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Tom Morello: these are the three greatest guitar solos of all time

Tom Morello performs onstage during KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on December 10, 2016 in Inglewood, California
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/WireImage)

Tom Morello, electric guitar extraordinaire for Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, recently sat down for an interview with Metal Hammer (opens in new tab).

The guitarist was asked a number of fan-submitted questions, including one from a fan named Paul Cullis, who wanted to know what Morello thinks is the greatest guitar solo of all time.

“There are a number of candidates," Morello replied (opens in new tab). "At number three it’s Jimi Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower – it’s symphonically composed and incredible. Number two is Jimmy Page’s Stairway To Heaven – you can go with the Led Zeppelin IV version or the live version from The Song Remains The Same

"Number one A and number one B are the solos on [Ozzy Osbourne's] Mr Crowley by Randy Rhoads," Morello said. "You could teach those on a college level musicology course or bang your head [to them] in a heavy metal parking lot.”

Morello has always been quick to acknowledge the tremendous influence Rhoads had on his own unmistakable guitar style. When the late Ozzy Osbourne guitarist was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, Morello was among those who paid tribute to Rhoads in a video message that was broadcast at the induction ceremony. 

“Randy Rhoads is a peerless talent,” he said in the video. “He revived Ozzy Osbourne's career as his gunslinger sideman. And it was Randy Rhoads' poster that I had on my wall. You could study Randy's songs in a university-level musicology class and bang your heads to them in a 7-Eleven parking lot.”

“When it comes to musical excellence, there is no one more deserving of the highest echelon of recognition and praise," he continued. "Now the incomparable Randy Rhoads stands where he belongs.”

Always a busy man, Morello released not one, but two, star-studded solo albums last year, The Atlas Underground Fire and The Atlas Underground Flood

This summer, meanwhile, he'll join his Rage Against the Machine bandmates for the highly-anticipated, many-times-rescheduled Public Service Announcement tour.

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.