There's a saying in professional soccer: There are piano players and piano movers.
There are the forwards (the piano players), who—with skilled footwork and finesse—score goals, and therefore score with fans. And there are the backs (the piano movers), whose grunt work, though important, doesn't appear in the stats. The point is, you can't have success without both.
In guitar land, this metaphor is best illustrated by AC/DC's Young brothers during that band's heyday. While Angus did most of the "playing" (not to mention running around and taking on obnoxious drunken fans) Malcolm, with his yeoman-like rhythm work, moved pianos. In doing so, he became the ultimate unsung rock guitarist.
In the photo gallery below, we present several others.
By the way, we're well aware of the fact that this list could go on forever. We all know of incredible players who don't get the recognition they deserve—while people like Miley Cyrus are raking it in, for some reason.
Off the top of (at least one of) our heads, there's Harvey Mandel, Pete Thorn, Clarence White, Lonnie Johnson, TK Smith,Dave Wronski, Laurence Juber, Frank Marino, Albert Collins,Bob Warford,Shawn Lane,Criss Oliva,Rik Emmett, the guitarist in any corner bar in Nashville, Alex Lifeson, Prince, Don Rich, Andy Fairweather Low, Peter Green, Guitar Slim, Johnny Marr, Norman Blake, Lenny Breau, Robbie Blunt, Magic Sam, Lonnie Mack ... you get the idea.
On that note, we invite you to check out the WatchMojo.com video below, "Top 10 Underrated Guitarists," and tell us if you agree with their choices. Enjoy!