Wednesday Question: Greatest Guitar Solo of the '90s

Votes and nominations inside.

Ultimate Guitar
Wednesday Question: Greatest Guitar Solo of the '90s

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we figured the time is as good as any to get back on track with the "greatest solo of the decade thing."

So, after you voted Greatest Guitar Solo of the '70s and Greatest Guitar Solo of the '80s, this week's question is:

What is the greatest guitar solo of the '90s?


  • Post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).
  • Multiple nominations of one solo create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given track to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same solo, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.
  • Vote up the nominations you support and vote down the ones you dislike.

We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG top list. Show us what you got now!

306 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The Smashing Pumpkins - Soma. You may dislike Billy Corgan, but can't deny his songwriting skills. And this particular solo is the best one he's written
    The soma Solo is RIDICULOUSly OP  omfg.  It pulls your mind in a sick pattern as you listen to it.
    The entire emotional intensity in Soma is something that I don't think exists elsewhere in modern music.  Corgan totally nailed it all the way through this song.  The solo was like an amazing desert to finish off a tremendous multi-course meal.  I think this made Soma the best Pumpkins song ever.
    One of the most expressive, emotional solos I've ever heard.  My eyes get watery every time I hear it. He bends the strings off of the fret board to get that cool little noise at the top of the bends.  It's the very end that really gets me - the bends while the vocals are kicking back in.  
    I came in here just to write that suggestion, or at least hoping it was already mentioned. Such a beautiful intensity with the buildup, bends ending with the same sound of frustration as the songs subject matter, carrying into the perfect climax of that song. Definitely does hit the feels as well, it has carried me through rough patches for sure.
    Megadeth - Tornado of Souls
    I must be the only person who prefers "Hanger 18" over Tornado...It's still a fantastic song/solo though 
    As much as I love this solo (it's why I first got into Megadeth) I've always had an internal conflict between this and Lucretia as my favorite solo so for that reason I'll nominate Lucretia 
    Metallica - The Unforgiven
    Easily one of Kirk's best solos. The build, the climax, and the payoff are all there. So perfect.
    Extreme - Get The Funk Out
    Brian May even loves that solo
    I learned that solo but at least 9 out of 10 times I make a mistake or don't got notes cleanly or just sound messy. What's amazing is that even in the live version in that clip it's played immaculately - every note hit cleanly, whilst he's flicking his hair around. Ridiculously good
    my fave.  hands down.  what a face melter.  nuno is one of the only guys who can combine speed with pure melody.  great fucking call!
    a predictable choice but November Rain is pretty much untouchable
    There might be better solos probably, but when I think about the 90's it's the one that immediately comes to my mind. And it never gets old.
    You might be cool...but you'll never be standing on a grand piano, backed by Axl and a full orchestra, playing your solo cool.
    Many songs that I like better have been nominated, many solos that I like better have been, but objectively speaking... November Rain has no competition. I just hope Smells like teen spirits doesn't win...
    I agree. I don't think it is the greatest 90s solos (personal opinion), but it is probably the most Iconic solo of the 90s.
    Mountain Trash
    I remember the day this video came out. great solo.
    I was an infant when this came out.. I am jealous youve had more time lisstening to awesome tunes than i have haha
    Pearl Jam - Alive!
    Definitely not 'greatest' in the sense of most iconic or recognizable, but the outro solo of 'Garden' has to be my favourite part of 'Ten' that being said, 'Alive' is legendary!
    Fun fact: this solo was admitted to be a ripoff of a Kiss song but they ripped it off of Five to One by the Doors so it works out.
    You mean the one that's a copy of Ace Frehley's from "She" which is a copy of Robbie Krieger's from "Five to One"? All good solos, but I wouldn't consider any of them the best of their respective decades.
    You know, I'm sorry you got downvoted for this. I was unfamiliar with "She" but after listening to it - it really is an absurdly similar solo.   not that this doesn't happen, but I think you're spot on here. Although I do love the song "Alive", it's not my favorite solo even from a Pearl Jam song - although I love it because it gives me that Mother Love Bone vibe.
    He even admitted in a 2008 interview that he copied it. Pity that truth has less value than egos
    The Samshing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock Starts at 37
    Great solo, I'd personally put the one in Soma above this though  
    I'm also a huge fan of the clean solo in "Hummer" - It's just so tastefully phrased and melodic that you can't help but hum along to it
    So happy to see the Pumpkins show up a few times on this list. Couldn't agree more about the outro to Hummer (this song is the highlight of the album for me).
    Hummer as a excellent solo but this tops it: 
    Starts at 5:35 Out off all the Pumpkin's solos this is their best and also the longest. 
    Dream Theater - Under a Glass Moon
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue Simple but soulful!.. First at 1:59, second at 2:47 (especially!)
    Weezer - Say It Ain't So.  Brilliant and so simple. CLASSIC
    I’ve always said Say It Ain’t So is the quintessential 90s song. Soft/loud dynamic, personal lyrics, radio length, sing along chorus, brilliant solo. Thanks for nominating it.
    Was the first Weezer song I ever learned to play. Standout song from this wonderful band.
    My first was the Sweater Song, but I had the Blue Album tab book. Learned how to play guitar from that book and that album.
    Radiohead - Paranoid Android
    While not as insane and famous as Paranoid Andoird, I adore the solo from "The Tourist" as well
    Like Suicide Soundgarden
    came here to say this, glad other much power and emotion in the solo to fit the song and lyrical content perfectly.  Always been my favorite Kim Thayil solo. 
    Yeah, it's not just my favorite 90's solo, it's my favorite solo. It matches the emotional build of that song so perfectly. I don't particularly consider Soundgarden a "solo" band, but when they were, they were incredibly effective with it. I think of Kim Thayil's guitar solos as embodying electricity itself, with it's side winding/erratic movement and intensity.
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication Yes, many can't even call it a solo because its simplisity, but it works so great for the song - sometimes you don't need to make things more complicated - the beauty is in the simplicity 3:22
    Not thinking a solo is a proper solo because it's simple is the opinion of a moron. 
    Jane's Addiction - Three Days
    Two amazing solos, one at at 4:42 and the other at 9:35.
    Hell yes!! I came here today to nominate this song. Saw Jane's a few years ago and this song tore the roof off...and it was an outdoor show!
    Seriously. For some reason, I never really got into Jane's Addiction. I liked (most of) what I heard but never really delved deeper. I saw them with NIN a while back (outdoor venue too) and Three Days was one of the most amazing live experiences I have ever had.
    Dude! That was it for me, too. Only it was when Jane's was touring with AIC. I mainly went to see AIC, but thought it'd be interesting at least to see Jane's. Back when it came out, someone loaned me the Ritual CD, and it just didn't grab me. But when I saw Three Days live, yeah, what you said. Blew me away. I had to go find it the next day and (almost) learn how to play it.
    The intro solo is sick but 3:10 is where the greatness begins. All the other best ones (Tornado of Souls, Touch of Evil, November Rain, Under a Glass Moon) all represented so I thought this needs to be shared. Skolnik kills it on this song, utterly KILLS it.
    This does not have enough votes. My favourite solo of all time. Arguably the version on Live At The Filmour is even better though.
      Also starts at 3:10
    Kyuss - Spaceship Landing (around 8:40)
    Excellent stoner rock vibe and demonstration of Homme's lead abilities