Top 100 Greatest Guitar Solos

by oz on January 22, 2007

Jimmy Page

Guitar World recently put together a reader’s poll to compile a list of the 100 greatest guitar solos of all time. These rankings should be representative of the thoughts and opinions of Guitar World’s readership.

1.
song: Stairway to Heaven
guitarist: Jimmy Page
band: Led Zeppelin
album: Led Zeppelin IV
2.
song: Eruption
guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
band: Van Halen
album: Van Halen
3
song: Freebird
guitarist: Collins/Rossington
band: Lynyrd Skynyrd
album: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd
4.
song: Comfortably Numb
guitarist: David Gilmour
band: Pink Floyd
album: The Wall
5.
song: All Along the Watchtower
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
album: Electric Ladyland

6.
song: November Rain
guitarist: Slash
band: Guns n’ Roses
album: Use Your Illusion I

7.
song: One
guitarist: Kirk Hammet
band: Metallica
album: And Justice for All

8.
song: Hotel California
guitarist: Don Felder/Joe Walsh
band: The Eagles
album: Hotel California

9.
song: Crazy Train
guitarist: Randy Rhoads
band: Ozzy Ozbourne
album: Blizzard of Ozz

10.
song: Crossroads
guitarist: Eric Clapton
band: Cream
album: Wheels of Fire

11.
song: Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: Jimi Hendrix
album: Electric Ladyland

12.
song: Johnny B. Goode
guitarist: Chuck Berry
band: Chuck Berry
album: Chuck Berry Is On Top

13.
song: Texas Flood
guitarist: Stevie Ray Vaughan
band: Stevie Ray Vaughan
album: Texas Flood

14.
song: Layla
guitarist: Clapton/Allman
band: Derek and the Dominoes
album: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

15.
song: Floods
guitarist: Dimebag Darrel
band: Pantera
album: The Great Southern Trendkill

16.
song: Heartbreaker
guitarist: Jimmy Page
band: Led Zeppelin
album: Led Zeppelin II

17.
song: Cliffs of Dover
guitarist: Eric Johnson
band: Eric Johnson
album: Ah Via Musicom

18.
song: Little Wing
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: Jimi Hendrix Experience
album: Axis: Bold as Love

19.
song: Highway Star
guitarist: Ritchie Blackmore
band: Deep Purple
album: Machine Head

20.
song: Bohemian Rhapsody
guitarist: Brian May
band: Queen
album: A Night at the Opera

21.
song: Time
guitarist: David Gilmour
band: Pink Floyd
album: Dark Side of the Moon

22.
song: Sultans of Swing
guitarist: Mark Knopfler
band: Dire Straits
album: Dire Straits

23.
song: Bulls on Parade
guitarist: Tom Morello
band: Rage Against the Machine
album: Evil Empire

24.
song: Fade to Black
guitarist: Kirk Hammet
band: Metallica
album: Ride the Lightning

25.
song: Aqualung
guitarist: Martin Barre
band: Jethro Tull
album: Aqualung

26.
song: Smells Like Teen Spirit
guitarist: Kurt Cobain
band: Nirvana
album: Nevermind

27.
song: Pride and Joy
guitarist: Stevie Ray Vaughan
band: Stevie Ray Vaughan
album: Texas Flood

28.
song: Mr. Crowley
guitarist: Randy Rhoads
band: Ozzy Ozbourne
album: Blizzard of Oz

29.
song: For the Love of God
guitarist: Steve Vai
band: Steve Vai
album: Passion and Warfare

30.
song: Surfing With the Alien
guitarist: Joe Satriani
band: Joe Satriani
album: Surfing With the Alien

31.
song: Stranglehold
guitarist: Ted Nugent
band: Ted Nugent
album: Ted Nugent

32.
song: Machine Gun
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: Jimi Hendrix
album: Band of Gypsies

33.
song: The Thrill is Gone
guitarist: B.B. King
band: B.B. King
album: Completely Well

34.
song: Paranoid Android
guitarist: Jonny Greenwood
band: Radiohead
album: OK Computer

35.
song: Cemetery Gates
guitarist: Dimebag Darrel
band: Pantera
album: Cowboys From Hell

