Time for another list. The editors at Guitar Player have published “The 40 Most Influential Rock Guitar Solos.” Seem impossible? Probably, but they describe the selection process in some detail and, to their credit, don’t try to rank the leads:
The solos are organized chronologically—including those that fall within the same year—because we thought it would be instructive to see how they relate to each other historically. Additionally, we included a graphic timeline of “influenced by” and “influenced” for each artist and solo to more generally illustrate the concept of succession.
There are obvious entries (Clapton/Cream “Crossroads,” Van Halen “Eruption”), head-scratchers (Lynch/Dokken “The Hunter,” Wylde/Ozzy “No More Tears”—fine solos, just kind of weird choices) and some surprises, such as Robert Fripp’s break in “21st Century Schizoid Man,” about which they note:
Fripp’s serpentine solo on this alarmingly virtuosic track combines a supersaturated sustained tone with atypical intervallic movement, non-bluesy bends and trills, and note choices and phrasing that had more in common with Coltrane than Clapton.
Petty nitpick: Though it could be an iTunes problem (there are download links to every song), the cover of Santana Festival appears with the description of “Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile)” though that track appears on Amigos.
Take a look at all 40 over at GP.