This being Wednesday, it’s a Musical Chairs day (we took a break last week). Today’s topic is a tried and true one, but one music fans never tire of talking about: Favorite guitar solo. [Favorite, not BEST, big distinction!]
You’re waiting for something Eddie Van Halen, aren’t you? Given my near religious devotion to the guy and his guitar work, you wouldn’t be wrong for thinking that. But no, there is no Eruption here. Instead, I choose what some may call a cliche pick:
David Gilmour – Comfortably Numb
There’s something that Gilmour can do with his guitar that so many of the others can’t – speak to me. The solo in “Comfortably Numb” isn’t just notes being played, it isn’t just fingers moving up and down the board. It’s Gilmour’s version of poetry, of resonance and of emotion. It’s singing without the words. What some artists can do with their voices, Gilmour can do with his guitar and that is never more evident than on the last minutes of “Comfortably Numb”, when Gilmour wraps up all the angst and sandess, the loneliness and emptiness of the song and emotes with his guitar. Each note is like a little pinprick in your heart. When I listen to CN and the solo begins, I almost sing along, as if each note was a lyric and not just music. That’s what makes it my favorite.
Others considered here: Hendrix on Little Wing, for its emotion.. John Petrucci on Lines in the Sand, for the technical aspect. I’m not a huge Dream Theater fan but man, that guy can play. Clapton on Layla; poetry in motion. Dimebag on Floods, because Dimebag does not get enough recognition for what he could do with a guitar. Dave Navarro on Three Days, because it puts me in a place. Page on Heartbreaker because it was the first solo that ever kicked my ass. And, yes Collins/Rossington on Freebird. While that might not be a technical masterpiece, it certainly makes me want to stop whatever I’m doing and play air guitar. Can’t ask for much more than that.
But my winner is, for all the reasons mentioned above (and please, please keep in mind this is FAVORITE and not BEST) “Comfortably Numb”.
[If you'd like to come vote for best guitar solo in my blog's Hall of Fame, come on over and make a nomination!]