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” (Number 100) and builds to a truly epic finish with Jimmy Page's solo on "Stairway to Heaven" (Number 1).
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."
We've kicked off a summer blockbuster of our own — a no-holds-barred six-string shootout. We're pitting Guitar World's top 64 guitar solos against each other in an NCAA-style, 64-team single-elimination tournament. Every day, we will ask you to cast your vote in a different guitar-solo matchup as dictated by the 64-team-style bracket.
You can vote only once per matchup. The voting for each matchup ends as soon as the next matchup is posted (Basically, that's one poll per day during the first round of elimination, including weekends and holidays).
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?"
Winner: "Free Bird" (56.55 percent)
Loser: "Money" (43.45 percent)
Today's Round 1 Matchup (Day 26):
"All Along the Watchtower " Vs. "Zoot Allures"
We've reached Day 26 of our 32-day-long Round 1! Today, two departed guitar legends go head to head. We have Jimi Hendrix's guitar solo on "All Along the Watchtower" (05) facing Frank Zappa's instrumental masterpiece "Zoot Allures" (60). Get busy! You'll find the poll at the bottom of the story.
05. “All Along the Watchtower”
Soloist: Jimi Hendrix
Album: The Jimi Hendrix Experience—Electric Ladyland (Experience Hendrix/MCA, 1968)
60. "Zoot Allures"
Soloist: Frank Zappa
Album: Zoot Allures (Warner Bros., 1976)
Winner: "All Along the Watchtower" (81.03 percent)
Loser: "Zoot Allures" (18.97 percent)