectrum between  <Walter> and LMDave, I am an authority on this topic Kappa .  I tried to stay away from obvious Hendrix, Page, Clapton (oops) and yet give a nice wintry mix of styles however.  Without further adieu, the favorite 5 guitar solos of all-time according to the fund which distributes glorious sunbeams.

1.  Fin - Pavement (Stephen Malkmus) -

Still hits me in the feels every time I hear it after all these years, literal goosebumps.  The last great Pavement song they recorded.  A perfect combination of noise/feedback and classic guitar lines.  I've seen it performed live a few times and while great still never captures the exact feel of the recorded version.  The way Malkmus weaves in and out of chaos (pick scrapes, intentional mishits, etc), coupled with the brilliant rhythm lines played beneath it, results in a gorgeous amalgam of sound.  Really interesting and creative solo and one of the few songs he played in standard tuning, I only wish he kept playing instead of fading it out.  I recommend staying until the end and turning the end up to hear the fading out portions as well.

3:00 - end


2.  Kid Charlemagne - Steely Dan (Larry Carlton) -

Larry Carlton makes the very complex seem trivial.  I've thought about going ahead and trying to learn this solo but each time I get annoyed and stop because I come nowhere near the cleanliness that Carlton oozes on these scales. Steely Dan always intrigued me because I always thought of them as the first indie rock band because likely no one knew what to make of them when they first heard Reelin in the Years on the radio, bought the album and all the other songs sounded nothing alike, it must have been fairly comical I imagine.  They were never be able to be put in some kind of a tidy box of exactly what they were, I describe them to people as Jazz Music for People who don't like Jazz.  In any case, their rotation of great guest guitarists that seemed to always stay within the confines of the song, from the insanely quick pull offs of Elliot Randall on Green Earrings and Reelin in the Years to very thoughtful work of Carlton, they always managed to offer something unique because of their unique rotation of musicians.  It's not Eddie Van Halen ripping fast through a solo, but it's as impressive if you go try to play it nonetheless and highly creative.

2:16 - 3:10


3.  Get Me - Dinosaur Jr (J. Mascis) -

It was difficult to choose one Mascis solo since he puts one sometimes two in every song and manages to do so without it seeming forced, but I went with the one that my wife asks me to turn up the volume on whenever it comes up on my iPod.  She prefers folk music so if a loud af solo actually makes her want to crank it up, it must really be good.  I've always thought of Mascis as our (indie rock) Jimi Hendrix, who also was able to perform outrageous guitar feats without it feeling outside the song.  I also didn't learn until recently that Mascis played all the instruments on most of Dinosaur's albums as well.  I could have went with any number of his solos and I recommend checking them out (Feel the Pain, I Don't Think So, Out There, Start Choppin' and lots more).  Heck, there's a few solos just within this song, I chose the final one.

4:04 - End


4.  Badge - Cream (Eric Clapton) -

I remember as a young lad taking a car ride from NJ to Florida with my family.  I was maybe 7 or 8 at the time and just starting to buy records and tapes.  As a sufferer of motion sickness, I could never read/write in the car so I would just listen to my walkman.  We stopped at a rest stop somewhere in Georgia maybe and they had a bin with tapes in it for $0.99.  Not knowing much I just picked out what I thought had the coolest cover art.  It was the Best of Cream, the opening track was Badge.  When it began I thought not too much of it, then all of a sudden that wonderful guitar bridge came on (interestingly the name of the song came about because Clapton thought Harrison had wrote "Badge" on the sheet music but it was actually 'Bridge" where the bridge of the song would come in).  Then some British fella named Clapton started playing a solo over that wonderful bridge and it was then I knew I wanted to learn how to play guitar and fell in love with it.  It was the greatest sound I'd heard up to that point in my life.  There's no sense talking about Clapton and I can't possibly say anymore than has been written but this, while not his most iconic work, holds a special place in my heart.

1:38 - 2:11


5.  La Villa Strangiato - Rush (Alex Lifeson) -

I once had a friend (a very very good player in his own right) tell me Alex Lifeson is overrated.  I value his wrong opinion :)  Lifeson like no guitarist I can think of has the uncanny knack of being able to write guitar parts that almost act as a very catchy chorus hook works in other artists' songs.  He writes very memorable instrumental lines that seem to just stick in your head.  I often catch myself whistling not Rush's chorus' or Geddy's lyrical portions, but Alex's guitar parts after leaving my car and hearing them.  It's a very special and difficult to find talent I think.  He may be overrated according to my friend but to me, he sticks in my head like no other guitar player.  I wouldn't say this track is one of those times, but it's just fucking great regardless.

3:50 - 5:14


« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 09:00:21 pm by TheSunshineFund »
In the summer that you came
There was something eating everyone
And the sunshine fund was low
We couldn't greet you with a simple hello
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Offline homerwannabee

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 05:30:15 am »
You have Clapton, but no Hendrix?  Not cool.
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Offline TheSunshineFund

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 05:34:28 am »
You have Clapton, but no Hendrix?  Not cool.

