The greatest guitar songs of the 21st century

The greatest guitar songs of the 21st century – 2007

Blackbird – Alter Bridge

Neither before or since has Alter Bridge produced a song as utterly epic as 2007’s Blackbird, which features solos from both Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy.

Halo – Machine Head

Rob Flynn told TG: “When we wrote Halo, it was so ridiculously difficult to play that we joked that we’d never play it live... It was way too complicated for us!” Enough said!

Guitar – Prince

Prince had no right to be this good at guitar on top of everything else. Live versions were even bigger.

Don't You Wanna Be Relevant? – The Cribs

The sardonic Wakefield trio followed up their biggest album with a brilliant slice of indie-punk.

Bodysnatchers – Radiohead

Released to near universal critical acclaim, the seventh album from the oh-so-enigmatic Oxford lot saw the band striking a balance of the experimental electronica of Kid A and Amnesiac with the more guitar-focussed material of the 90s. 

Bodysnatchers is a notable highlight – a lo-fi alt-rocker with Thom Yorke taking the main riff and Ed O’Brien jamming the sparser rhythm parts before trading riffs with resident six-string polymath Johnny Greenwood.

Wanna play along? You’d better invite a couple of guitar-playing pals over to help you tackle those layered up lines. Live, Thom, Ed and Johnny all play electrics, but there’s an acoustic guitar buried in the original mix, too – plenty of fun for everyone! 

Thom’s opening riff is the most conventional part, with a scuzzy, bluesy Black Keys-like feel. Yorke even said the song “sounds like Wolfmother”. Jonny’s parts have a more open, improvised vibe to them, so we’d recommend consulting a full transcription.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Total Guitar editors

Total Guitar is one of Europe's biggest guitar magazines. With lessons to suit players of all levels, TG's world-class tuition is friendly, accessible and jargon-free, whether you want to brush up on your technique or improve your music theory knowledge. We also talk to the biggest names in the world of guitar – from interviews with all-time greats like Brian May and Eddie Van Halen to our behind the scenes Rig Tour features, we get you up close with the guitarists that matter to you.