Friday Top: 18 Worst Guitar Solos Ever Recorded

As voted by UG community.

Ultimate Guitar
Friday Top: 18 Worst Guitar Solos Ever Recorded

A little while ago we posted our list of 10 Worst Guitar Solos (spoiler: Lil Wayne topped it), and the top suggestion from the community was a list of worst guitar solos, but those actually recorded in studio and not just played live in concert.

Therefore, this week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the people of UG community discussing the matter of worst guitar solos on actual studio recordings. Based on your votes and almost 300 comments, we summed this one up to a Top 18 rundown, make sure to check it out below.

Before kicking things off, check out this week's honorable mention - this band doesn't really exist, but anyway. So... these guys:

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And now, the actual list!

18. GG Allin - Bite It You Scum

The badness of this solo fits the song, but it's still really really bad. It starts at 1:34.

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17. The Velvet Underground - Sister Ray

People always complaining about how long "Sister Ray" - and it's almost as long as its... solo/solos.

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16. DragonForce - Body Breakdown

Many people don't like DragonForce solos. This time around, you chose the last solo that serves as an outro, "Not because it's bad just because it is fucking awkward and unnecessary when it comes in." Check it at 6:40.

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15. Dr. Hook - Cover of the Rolling Stone

Of course this solo is made to be ironic (as the whole song), but sounds terrible nevertheless. It kicks in at 1:40.

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14. Pixies - Vamos

Pixies are just as cool as this solo is terrible.

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13. Led Zeppelin - Heartbreaker

It's one of the most iconic solos ever recorded. But this does not prevent it from being really sloppy. If you still hasn't heard it, check it out at 2:03.

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12. Fall Out Boy - Beat It (feat. John Mayer) (Michael Jackson cover)

John Mayer joined Fall Out Boy for their rendition of Michael Jackson's classic, but Mayer's solo on this one is just horrendous - it's not even remotely comparable to the original solo by Eddie Van Halen. It starts at 2:22.

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11. Overkill - Changes (Black Sabbath cover)

You would never imagine Overkill would play a ballad - but they actually did it with their rendition of Black Sabbath's classic song, which isn't bad - but this solo... check it at 2:50.

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10. The Rolling Stones - Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Keith Richards says he never understood why Mick Taylor left The Rolling Stones, but this solo might have had something to do with his exit. It starts at 1:40.

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9. Vinnie Vincent Invasion - Boyz Are Gonna Rock

Vinnie Vincent Invasion were an American heavy metal/glam metal band formed in 1984 by former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent. It seems Vinnie had more luck with his original band. Actual solo starts at 2:22.

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8. Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)

This solo, also featured as No. 20 at our Easiest Guitar Solos list should be as fun as the song itself. The legend says it features Slayer's Kerry King on the guitar. Check it at 2:20.

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7. Nirvana - Milk It

The solo fits this atonal song 100%. Kurt had a lot of clever anti-rock mannerisms in some songs. But still this solo sounds really bad for an unprepared listener. It starts at 2:34.

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6. Slayer - Raining Blood

This Kerry King's solo is definitely not enough to overthrow the heaven. Sounds pretty awesome on the banjo, though. 2:53 for your pleasure.

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5. MAGIC! - Rude

Well, not to be rude, but this solo is a very... hmm, strange... piece of music that was created as a labor of love between fuzz and wah. It starts at 2:33.

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4. Metallica - ManUNkind

The boys jump into the solo is a little bit too abruptly here, and the solo itself is just... Check it yourself at 4:45.

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3. Korn - Haze

This solo is as bad as the Ubisoft video game "Haze" game for which it was recorded. 1:46 - enjoy...

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2. Kabát - Burlaci

From the #1 beer-drinking country in the world (Czech Republic) comes a band called Kabát. The song is not that bad and sounds even better after a tallboy, but solo at 2:42... it's just weird.

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1. Birdman & Lil Wayne - Leather So Soft

You know the rule: if you look at the list of the worst guitar solos, Lil Wayne will be in the first place. Actual solo for your pleasure at 4:09...

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That's all folks; we hope you enjoyed the top, stay tuned until next week for another WQ!

