What follows is the list of the 10 best guitar songs of all time (in our opinion), along with the guitarist who played it, the band and album name. There are a couple of glaringly apparent ones that could not possibly be left out, as well as a few hidden gems that you may have always wondered why they’re never mentioned.
- “Stairway to Heaven” We might as well get the most obvious of the ten best guitar songs of all time out of the way. Jimmy Page’s masterpiece from the self-titled album, “Led Zeppelin IV,” was played on a ‘58 Fender Telecaster. It may not only be one of the best guitar songs of all time, but the greatest song ever recorded.
- “Free Bird” Off the “Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd” album, Gary Rossington contributed an awesome slide. Collins, on rhythm, shared the glory on this instantly recognizable best guitar song. It would be genius enough had it been just a powerful ballad, but when the dueling guitars crank it out after, “Won’t you fly high, free bird,” it’s mind-melting. Until their plane crash in 1977, Skynard always played it last.
- “Hotel California” Eagle guitarists Walsh and Felder never knew what a monster hit they had on their hands, though it took them eight months to record it. This top ten best guitar song of all time was released on the Hotel California album in 1976, then again, in 1994 when they reunited for the “Hell Freezes Over” album and tour. The guitar solos are timeless.
- “Crazy Train" Randy Rhodes brilliantly performed this solo on the “Blizzard of Ozz” album. Right from the intro, you know it’s the wild-eyed, can’t-understand-a-thing-he-says Ozzy Osbourne. If you are an O.O. fan, this is the album to have in your collection.
- “November Rain” Guns n' Roses rock god Slash's guitar does not scream for attention, it just gets it. In this bittersweet song from "Use Your Illusion I," he stands out in front of the church by himself and delivers an intense, unholy mix of pain and pleasure. This best guitar song is a mixed blessing of what is beautiful, yet sorrowful. It runs the gambit of emotions, leaving the listener spent, yet begging for more.
- “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd’s guitarist David Gilmour delivers two haunting solos in the “Off the Wall” album. This top ten best guitar song expresses exactly what being on the road can do to an artist. Gilmour’s soulful, clean licks were suspected to have been played on a ‘79 Strat guitar with a ’62 neck.
- “Still Loving You” Mathias Jabs, guitarist with the Scorpions builds up from an acoustic crescendo, as front man Meine stings with his eerie, angst-filled voice from “Love at First Sting.” This best guitar song of all time only made it to #64 in the states, but created a baby boom in France, shooting rapidly up to #1.
- “Lazy” From the “Machine Head” album in 1972, Deep Purple’s guitarist Richie Blackmore gives listeners a whiplashing on this top ten best guitar song. His fingers fly. It was voted #64 from Guitar World’s top 100 best guitar song riffs.
- “Man in a Box” Truthfully, it was a toss-up between this masterpiece and “Rooster” from guitarist Jerry Cantrell with Alice in Chains. Recorded in 1990, “Face Lift” was an on point debut. It is reputed to either be about what a POW experiences or a protest against animal cruelty.
- “Eruption” Eddie Van Halen with the self-titled “Van Halen” release can never be left out of any self-respecting top ten best guitar song list. The shredding is amazing, but listen for the descending growl of the Univox he used toward the end of it. It wasn’t even intended to be put on the album; however, the producer overheard Eddie playing it in the studio and insisted on it being included.
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