Monday, March 07, 2011

Solos (part 6 of ___)

solos, collectivised

Phil T:

"these are canonical but i still love them--

"fripp - baby's on fire ; swastika girls
reed - i heard her call my name
santana - waves within, just in time to see the sun (caravanserai)"

Andrew Parker:

UFO - Rock Bottom

AP also asks: "Does the guitar that cuts through Talk Talk’s ‘After the Flood’ (a la the solo in The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’) count?"


Matthew Kirkcaldie:

informs that on "Gypsy" Lyndsey Buck is playing "a Rick Turner Model 1"

James Parker:

"my nomination for best guitar solo: angus young in AC/DC's 'sin
city' - absolutely rips the song to pieces.

"close second, for the same
reason, greg ginn in 'rise above'"

further to AC/DC, JP adds:

"well now that you've drawn this lovely distinction between the sort of
chiming thematic solo and the dionysiac eruption i feel that i must amplify
my remarks re: angus in 'sin city'. what i love about that solo is the balance of chaos and form, of ripping-your-head-off and storytelling: he comes in (at 1.54) totally unhinged and lightning bolt, in an absolute shitstorm of fingertapping, but then resolves fairly quick into his usual extreme eloquence, his sort of high rhetorical style, this argument, that
argument, this bit of narrative - but then even inside that he's still
chucking these random noise-blasts... the key thing with ac/dc i think is
that MALCOLM wrote the riffs, he was the master of negative space, while
angus is the compulsive filler-of-all-voids..."

(i actually wrote a review of AC/DC reissues saying no one listens to AC/DC for the solos but JP proves me wrong. I actually find those bits of AC/DC tunes where Angus goes haywire to be eminently forgettable/skippable. How neat to think that the member of AC/DC who looks most trogolodyte-like is the riff-generator)

JP further adds:

"just discovered that what angus is doing at the beginning of 'sin city' is
NOT FINGERTAPS or hammer-ons or whatever - that was just my bozo rockcrit
shorthand for 'incomprehensible flurry of notes'. it's actually some sort of
mad two-note strum with the right hand while the fingers of the the left
bounce selectively up and down the frets, tremendous velocity but quite
elegant if you decelerate it a bit, sort of a carefully patterned swoop into
that first theatrical high note that says 'this is a SOLO'... ((i learned this from watching a youtube vid of a guitar instructor performing the solo note-for-note - which is instructive insofar as one apprehends with great clarity that the angus-fire is not present in said instructor)

Nick Katranis:

"How about Eddie Jobson's violin solo at the end of "Out of the Blue" (or is it "Thrill of It All"?) from Country Life... as well as Phil Manzanera's proto-glitch solo on Stranded's "Amazona".... Also: the dappled texture-solo on L Buckingham's "Trouble" (another brilliant 80's thing)"

hmmm, I don't think we can start counting violins or non-guitar instruments in this here colloquium otherwise we'll never be done with the subject, but "Amazona" -- dagnabit I was going to do "Amazona"! What a stupendous, stupifying, can't-believe-your-ears piece of playing... outasight ... also, it BLOWS to smithereens all those (Peter York etc) who like to pretend that Roxy were somehow nothing to do with rock. indeed they were (when they were good, anyway)an outright post-psychedelic/crypto-prog band

this isn't quite the recorded Stranded version but what a great clip!

Peter Llloyd:

"usually hate guitar solos but John Perry on the Only One's Another
Girl,Another Planet is sublime..."

Peter further nominates as Greatest Guitar Break: Captain Beefheart "Mr Zoot Horn Rollo Hit That Long Lean Note And Let It Float" from Big Eyed Beans From Venus on Clear Spot -- hell, yeah!