79 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have always considered Slayer's guitar solos to be more noisy and dissonant for artistic reasons, compared to other 80's metal bands. The solo in Raining Blood sounds like screams of tormented souls in hell or something. And it fits the chaotic atmosphere of the song much better than a conventional solo would.
    Exactly. The solo on Raining Blood isn't played sloppy, it's SUPPOSED to sound like all hell breaking loose and destroying heaven. No one listens to Slayer to hear neat scale runs and sweep arpeggios.
    I'd be pissed if I was listening to Slayer and heard a Steve Vai-type solo. That'd be dumb as shit. The Raining Blood solo is perfect.  
    Agreed, the only thing I dislike about it is the very end, when the music just gets abruptly cut off just before the thunder strike is heard, it sounds retarded.
    All of them are that way, i don't think it was on purpose.  I just think it's Kerry widdling around like a 15 year old on his first Warlock 
    I was surprised to see that make the list. The solo is pure chaos, and really fits the song well, as a solo should.
    It works on Raining Blood, but the majority of their solos are at some point off key. Honestly, just don't think Slayer know how to write good leads. Riffs are quality, though. That's what they're amazing at.
    I understand the metal community hate pretty much every metal band and DragonForce gets shit on a lot… but putting that song on this list is just nitpicking way too much. There was nothing wrong with it. 
    I wish I could downvote you 100 times but it won't let me....Dragonforce is amazingly bad, and how they've stayed afloat financially is beyond my comprehension....for Christ's sake, Guitar Hero II came out like 10 years ago!
    I've always liked Heartbreaker by Zep. Such a ballsy raunchy riff and the solo kind of goes with the idgaf ballsiness imo. 
    You also have to put it in the context of 1969 rock radio.  Nobody had really put any kind of unaccompanied guitar solo like that in a rock song before and people went apeshit over it.  Ya, it's sloppy as hell, but I still think it's cool  
    Yeah, I always liked it BECAUSE of it's wacky sloppiness. And then when the full band comes in, Jimmy is back to his more technical soloing.
    a drummer
    John Mayer's solo wasn't bad at all. It just wasn't the solo Eddie wrote.
    It is a technically fine solo, but it just doesn't fit the song, which is kind of all that really matters at the end of the day. No point in doing Eddie's solo note for note either. But, it is a song that calls for a little more rock/metal than Mayer has in him. He's a fantastic guitarist, he was just the wrong man for the job.
    It was tough to listen to... Almost as tough as listening to the VINnie vincent solo, close call though...
    Do a list for top 10 out of place solos, like solos that just don't seem to fit the song quite well
    I don't know why John Mayer is on the list. He didn't want to copy the solo he wanted to make it his own which he did. Definitely not a bad solo in my opinion
    The Nirvana solo sounds just the way it's supposed to - Fucked up, that was Kurt Cobains M.O. on guitar. Kerry King's solo on Reign in Blood - that would sound like overthrowing heaven in it's time.  Is this guy the kind of reviewer who'd review Pong and compare it to Call of Duty? About the most justified solo on this list is Lil Wayne. I guess now we're going to compare Legion of Rock Stars to Queen next.
    The reason this list is so all-over-the-place is that the community votes for them, and everyone has a different idea of what the 'worst solo' is.
    Jimmy Page's Heartbreaker guitar is one of Steve Vai's favorite guitar solos. Sadly it's not cited but according to his wikipedia page:  " after hearing the guitar solo to Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker" at age twelve, decided to begin playing the guitar."  “‘Heartbreaker’ by Led Zeppelin. I would  play that unaccompanied solo for about a day. Then I would ‘hack’ when  it was really grinding, because nobody could really play that solo like  Page. It was just a flurry of notes. That was the biggest song for me.  It really inspired me to be a guitarist." " “This was what my sister was listening to in her room and when I heard  it there was a defining moment. We all have these pivotal moments where  there’s a sense of clarity where we can recall what we were seeing at  the time, we can remember what things smelled like and their color and I  remember walking through the hallway of our house and hearing  ‘Heartbreaker’ coming out of her room and the world stopped. I was  stunned because it struck such a nerve and had so much energy. Then when  the solo came on I discovered another dimension of music. I was  probably ten or eleven. I hadn’t picked up a guitar by this point but  that’s when I knew I had to play. " " When I was a teenager, for example, someone in my town threw a party  almost          every weekend. I would make my way to the stereo and put  on a copy of ‘Led Zeppelin II’. (I always carried the  cassette, in case they didn’t have the album). When  “Heartbreaker” came on, my friends would clear a spot on the  table or the floor and ask me to “air guitar” the solo. Of  course, I’d act reluctant at first, but I was a ham even then,  so I’d start jumping around and flailing like a wild animal. Everyone got a kick out of it, especially me. ( " " “My older sister, Pam, had this great taste in rock music. She was  always listening to really cool stuff, and through her I first heard Led Zeppelin II. From the moment Jimmy Page’s solo on Heartbreaker came on, that was it for me. Page’s guitar playing and Robert Plant’s singing totally floored me." 
