Playlist: James Valentine (Maroon 5)

Originally published in Guitar World, February 2011

The Maroon 5 guitarist discusses his current playlist.


“My older brother played me this when I was 10, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I knew then that I wanted to play the guitar.”

“Kid Charlemagne”—Steely Dan

“I went through a period in high school where I only listened to instrumental music. Steely Dan was a good transition out of that period because there is so much going on in these songs. Larry Carlton’s solo is perfect!”

“Maggot Brain”—Parliament

“Eddie Hazel’s solo just keeps on going and blowing your mind. Best listened to in the dark lying on the floor.”

“Blues for Los Angeles”—Bill Frisell

“Frisell creates these little worlds with his compositions, and this is a really creepy world. I recommend listening to this while driving through downtown Los Angeles.”

“Freak Out”—Chic

“This is probably our favorite funk riff of all time, usually the first thing Adam [Levine] and I will play when picking up a new guitar. Nile Rodgers’ style has been a primary influence in the guitar parts of Maroon 5.”

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