Craig Allen:

Dinosaur Jr. - Kracked - solo at 1:04

Pat Martino - Sunny - solo at 1:01

Wes Montgomery - Four On Six - solo at :35

Robert Dansby:

Thinks Quine so fine, pointing to RQ's playing on "no blue skies" by Lloyd cole, "don't look Back" by Lloyd Cole, and the Voidoids's "Love Comes in Spurts"

and then nominates

Fripp on Eno's "Kings Lead Hat"

Fripp on Talkings Heads's "I Zimbra"

Richard Lloyd on Television's "Elevation" and "Glory"

Tom Verlaine's on "The Dream's Dream"

Samuel Macklin:

"How about shoegaze? The Boo Radleys had some great solos and I'll bet Swervedriver did too - big Dinosaur influence on both accounts. But by far the greatest shoegaze guitar solo moment is on "Throwing Back the Apple" by Pale Saints"

Sorry Sam, this blog is "A Boo Radleys Free Zone", but i did really like a few moments from Swervedriver, this one, the part 2 of "never Lose that Feeling" above all

Ben Jeffery:

"Jane's Addiction! The solo in "Three Days" running from about 4.40, going for about the next two minutes, then making its triumphant reappearance at 9.30. Completely wonderful, and in 1990 too..."

Hell, yeah - I was going to do Jane's in a bit ("Stop" though, which is kind of a whole-song-as-solo deal)

Andrew Parker (slight return):

skirting the tricky question of female lead guitarists, points to Joni Mitchell as a great player, but "more inclined to play a lick than a solo. In fact her best work is so seamless that I never notice any musical showboating."

Then on the subject of great guitarists who "choose not to play solos", "I was actually thinking about solos performed on acoustic guitars and the lick/solo divide, especially in the context of Pentangle where Bert Jansch and John Renbourn display great virtuosity but rarely break into what would conventionally be accepted as a solo."

Also nominates:

"Jimmy Page’s solo towards the end of Roy Harper’s 'The Same Old Rock'. If only more of his Led Zeppelin work seemed as spontaneous and inspired"

Which chimed with my own near-utter inability to think of a Led Zep solo that I loved, or for that matter, could actually remember.. it's the riffage and the groove that mostly sticks with you, and which seems most distinctive and characterfully expressive of the band's essence... when all four instruments (Plant's is a force, not a communicator of emotion) lock into this churn... Is there a solo in "Black Dog"? The correct answer is "who cares?"

AP also mentions:

Coroner "Son of Lilith"

("Note: Solo starts at 3:40")

Andrew Necci:

"I have to bring up J Mascis as part of this discussion--something I find really interesting that he does on quite a few Dinosaur Jr records, most easily illustrated on "Out There" is that he will take a solo at a certain point during the song, and continue with it even after the final verse/chorus comes around, basically soloing through the rest of the song. On that "Out There" video, the true solo (as opposed to the intro solo and the pre-chorus solos and etc) starts at 3:42, but the phenomenon I'm talking about only becomes clear at 4:43, when the rest of the song brings it around to the final chorus--the solo just keeps going. It sort of keeps going after the song ends, with feedback stretching out over the last 5 seconds after the final chord has stopped.

"An even more flagrant example of this habit of Mascis's, the solo that doesn't end, comes in the song "Blaze," not by Dinosaur Jr but by fIREHOSE, from their album Mr. Machinery Operator Mascis produced that album, and takes a couple of solos on it. The one in "Blaze" is played on a fuzz bass, and starts at 1:28. It should end at 1:44, when Ed Crawford starts singing the final verse, and it sounds like it's going to at first, trailing off into descending wah-wah notes. But when the chorus comes back around at 2:05 or so, the solo becomes a full-on note-filled Mascis solo again, and drifts between wah-wah noise and more conventional Mascis-style playing for the rest of the track. The song itself ends around 2:45, but there are over 10 more seconds after the last note during which Mascis just keeps soloing. It almost sounds like he didn't even stop, just faded himself out at the end, you know? Which is interesting. The guy clearly would rather solo than do much of anything else, and just doesn't want to stop once he's gotten going."