As much as he might try to deny it, Eric Johnson is a member of that small group of players sometimes referred to as "guitarists' guitarists." Players—like Jeff Beck, for instance—whose skills are (secretly, perhaps) the envy of his peers. Johnson is, however, well aware of the dual trademarks that are likely to become his legacy: instantly recognizable tone and a painstaking pursuit of perfection.
Sure, we could've packed this list with songs with mind-blowing B-bender solos by Diamond Rio's Jimmy Olander, the Hellecasters' Will Ray or the Byrds' Clarence White. Instead, we've gone for a more well-rounded approach, attempting to include as many different guitarists as possible, not to mention a few super-accessible (even "classic") songs. We might've even thrown in an 11th song. Our math isn't too good.
What, exactly, is a headphone album? Well, the definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone album is a work that is so exquisitely recorded that it demands that you have to listen to each beautifully recorded note under a sonic microscope. Something like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fits that bill.
The capo is to guitars what sugar — or Stevia, if you prefer — is to food. It makes everything sweeter. Musicians started noticing the capo's inherent song-sweetening properties sometime in the early 17th century, when primitive versions of the handy accessory were employed to raise the pitch of a host of fretted instruments.
Musicians can still be a little fuzzy when it comes to describing the sound of a fuzz box. Some guitarists will tell you it sounds like a 2,000-pound bee trapped in a sturdy metal box — perhaps with a potentiometer installed somewhere behind the wings. And while many early fuzz guitar tunes and tones did indeed make the most of the original fuzz buzz, fuzz actually has many facets, many sides, many fuzz faces, if you will.
The list of songs with great guitar tone is endless, and singling out any one as the best is, of course, subjective. But some guitar tones scream out for attention, and the best ones don’t do that literally. Instead, they pull at the melody and cut across the bed created by the rhythm section, without being too showy or abrasive or predictable.