Top 100 Guitar Solos Of All Time: Unbiased This Time?

Results of a recently proceeded Top 100 Solos Of All Time poll by Guitar World Magazine. While it's bound to spawn some controversy, it certainly hits closer to the mark.

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About.com recently reported on a Guitar World Magazine readers poll. The poll was to determine the greatest guitar solos of all time, and they listed the top 100 solos. While it's bound to spawn some controversy, it certainly hits closer to the mark than most of the recently published "best guitarist" polls by various magazines and online publications. With a top 10 that includes "Eruption" (Eddie Van Halen), "Crazy Train" (Randy Rhoads), and "All Along The Watchtower" (Jimi Hendrix), it's obvious the poll has a rock music bias, but there is no disputing the impact that these artists have had on popular music.

Jimi Herdix's songs listed three times in just a top 20. Having said this, a dispute over best guitarist of all time can be ended.

What follows is the list of top 20 solos, listed with the guitarist who played the solo, the band who released the album, and a link to the tab.

Top 100 Guitar Solos Of All Time List:

01. Stairway to Heaven by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) (tab) 02. Eruption by Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen) (tab) 03. Freebird by Collins/Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (tab) 04. Comfortably Numb by David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) (tab) 05. All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix (tab) 06. November Rain by Slash (Guns N' Roses) (tab) 07. One by Kirk Hammett (Metallica) (tab) 08. Hotel California by Don Felder/Joe Walsh (Eagles) (tab) 09. Crazy Train by Randy Rhads (Ozzy Ozbourne) (tab) 10. Crossroads by Eric Clapton (tab) 11. Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix (tab) 12. Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry (tab) 13. Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan (tab) 14. Layla by Clapton/Allman (tab) 15. Floods by Dimebag Darrel (Pantera) (tab) 16. Heartbreaker by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) (tab) 17. Cliffs Of Dover by Eric Johnson (tab) 18. Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix (tab) 19. Highway Star by Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) (tab) 20. Bohemian Rhapsody by Brian May (Queen) (tab)

Get the rest of the list at this location.

