Noel Gallagher, guitarist for British rock band Oasis. Apparently his guitar solo skills leave something to be desired. Photo credit: WENN.
While other media outlets this time of year are assembling their “Best of” lists, the music reporters at Spike TV have compiled their list of the “Top 7 Worst Guitar Solos of All Time.” I’m not sure what criteria or scientific methods they used to come up with this list, but some of the songs may surprise you.
Guitar solos are like an open book into an artist. Once you hear any musician try to get technical on their axe you can really understand what the person is all about. You get a true understanding of how talented the artist/band is and it helps you know how seriously you should take them. But even the best of songs can be ruined by a horrible guitar solo.
7. Oasis “Champagne Supernova”
Noel Gallagher is not a good guitar player. That’s right, I said it. Anyone who thinks Noel Gallagher is a good guitar player should simply revisit his Oasis catalog. I’m not saying the dude can’t write a catchy tune, I’m just saying he’s not as skilled as everybody makes him out to be. That’s why he went ahead and let former Jam frontman Paul Weller provide the lead guitar and some of the backing vocals on the track. I like me some Jam, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
Very few songs by the British supergroup are known for their amazing musicianship and the guitar playing in “Champagne Supernova” is no different.
6. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Kurt Cobain was undoubtedly skilled at writing memorable songs and expressing serious levels of angst in his music, but it’s safe to say he didn’t really have guitar chops. The thing we all have to keep in mind is the fact that Nirvana pretty much killed off the guitar solo. After the glam scene took a dive in the late ‘80s, guitar solos weren’t really a necessity in rock tunes anymore.
The solo for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” obviously fits the song perfectly, but technically speaking, it’s just a few bars of tuneless nothing. RIP Kurt.
5. Twisted Sister “We’re Not Gonna Take It”
This is solo is so simple, it’s retarded. All guitarist Jay Jay French did was take Dee Snider’s chorus and copied it as the solo. Real creative, dude. Wee Neee Neee Nee Nee Nee…Wee Neee Neee Nee Nee Nee…
4. Lil Wayne “Leather So Soft”
This really isn’t a true solo, but whoever told Lil Wayne he was allowed to play a guitar should be shot in the mouth.
The last 15 seconds of the “Leather So Soft” video shows Weezy sitting down with his iPod trying to bang out a few riffs. The horror doesn’t last long, but it’s definitely enough to make your ears bleed. The guitar isn’t even in tune! Stick to rappin’ Carter, you seem to be really really good at it.
3. Lenny Kravitz “American Woman”
This dude sucks. He’s a wannabe guitar God who grew up trying to mimic Jimi Hendrix, but couldn’t play an original lick to save his life.
When Lenny decided to cover The Guess Who’s “American Woman” in 1999, no one could have known that he was about to butcher a true rock classic. The solo almost had potential, but it seems Mr. Kravitz was too busy working on his hairstyle instead of trying to play the freakin’ guitar. I hate how Lenny tries to make his guitar playing sound technical by using some fancy production tricks. This song is a perfect example of why Lenny Kravitz blows.
2. The Misfits “We Are 138″
I really really love this song, but it has simplest guitar solo in all of music. I guess former Misfits guitarist Bobby Steele wanted to keep things simple when he stepped into the studio with Glenn and Jerry. The solo is pretty much just one note and it only lasts about 20 seconds.
Even though this solo is one of the crappiest things ever, I will admit it does fit the song like a glove. Misfits f***ing rule!
1. Fred Durst Live Guitar Solo
Apparently, someone told Fred Durst he was a real musician and allowed him to attempt a guitar solo in front of a live audience. Idiots. This might be the worst thing I have ever heard in my life. The guy can’t even play one solid note! I can see now that Fred and his music are only here to ruin our lives. Thanks, buddy. Puke.
You can listen to snippets of each solo on the list at the Spike TV website. I am a little disappointed that the list isn’t more controversial. This is Spike TV- I expected them to come out guns blazing, making outrageous statements like “Jimi Hendrix sucked” or something like that. I have to admit, I’ve never even heard the Lil Wayne song, and disagree about the Nirvana solo, but some of these are dead-on, including the Lenny Kravitz and Oasis songs. I’ll throw my own personal opinion in here and say that Eric Clapton’s guitar solo for Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” is a total ripoff of the song “Blue Moon” and doesn’t even fit in well with the song. I also think that former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash is one of the sloppiest, most overrated guitarists in history. How’s that for controversy?
Pictured below: Lenny Kravitz, Kurt Cobain and Twisted Sister’s Jay French. Photo credits: WENN.