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100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos and Metal Guitar Solos

Updated on August 26, 2015
Guitar tone does matter
Guitar tone does matter | Source

The rush of blood to the head when you listen to a guitar solo in rock and metal realms is a euphoric feeling. What makes a guitar solo special in songs is the fiery intensity it adds to song structure. While there is no particular time-space in a song to belt a guitar solo, many guitarists break into a solo at the end of the chorus or at the beginning of a verse. Rock guitar solos and metal guitar solos are insanely popular with guitar music aficionados. Many guitarists in bands are known for their trademark guitar sound that resurrects songs to another level. A solo in rock and metal contexts can be melodic and brutal tonally. Guitarists may use a mix of distortion guitar effects in accordance with the musical aspect and structure of the song.

Guitar solos at a blistering pace are loved during live performances. Guitarists love to improvise when they perform live, and fans often get to hear extended guitar solos during live performances of bands. Every guitarist loves to use a guitar setup in accordance with sound and tone they are looking for. Guitar solos bring life to lyrical and musical elements of a song. A guitar solo in a song is infused to bridge emotional connect with the listener. Guitarists in rock and metal genres love to bring poetic feel to songs with their solos. The passion and feel in a guitar solo comes forth theatrically well in contest of lyrics and structure of songs.

Tonal quality among guitarists varies in accordance with guitar gear used. Rock guitar solos and metal guitar solos by guitarists in different bands evoke a feeling of nostalgia among guitar music lovers. Some songs in the realms of rock and metal have guitar solos more than one time. Many solos in heavy metal songs are showcased as the lyrics end to add sting and dynamism to the song. Instrumental guitar solos from instrumental guitar albums are a rage among guitar music enthusiasts.

Guitar showmanship
Guitar showmanship | Source

A number of guitarists from rock and metal bands have released solo albums to showcase their guitar skills. In a band, guitarists need to come up with guitar solos in accordance with the direction of the song. However, on solo albums, guitarists become the creative force of all that takes shape. Many guitarists are not able to explore their full creative potential in bands and decide to release solo albums to reveal their guitar playing styles and guitar techniques in full flow.

Live guitar performances rock!
Live guitar performances rock! | Source

The length of rock guitar solos and metal guitar solos are in accordance with thematic interpretations of songs. Guitar solos in progressive rock and progressive metal are of long duration and are set at different intervals at length of the song. A number of guitarists in progressive rock bands and progressive metal bands are known for their accuracy of hitting notes at high speed during guitar solos. Guitarists with an impeccable left hand and right hand technique take soloing in a song to new heights.

Below is a list of the best guitar solos in rock and metal. Mentioned in brackets is the band/artist and album.

