The sound of a great guitar can make an otherwise forgettable song become something special and turn it into one of the ten greatest guitar songs of all time. Whether it is a blistering fast solo or a melodic, haunting guitar riff, a guitar solo in a song elevates it to something special. The era of “Guitar Hero” has brought these songs back to the collective consciousness and makes great guitar songs all the rage once again.
- “Freebird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd released “Freebird” on their debut album in 1974. It remains one of the greatest guitar songs of all time. The song lasts over fourteen minutes, with five minutes of that a guitar solo by Allen Collins. The song peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard charts.
- “Stairway to Heaven” – Led Zeppelin released one of their greatest guitar songs in 1971 on the album “Led Zeppelin IV.” The song runs for over eight minutes and features a number of tempo changes by guitarist Jimmy Page. It remains one of Led Zeppelin’s most beloved songs and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
- “Eruption/You Really Got Me” – “Eruption” is a two-minute guitar solo from Van Halen’s debut album, which leads into the song “You Really Got Me.” Guitar wizard, Eddie Van Halen, made his name with this, one of the world’s greatest guitar songs.
- “Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne released “Crazy Train” in 1980 on the album “Blizzard of Oz.” The late Randy Rhodes played guitar on this, one of music’s greatest guitar songs. The song also appears on the Randy Rhodes tribute album and reached No. 9 on the Billboard charts.
- “One” – Metallica released “One” on the “…And Justice for All” album in 1989. The song is over seven minutes and is a loose adaptation of the movie “Johnny Got His Gun.” It remains one of the greatest guitar songs with a dual guitar solo by Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield.
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” – “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of British band Queen’s signature songs, a five-plus minute song that reached No. 1 in the UK, where it remained for nine weeks in 1976. The song consists of three sections including a ballad, opera section and heavy rock finale. It is one of the greatest guitar songs with Brian May’s solo work after the first section.
- “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” – Iron Maiden specializes in long, epic songs and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is almost fourteen-minutes long. In the middle, a blistering three-man guitar solo starts, making this one of the greatest guitar songs ever made.
- “Hotel California” – The Eagles' “Hotel California,” released in 1976, finishes with a long dueling guitar outro between Joe Walsh and Don Felder. The song hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and won the band a Grammy Award. The song reached Gold certification in 1977, selling over one-million copies.
- “Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry reached No. 8 in 1958 on the Billboard charts with “Johnny B. Goode,” one of the greatest guitar songs of all time. The song celebrated a comeback in the late eighties when the movie “Back to the Future” featured the song.
- “November Rain” – Clocking in at almost nine minutes long, Guns N Roses epic “November Rain” features a big guitar solo for Slash and helps the song remain one of the greatest guitar songs of all time. The song is one part of a trilogy released on the Guns N Roses “Use Your Illusions” CDs.
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