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: "Stairway to Heaven" (91.94 percent)
Loser: "Little Red Corvette" (8.06 percent)
Today's Round 1 Matchup (Day 21):
"November Rain" Vs. "You Really Got Me"
Today, we have another example of a very highly ranked guitar solo — Slash's solo on Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" (06) going up against one of the lowest-ranked solos in the 64-solo bracket, "You Really Got Me" (59), played by Dave Davies of the Kinks. As we wrote yesterday morning before "Stairway to Heaven" (01) clobbered "Little Red Corvette" (64), it had to happen sooner or later! Anyway, get busy! You'll find the poll at the very bottom of the story.
06. “November Rain”
Album: Guns N’ Roses—Use Your Illusion I (Geffen, 1991)
59. "You Really Got Me"
Soloist: Dave Davies
Album: The Kinks—Kinks (Pye, 1964)
Cast Your Vote!
Winner: "November Rain" (79.36 percent)
Loser: "You Really Got Me" (20.64 percent)