Guitar concerts
Guitar concerts | Source

100 Greatest Rock Guitar Solos and Metal Guitar Solos

  1. The Un-Merry-Go-Round-Allan Holdsworth- (Allan Holdsworth-Metal Fatigue)
  2. Eruption- Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen- Van Halen)
  3. November Rain- Slash (Guns N’ Roses- Use Your Illusion 1)
  4. Little Wing- Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience- Axis: As Bold As Love)
  5. Far Beyond The Sun- Yngwie Malmsteen (Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force
  6. Texas Flood- Stevie Ray Vaughn (Stevie Ray Vaughn- Texas Flood)
  7. Manhattan- Eric Johnson (Eric Johnson- Venus Isle)
  8. Sultans of Swing- Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits- Dire Straits)
  9. Stairway To Heaven- Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin 4)
  10. Highway Star- Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple- Machine Head)
  11. Walk- Dimebag Darrell (Pantera- Vulgar Display of Power)
  12. For The Love of God- Steve Vai (Steve Vai- Passion and Warfare)
  13. Bulls on Parade- Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine- Evil Empire)
  14. Tears in the Rain- Joe Satriani (Joe Satriani- The Extremist)
  15. Stranglehold- Ted Nugent (Ted Nugent- Ted Nugent)
  16. Black Star- Yngwie Malmsteen (Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force)
  17. Hotel California- Don Felder, Joe Walsh (Eagles- Hotel California)
  18. The Way It Has To Be- Shawn Lane (Shawn Lane- Tri-Tone Fascination)
  19. Free Bird- Allen Collins, Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd- Lynyrd Skynyrd)
  20. Comfortably Numb- David Gilmour (Pink Floyd- The Wall)
  21. Mr Crowley- Randy Rhodes (Ozzy Osbourne- Blizzard of Ozz)
  22. Sharp Dressed Man- Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top- Eliminator)
  23. Under A Glass Moon- John Petrucci (Dream Theater- Images and Words)
  24. Floods- Dimebag Darrell (Pantera- The Great Southern Trendkill)
  25. Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers- Jeff Beck (Jeff Beck Group- Blow By Blow)
  26. Sweet Child O’ Mine- Slash (Guns N’ Roses- Appetite for Destruction)
  27. Smoke on the Water- Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple- Machine Head)
  28. Trademark- Eric Johnson (Eric Johnson- Ah Via Musicom)
  29. One- Kirk Hammett (Metallica- And Justice for All)
  30. Europa - Carlos Santana (Santana- Amigos)
  31. Still Got the Blues (For You) - Gary Moore (Gary Moore- Still Got The Blues)
  32. Nottingham Lace- Buckethead (Buckethead- Enter the Chicken)
  33. Always With You Always With Me- Joe Satraini (Joe Satraini- Surfing With The Alien)
  34. War Pigs- Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath- Paranoid)
  35. Tooth And Claw- Tosin Abasi (Animals As Leaders- The Joy of Motion)
  36. Cult of Personality- Vernon Reid (Living Colour- Vivid)
  37. Sound Chaser- Steve Howe (Yes- Relayer)
  38. No More Tears- Zakk Wylde ( Ozzy Osbourne- No More Tears)
  39. Milk Bone- Scott Henderson (Scott Henderson- Dog Party)
  40. Catch The Rainbow- Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow- Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow)
  41. Working Man- Alex Lifeson (Rush- Rush)
  42. Voyager- Ronnie Montrose (Gamma- Gamma 2)
  43. No Boundaries-Michael Angelo Batio- (No Boundaries- Michael Angelo Batio)
  44. Aqualung- Martin Barre (Jethro Tull- Aqualung)
  45. Back In Black- Angus Young (AC/DC- Back In Black)
  46. Rising Power- Steve Morse (StressFest- Steve Morse Band)
  47. Bridge of Sighs- Robin Trower (Robin Trower- Bridge of Sighs)
  48. Bohemian Rhapsody- Brian May (Queen- A Night at the Opera)
  49. Carry On Wayward Son- Kerry Livgren (Kansas- Leftoverture)
  50. Won’t Get Fooled Again- Pete Townshend (The Who- Who’s Next)
  51. Altitudes- Jason Becker (Jason Becker- Perpetual Burn)
  52. The Pepper Shake- Greg Howe (Greg Howe- Greg Howe)
  53. Sea of Lies Michael Romeo (Symphony X- Divine Wings of Tragedy)
  54. Beyond The Realms of Death- Glen Tipton (Judas Priest- Stained Class)
  55. Tornado of Souls- Marty Friedman (Megadeth- Rust in Peace)
  56. Extreme Measures- George Bellas (Vitalij Kuprij- Extreme Measures)
  57. Reelin’ In The Years- Elliot Randall (Steely Dan- Can’t Buy A Thrill)
  58. The Curse of Castle Dragon- Paul Gilbert (Paul Gilbert- Get Out Of My Yard)
  59. Ghost of You- Andy Timmons (Andy Timmons Band- Resolution)
  60. Make it Reel- Shaun Baxter (Shaun Baxter- Jazz Metal)
  61. Paradise City- Slash (Guns N’ Roses- Appetite for Destruction)
  62. Saved by a Miracle- Vinnie Moore (Vinnie Moore-Mind’s Eye)
  63. Fives- Guthrie Govan (Guthrie Govan- Erotic Cakes)
  64. Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today- Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme- Extreme)
  65. In My Dreams- George Lynch (Dokken- Under Lock And Key)
  66. Tender Surrender- Steve Vai (Steve Vai- Alien Love Secrets)
  67. A Place In The Sun- Joey Tafolla (Joey Tafolla- Infra-Blue)
  68. Feedin’ The Box- Blues Saraceno ( Blues Sarceno- Hairpick)
  69. Rain in the Tunnel- Michael Lee Firkins (Michael Lee Firkins- Michael Lee Firkins)
  70. Tears of Sahara- Tony MacAlpine (Tony MacAlpine- Maximum Security)
  71. Bad Medicine- Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi- New Jersey)
  72. Stream of Consciousness- John Petrucci (Dream Theater- Train of Thought)
  73. High Wire- Richie Kotzen (Richie Kotzen- Electric Joy)
  74. The Sails of Charon- Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions- Taken By Force)
  75. Snakebite- Paul Gilbert (Racer X- Technical Difficulties)
  76. Painkiller- Glen Tipton and KK Downing (Judas Priest- Painkiller)
  77. Black Magic- Reb Beach (Reb Beach- The Guitars That Rule The World Part 1)
  78. Like It’s Going Outta Style- Neil Zaza (Neil Zaza-Two Hands, One Heart)
  79. Shedding Skin- Jeff Kollman (Jeff Kollman- Shedding Skin)
  80. Forbidden City- Marty Friedman (Marty Friedman- Dragon’s Kiss)
  81. The Awakening- Michael Romeo ( Symphony X- The Awakewning)
  82. Cliffs of Dover- Eric Johnson (Eric Johnson- Ah Via Musicom)
  83. Drowning- Brett Garsed (Brett Garsed- Big Sky)
  84. Holy Diver- Vivian Campbell ( Dio- Holy Diver)
  85. Viking Kong- Paul Gilbert (Racer X- Superheroes)
  86. Mass Hysteria- Gary Hoey (Gary Hoey- Animal Instinct)
  87. It’s Too Late For Yesterday- David Chastain (Chastain- The 7th of Never)
  88. Time- David Gilmour (Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon)
  89. Surfing With The Alien- Joe Satriani- Surfing With The Alien)
  90. Return to Serenity- Alex Skolnick (Testament- Practice What You Preach)
  91. The Hunter- George Lynch (Dokken- Under Lock and Key)
  92. Of Sins and Shadows- Michael Romeo (Symphony X- The Divine Wings of Tragedy)
  93. The River Dragon Has Come- Jeff Loomis (Nevermore- Dead Heart In A Dead World)
  94. Lady of the Valley- Vito Bratta (White Lion- Pride)
  95. Speed of Light- Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius)
  96. Gutter Ballet- Criss Oliva (Savatage- Gutter Ballet)
  97. Lights Out- Michael Schenker (UFO- Lights Out)
  98. The Last In Line- Vivian Campbell (Dio- The Last In Line)
  99. Nothing to Say- Kiko Loureiro (Angra- Holy Land)
  100. Children of Decadence- Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom- Follow The Reaper)

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