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: "Hotel California" (64.98 percent)
Loser: "Walk" (35.02 percent)
Today's Round 1 Matchup (Day 29):
"Layla" Vs. "No More Tears"
As Round 1 of Guitar World's Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time readers poll nears its end (This is Day 29 of 32), we find Eric Clapton and Duane Allman's joint solo from Derek and the Dominos' "Layla" (14) duking it out with Zakk Wylde's much-loved guitar solo from Ozzy Osbourne's "No More Tears" (51). This marks Clapton's third Round 1 appearance ("Crossroads," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Layla"), and he'll be back later this week when "Cocaine" goes up against "One" by Metallica. And yes, we admit we're looking forward to Round 2. Anyway, get busy! You'll find the poll at the bottom of the story.
Soloist: Eric Clapton, Duane Allman
Album: Derek and the Dominos—Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Polydor, 1970)
51. "No More Tears"
Soloist: Zakk Wylde
Album: Ozzy Osbourne—No More Tears (Epic, 1991)