A Collaborative Playlist: Greatest Guitar Solos

Three weeks ago, I published my top five guitar solos, a subjective list based entirely on the guitarists’ ability to move my soul through their combination of note selection and technical wizardry. These self-imposed standards led to many obvious guitarists being left off the list in favor of some less-spoken for guitar heroes with a penchant for inspiration and resourcefulness. Now I’m putting the power in your hands. Using my original list plus your suggestions in the comments section, I created a collaborative Spotify playlist titled “Stereophile - Greatest Guitar Solos Ever”. You are all invited to add songs to this list and share what you feel are the most important leads of all time. It’s a guitar solo potluck where you can hear what other playlist subscribers have to offer as well as showcase your own tastes. Open the playlist in Spotify via this link or in your web browser here. Drag songs from different artists and albums to the playlist on the left-panel of the Spotify interface to add your choices to the list. Have fun!

Ariel Bitran's picture

I'm seriously impressed by how much fun this is. Yes, Stereophile readers, I am clicking on your profiles and checking out your tastes. It's wonderful to see audiophiles having such eclectic ears. Keep on contributing! This playlist is getting quite awesome.

Ariel Bitran's picture

Chris Duarte....

where have i been? this guy is incredible.

mal's picture

You're welcome.

If you run out of albums to buy, don't forget that the man's got 46 shows on archive.org.

ikymagoo's picture

i think i went a little crazy with my additions

just some of the songs that get me going :)

stereo slim's picture

Obviously being too spotify-illiterate to succeed in adding my fav-5 selection to the playlist, I am posting it here --- finding that some of the finest guitar soloists are not represented at all on the list (as of yesterday):

1. Frank Zappa - solo on "Stink-Foot" (from Apostrophe (')) @2:18-3:53

2. Roy Buchanan - "Wayfaring Stranger" is an instrumental, so the guitar solo is on for most of the piece, with the true wail @1:30-3:33

3. John Fahey - "House of the Rising Sun / Nightmare" (from Sea Changes and Coelacanths ...) - live solo guitar / guitar solo from beginning to end (@0:00-19:08) - otherworldly!

4. Jim Hall - the solo on his "Concierto De Aranjuez" (@4:02-6:36) is just one fine example of his artistry - though on this one, the seductive interplay between Chet Baker (tp) and Paul Desmond (as) is even more fascinating;

5. John Scofield - "Leaving" (Richie Beirach, comp) from the 1977 live recording of a concert in Munich on ENJA records (solo @4:45-9:23). I was fortunate to hear JS play the same tune live in concert in my then home town Göttingen a couple years later.

... Fahey's Nightmare almost over now - yeah!

Ariel Bitran's picture


bigmun01's picture

Since everyone is entitled to their own stupid opinion, I'll add mine. Here is one which, as any who have tried playing it know, is remarkable.

And Your Bird Can Sing-George Harrison

Ariel Bitran's picture

seriously - what an amazing solo that is. so easy to sing back, so fun rhythmically, just love it.

klemenn's picture

F.Z.: But if you want to get beyond music into emotional content, you have to break through that and just talk on your instrument, just make it talk. And if you're gonna make it talk...Here is an Interview where Frank talks about his solos....