- On top of the world – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers feat. Eric Clapton
Early Clapton, sounding more like Jeff beck
- Memo from Turner – Mick Jagger
Sinuous slide work from one of its most famous exponents, Ry Cooder
- Lady Writer – Dire Straits
Has there ever been a smoother guitarist than Mark Knopfler? (Answer rhymes with archipelago)
- Kid Charlemagne – Steely Dan
Solo that manages to be both wild and brainy
- Over, under, sideways, down – The Yardbirds
Jeff Beck, always at home with vaguely Eastern-sounding drones, propels the most jolting start in rock history. It sounds like a genie escaping the bottle.
- Just – Radiohead
Sickening loud lurches, topped by a snowstorm of fuzz. Only in rock music, could that be a good thing...
- Taxman – the Beatles
Grungy rhythm guitar and, out of nowhere, a ridiculously savage solo by McCartney
- Mountain Jam (Live at the Fillmore version) – The Allman Brothers Band
Dickey Betts and Duane Allman duel it out, until Duane points his slide skyward and leaves everyone behind
- Calm like a bomb – Rage Against The Machine
Noises you never thought a guitar could make
- Baby let me follow you down (Royal Albert Hall version) – Bob Dylan and The Hawks
Robbie Robertson sounds like he’s gluing huge luminous bands of light together in his solo
- It’s no secret (live version, ‘Bless its pointed little head’) – Jefferson Airplane
Jorma Kaukonen was the underrated lead guitarist of the ‘60s. This track is propelled by his alternately punky and lyrical playing
- White Summer – The Yardbirds.
Jimmy Page this time, playing an acoustic guitar, plucking the opening notes like a dentist yanking out teeth.
- Mera Mantra – Euphoria
The most perfectly realized solo in a song by an Indian band
- No Rain – Blind Melon
Let’s face it. If mewling vocals were enough, Blind Melon would have had a lot more hits. The plangent, economical lead guitar is the real reason this song clicked.
- Walk, don’t run – The Ventures