Friday, September 11, 2015

Top Ten Guitar Solos
Selected by Anthony Servante


A guitar solo does not mean a guitar that works alone. It is the leader, the culmination, or the heart of the song. However, for a moment or a series of moments, the guitar-work transcends the music it is a part of while simultaneously bolstering the impact of its totality. 

The songs I have selected for my top ten best in the area of guitar work are songs that would lose their soul if they were played acoustically. They were made to be jammed, plucked, picked, and axed. In some cases the tunes are secondary to the memory of the guitar solo(s); in others the guitar solo serves its master, the music. In either case both song and solo are one. 

In literature we are taught to critique the stories by examining the machinations of plot, character development, and denouement. We learned that if there is a character that could be omitted from the story only to find the story still works without the character's inclusion, then it is a flawed story. Omit any detail and the flawed story unravels. 

Similarly, the guitar solo must function to make the song work; without it, it would be a flawed piece of music. Let us now countdown the list from the melodic to the sublime, the classic to the immortal, from number ten to number one. Please feel free to add your top ten list in the comments below. 


10. Soul Sacrifice by Santana Guitar: Carlos Santana

9. Going Home by Ten Years After Guitar: Alvin Lee

8. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed by Allman Brothers Guitar: Dickey Betts

7. Green Grass and High Tides by Outlaws Guitars: Hughie Thomasson & Billy Jones

6. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitar: Gary Rossington

5. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin Guitar: Jimmy Page

4. Salisbury by Uriah Heep Guitar: Mick Box

3. Look into the Future by Journey Guitar: Neal Schon

2. The Grass is Greener by Colosseum Guitar: Dave "Clem" Clempson

1. Home of the Brave by Strange Advance Guitar: Darryl Kromm

Runner up: Phoenix by Wishbone Ash Guitars: Andy Powell & Ted Turner


Thanks for listening. Please comment and add a list of your own below. 


  1. Home of the Brave, awesome solo

  2. I have been trying for years to find out which guitarist listed on the album did that awesome solo - the biggest name was Earl Slick, so I thought it might be he. Thanks for noting it. Just curious - where would you put David Gilmour's "Comfortably Numb" solo? Also, have you heard Robert Fripp's solo on "Baby's on Fire" from the first Eno album?

  3. I just posted the above comment anonymously because I am not connected to any of the social media options in the profile menu, but I would like to be able to communicate further via email. Your list was quite esoteric, and I've got a lot of other suggestions that you may or may not have heard.