Maybe if I had picked up a copy of Are You Experienced at the rest stop that fateful day....but we can't change history George.  Clapton left a larger personal impression on me as a youngster, plus I always identified more with his playing style than Hendrix' which I could never quite get the hang of.  He used his thumb a lot over the low strings which while neat, was never something I could do well.
In the summer that you came
There was something eating everyone
And the sunshine fund was low
We couldn't greet you with a simple hello
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Offline QAOP Spaceman

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2018, 11:33:38 am »
You have Clapton, but no Hendrix?  Not cool.

 FailFish

Nice list in the best part of the forum, Waggy  Kreygasm  I'm with you 100% on Malkmus and Mascis - they are like the indie Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, except with soul and humanity and the ability to actually play a guitar.

I must say I'm not normally a fan of the guitar solo per se, if it's longer than 8 bars. As much as I love Led Zeppelin, the idea of watching Jimmy Page wank himself off with a violin bow for 20 minutes is why punk happened. But that said, here are, in no particular order, the Spacey Top 5 Of All Time



Billy Childish - You make me die (Thee Mighty Caesars)


A truly astonishing attempt at a 'guitar solo'. This is one of the reasons I wanted a guitar.


Solo from 0:46 to 0:59


Ray Fenwick - Crawdaddy Simone  (The Syndicats)

Breathtaking stuff. Those drums! Produced by legendary nighttime graveyard visitor, public toilet masturbator, and murderer Joe Meek.


Solo from 1:18 to 1:59


Sterling Morrison / Lou Reed - What goes on (Velvet Underground)

Coming barely a fifth of the way into the track, such a lovely guitar break that - gasp - adds something to the song. Forwards bits, backwards bits, anyone who's been playing a guitar for 6 months can do it - beautiful.



Duo from 1:08 to 2:11


Fred 'Sonic' Smith / Wayne Kramer - Baby won't ya (MC5)

Exuberance over virtuosity wins it for me every time. Goosebumps and - dare I say it? - it moves.

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Duo from 2:20 to 3:24


Eric Bell - The rocker (Thin Lizzy)

I've heard Gary Moore or Brian Robertson called the greatest guitarists in the world, but they weren't even the greatest guitarist Thin Lizzy had. Eric Bell is still playing today, praise be, and the bit from 3:30 to 4:30 still makes me want to go out and lob rocks at the police. Tremendous bass playing from Phil Lynott throughout too. Needless to say, the entire solo is dumped from the US single version.   


Solo from 2:10 to 4:40  <gasp>




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Offline bensweeneyonbass

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 11:35:12 am »
MC5 Kreygasm good work Spacey
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Offline bensweeneyonbass

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 11:39:52 am »
2.  Kid Charlemagne - Steely Dan (Larry Carlton) -

3.  Get Me - Dinosaur Jr (J. Mascis)

I've seen both of these acts live in my life - Steely Dan just a few years ago in Erie, PA of all places, ON THE BEACH! It was a wonderful show.

I saw J. Mascis (solo) in Morgantown, WV in 1998 when I was just a wee lad. I actually had to stand outside the venue and watch through one of the open doors while my brother was inside because I was only 13 at the time. Still good.

I guess I better put up my own list instead of fanboy-ing...
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Offline QAOP Spaceman

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 11:42:18 am »
MC5 Kreygasm good work Spacey

Always ready to testify, sir :)
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Offline bestcellar

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 11:18:58 am »
Great list.

A couple of my favorites:

Television - The Fire (don't know if it's Lloyd or Verlaine - the second longer solo)


Steely Dan - Peg (Jay Graydon)


(I've gotten close to being able to perform this one except for runup to the second part)


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Offline Verminator

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Re: The Sunshine Fund's Top 5 guitar solos of all-time
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 04:30:11 pm »
3.  Get Me - Dinosaur Jr (J. Mascis)
5.  La Villa Strangiato - Rush (Alex Lifeson)

Good calls... "Loaded" by Dinosaur, Jr and "Beneath, Between, and Behind" and "No One At The Bridge" by Rush are high on my list of guitar solo performances.

Alas, here are my top 5 that can be streamed on Spotify for awesomeness (some complex solos, some very simple). I am not a big guitar solo guy... so some of these are more part of the "song rhythm"... or whatever technical term guitarists use. :)

1. Paranoid Android - Radiohead (Jonny Greenwood shred-a-thon, starts at the 2:45 mark and again at the 5:39 mark)

2. I Think I Smell A Rat - The White Stripes (Jack White's brilliant simplicity)

3. Good Morning, Captain - Slint (Also simple but a big time adrenaline pumper, 1:53, 3:44, 6:01 marks)

4. Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd (Hits you with the guitar right off the bat, Syd Barrett putting his schizophrenic creativity to great use! The guitar licks have been covered by Eddie Vedder and Slash during their concerts)

5. I Want You/She's So Heavy - The Beatles (Team effort by Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney... the three minute conclusion is soul crushing!)
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 04:42:51 pm by Verminator »
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