Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 2 — "All Along the Watchtower" (Jimi Hendrix) Vs. "Mr. Crowley" (Randy Rhoads)

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2013 at 12:45pm

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” (100) and builds to a truly epic finish with Jimmy Page's solo on "Stairway to Heaven" (01).

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."

In June, we kicked off a summer blockbuster of our own — a no-holds-barred six-string shootout. We pitted Guitar World's top 64 guitar solos against each other in an NCAA-style, 64-team single-elimination tournament. Every day, we asked you to cast your vote in a different guitar-solo matchup as dictated by the 64-team-style bracket. Now Round 1 has come and gone, leaving us with 32 guitar solo and 16 (sweet) matchups.

You can vote only once per matchup, and the voting ends as soon as the next matchup is posted (Basically, that's one poll per day).

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?"

Yesterday's Results

Winner: "Whole Lotta Love" (57.24 percent)
Loser: "November Rain" (42.76 percent)


Today's Round 2 Matchup (14 of 16)
"All Along the Watchtower" Vs. "Mr. Crowley"

Sorry for the late start today! We're also very sorry to hear about the passing of J.J. Cale, the singer/guitarist who wrote "Cocaine," "Call Me the Breeze," "After Midnight" and many more great songs, several of which were made popular by other artists, including Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was 74. RIP!

Round 2 of our Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time readers poll continues with Jimi Hendrix's classic guitar solo on his Bob Dylan cover, "All Along the Watchtower" (05), against Randy Rhoads' solo on Ozzy Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley" (28). Get busy! You'll find the poll at the very bottom of the story. We'll include an updated bracket with Monday's poll story.

05. “All Along the Watchtower”
Soloist: Jimi Hendrix
Album: The Jimi Hendrix Experience—Electric Ladyland (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 1968)

Joining the Experience for the initial “Watchtower” session was Traffic guitarist Dave Mason, who, it was decided, would contribute a 12-string acoustic part. “Dave hung out a lot with Jimi and was a regular in the studio,” says engineer Eddie Kramer. “Jimi was aware of his ability and felt that he could cover the part adequately.”

Jimi, says Kramer, had a firm understanding of just how the song was to be arranged and performed, but the session proved to be anything but smooth. Mason, whose job it was to double Jimi’s six-string acoustic rhythm part, struggled mightily, causing Jimi to reprimand him several times.

Hendrix and Noel Redding also clashed, and the bassist, angered by what he saw as Jimi’s obsessive quest for perfection, bolted from the studio midway through the session. Mason took over the bass in Redding’s absence, but Hendrix ultimately overdubbed the part himself, using a small, custom bass guitar that Bill Wyman had given to Andy Johns.

After the basic rhythm tracks were finally completed to Jimi’s satisfaction, he turned his attention to the song’s four distinct solo sections, each of which were recorded separately. “Once Jimi started working on his solos, the session moved very quickly,” says Kramer. “The thing that occurs to me was how completely prepared he was. One thing that people don’t realize is that Jimi always did his homework. He and producer Chas Chandler always got together to work out ideas well before he walked into the studio. Jimi knew exactly what he wanted to play

“He used a different tone setting for each part. I recall him using a cigarette lighter to play the slide section, and that the delay effect on each of the sections was applied later. I used an EMT plate reverb—that was the only thing available to us at the time.”



28. “Mr. Crowley”
Soloist: Randy Rhoads
Album: Ozzy Osbourne—Blizzard of Ozz (Epic, 1981)

“I’d have to say that ‘Mr. Crowley’ is my most memorable solo,” said Randy Rhoads. “I had spent hours trying to figure out a solo for the song, but wasn’t getting anywhere. I finally put something down. Then Ozzy came in and said, ‘It’s crap—everything you’re playing is crap.’ He told me to get in there and just play how I felt. He made me really nervous, so I just played anything. When I came back to listen to it, he said it was great, and I had to agree.”

[[ When you're done voting, start learning every guitar solo in this poll — and more! Check out a new TAB book from Guitar World and Hal Leonard: 'The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time: A Treasure Trove of Guitar Leads Transcribed Note-for-Note, Plus Song Notes for More Than 40 of the Best Solos.' It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99. ]]

Cast Your Vote!

Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Round 2 — "Mr. Crowley" Vs. "All Along the Watchtower"

Head HERE to see today's matchup and all the matchups that have taken place so far!