36.
song: Black Star
guitarist: Yngwie Malmsteen
band: Yngwie Malmsteen
album: Rising Force
more: Black Star tab

37.
song: Sweet Child O’ Mine
guitarist: Slash
band: Guns n’ Roses
album: Appetite for Destruction

38.
song: Whole Lotta Love
guitarist: Jimmy Page
band: Led Zeppelin
album: Led Zeppelin II

39.
song: Cortez the Killer
guitarist: Neil Young
band: Neil Young
album: Zuma

40.
song: Reelin’ In the Years
guitarist: Elliot Randall
band: Steely Dan
album: Can’t Buy a Thrill

41.
song: Brighton Rock
guitarist: Brian May
band:Queen
album: Sheer Heart Attack

42.
song: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
guitarist: Eric Clapton
band: The Beatles
album: The White Album

43.
song: Sharp Dressed Man
guitarist: Billy Gibbons
band: ZZ Top
album: Eliminator

44.
song: Alive
guitarist: Mike McCready
band: Pearl Jam
album: Ten

45.
song: Light My Fire
guitarist: Robby Krieger
band: The Doors
album: Doors

46.
song: Hot For Teacher
guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
band: Van Halen
album: 1984

47.
song: Jessica
guitarist: Dickey Betts
band: The Allman Brothers
album: Brothers and Sisters
tab: Jessica tab
48.
song: Sympathy for the Devil
guitarist: Keith Richards
band: The Rolling Stones
album: Beggar’s Banquet

49.
song: Europa
guitarist: Carlos Santana
band: Santana
album: Amigos

50.
song: Shock Me
guitarist: Ace Frehley
band: Kiss
album: Love Gun

51.
song: Master of Puppets
guitarist: Kirk Hammet
band: Metallica
album: Master of Puppets
52
song: Star Spangled Banner
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: Jimi Hendrix
album: Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock
53
song: Since I’ve Been Loving You
guitarist: Jimmy Page
band: Led Zeppelin
album: Led Zeppelin III
54
song: Geek USA
guitarist: Billy Corgan
band: Smashing Pumpkins
album: Siamese Dream
55.
song: Satch Boogie
guitarist: Joe Satriani
band: Joe Satriani
album: Surfing With the Alien

56.
song: War Pigs
guitarist: Tony Iommi
band: Black Sabbath
album: Paranoid

57.
song: Walk
guitarist: Dimebag Darrel
band: Pantera
album: Vulgar Display of Power

58.
song: Cocaine
guitarist: Eric Clapton
band: Eric Clapton
album: Slowhand

59.
song: You Really Got Me
guitarist: Dave Davies
band: The Kinks
album: Kinks

60.
song: Zoot Allures
guitarist: Frank Zappa
band: Frank Zappa
album: Zoot Allures

61.
song: No More Tears
guitarist: Zakk Wylde
band: Ozzy Osbourne
album: No More Tears

62.
song: Money
guitarist: David Gilmour
band: Pink Floyd
album: Dark Side of the Moon

63.
song: Black Hole Sun
guitarist: Kim Thayil
band: Soundgarden
album: Superunknown

64.
song: Little Red Corvette
guitarist: Prince
band: Prince
album: 1999

65.
song: In Bloom
guitarist: Kurt Cobain
band: Nirvana
album: Nevermind

66.
song: Blue Sky
guitarist: Allman/Betts
band: The Allman Brothers
album: Eat a Peach
tab: Blue Sky tab (from Allmanbrothersband.com)

67.
song: Beat It
guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
band: Michael Jackson
album: Thriller

68.
song: Starship Trooper
guitarist: Steve Howe
band: Yes
album: The Yes Album

69.
song: And Your Bird Can Sing
guitarist: George Harrison
band: The Beatles
album: Revolver

70.
song: Purple Haze
guitarist: Jimi Hendrix
band: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
album: Are You Experienced?

