Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time Readers Poll: Ultimate Showdown — "Eruption" (Eddie Van Halen) Vs. "Comfortably Numb" (David Gilmour)

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jumptheshark

CN is a really mopey solo, by contrast Eruption is a musical howler monkey sat in hot sauce, but "25 or 6 to 4" fits more moods and situations than both

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jumptheshark

I disagree that Eruption should be the best ever. The story goes that it wasn't Ed who cobbled a lot of frantic random wankery together and declared it his magnum opus worth recording, and I concur.
In musical terms this was taking a 50hp Pinto, putting a fart can on it, parking at Walmart and proceeding to rev the engine into the red over and over and over. See me! Watch me! Plastic trim all around! Fat tires! Loud paint! Volume at 11! Synthol! And that appealed to kids playing Smoke at the time. Less structure or songcraft, more screech.
There's talk about how much it influenced mainstream rock, which is true. LA hair took over. Botox.
But I feel Ed jumped the shark by writing pop fluff Jump, then cramming some alleged heavy metal thunder into that, too, sounding just like Eruption. This beat Karma Chameleon in the pop charts. Wankery is hopelessly dated by now. New Eruption videos no longer go viral on YouTube.

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Nostradumbass

EVH is a lot more proficient than any Pinto.

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TeleJohn

I wouldn't read Guitar World if I didn't love all these great players--I hate a "who's best" question because it's pointless. Too many great recordings by too many great players--and I firmly believe there are even better ones out there who haven't been heard because no record company signed them.
Congrats to EVH, I'm sure he'll covet his new trophy....it takes nothing away from the phenomenal playing of Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Dijebag Darrell, Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Brian May, Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Bonamassa, Shaun Lane, Richie Blackmore, Steve Morse...and any other six-stringer who ever made someone smile.

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tkrox

Awesome! everyone it was a lot of fun following all this. Take care, now - back to working the chops. :)

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Darth Compton

Finally done, and I'm cool with 'Numbs final position (hell, I'm just glad it beat fuck'n Rhapsody).

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parkerjohnson

To the guy's upset over this. You people are funny. Trying to convince us there is a so called lack of "feeling" in Eruption. Do yourself a favor and learn how to play it. You will quickly learn that, that is all it is. Quit crying, pick up your guitar and find out why we voted the way we did.

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thebreeze12

Kind of funny how a simple poll of something we as guitar players (some voters maybe not)all love, brings out all of this emotion. I voted for 'Numb....IMO it's simply the best solo that fit's the context of the song it's in. I consider EVH my 2nd favorite player and when I hear Eruption I always stop what I'm doing and listen. You have your haters (Hendrix1970 and voodoochile2) but everyone is entitled to an opinion. Really is there a "greatest guitar player ever".....probably not. Are there technically more proficient players, for sure. Players with more soul and feel, for sure. But does one, a combination of all make anyone the best?? I think not. Being 47 years old with 2 older brother's I've heard the gamut of music from many decades and can appreciate what all musicians from those times and genre's brought to the instrument. I'm a metal guy through and through, but all I can say is just enjoy and appreciate the music you like and be glad that there are/were musicians that were brave and lucky enough to have their craft heard.

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Hendrix1970

Poor baby looks like you were influenced by the 80s, it's okay, we don't expect anything less.

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parkerjohnson

You really are sorry. Yeah Hendrix was good. Get the fuck over it. Maybe listen to some new music. Its not the 70s anymore.

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jumptheshark

Is cussing online and telling people what to do cool and badass? Is that original?

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tweston626

I call foul here. One is an intentional guitar solo for the sake of being a guitar virtuoso statement, the other is a solo meant to fit in the context of a song. This is BS and should really be Stairway vs Comfortably Numb.

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JVH

All you Pink Floyd fans that are crying that Comfortably Numb was the cats ass need to remember one thing in this arguement.....

EVH originally did that solo on an acoustic guitar before a show at the Whisky as a WARM UP and I think it was Templeman that heard him do it and asked if ed can do it on electric. Of course it was easier to do electric and Ed did it in a couple of takes.

Lets see any of the listed heros here in the poll pull eruption off as it is never mind on acoustic!!

Thank you.

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jumptheshark

Ed himself never considered wanking around deliriously on guitar worthy of recording, his greatest achievement, what everyone must aspire to lest they be labeled a disabled minority. Tell us why he missed that

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milomilad

honestly people choose ed van ahlen cos he can play fast
gilmour is slow and steady with great music

guitarsampseffects.blogspot.com

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Hendrix1970

oh my god, these sorts of people are how the 80s guitarist ruined peoples minds LMAO

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Nostradumbass

What does anything he said have to do with the 80s at all?

Did you get raped by Reagan when he was still alive or something?

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Harpo

Love both, But gotta go with Eruption. When they ask:

"Which solo is more original and creative for its time?"

That's Eruption by a mile.

"Which is more iconic or important?"

Hard to say there. Depends on who you ask.