399 comments sorted by best / new / date

    frigginjerk
    now, if this was a Rolling Stone Magazine list, we would see "Seven Nation Army" by Jack White at about #9 or so... lol
    Sum1
    sry make that part about kurt songs not sounds.. he could put sounds together well too.. and im not even that big of a nirvana fan
    superbaa1
    The reason Michael Jackson is noted ( Strangely once I had accessed the hyper-link I saw nothing noted) is because ( I guess "??") because Eddie Van Halen did the solo for the song "Beat it". Did they note it? If they didn't whats that say about thier credibility? An oversight? I gotta go look again.
    Emenius Sleepus
    of course this list may be argued, but at least this is probably the closest it will ever come to - and the list is pretty good, you have to admit.
    ThePunkRocker86
    And to all those who are like "Why doesnt metallica have more?" Listen to some good metal, and you'll see there are better solos than those of kirk hammett.
    ThePunkRocker86
    chemicalsolutio: Nirvana , Michael Jackson in the top 100 solos of all time...Ya right, i think they never heard of a thing called metal. Even though Metallica , Pantera, Sabbath and DT are up there, many metal solos just beats pretty much all the classical rock solos.
    Exactly what i was gonna say.
    Cyborg
    Well there's no "Errors" its just a matter of opinnion.. but i still think John Frusciante shoulda been in at least the top 50 but hes not in the 100 at all...
    Sum1
    listen.. kurt kobain was a bad guitarist.. theres no doubt about that.. but he could put sounds together really really well... no matter how simple they were.. simplictic solos arent bad.. but yes metallica does own.. usually they dont get as much credit for their solos because people think its pure shred but kurts got some damn good solos.. and as someone else said hit the lights has three very very good solos and have a different sound but all things considered its a very good and unbiased list.. usually youd see one group dominating the top 20.. like led zepp or someone.. not doubtintg their greatness but usually lists are biased and have one person at the top dominating it
    ThorOfValhalla
    i think yall are taking teh technical and musical aspects of the solo too much into mind, i think that the amount of influence also has somethin to do with a great solo because while smells like teen spirit doesnt deserve the place, it should be on the list because im sure many people were inspired to play guitar after that song...not me but others
    RageOfMike328
    how can anyone stand there and say jimi hendrix wasnt the greatest guitarest ever? hendrix, clapton, eddy van halen, and randy rhoads should be dominating that list. but i thought it was pretty accurate all things considered
    MetallicAddicct
    Bohemian Rhapsody its bad at that place id place it in the top 10, and in the complete list, theres missing the solo of 25 or 6 to 4, by Chicago, its a great damn solo.
    tdacdc
    why is AC/DC and KISS only on it once, Angus young rocks same with ace frehley AND why is smells like teen spirit on the list
    superbaa1
    I take everything I said previously back. Having seen the intire pole; I think it stinks. Where's Procol Haram and Pat ? I could name a whole list of others. I think the list was compiled by hippies. LMAO
    superbaa1
    Tipton and Downing shoulda at least been in the top ten. Sucks that they weren't.
    meadowskid
    this is getting very pointless, everyone is complaining about why there favourite solos arent mentioned. but they are missing the point, would you concider it biased or not? i'd say no, All of the guitarist mentioned in the top ten have skill above most if not all of the thousands of users on this site. they've all worked hard to get up there and some of them are dead and need some recognition, and i also am surprised that there arent many newer songs on there.
    superbaa1
    ((ThePunkRockers86)) sorry... thought I'd contribute in the above post but forgot to include your name.
    Jason144
    My sentiments exactly. While Kurt's not much of a guitarist, SMLT influenenced a lot of people. There's many ways to judge solos. Complex solos are better, but they should belong in the song or there's no use for it. As for the list, it's not that bad. I agree with top 5 at least. On a personal note, i didn't expect bohemian rhapsody to be so high. Time and BH are among my fave (as well as Teen Spirit).
    GuitarJunkie
    wtf is nirvana doin in the top 30...they were a good punk band ill give them that...but their guitar wasnt all that technicall and dont you dare try to tell me that smells like teen spirit had a better solo then purple haze, or machine gun, or the star spangled banner, or cocaine...no goddamn way...thast my only complaint.
    IAMIRONMAN
    ok. 1)Eruption 2)Crazy Train 3)Master of Puppets 4)Iron Man (or Paranoid) 5)Over The Mountain 6)Mr Crowley 7)Little Wing by SRV 8)We Will Rock You 9)One 10)Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tell me what you think
    saucehead
    Has anyone heard of Harry K. Cody from Shotgun Messiah? The guy smokes. Listen to "The Explorer" from their first album. It's guys like this that will never been seen on this kind of list because their band isn't huge. It's a shame.
    GuitarJunkie
    im not familiar with that bon jovi song...the darkness is a good band...but there is no way in hell that solo is better than any of hendrix's...id put the darkness in the top 70 maybe 60 which i think is high considering they just made their appearence, and they do have better solos on their cd permission to land. 1)Voodoo child (slight return)-J. Hendrix 2)Cliffs of dover-E.Johnson...nobody gives this guy the credit he deserves 3)Stairway to heaven-J.Page 4)Crossroa ds-E.Clapton 5)All along the watchtower-J.Hendrix . ..this took a while..there many solos that could be conceived to be in the top five of all time. but i dont think this is bad
    Walla_Walla
    You'll probably think i'm gay, but i like the solo to "The Rocker" by Thin Lizzy. I'm not saying its the best ever but i cud be in the top 100. Page shud be no.1 though, or Freebird, whatever, they're both quality.
    TaterSalad101
    RITCHIE BLACKMORE GETS SOME RECOGNITION!!!!! WOOHOOO!!! Tom Morello should be on that list as well, though
    Chili_dog
    YES! they put dave navarro in there! woohoo! yeah, he just scraped in at number 100 by the skin of his teeth, but he deserves to be on there as much as anyone! three days is a sensational song.
    BradRocker
    Here are my top five: 1)Dry County - Bon Jovi 2)I Believe In a Thing Called Love- The Darkness 3)Little Wing- Jimi Hendrix 4)Voodo Child - Jimi Hendix 5)Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen Say whether u agree
    Wounded Hamster
    Thank you mark276, you are one of the few people here who can recognise the amazing emotional genius of Eddie Hazel. Are there any more people who have heard Maggot Brain and would like to agree with me?
    Sir RocksAlot
    Good list apart from the fact stairways at number 1. Great song but not the best solo ever
    superbaa1
    Yeah,... but can ya play the "cutting heads" solo's from the movie Crossroads? Ya know that Ry Cooder/Steve Vai stuff? Why aren't they on the list??? Either one of them? It's the Canadians! It's a dirty plot just like with Shania Twain. All the people in the top twenty are all Canadians who pretended to be somebody else! (That would almost be easier to believe than the ignorance of this list;
    halenfan2003
    how the fuk did balls on parade and smells like teen spirit get put ahead of mr crowley!!! the list started off good then it became mostly bullshit
    EamonDoyle
    evilville, in response to your missives: 1) Last time I checked, I was not retarded. 2) None of those bands suck. All the solos I mentioned are excellent. 3) Learn to spell "picks."
    assualtonguitar
    who cares about playing the worlds best solo. there is probaly some dude in some bar in the middle of butt*** nowhere is playing a solo a 100 times better than any solo out in the mainstream.
    zeusplayer44
    DrowningPool: i can play the worlds best 7th solo?? thats a nice thing to know
    ....umm.....i can play the worlds 1st best solo? thats nice to know.....haha .....im not cocky....im just good
    thegenerator
    Everyone just calm down. Be grateful that The Darkness didn't feature in the Top 20. (or from the sounds of things, the Top 100. Havent checked yet.)
    praise2hendrix
    Page definately sould be in the top 3 but not with stairway to heaven, he has so many other better solos. And hendrix at #5 hmmm thas not right either and especially with van halen ahead of him theres something wrong there. This list needs a lot of work and i think that goes without saying.
    riffer_raffer
    im surprised no john frushanti, i mean come on he is freaken on awsome
    ........ seriously?... he's a good guitarist, but his solo's (or lack there of) are kinda weak...