Our January/February contest winner Kelsey Hunter discusses her “top 5 favorite guitar solos” for the most recent issue’s “High Five” Contest.
“Lets Go Crazy,” Prince and the Revolution
Just when you think this hyper-electric pop song is about to come to a screeching halt, Prince adds that extra cherry on top and cranks out one of his most famous solos of all time. Not only has this hair-raising solo inspired many guitarists alike, it more importantly showcased the sheer and bona fide talent that Prince had, not only as a pop artist, but as a well-recognized and established rock guitarist.
“November Rain,” Guns N’ Roses (Slash)
It doesn’t require a well-trained ear to recognize the signature styling of lead guitarist, Slash, known famously for his run with Guns N’ Roses. This applies when listening to his beautiful solo in the 1991 hit, “November Rain” off the album Use Your Illusion I. Whether it’s the sweet mellow tone of his Gibson Les Paul, or just the sensual melody he plays to compliment this passionate rock ballad, Slash created a memorable and admirable solo. Aside from all of the intense and unhinged solos particularly found on this album, the sensitive blues-inspired solo displays the importance of minimalistic playing and proves that sometimes less is more.
“Hotel California,” The Eagles (Don Felder & Joe Walsh)
It’s a guitar solo that everyone has permanently stored in the back of their heads, a sort of American-California anthem if you will. Don Felder and Joe Walsh of the Eagles are the men responsible for this incredibly infectious tune. “Hotel California” has the iconic laid-back energy that is only been made more memorable by the alluring solo that comes accompanying the slow “cha-cha” like rhythm.
“Something,” The Beatles (George Harrison)
“Something” was one of George Harrison’s most successful and well acclaimed songs, and it can be found on the well respected album Abbey Road by The Beatles. The hauntingly beautiful lyrics correlate with the intricate simplicity of this solo. The string of notes can be heard singing the same words of this ballad, telling a blissfully affectionate love story.
“The Thrill Is Gone,” B.B. King
This mellow, heartbreaking hit can only be the work of a true blues guitar aficionado. The one, the only B.B.King performs “The Thrill Is Gone” and uses both his vocal style, along with his iconic melancholic blues riffing to paint one of the best gut-wrenching break-up songs of all time. It’s a perfect balance of dejected lyrics and soloing from King and his beloved guitar Lucille.