"Which one kicks a larger, more impressive assemblage of asses?"

I'm assuming that means "which one influenced the most people". Well that's gotta be Eruption. It basically created 80s rock guitar right there. As great as Comfortably Numb is...Clapton put that style on the map...not Gilmore. And 80s rock guitarists certainly weren't aping CN.

I also know a lot of people prefer "serious" with rock music but I've always leaned toward "fun". (The genre started out as "fun music" in the 50s) EVH was fun...the guy never stopped smiling...I can practically hear him smiling in Eruption!

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freneticcreature

All of the EVH fans on here keep pushing that "Eruption" is the most influential solo ever, but, when I was a child, I caught a fleeting sound, from the corner of my house, I listened for more, but it was gone... At only about 6 yrs old, it made me shiver, chills ran down my spine, my hair stood on end, and my eyes were teary. So I asked my mom (Pink Floyd is her favorite),"What was that?" She told me it was "Comfortably Numb". I had no idea what that meant at that time, but I knew that I loved it, and I wanted to do that too. When I got older and started playing guitar, the only song I cared about learning was "Comfortably Numb". I'd heard "Eruption many times, since our local classic rock radio station always played "Eruption" as an "intro" of sorts, to Van Halen's cover of "Pretty Woman". I never was very impressed at all. In fact, I always thought that the intro to "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" was cooler than "Eruption". And it's not that I'm not into "flashy, fast, noodling" because, behind David Gilmoure, my favorite guitarist is John Petrucci, and he's as fast, flashy, and noodley as they come. But, all in all, "Comfortably Numb" is probably the reason that I ever even wanted to play guitar. So, it definitely gets my vote!

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krshnakrunch

In other words, your daddy left your bunghole comfortably numb.

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freneticcreature

Well, it's obvious you voted for EVH. And...I know why, because, I can tell from your moronic, mentally deficient comment, that you're a complete idiot!

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jumptheshark

... and its why his idol fences him out of his home and life. And who can blame the idols and celebrities? Look at what their craft and practice too oft attract and in too great numbers.

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kris101

I don't understand why people always say eddie doesn't have "feel." The fact is, eddie has great feel and rhythm.

The truth is, these are two songs with 2 completely different feels. eddie wanted to a high intensity, good time feeling.

Comfortably numb has a kick ass solo, but I still had to go with Van Halen on this one. Little Wing was the only song I voted over Eruption.

Eruption wins these contests because it was THE game changing solo. It is the best? no because there is no "best" but it did influence a whole lot of us guitar players, which is why we hold it in such high regards.

These polls are meant to be fun, so just vote for your favorite, no need to try and discredit the other. 'cause in the end it's all about how it impacted you.

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Darth Compton

Well said, Kris. Especially the last paragraph.

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Hendrix1970

If the feel isn't there, then what are you left with? something Jerry Garcia said... maybe some of you could think about it for a sec.

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krshnakrunch

Jerry Garcia, Hendrix . . .

Apparently you have a thing for guitarists who don't know how to tune their instruments. Have another bong hit, hippie.

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Hendrix1970

What a retard, auto tuners weren't around for sometime corky! thank god!

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TMan33

More Hendrix1970 whining............. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Hendrix1970

it's a fact dude, maybe if you got over your ego....

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GEENGADE

Soloing between Van Halen's 1978 eponymous debut album and
"Comfortably Numb" is a song by the English rock band Pink Floyd, which first appears on the

1979 double album, The Wall.

Here to show you that Van Halen came out before the WALL. So by the math Pink Floyds' DG was

already aware of the damages done by VH. If DG was even fazed by the damage VH left behind,

who knows only DG.

If DG says that this is true, that he heard Eruption then he was influenced by VH eruption.

Also sounds like VH was not in the lest touched by his guitar work, cause I dont see the

connection.

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w.........w............w....i..n.....n..ssssss
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w.w..........w.w...........i..n....nn.s.....s
w..............w.............i..n......n.ssssss

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AussieDan

Ok D. Gilmour may not be the best guitarist ever (but my favorite none the less). I would have thought either jims would have won it.
I have tried to get into Van Halen Albums but they bring no emotions out in me. Sorry but in my opinion its just an inflated ego driven posing solo by EVH. At no point does it take me on a journey. And in my mind this is why we play and listen to music,not to see who can get the most noise out. I'd never own the loudest car and i'd never listen to the noisiest guitarist.Lifes too short to waste it on wank.

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revdraco

"Eruption" doesn't *take* you on a journey - it *is* the journey - you can either follow along, or be left behind. . .

But, it's ok - someone has to stay at camp and cook dinner for the rest of us. . . Keeping up with Ed is hard work. . .

