10 underrated Nuno Bettencourt solos you probably haven't heard – but will still blow your mind

Nuno Bettencourt
(Image credit: Brian Malloy)

Although you’d think that, by now, all of Nuno’s guitar solos would be required listening in elementary schools across the land, yet there are still a few dusty gems that are just waiting to be discovered by the masses. Such as…

1. Paint the Town Red – Mourning Widows (Mourning Widows, 1998)

During one of Mourning Widows’ most aggressive tracks, Bettencourt turns up the heat with a chugging, yet frenetic burst of molten lava, leaving listeners quivering in his wake.

2. 2 Weeks in Dizkneeland – Nuno Bettencourt (Schizophonic, 1997)

The best part of Schizophonic is that Bettencourt spends the entirety of its 15 tracks exploring new sonic ground. As for the solo, it’s full of the raw fury he’s known for, but it’s also punky, funky and ballsy.

3. Space – Mourning Widows (Furnished Souls for Rent, 2000)

For those who’ve gotten used to Bettencourt kicking them in the teeth with his solos, Space provides a change of pace. He shows immense restraint midway through, delivering a soaring yet still virtuoso-level performance.

4. Warheads – Extreme (III Sides to Every Story, 1992)

By the time Bettencourt recorded the Warheads solo, he was in his prime, and man, does it show. During the last leg of the cut, Bettencourt sets his Washburn’s fretboard on fire, delivering the kind of heroics that made him famous in the first place.

5. Furnished Souls for Rent – Mourning Widows (Furnished Souls for Rent)

If you’re looking for something to increase your heart rate or maybe even knock you on your ass, look no further than the flesh-tearing solo Bettencourt delivers during the closing track to Mourning Widows’ final album.

6. Last Hour – Extreme (Saudades de Rock, 2008)

In an album brimming with overlooked tracks, Last Hour takes the cake. Why? The guitar solo, of course. It’s slower-paced, but Bettencourt makes a statement by using hyper-deliberate notes.

7. Spaceman – Population 1 (Population 1, 2002)

Another example of Bettencourt’s post-Extreme experimentation, Spaceman finds the normally metal-leaning shredder in full-blown blues mode. It’s refreshing, inspiring and, yeah… maybe a bit weird, too.

8. 667 – Mourning Widows (Furnished Souls for Rent)

Undoubtedly a player of Bettencourt’s caliber has unleashed more technically brilliant flurries. Nevertheless, this solo is fun and groovy and a shining example of how to tastefully use a wah pedal.

9. Peacemaker Die – Extreme (III Sides to Every Story)

Bettencourt has classified this solo as one of his more “underrated.” Artist’s opinion aside, there’s no denying that this short burst is one to remember.

10. Lock Down – DramaGods (Love, 2005)

There’s an argument to be made that Bettencourt’s DramaGods compositions are some of his strongest outside of Extreme. Want proof? Feast your ears on the multi-dimensional freakout that is his Lock Down solo. Your heart, body and mind will thank you.  

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.