71.
song: Maggot Brain
guitarist: Eddie Hazel
band: Funkadelic
album: Maggot Brain

72.
song: Walk This Way
guitarist: Joe Perry
band: Aeorosmith
album: Toys in the Attic

73.
song: Stash
guitarist: Trey Anastasio
band: Phish
album: A Picture of Nectar

74.
song: Lazy
guitarist: Ritchie Blackmore
band: Deep Purple
album: Machine Head

75.
song: Won’t Get Fooled Again
guitarist: Pete Townsend
band: The Who
album: Who’s Next

76.
song: Cinnamon Girl
guitarist: Neil Young
band: Neil Young and Crazy Horse
album: Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

77.
song: Man in the Box
guitarist: Jerry Cantrell
band: Alice in Chains
album: Face Lift

78.
song: Truckin’
guitarist: Jerry Garcia
band: The Grateful Dead
album: American Beauty

79.
song: Mean Street
guitarist: Eddie Van Halen
band: Van Halen
album: Fair Warning

80.
song: You Shook Me All Night Long
guitarist: Angus Young
band: AC/DC
album: Back in Black

81.
song: Sweet Jane
guitarist: Hunter/Wagner
band: The Velvet Underground
album: Loaded

82.
song: 21st Century Schizoid Man
guitarist: Robert Fripp
band: King Crimson
album: In the Court of the Crimson King

83.
song: Scuttle Buttin’
guitarist: Stevie Ray Vaughan
band: Stevie Ray Vaughan
album: Couldn’t Stand the Weather

84.
song: Santeria
guitarist: Brad Nowell
band: Sublime
album: Sublime

85.
song: Moonage Daydream
guitarist: Mick Ronson
band: David Bowie
album: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

86.
song: Whipping Post
guitarist: Allman/Betts
band: The Allman Brothers
album: The Allman Brothers Band

87.
song: Cult of Personality
guitarist: Vernon Reid
band: Living Color
album: Vivid

88.
song: Kid Charlemagne
guitarist: Larry Carlton
band: Steely Dan
album: The Royal Scam

89.
song: Killing in the Name
guitarist: Tom Morello
band: Rage Against the Machine
album: Rage Against the Machine

90.
song: Let it Rain
guitarist: Eric Clapton
band: Eric Clapton
album: Eric Clapton

91.
song: Heard It Thu Grapevine
guitarist: John Fogerty
band: CCR
album: Cosmo’s Factory

92.
song: Stray Cat Strut
guitarist: Brian Setzer
band: Stray Cats
album: Built for Speed

93.
song: The End
guitarist: Robbie Krieger
band: The Doors
album: The Doors

94.
song: Working Man
guitarist: Alex Lifeson
band: Rush
album: Rush

95.
song: Yellow Ledbetter
guitarist: Mike McCready
band: Pearl Jam
album: Jeremy

96.
song: Honky Tonk Women
guitarist: Keith Richards
band: The Rolling Stones
album: Let it Bleed

97.
song: Cherub Rock
guitarist: Billy Corgan
band: Smashing Pumpkins
album: Siamese Dream

98.
song: Under a Glass Moon
guitarist: John Petrucci
band: Dream Theater
album: Images & Words

99.
song: Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers
guitarist: Jeff Beck
band: Jeff Beck
album: Blow by Blow

100.
song: Three Days
guitarist: Dave Navarro
band: Jane’s Addiction
album: Ritual de lo Habitual

{ 288 comments… read them below or add one }

Bhushan June 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

WHERE THE F*** IZ HERMAN LEE??? HE`S THE MOST RAPID AND TALENTED GUITARIST OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!!!!

Allison July 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

How come “While my guitar gently weeps” didn’t make this list? That was a great solo!!

Allison July 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Ooops sorry I found it!!!

lafida July 31, 2011 at 4:09 pm

sonic youth – diamanond sea. Thurston moor and lee ranaldo, plays realy good feed back guitar solo

Bradley Nettleton September 9, 2011 at 9:35 am

dude, if you made this list in this order, you obviously do not know a damn thing about guitar.jimmy page is my idol, and he’s my inspiration to play guitar. him and hendrix. but you made this list based on the song, not the guitar solo. remake it and actually listen to the guitar solo man!

