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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.