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: "Stranglehold" (77.73 percent)
Loser: "Paranoid Android" (22.27 percent)
Round 1, Day 20: "Stairway to Heaven" Vs. "Little Red Corvette"
Today, Round 1 of this summer-long poll, which has had its share of odd matchups since we kicked things off June 10, has reached its most-mismatched moment yet. Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" (01) is squaring off against Prince's "Little Red Corvette" (64). The "Stairway" solo, of course, is played by Jimmy Page. The solo on "Corvette" is played by Dez Dickerson.
In case it isn't clear from the (01) and (64) above, the Number-1-ranked guitar solo is going up against the Number-64-ranked solo, also known as the bottom seed. Yes, it's a complete mismatch, but remember that it had to happen sooner or later! And, to make things even more mismatched, the video for "Little Red Corvette" is not available on YouTube!
Anyway, get busy! You'll find the poll at the bottom of the story.
01. “Stairway to Heaven”
Soloist: Jimmy Page
Album: Led Zeppelin—Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic, 1971)
64. "Little Red Corvette"
Soloist: Dez Dickerson
Album: Prince—1999 (Warner Bros., 1982)
NOTE: At the moment, there are several videos of "Little Red Corvette" available on YouTube; HOWEVER, none of them include the song's audio, which is the most important part. We don't see the need to embed a music-free "music video."
Winner: "Stairway to Heaven" (91.94 percent)
Loser: "Little Red Corvette" (8.06 percent)
Please check out our current Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time poll at GuitarWorld.com!