What’s the Most Overrated Guitar Solo?

by | Aug 3, 2020

Another post of mine from Quora.

First, let’s look at a few reputable opinions about the “Greatest guitar solo ever!”  If you’re reading a post about guitar solos, I would figure you would instantly recognize both the band and guitar player with only the title of the song.

Guitar World

  1. Stairway to Heaven
  2. Eruption
  3. Freebird
  4. Comfortably Numb
  5. All Along the Watchtower

Guitar Player

  1. Little Wing – SRV version
  2. All Along the Watchtower
  3. Eruption
  4. Freebird
  5. Sultans of Swing

The one that doesn’t belong, in my opinion, quite clearly is, *GASP!* Freebird.

I say this for the following reasons:

  1. It’s not a very creative solo in that it is essentially a bunch of cliches played one after another in rapid-fire succession.
  2. It is always played note-for-note the same in concert. No spontaneous feeling. Plus, in 2020 it’s way too familiar.
  3. It’s too damn long. Just when it seems like it’s reached the end, whoops, another couple minutes of duh-duh-duh duh-duh-duh (x20)!
  4. We all know Jimi Hendrix played “Watchtower,” EVH “Eruption,” Gilmore “Comfortably Numb,” Mark Knopfler “Sultans of Swing,” SRV “Little Wing,” and Jimmy Page “Stairway.” All examples of their unique and distinct styles. I bet most people can’t tell you if it’s Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, Ed King, Steve Gaines, or ??? who plays the overrated solo (it’s Collins). That’s because this solo is totally generic without any personality. And, “no” that’s not what makes it great. Banality and greatness are not cousins.
  5. We have to endure 8-year-olds, like this one, doing their cover versions with their lame bands on the internet and in-person https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl9DXGSjTZg ). Please, just stop.

I know people love the band and the song, and Billy Powell’s piano is amazing, but this is one of those solos that won’t die.

 

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