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Gibson - Great Guitars, Awful Lists

Gibson - Great Guitars, Awful Lists

The people responsible for getting people to look at came out last week with a list of the top 50 "Guitar Albums" of all time, released in pieces day-by-day to keep us coming back.  To avoid giving them more traffic, the whole list is given below.

This is something that HVY MTL is going to have an opinion about.  I know it's got to be a subjective topic, and no one person has heard everything, but almost anybody would look at this list and ask one question: "WTF???"  We have to wonder just what the rules were here! 

I'll concede that such a list has to lean toward populist works, skipping the more obscure solo projects from even the recognized modern maestros.  I'm not going to find personal faves like Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken) and Mike Slamer (Warrant, Hardline, House of Lords).  Nor will they include one-off mashups like the G3 live recordings (e.g. Satriani, Vai, and Eric Johnson).

Still, they call it a "best of" list, and there are some criminal omissions that I'm sure the voters, and large portions of the listening public, have heard of.  I seem to recall Joe Satriani getting plenty of airplay around the time of Flying in a Blue Dream, which is still one of my fave albums to play straight through.  Same for Eric Johnson's Ah Via Musicom.  I suppose the voters were all too jealous of Robert Cray's ultra-clean technique to put his big 80's albums up there.

On the other hand, if it's going to be albums with more of a cultural and commercial impact, I have to wonder about the items here from artists that I've never heard or never heard of (11 by my count!).  And on the flip side where are the huge a unique-sounding hits from Queen and Brian May?  And Boston, with that killer new studio-built guitar sound, held all the new band sales records - until their #5 entry from Guns 'n' Roses finally broke them.  I maintain that half the albums here, especially entry #1, owe their radio playability to Montrose.  Metallica changed rock radio permanently and does not get a mention.

So what about the stuff that did make the list: 
Stevie Ray Vaughan is 31st, and they put The Sky is Crying way over Texas Flood at 44th.  WTF?
Led Zeppelin I is 26 places below Led Zeppelin IV.  WTF?
Pink Floyd's (otherwise brilliant) is #12, and #49, on a GUITAR list, when they only got the Am string and organ pads out of Gilmour's way for a total of about 97 seconds.  WTF?

Back to stuff that's missing, there's a shortage of Richie Blackmore, one of the first three Yngwie Malmsteen albums had to get some consideration (Marching Out in my book), and I'm stunned that a bunch of musicians left off Rush.  2112 is all about the rediscovery of guitar and how it changes the world!

And honestly, I prefer Ibanez and Yamaha in the first place.'s Top 50 Guitar Albums Of All Time list:
1. Van Halen -- Van Halen (1978)
2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience -- Are You Experienced (1967)
3. Led Zeppelin -- Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
4. Derek And The Dominos -- Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
5. Guns N' Roses -- Appetite For Destruction (1987)
6. Led Zeppelin -- Led Zeppelin II (1969)
7. The Allman Brothers Band -- At Fillmore East (1971)
8. Cream -- Disraeli Gears (1967)
9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience -- Electric Ladyland (1968)
10. AC/DC -- Back In Black (1980)
11. Television -- Marquee Moon (1977)
12. Pink Floyd -- The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)
13. The Who -- Live At Leeds (1970)
14. Robert Johnson -- King Of The Delta Blues Singers (1961)
15. The Sex Pistols -- Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols (1977)
16. Jeff Beck -- Blow By Blow (1975)
17. Ozzy Osbourne -- Blizzard Of Ozz (1980)
18. The Rolling Stones -- Exile On Main Street (1972)
19. The Who -- Who's Next (1971)
20. Black Sabbath -- Paranoid (1970)
21. Ozzy Osbourne -- Diary Of A Madman (1981)
22. The Rolling Stones -- Sticky Fingers (1971)
23. Van Halen -- Van Halen II (1979)
24. Chuck Berry -- The Great Twenty-Eight (1982)
25. The Stooges -- Fun House (1970)
26. AC/DC, Highway to Hell (1979)
27. The Beatles, Revolver (1966)
28. Aerosmith, Rocks (1976)
29. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin  (1969)
30. Oasis, Definitely Maybe (1994)
31. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky is Crying (1991)
32. Lynyrd Skynyrd, One More From the Road (1976)
33. The Beatles, Rubber Soul  (1965)
34. The Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
35. Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, Live (1978)
36. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (1966)
37. Thin Lizzy, Jailbreak (1976)
38. Def Leppard, High ’n’ Dry (1981)
39. Roy Buchanan, Roy Buchanan (1972)
40. The Shadows, Dance with The Shadows (1964)
41. Deep Purple, Machine Head (1972)
42. Jeff Beck, Truth (1968)
43. The White Stripes, Elephant  (2003)
44. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas Flood (1983)
45. Chuck Berry, Chuck Berry in London (1965)
46. Danny Gatton, 88 Elmira St. (1991)
47. The Wildhearts, Earth vs The Wildhearts (1993)
48. Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti  (1975)
49. Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here  (1975)
50. David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

"Votes for the Top 50 Guitar Albums of All Time were included from Michael Wright, Bryan
Wawzenek, Andrew Vaughan, Sean Dooley, Arlen Roth, Russell Hall, Ted Drozdowski, Paolo
Bassotti, Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), Bart Walsh (David Lee Roth), Billy Morrison (Billy
Idol, Circus Diablo), Jeff Cease (Black Crowes, Eric Church) and the Readers Poll."


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