Mr433 September 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

How on earth Richie´s axe on Tarot Woman didn´t make on to this so called chart I´ll never know. Not to Mention Jake E Lee´s almost supernatural job on Bark at the Moon + a handfull of others that comes to mind right of the bat.

lamesauce October 5, 2011 at 1:04 am

dude you need to listen to more music, nirvana’s guitar solo’s r so simple compared to jimipage or eric clapton or pantara dude, metallica shud be on here more so should creed/alter bridge mike tremonti or whatever his name is he is a god on ther guitar. PS i know theres alot of typos im just too… lazy… or the Tool guy or FKN panic attack by dreamtheater that guitar solo makes me orgasm.

maniac October 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

wtf. Man where is megadeth’s holy wars and tornado of souls or any fucking godammit megadeth song. This list sucks.

slakiang October 14, 2011 at 2:22 am

where gary moore “parisienne walkways” ? got nice solo too…

anotherone November 5, 2011 at 2:02 pm

yah whoever made this list should have called it todays top 100 cleshay guitar solos lmfao.. why in the world would it not have any Robert Johnson. along with some of the others that wher forgot simply because they wher not on mtv. this is a list of guitarists who learned from listening to the best.. most of those guys are still alive. what did u make this list from the songs u downloaded for guitar hero? now do 1 for real guitar!!!

Josue De La Parra November 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm

what about Megadeth? Anthrax? Slayer? Judas Priest? Scorpions? Saxon? Kansas, Journey, Marillion, Motörhead, Threshold, Shadowland, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Helloween, Rhapsody of Fire, DGM, Empyrios, Vanden Plas, Circus Maximus, Rainbow, Pagan’s Mind, Winds, Spheric Universe Experience, Queensrÿche, Edguy, Gamma Ray, Rata Blanca, Adagio, In Flames, Seventh Wonder, Metal Church, Armored Saint, Def Leppard, Fates Warning, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Children Of Bodom, Andromeda, Boston, Revolution Renaissance, Timo Tolkki, Evergrey, Narnia, Giant, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Rex Carroll, Whitecross, Stryper, Petra, Rez, Deliverance, Holy Soldier, White Heart, Guardian, Bride, Bloodgood, Dio, Mr. Big, Racer X, Skid Row, Black Label Society, Symphony X, Iced Earth, Orphaned Land, Magnitude 9, Cacophony, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Michael Angelo Batio??? any of these have better solos than cobain, fuck overrated nirvana

Nihal Arman December 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm

What about Jason Becker and Marty Friedman ???

stan olson January 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

what about megadeth and slayer?

arash January 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

metallica \m/ yeah … one!!!

Justin January 20, 2012 at 7:17 am

I dont understand how Cinnamon Girl is in top 100… The solo is practically one note.

Banger January 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

My best guns n roses songs “sweet child o’ mine” n “november rain” also there……n i’ve checked out most of them, they’re awesome n insane

Richard Ramirez February 8, 2012 at 4:20 am

I CAN’T COMPLAIN…ATLEAST SOMEBODY OUT THERE BELIEVE THAT YELLOWLEDBETTER HAS A GREAT SOLO…THANKS MAN THAT WAS THE FIRST GUITAR SOLO I LEARNT TO PLAY…E MAJOR PENTATONIC!

Brian Lambert February 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

To offer some not typically thought of guitar solos or spots that are not traditionally thought of Wilco’s “Art of Almost” from their latest album is blistering and the guitar into to “When Doves Cry” by Prince just smokes. My favorite Zep solo is “Dazed and Confused”

jeff sanders February 19, 2012 at 4:49 am

Im glad to see Stevie Ray represented he had a passion that could not be stopped, like a flood

Melvin March 8, 2012 at 1:15 am

Why there doesn’t include Extreme, Nuno’s solo should be considered ,it’s a pity!!!

dicot wizard March 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm

dude herman lee is shit. this is a list of solos. like sum of these songs have been paid to be put on here, you cant trust anything done after the 70s.

