A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World magazine compiled what we feel is the ultimate guide to the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time.
The list, which has been quoted by countless artists, websites and publications around the world, starts with Richie Sambora's work on Bon Jovi's “Wanted Dead or Alive” (Number 100) and builds to a truly epic finish with Jimmy Page's solo on "Stairway to Heaven" (Number 1).
To quote our "Stairway to Heaven" story that ran with the list, "If Jimmy Page is the Steven Spielberg of guitarists, then 'Stairway' is his Close Encounters."
We've kicked off a summer blockbuster of our own — a no-holds-barred six-string shootout. We're pitting Guitar World's top 64 guitar solos against each other in an NCAA-style, 64-team single-elimination tournament. Every day, we will ask you to cast your vote in a different guitar-solo matchup as dictated by the 64-team-style bracket.
You can vote only once per matchup. The voting for each matchup ends as soon as the next matchup is posted (Basically, that's one poll per day during the first round of elimination, including weekends and holidays).
In some cases, genre will clash against genre; a thrash solo might compete against a Southern rock solo, for instance. But let's get real: They're all guitar solos, played on guitars, by guitarists, most of them in some subset of the umbrella genre of rock. When choosing, it might have to come down to, "Which solo is more original and creative? Which is more iconic? or Which one kicks a larger, more impressive assemblage of asses?"
Winner: "All Along the Watchtower" (81.03 percent)
Loser: "Zoot Allures" (18.97 percent)
Today's Round 1 Matchup (Day 27):
"Eruption" Vs. "Scar Tissue"
Today, as we draw closer to wrapping up Round 1 of our Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time readers poll, we see the biggest mismatch since the recent weekend when "Stairway to Heaven" destroyed "Little Red Corvette." We find Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" (which is ranked at number 2 on our list of the greatest guitar solos of all time) competing against song number 63, "Scar Tissue," featuring a lovely slide solo by Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante.
So, yes, we know this is a crazy matchup, but it's one of the very few serious mismatches we have to get through as we look forward to Round 2, where higher-ranked solos and crowd favorites will duke it out in earnest. Anyway, get busy! You'll find the poll at the bottom of the story. And remember, there are better matchups ahead!
Soloist: Eddie Van Halen
Album: Van Halen—Van Halen (Warner Bros., 1978)
63. "Scar Tissue"
Soloist: John Frusciante
Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers—Californication (Warner Bros., 1999)