    Oh come on, the John Mayer solo on that Fall Out Boy cover is great. Just because it's not Eddie doesn't mean it's bad.
    Really?!? Sister Ray?! Are you metalheads still upset about Lulu?
    Lou Reed is less of a "guitarist" and more of a "why the fuck did this type of shit music ever become popular, and can I get some of the drugs people take that make it sound good?"
    What Overkill's, Mayer's, Slayer's, Led Zepellin's and Dragonforce's solos were great Especially dig the Mayer one, I'll be checking this guy out more
    The thing about the Dragonforce one is that is does not fit the song what-so-ever, after an epic 6½-minutes power-metal song it is, indeed, awkward when the outro-solo kicks in
    I totally love how you introduced my country...Czech Republic...(;...Kabat is music for villages...please dont judge us all...(;...
    I have never been a fan of the Heartbreaker solo. Parts of it are good, just not the sloppy part that sounds like Mr. Page was drunk when they recorded it.
    The look on Charlie Watts' face right at the end of the Ain't Too Proud to Beg solo is fucking priceless. It sums up the point of this article very nicely.
    The look on the drummer's face says is all at 1:53 on the Rolling stones video
    1- nothing wrong with rude 2-nothing wrong with bite it you scum 3-lets all just forget about that lil Wayne solo
    Omg we (Czechs) seriously did it in the UG list??? That´s fucking hilarious! Just to point out that no. 2 is one of the biggest rock bands in the country right now. No game changers, but solid riffs and good lyrics (if you understand the lyrics...). And yep that solo is weird
    That was a parody right? That was someone recording gibberish over what he was actually playing right? At the end I mean. No way did he release that. Right?
    Holy shit...  I just searched again to make sure it was the real vevo video and it is for real. Holy shit. I feel so dirty that this is for real... holy shit.
    Way Cool JR.
    Even though the solo on "Fight For Your Right" is short and slow it fits the song perfectly.  IMO it's far from one of the worst solos ever.  In fact I would say it's an iconic solo to an iconic song and does not deserve to be on this list.     
    I feel like it should be mentioned that this article author's grammar skills are fairly limited. 
    Of course the nirvana one is "supposed to sound crap", gimme a break. cobain was a crap guitarist, i don't even know why he put solos in, wasn't that all "typical rock garbage"? the smells like teen spirit solo should be on here, it was just a carbon copy of the melody with some chorus and distortion added.
    Fall out boys cover of beat it is awesome and the solo kicks ass! Glad slayer made this list Kerry king sucks major ass
    you leave Led Zeppelin alone, Jimmy Page has had waaaaay worse solos in his career. and "Raining Blood" (as others have pointed out) is supposed to sound sloppy and fast and maniacal, has the author of this ever even listened to Slayer?!?!?!
    I can't believe Be Aggressive by Faith No More didn't make it. The solo, which is played over a jarringly different tempo than the rest of the song, has an incredibly thin and buzzy tone, sounds like half the notes were missed, and that he wasn't playing to a rhythm at all.
    Well if you're gonna bash Led Zeppelin you could at least put the correct album cover up there! Heartbreaker is a great song!
    Kiss - I Love It Loud. Go to 2:46. The video shows Paul Stanley, with an over dramatic army roll for his 7 note, 10 second guitar solo.
    I always hated the solo on Tom Sawyer by Rush. Such a good song, such a lackluster, what-the-fuck-are-you-doing disappointment of a solo.
    I still can't believe that after waiting for ages to hear a Korn song with a guitar solo, that was what I got.
    I guess not a recording as such (well... if something live is released on video, then it kind of becomes a recording?), but Dave Mustaine's solo on the Gigantour '05 cover of Cemetery Gates is about as bad as it gets.
    Sorry, Blue Rodeo's Five Days In May still takes the cake as far as I'm concerned.  Just strangling the guitar.
    Instead of saying when the solo starts, how about you just link the video with the correct timestamp? I really hope an unpaid intern wrote this article because it'd be a travesty if somebody got paid for this bullshit.