SIIN April 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

MEGADETH!, MEGADETH!, MEGADETH!, MEGADETH!, why not pay homage to the heart and soul of modern metal guitar solos?, because no wants to admit that Metallica was just a terd Mustaine scraped off his boot will walking on to the stage to his first real show as the front man in MEGADETH!!!!!!.

Aidan June 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Seriously? Petrucci is, what, 98? His Stream of Consciousness solo slays! It’s one of the fastest out there and yet John doesn’t compromise on beautiful melodies in it. On the other hand, I’m so happy to have seen Trey Anastasio on here. Shame he’s so low though.

elmo July 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

No “Can’t Win” (live) by Richard Thompson?

No “Breakin’ in My Heart” by Tom Verlaine?

etc.

You folks are amateurs.

Mal lyn July 16, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Where the hell is Andy larocque? You left out one of the most unique guitarists of all time.

Mohsen Shabani July 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Where is “The Prophet” Of Gary moore?what the fuck man

bobspitz July 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

Does nobody have ears?

Power of Soul, Band of Gypsys; 20 seconds in (for you knuckleheads)

George Bush August 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Where’s Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run” “Born In The U.S.A
My favourite Clapton song “Wonderful Tonight Has a great solo

Shobhit Bhatnagar August 22, 2012 at 10:48 am

ohhhhhhhhh! so the “Purple Heze” is on 70# did not even crack top 50 (One of the 10 greatest guitar solos ever) and “You really got me” on 59# and November rain hits in top 5 right…………………….. it is quite enough to prove that the list is itself a joke and made for just a
mass audience

Shobhit Bhatnagar August 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

Rolling stone 100 greatest guitar solos is way better than this piece of shit however some song in that list also not a “Guitar solos” some should be higher but it still accurate list . At least i would go with their top 10………………….
1. Jonny B good- Chuck berry
2. Purple Heze – Jimi Hendrix
3. Crossroad- Cream
4. You really got me- kinks
5. Brown sugar- The Rolling stones
6. Eruption- Van Helen
7. While my guitar gently weeps- The Beatles
8. Stairway to heaven- Led Zeppelin
9. Statboro blues- Almond brothers band
10. Smell like teen spirit- Nirvana

Flemming Johnsen August 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Where’s Iron Maiden?

Amun September 14, 2012 at 7:39 pm

This is shit !! Go listen 2 Neon by John mayer of the live concert ‘Where the light is ‘ and then make the list of greatest guitar solo !!

mark September 23, 2012 at 5:53 am

what drugs was someone on when they made this list.I mean come on! kurt cobain a great guitarist let alone a good musician. I sure smart people have more sense to nominate more talented guitarists that should have been ahead of cobain,for example ritchie sambora, someone that can play all forms of music whether it is rock,jazz,or even blues.

Shobhit Bhatnagar September 26, 2012 at 8:54 am

“comfortably numb” is one of the most overrated guitar solos especially its studio version which is just a ordinary guitar solo , most of the part of that is not covered by guitar. No doubt it is the best song by “Pink Floyd” but there are other floyd solos which have more interesting guitar part that it. Replace it with their “Shine on your crazy diamond” or “Interstellar Overdrive”. May be because comfortably numb is more popular solo than any other “Gilmore” track it is considered as best guitar solo.

Caleb K. February 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm

My gosh, people! This list was based on a readers poll, not personal opinion.

sam987 March 17, 2013 at 5:11 am

Where are garry moore solos? Still got the blues or Parisienne walkways? !!

Judd Davis May 31, 2013 at 9:58 pm

This list was the lamest guitar solo list I’ve ever seen. Obviously it’s a popularity contest. Listen to “shut up and play yer guitar” by the master guitarist Frank Zappa. He was a real guitarist.

jdubbiyou December 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

HONKY TONK WOMAN; Mick Taylor’s guitar is clearly on this track (including solo)
If you want to think out of the box, HOCUS POCUS by Focus featuring Jann Akkerman should be here
and Neil Young’s solo on LIKE A HURRICANE(which was recorded by Neil and Crazy Horse in studio w/o overdubs) totally blows away CINNAMON GIRL
and anyone who’s familiar with Quicksilver Messenger Service; John Cipollina’s solo on THE FOOL from their first lp is out of this world

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