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jumptheshark

So what might that journey be? I like to ask friends of it to elaborate over at YouTube. Wax poetic, say who, what, where, why, when how this wanky mess is cranked in their lives, what its a soundtrack to, etc. "it just is (sic) your a looser doshbag STFU"
Thats pretty lazy. Heres supposedly the greatest ever and fans can't offer a few adjectives and superlatives? "it just is"

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matrecarrefour

Wow.. Eddie AGAIN? Been doing the same thing since 1979, over and over. No evolution in his playing what so ever (and don't give me the keyboard crap, he learned to play piano first so that is actually de-evolution). I know this is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child, and we all know what opinions are compared to, but there are players in that poll that grew, matured, and evolved as players... Eddie is not one of them..

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jumptheshark

The wanky craze he started got boring to me after a while, but it was actually his pop song Jump that made me realize when the revolution was over.
There he was, with fluffy, breezy keyboards, Dave's got his back against the record machine, when all of a sudden it all stops and Ed interrupts with the standard Watch me! See me! heavy metal thunder. And it fit into pop fluff Jump, which in turn beat Karma Chameleon up the charts in 84.

The song Tattoo is a direct corporate fluff descendant of Jump

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dudas23

i can give you a song on each album that shows advances in playing
Van Halen: Eruption (obviously)
Van Halen II: Women In Love he does his tapping harmonics beautifully on the intro
Women and Children First: he finally busts out the keyboards on ...And the Cradle Will Rock (its a change from the normal) and Romeo Delight he takes tap harmonics to the next level
Fair Warning: mean street the intro is tapping harmonics but even more advanced. hes adding on..evolving
Diver Down: Cathedral he brings the volume swells which have been making appearances in little bits throughout the first four albums and throws in some delay and makes it sound like an organ. something new again.
1984: nothing really...it has keyboards so it is a change but i agree with the de-evolution kind of on that one album.

all the hagar albums are a different sound completely than the first 6 DLR ones.
Gary Cherone....
A Different Kind of Truth: EVH gets heavy, his sound is different, sounds better than maybe any album since VHI or VHII
he definitely evolves, you just keep listening to eruption

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devinhull5150

Lol. And who would be your perfect ever growing guitarist? I'm not sure if you are just ignorant or just dumb, but give a listen to all Van Halen albums (Roth, Hagar, and Cherone) and then tell me his playing didn't evolve. He was the person who mainstreamed more than a handful of techniques that many players use today and are standard techniques.

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jumptheshark

Theres no such thing as greatest ever anything or anyone.

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t-rev

To all that are complaining about a EVH always winning these polls... What do you expect?
He's the greatest. I dunno what to tell you. There has never been anyone who comes close.
Eruption changed everything and so did Ed. No contest.

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voodoochile2

And I couldn't agree LESS ...

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doubletrouble5150

I couldn't agree more

jefffos

Oh my God, what a shock?? Eddie's winning ANOTHER GW poll. I never would've seen this coming in the beginning, not in a million years. You'd think it's still 1982 the way you're all gushing about this dude. I have to give it to you though, I thought for sure it'd be EVH vs. Jimmy Page. Oh well, let's grow out our mullets and take the IROC for a spin...

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jeff1512

Here's how I see it-

Eddie Van Halen is the best guitar player of all time, but Comfortably Numb is the best solo of all time.

Yes, Eruption is astounding and changed the way people viewed and played the electric guitar for decades to come- but there's something absolutely magical about CN- it just builds and builds in momentum, tension and emotion towards that shattering climax. No, there's no extremely difficult shredding or anything in it, but it's the most emotional and soulful two minutes of guitar playing ever recorded, imo.

Eruption is awesome, but Comfortably Numb is beautiful and sends shivers down my spine every time, so it gets the nod from me.

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doughsellz

Clean up on aisle 1512. Jeff made a mess in the Floyd section again.

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voodoochile2

Or an Eruption ...

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doughsellz

I know it. You know it. Eruption is the winner. Nobody came over to your house with a copy of The Wall saying you gotta hear this solo on the cool new track called Comfortably Numb.

People were numb upon hearing Eruption for the first time, however. It was & is the per se, quintessential & personification of what electric guitar should sound like.

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SamiEndler

Imho Comfortably Numb should have NEVER made it past FTLOG (maybe not even Master of Puppets). It´s a pretty good standard guitar solo, like there are played thousands of its kind a day around the world.
So come on...
My vote goes to Eruption, which is a quite interesting shredfest ;)

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lodi

What's even more interesting is that....you wrote it yourself "shredfest"
It's nothing more that Technique sampling PERIOD! not a solo.

And even more interesting is that...yes it is a standard guitar "solo" that's so standard it made it to the top....interesting huh. Wonder why?

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SamiEndler

Why it made it to the top? Well, that´s easy. The Wall is a pretty famous album and Comfortably Numb maybe the second well known song out of it.

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devinhull5150

It seems that eruption will get the second place. That's ok with me because Guitar World did a poll on the best guitarist of all time and Eddie won that. I can see why a lot of people don't like EVH's noodling but it was very influential to a lot of players. It's the song that changed how people played a guitar or what the limits were.

I just listened to numb and I really don't see the hype of that song or the whole band. I really think they're quite a bore.

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