A few years ago, the editors of Guitar World 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” (100) and builds to a truly epic finish with Jimmy Page's solo on "Stairway to Heaven" (01).
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."
On June 10, we kicked off a summer blockbuster of our own — a no-holds-barred six-string shootout. We pitted Guitar World's top 64 guitar solos against each other in an NCAA-style, 64-team single-elimination tournament. Every day, we asked you to cast your vote in a different guitar-solo matchup as dictated by the 64-team-style bracket. Now Rounds 1 and 2 have come and gone, leaving us with 16 guitar solos and eight matchups.
WELCOME TO THE SWEET 16 ROUND, where all 16 still-standing solos will go head to head before your eyes! As always, you can vote once per matchup, and the voting ends as soon as the next matchup is posted.
In some cases, genre will clash against genre; a thrash solo might compete against a Southern rock solo. But please get real, people! 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 important? or Which one kicks a larger, more impressive assemblage of asses?"
Winner: "Hotel California" (62.27 percent)
Loser: "Brighton Rock" (37.73 percent)
Today's Sweetwater Sweet 16 Matchup (8 of 8)
"Mr. Crowley" Vs. "Since I've Been Loving You"
Welcome to the final matchup of our Sweet 16 round! We'd like to pause here and thank everyone for voting and commenting on our poll stories! OK, onward to the final matchup (until we get to the Elite 8 round, of course):
Today through Sunday, we'll watch as Ozzy Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley" (28), featuring a guitar solo by the late, great Randy Rhoads, competes against a true dark horse in this competition, Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You" (53), a song that wasn't even in the top 50 on our original list. It, of course, features a guitar solo by Jimmy Page. If "Since I've Been Loving You" finally stalls in this round, Page is still represented in the Elite 8 round by "Stairway to Heaven." If "Mr. Crowley" doesn't advance to the next round, neither does Rhoads, since this is his last remaining solo in our summer-long poll.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
• "Mr. Crowley" defeated Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" (37) in Round 1 and Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" (05) in Round 2.
• "Since I've Been Loving You" defeated Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" (12) in Round 1 and Pink Floyd's "Time" (21) in Round 2.
For a visual aid, check out the bracket photo gallery below. Anyway, get busy! You'll find the poll at the very bottom of the story.
28. “Mr. Crowley”
Soloist: Randy Rhoads
Album: Ozzy Osbourne—Blizzard of Ozz (Epic, 1981)
53. "Since I've Been Loving You”
Soloist: Jimmy Page
Album: Led Zeppelin—Led Zeppelin III (Atlantic, 1970)
[[ When you're done voting, start learning most of the guitar solos in this poll — and and a whole lot more! Check out a new TAB book from Guitar World and Hal Leonard: 'The 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time: A Treasure Trove of Guitar Leads Transcribed Note-for-Note, Plus Song Notes for More Than 40 of the Best Solos.' It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99. NOTE: Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" guitar solo (solo number 39 on our list) is NOT included in this book. ]]
Winner: "Mr. Crowley" (50.15 percent)
Loser: "Since I've Been Loving You" (49.85 percent)