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Jimi Hendrix's 'The Cry of Love' and 'Rainbow Bridge' to Be Reissued in September (8/20/2014)
Newly remastered versions of The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge — the first two Jimi Hendrix albums to be released after the guitarist's death in 1970 — will become available in September. Audio engineer Bernie Grundman, who mastered Prince's Pu...
LA Sessions: 14-Year-Old Guitarist Ray Goren Talks New EP and Working with Jimi Hendrix Producer Eddie Kramer (7/14/2014)
Fourteen-year-old guitarist Ray Goren describes LA Sessions, his new EP, as a unique mixture of everything from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Wonder. Considering the fact that Hendrix’s producer, Eddie Kramer, worked on the EP, it’s hard to argue. Gore...
JamPlay with Kenny Ray: Enhancing Blues Progressions with Seventh and "Jimi Hendrix" Chords (7/1/2014)
Kenny "Blue" Ray is a life-long blues musician who has played with greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan. Kenny also is a JamPlay instructor who teaches live and pre-recorded classes on blues guitar. In this lesson, Kenny discusses 7th chords and ho...
Future's Past: Dave Mason Talks Recording with Jimi Hendrix, New Album and More (6/27/2014)
Guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason was a founding member of Traffic (along with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood). He's also recorded and/or toured with the likes of George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac a...
Dear Guitar Hero: Donovan Recalls Working with The Beatles, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page — and Welcoming Jimi Hendrix to England (5/21/2014)
He’s a famous Sixties folk-pop troubadour who worked with Jimmy Page and played with the Beatles. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is… What do you call your unique picking technique, and which artists inspired it? — Dingy Bell I...
Randy Rhoads Was No Saint, Says New Book By Childhood Friend and Bandmate Kelly Garni (5/19/2014)
In his book Angels With Dirty Faces, photographer and bassist Kelly Garni paints a different picture of the late Randy Rhoads than we are accustomed to. And all I can say is thank god! Since Rhoads' death in 1982, after perishing in a freak pla...
'In My Soul': Robert Cray Discusses His New Album, Seeing Jimi Hendrix and the Power of the Blues (5/9/2014)
Widely recognized as one of the greatest blues guitarists of our time, Robert Cray has pretty much done it all in his four decades of making music. Cray has written songs or shared the stage with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, St...
Ozzy Osbourne Bassist Bob Daisley Posts Previously Unheard Randy Rhoads Recordings (3/19/2014)
Randy Rhoads died 32 years ago today on March 19, 1982. To pay tribute to Rhoads, Rainbow/Ozzy Osbourne/Gary Moore bassist Bob Daisley has posted a lengthy Q&A on his website, bobdaisley.com, titled "The Blizzard of Ozz and The Holy Grail." ...
New Book, 'Starting at Zero: His Own Story,' Is Pure Jimi Hendrix — in His Own Words (3/5/2014)
Bloomsbury recently published a unique book about — in fact, by — guitar legend legend Jimi Hendrix. The book, Starting at Zero: His Own Story, features an introduction by Peter Neal, who made Experience, the first-ever film about Hendrix. Also...
New Book, 'Crazy Train,' Revisits the 'High Life and Tragic Death of Randy Rhoads' (3/4/2014)
Crazy Train: The High Life and Tragic Death of Randy Rhoads by Joel McIver — featuring a foreword by Zakk Wylde and an afterword by Yngwie Malmsteen — is available now at the Guitar World Online Store. Randall Rhoads, born in California in 1956 ...
Soloing Strategies: Randy Rhoads' Scales, Blues Licks and Daring Chromatic Maneuvers (2/20/2014)
In the world of heavy metal, hot guitarists are a dime a dozen. Yet only a precious few stand the test of time and become enduring guitar gods. Randy Rhoads was one such player. Joining forces with singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1979, Rhoads burst on...
Video: ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons Covers Jimi Hendrix and Robert Johnson in New York City (1/13/2014)
Below, check out two high-quality fan-filmed videos from Billy Gibbons' December 18, 2013, show at a venue called City Winery in New York City. Gibbons, who is best known as ZZ Top's bearded axeman, can be seen performing "Foxy Lady" (aka "Foxey...
Missing for Years, Recordings and Footage from 1968 Miami Pop Fest Represent a Bright Spot for Jimi Hendrix Experience (12/11/2013)
This is an excerpt from the January 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus the Beatles' 50 Greatest Guitar Songs, Andreas Kisser, Mark Tremonti, a guide to new signature model guitars and John Petrucci's monthly column — ch...
Interview with Roger Mayer: The Secrets of Jimi Hendrix's Guitar Setup (11/27/2013)
Nobody knows the ins and outs of Jimi Hendrix's guitar sound like Roger Mayer. Mayer had already worked with Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck and produced a number of different fuzz boxes by the time he met Hendrix at a gig at the Bag Of Nails pub in L...
Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition: Win Cash, Gear and a Spot on the 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour (11/13/2013)
Experience Hendrix LLC, in partnership with Talenthouse, has announced the Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition. Together with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings and IK Multimedia, Talenthouse and Experience Hendrix have launched a competition that offer...
Review: 'Jimi Hendrix — Hear My Train A Comin'’ on PBS Tonight; Expanded Blu-ray and 'Miami Pop Festival' CD Out Today (11/5/2013)
It’s hard to imagine there’s much in the Hendrix family archives that’s worth hearing or seeing at this point, but Jimi Hendrix — Hear My Train A Comin’, which airs on PBS’ acclaimed American Masters series tonight, certainly fits the bill. Whil...