Here we go -- the final 10 for the battle of guitar instrumentals.
Rules remain the same -- you can vote for multiple choices. I can't stop you from voting for all 10 if you want to take that way out, but I think it's more meaningful if you try to stick to your top 3, or maybe 5 at most. Up to you.
Anyway here we go:
In the early days of rock there were a number of awesome guitar solos from the likes of Duane Eddy, Link Wray, and the Ventures. I called this battle the "Pioneers." And the one to walk away the winner -- well it might have been a little predicable: **** Dale. This performance is taken from Jules Holland's show Later sometime in the mid-90's. Hope you enjoy.
**** Dale, "Misirlou"
The next battle up was what I called Classic Rock. Some real classics in that battle too -- Jeff Beck, Santana, Clapton. But the winner was the Allman Bros. Just which Allman Bros was the real question -- they had three tunes in the battle (so did Santana by the way).
Allman Brothers, "Jessica"
A21Schizoidman kindly filled in a gap for me and put together an excellent prog battle that ended in a tie. On the one hand we have prog icons King Crimson with one of their defining tunes:
King Crimson, "Red"
And then we have Frank Zappa with one of my favorites pieces of music from this bonafide rock genius:
Frank Zappa, "Peaches En Regalia"
Axl was kind enough to contribute an offbeat selection of tunes he called the "Unstrung" battle. And the winner of that was Zappa again! Unfortunately we couldn't find any vids of the master playing his tune on the internets (some things Bush will never go away) -- but this clip of the kids from the School of Rock in Philly should bring a smile to your faces:
Frank Zappa, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW5cunOe3OI
I was definitely surprised when Fleetwood Mac won the blues battle. Figured there'd be a lot of automatic votes for Stevie Ray Vaughan. But it's a really nice tune. The blues battle was a personal favorite.
Fleewood Mac, "Albatross"
For me, it was a surpise that EJ won the acoustic battle, but not because he's not a great acoustic player. He really is -- has a definitive style that's not just a translation of his electric technique to the acoustic guitar. I just figured Little Martha would probably win. But you guys have good taste, and this is a great tune:
Eric Johnson, "Song for George"
The winner of the Shredder battle was EJ. Not sure I'd call EJ a shredder but it seemed unfair to match a player of his technical capability against any other group. Cliffs is clearly one of the landmark guitar instrumentals of all time.
Eric Johnson, "Cliffs of Dover"
Another hole in my rock portfolio is metal. And Shredder87 very kindly picked up for me and put together a really nice battle that ultimately ended with Death being the winner with a really tasty piece:
Death, "Voice of the Soul" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd4q0Xx-u1Y&fmt=18
And that's nine, so I get to throw in a Wild Card. I debated making you listen to some jazz, but ultimately I settled on a piece from the ultimate rock guitar god, Mr. James Marshall Hendrix.
Jimi closed out his set at Woodstock with a completely improvised tune. Don't think it's improvised? Listen to Billy Cox try to find the root of the chord at aboud 0:29. And it's a gorgeous little tune with some extremely tasteful playing by Jimi. I always thought Jimi should have done more instrumentals. As this shows, he could have written some great ones.
Jimi Hendrix, "Woodstock Improvisation"