A big hello to my readers! I know I’ve been for quite a long time, but you should already know the reason. During the long and stressful holiday I took from blogging, I happened to stumble onto a band known as ‘The Ventures’. Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’ve known The Ventures from a very long time. But just recently did I have the pleasure of putting my headphones on and listening to the beautiful cover songs they produced. I shall be putting up my top 5 Ventures cover songs post this Top 5 review.
Aah, guitar solos. Where would we Rock fans be if it weren’t for those soul stirring moments wherein the guitarist makes his instrument cry? While the previous sentence may sound oddly sadistic, it’s very much true. That squealing sound of a guitar, finely tuned to the craft of its master, can send shivers up the listener’s skin. The high pitch notes, which send an electric zap right through your skin, and those low pitches, which match the beats of your heart – a true Rock enthusiast would surely know what I’m saying here. Not only does a guitar solo have the power to make one move to its rhythm, but also possesses the unreal ability to express what the singer can’t. Some artists have signature solo styles, some don’t. The quality of a guitar solo doesn’t depend on the duration, but on the skill exhibited. According to my knowledge, there are 2 unique skills which clearly distinguish guitar artists:
Shredding is generally used in Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock, etc. Shredding is basically playing the guitar at an unreal speed. The speed required in this technique is sometimes so much that the fingers aren’t visible in the video. Shredding can be related to a vengeful, hateful or upbeat mood (depends on the mood of the song and the band). Shredding requires a LOT of talent. Bending, on the other hand, is a very unique skill only few maestros possess. It is a slow technique wherein the focus is more on the notes, not the speed. Bending, if performed properly, can bring out emotions nothing else can express. Anyways, back to the showdown!
Number 5: Avenged Sevenfold – So Far Away
I am a huge fan of Avenged Sevenfold. They’ve helped me in almost all of my sorrows. Their songs are a bit different than the mainstream Rock bands, but once you start developing that taste for music, you’re hooked. My idol from this band is Synyster Gates. A superb guitar player, who relentlessly shreds his guitar and chokes us with emotions. This song, however, is not about vengeance, nor anger. It’s about sorrow, regret, remorse – This song was made on account of the passing away of the band’s primary drummer – The Rev. The solo is so beautiful, it made me cry like a baby (not just the first time I heard it. I still cry every time it plays).
Solo timing: 02:22 – Rest of song
Number 4: Santana – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Let’s face it – There is no one like Santana. His style and technique are completely different than everyone out there today. The confidence this man shows when he holds the guitar is baffling. Santana shares a place is Rock and Roll’s most famous list – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has collaborated with countless artists and helped them get recognized. From Maria Maria to this song, every tune composed by Santana haunts the very living out of you. This song was originally written by The Beatles, after whom Eric Clapton made a different version of the same. Santana covered the original, and boy does it make you move. India.Arie’s voice and Santana’s amazing technique are guaranteed to leave you spellbound for the remainder of the day.
Solo timing: Full Song
Number 3: Eric Clapton – Layla
Absolute genius. A master of the guitar, Clapton can make his guitar sing and awaken the dead. His technique – relentless. His style – unmatched. This solo helped me understand what Rock really is about. The very first notes of the solo tell you that the forthcoming is going to be amazing. His skill is not bound within the constraints of an electric guitar – His acoustic versions are to die for too (Tears in Heaven).
Solo timing: 02:56 – 04:02
Number 2: Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing (Alchemy Live)
This song – My oh my. I have NEVER seen so much energy output from a song. And that too from a Live version. Mark Knopfler ABSOLUTELY demolishes it with his crazy licks. Terry Williams (the drummer) has probably ripped the coating of the drum skin. It is the SECOND best live performance I’ve ever seen. I know for a fact that if I was present at this concert, I would’ve died from the sheer ecstasy of the energy and the atmosphere. There are two solos in this version – and both are mind boggling. The first one is performed in between the second last and the last stanza, and the last one kicks off as soon as the last stanza ends. If you survive the intensity of the first solo, you’d better brace yourself for the next one. Because it contains one of the most amazing guitar riffs I’ve ever heard! And yes, you HAVE to see the video for the live version too. It’s one of the many reasons why I’ve grown to love Dire Straits so much.
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pa9x9fZBtY
Number 1: Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb (Live in Gdansk)
If God can play the guitar, well then this man is God. I’ve never seen anyone else who handles the guitar as exquisitely as this man does. David Gilmour is the inventor of a technique known as ‘bending’, wherein the guitar chords are strained to their maximum potential to get every last ounce of sound they can deliver. If executed perfectly, it sounds heavenly. A perfect example of how solos should be played can be taken from this song. Once the solo starts at 04:31, you’ll be void of everything around you. The highs and the lows are perfectly blended together. Seeing a man like David Gilmour performing so brilliantly in his 60’s just goes to show the extent of experience he has under his belt. Add an orchestra backing up this solo, and you’ve got yourself the arguably best guitar solo playable. The song brings out so many emotions simultaneously – peace, happiness, respect and gratitude. The way he effortlessly handles the guitar seems as if he does it because he has no other thing to do. I was in complete awe when I heard the solo for the first time. The original Live version’s solo is amazing, but this is GODLIKE. If you’re a fan of Rock music, you CANNOT afford to let this solo go amiss.
Solo timing: 04:31 – End of song
Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY8EwM3vah8
Well, that’s about it. Feel I did some song injustice? Tell me the name of the song in the comments section, and I’ll get to it straightaway. Adios!