Ranking 7 Of The Most Epic Live Guitar Solos We Found
Cream's farewell concert in 1969 - BOMBEATS / Youtube
With rock music, you can never go wrong with a guitar solo. Whether it be a seething slow-lo, or a rapid arpeggio attack, the guitar solo is an important part of any classic rock track. But with studio versions, we are given a fixed composition to listen to. So what happens when these legends dish out a solo to a live audience? Read on to find out.
7. “I’m So Glad” – Eric Clapton (Goodbye / Cream)
The 1968 live version of the song from The Forum was one of Cream’s best renditions. Eric Clapton rode on the waves Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker wove with the furious drum and bass exchange, painting it with blues licks. Clapton outdoes himself in this one, feeling the blues rock spirit with every lick in the hyped up solo of the track.
6. “La Villa Strangiato” – Alex Lifeson (Exit Stage left / Rush)
Rush’s Alex Lifeson stretches the limits of progressive rock with this performance of “La Villa Strangiato”, talking to the audience with an otherworldly solo. Lifeson shreds the hell out of his guitar in this one, carefully matching the frantic tempo of the song.
5. “Star Spangled Banner” – Jimi Hendrix (Live At Woodstock / Jimi Hendrix)
The guitar legend’s distortion-packed performance carried the weight of his message loud and clear on that epic day at Woodstock. Replicating the sounds of planes, bombs, and machine guns, Hendrix’s anti-war anthem was clearly displayed for the world to hear.
4. “Statesboro Blues” – Duane Allman (At Fillmore East / Allman Brothers Band)
Southern rock was never the same, especially when the Allmans played Fillmore East. Duane Allman is in top shape in this record, with a scathing bluesy-country solo that frankly hogged all the attention on the track. The legendary Allman sibling put no restraint in this performance, decking it with tonal quacks all over.
3. “Machine Gun” – Jimi Hendrix (Band Of Gypsys / Jimi Hendrix)
The icon that he is, Jimi Hendrix stood his ground with the Gypsys, for their live rendition of “Machine Gun”. Just as the title says, Hendrix does. A flurry of notes escapes his guitar like they were made for that moment, which Hendrix was in the whole time.
2. “Stairway To Heaven” – Jimmy Page (The Song Remains The Same / Led Zeppelin)
Jimmy Page breaks into a blues fever with his solo in this live performance of the band’s seminal track. Wielding his dual-necked SG, Page effortlessly dishes out his most seductive performance of the song, a blend of caution and excess paired to perfection.
1. “Crossroads” – Eric Clapton (Wheels Of Fire / Cream)
Hailed by many as their favorite Clapton solo ever, one would not hear a shred of protest. The Robert Johnson original was given a new life with Cream’s thrashing, wild version, especially when Clapton dished it out live, favoring that chimey tone with no sign of restraint whatsoever.