Top Ten Guitar Solos: 1990 Present
I have always had a diverse collection of music, but to me there is nothing better than some loud rock'n'roll Especially an epic guitar solo! It was a very difficult choice, but these are the guitar solos that have influenced and shaped my love for music over the years.
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The Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Siamese Dream (1993)
Every single song on this album is good, with several amazing guitar solos by lead guitarist, James Iha. What I love about this record is it's grungy sound, a classic trait of the alternative rock scene in the 90?s. In the end, I chose the track Soma, an emotional tune that I never tire of listening to. Siamese Dream was The Smashing Pumpkins second studio album and probably their most successful release to date.
9. In Too Deep
Album: All Killer No Filler (2001)
It was love at first listen with this awesome tune by fellow Canadians, Sum 41. In the summer of 2001, everyone was playing this song, and it's still common to see people singing along to the catchy lyrics today. But what impressed me most was the strong melodic guitar solo by Dave Baksh. Although he has since left the band, this short but sweet solo has left a lasting impression on fans today.
Alice in Chains
Album: Alice in Chains (1995)
This is by far one of the darkest and creepiest songs in my collection, with it's dramatic guitar chords and eerie lyrics that still send shivers down my spine today. But it's Jerry Cantrell's epic guitar solo that gives the track such a sinister vibe on Alice in Chains third self titled album.
7. Shortcut to Moncton
I Mother Earth
Album: Scenery and Fish (1996)
This Toronto based band had a sound and style that still appeals to the teenagers of the 1990?s! Scenery and Fish was by far the band's best album, and today it still packs a lot of punch to both old and new fans alike. I was first impressed by the strong lyrical content and diversity of songs, but what really caught my attention was guitarist Jagori Tanna. His epic and drawn out solos have a blues like quality that complements the bands edgy alternative guitar riffs really well. Today, this track is still one of my favorite songs of all time.
6. Yellow Ledbetter
Album: Ten (1991)
It's hard to imagine that this amazing track was an "outtake" from one of the best debut albums to hit the alternative grunge scene in the early 90?s. Pearl Jam's Ten was an instant success and many have said that Ten was "instrumental in popularizing rock into the mainstream." Fans embraced Eddie Vedder's emotional lyrics and Mike McCready's heartfelt guitar solos. Today, the album has sold 10 million copies worldwide, making it their most commercially successful album and a must have for every rock enthusiast's music collection.
5. Come As You Are (1992)
This very dark and moody song was one of the band's biggest hits during their very short career, and consists of one of Cobain's longest guitar solos. Soon after it's release, fans became intrigued by the contradictory lyrics, and as a result, Cobain publicly stated that the song is "about people and what they're expected to act like." In light of Kurt Cobain's tragic self-inflicted death two years after the song's release, this track still stings when fans hear him singing that famous line "And I don't have a gun" which Cobain admitted was a statement targeted "to the world at large rather than the individuals in itAnd that their was still room in this damaged world for everyone." Today, this line remains one of the eeriest that I've ever heardBut one thing is for sure, this song will continue to be a classic within the alternative rock community! RIP Kurt Cobain (1967-1994)
4. Icky Thump
The White Stripes
Album: Icky Thump (2007)
The sixth and final studio album by this American grunge band, fans can expect a more "stripped down garage sound" on all it's tracks, although singer and lead guitarist Jack White has admitted that their sound also has punk and blues influences in it. Many have said that White's avant-garde guitar solo in this particular track has a vintage quality to it, making it an instant commercial success. I loved this song right away, despite the fact that many have suggested that the band's garage sound is an "acquired taste." Although this is the band's final album, I suspect Icky Thump will become a long-lasting hit as this song has a timeless ring to it! For best results, play it LOUD!
3. Digital Love
Album: Discovery (2001)
The masked French electronic duo surprised many with this classic 80?s inspired guitar solo on the third single from their album, Discovery. Although the song itself is considered electronic, guitarist Thomas Bangalter thought an emotional guitar solo on the last half of the song was appropriate to demonstrate the song's theme of unspoken love between two people. Despite the fact that this isn't the only guitar solo on the album, it's by far my personal favorite, adding to the intensity of the song and demonstrating the versatility of this dynamic duo!
Album: If I Were A Carpenter (1994)
By far one of the best cover songs I've heard, I discovered this song while traveling in Toronto with a friend, and loved this incredibly creepy song right away! Originally released in 1969, it's most popular version was performed by the CarpentersUntil Sonic Youth covered it for the movie Juno. In this version the band added their distinct sound and style to both the vocals and music, giving the song it's grim tone. I must admit that their isn't an actual guitar solo in this version, but the guitar riffs are truly unique and add to the intrigue of the lyrics. I often catch myself falling into a daydream when this song is playing, and I can clearly picture an obsessed fan sitting in a dark apartment staring into an old-fashioned transistor radio How creepy! Fans of this song can find it on the Carpenters tribute album released in 1994.
1. Soul Doubt
Album: White Trash, Two Heebs and A Bean (1992)
This edgy and passionate guitar solo furthers the band's message of finding one's identity and self-worth amidst drug and alcohol dependencies. Lyrically, it's an emotional song to hear as several members of NOFX have struggled with substance addiction over the course of their 20 year career. Yet, the song is still as relevant today as it was 19 years ago when it was released on the band's fourth studio record. Not many are surprised by the band's longevity. What I love most about this band aside from their brutal honesty and dislike for mainstream commercialism is that they have remained true to their ideals and sound over the years, but most importantly, their enormous talent has only gotten better over time! Way to go boys! Not many bands can advocate for social injustice, advise against capitalist pricks and mind-numbing political agendas they way NOFX canAnd we love them for it!
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