Joey’s Top 10s: Top 10 Guitar Solos of All Time

Self-proclaimed guitar solo aficionado Joey Franklin shares his Top 10 guitar solos of all time

Joeys number 1 solo is from Van Halens seventh studio album, 5150. Can you guess what it is?


Joey’s number 1 solo is from Van Halen’s seventh studio album, “5150.” Can you guess what it is?


I am a guitar solo aficionado and have no problem dishing out plenty of controversial opinions about them. Here are my top ten guitar solos of all time. I will try to avoid name-dropping solos that are on every top ten list (sorry “Free Bird,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Hotel California”) to keep the list interesting. I will also be limiting my lists to one artist/band.

  1. “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra

One of the all-time great feel-good songs, “Mr. Blue Sky” delivers an awesome melodic solo. It has a crisp, yet overdriven tone that feels as if it is delivering an extra lyric or two to the first verse.

The solo is very short, only about 20 seconds long, but it works perfectly with the song, and solos do not have to be long to be good.

  1. “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” by Mötley Crüe 

While not the most popular Mötley Crüe song, the lyrics are amusing, and the solo is just tasty. Maybe a bit of a slower-paced solo from the notorious hard rock band, this solo seems triumphant and matches the tone of the song very well.

  1. “Stone In Love” by Journey

This solo is massively underappreciated (along with the guitar player Neal Schon). “Stone In Love’s” solo is a long one, and reflects what guitar solos of the 1980s would end up sounding like: very high-pitched and with heavy delay, reverb and overdrive effects.

  1. “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam

It is not always easy to understand what Eddie Vedder is singing, but Mike McCready’s guitar solos always make sense.

I am going to lump in the intro solo with the main solo because it is likely one of the best grunge riffs ever. This solo switches up pacing, and the heavy use of the wah-wah pedal makes it a lot of fun to listen (and maybe headbang) to.

  1. “Lady Writer” by Dire Straits

Very similar to “Sultans of Swing,” Lady Writer is a sultry, smooth guitar solo that weaves expertly through the song.

Mark Knopfler is such a good guitar player; his style of plucking is very unique and has not been recreated since he brought it to popularity.

The solo is very much driven by the pentatonic scale, but that is disguised very well by the hammer-on and pull-offs that accentuate the notes.

  1. “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide” by ZZ Top

That Little Old Band From Texas is probably the last of its kind in playing authentic blues music. Billy Gibbons’s solos are often on the shorter side, but his phrasing is world-class.

Gibbons uses a lot of pinch harmonics (when a piece of skin hits a guitar string after the pick does) to accent notes and keep the songs interesting, and it is exemplified perfectly in “I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide.”

  1. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live)” by Prince

This song is originally by The Beatles, but this version is covered by Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Prince and others for a Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Price delivers an otherworldly solo for this song. Clocking in at about two minutes, he brings out the entire arsenal of guitar tricks and pure talent. This solo has to be heard (and seen) to be believed.

  1. “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” by John Mayer

Definitely the bleakest solo on this list, the solo is very clearly in the minor pentatonic scale and drives home the tone of this song. The tone is almost frail, like it is yearning for something, which is what the song is all about.

  1. “Visions” by Eagles

The only song by Eagles to be sung by Don Felder (their lead guitar player), the solo is totally rocking. This solo takes on a tour of the guitar neck, with bits and pieces played on the higher and lower end of the guitar; it is super upbeat and puts the listener in a good mood.

  1. “Love Walks In” by Van Halen

Who else would top my list other than Eddie Van Halen?

Arguably the master of the guitar solo, Van Halen actually notches down the speed of this solo, which is in the best interest of the song. “Love Walks In” is one of the band’s best works as a whole; thematically and musically, it drives it out of the ballpark. Van Halen still brings his intricate whammy bar work but is not over the top or too flashy.