The Guardian asked the humble plebeian which its favourite guitar solo is. They suggested it might be one by David Gilmour or Jimi Hendrix. Original, right? And the final picks were actually okay. Not as good as mine, but better than the ones that made up the majority of the Tumblr site they published. They all seemed to be Gilmour, Hendrix or Slash.
Mine was either clearly not good enough to make the final 100000 entries, or no actual sorting process was applied. You decide! Here is my humble pick. If it’s a little blunt, that’s because the size limit was 200 words:
My pick is ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott’s solo from Pantera’s exquisitely anguished ‘10s’. The song itself is ostensibly a ballad, but as fortified with distortion and attitude as one would expect from the Texan metal quartet. The solo is around a minute of perfection: it has everything I want from a lead. It sits comfortably within the flow of the song, an important criterion, but also offers its own take; choosing beautiful, aching melancholy over Philip Anselmo’s lyrical defiance. It’s essentially a microcosm of their often clashing personalities. This isn’t a traditionally flashy solo, choosing melody first and foremost, but its crescendo begins with a quite startling speed run which quickly gives way into heart wrenching high notes. Time stops when I hear this solo; one of many artistic peaks from the late, great guitarist who married Van Halen inspired virtuoso work with modern brutality (which he largely created) while never losing grip on his profound sense of soul and emotion.
P.S. Yes, I am blogging once more.