• Four Underrated Guitar Solos

    27 mars 2010, 0h25m

    Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft by Carpenters
    Although not originally written by the Carpenters (as were many of their songs), "Calling Occupants" is certainly best known through them. Klaatu, the original song's writers, were for a little while thought to be a reformed version of The Beatles hiding under a different name, but in fact the bands sounded extremely different. For the Carpenters version, over 160 session musicians were required for the orchestral backing and post-production techniques. The solo in question lasts from 4:49 to 5:12 of the album version, and in those 23 seconds gloriousness beyond words is exhibited. The noise is pure power chord, ascending and descending and the music swells beneath it. As for the guitarist, I presume Tony Peluso, who also voices the DJ at the song's signature opening.

    Oh! Sweet Nuthin' by The Velvet Underground
    This song has no less than three solos, each one of which improves in quality until the third and final ultimate climax. The first lasts from the song's beginning till 0:27, and appropriately sets the driving, relentless scale of the song. The second, more established solo begins after Doug Yule says "Oh, let me here ya" for the first time at at 2:59, lasting up to 3:26. Finally, the denouement comes at the second of Yule's "Oh, let me here ya's" at 5:06 all the way to 6:33. This one just gets faster and faster until the drums and bounding and rebounding wildly alongside, and the key gets to such a high pitch that it is almost too much to bear. Be sure to listen to this in the dark, and of course, turned up loud. Definitely an epic song, with a brilliant guitar solo finale.

    Plug Me In by George Harrison and others
    Perhaps this shouldn't count as a solo, since it lasts for the entire length of this instrumental three minute grandstand. Plus, it's a veritable group of guitars competing with each other, and it's an improvised jam. Nonetheless, if you want a masterclass in sublime guitar work, you need look no further. From the first five seconds of the raucous beginning, I am already utterly blown away, and by the end I am completely exhausted. "Thanks for the Pepperoni", another jam included on Harrison's first solo album, is very similar in style and tune, but "Plug Me In" gets the gold star because everything fits together so tightly. To me, it's a guitar solo.

    I Heard It Through the Grapevine byCreedence Clearwater Revival
    If possible, I actually think Creedence's version of this song is better than Marvin Gaye's famous version. At a glorious eleven minutes in length, the guitar solo comprises most of the second half of the song, from around 5:00 until it fades out a minute before the song's conclusion. Combined with the bounding drum beat supplied by Doug Clifford, relentlessly moving the song forward, the extended solo it where the song gets most of its power. John Fogerty seems to improvise in several ways, providing such a strength of sound which assaults your ears as the song nears the finish. This is the kind of song I imagine being played in some kind of Vietnam film epic, and yet as far as I know, only CCR's "Fortunate Son" has been used in one. It is still crying out for inclusion, because as I listen, I swear I can almost smell the napalm.

    Originally posted at my blog, Qualvista.
  • Great "Girl Names" Songs

    29 juin 2008, 0h39m

    In no particular order, here are a few of my favourite songs featuring titles with only the names of girls. Take my word that all of them are fantastic.

    Lady D'Arbanville – Cat Stevens

    Carol – Chuck Berry

    Layla – Derek and The Dominos

    Suzanne – Leonard Cohen

    Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel

    Mrs. Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel

    Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

    Julia – The Beatles

    Lady Madonna – The Beatles

    Lola – The Kinks