The student news site of Hawthorne High School.

The Clarion

The student news site of Hawthorne High School.

The Clarion

The student news site of Hawthorne High School.

The Clarion


Top 6 Most Popular Guitar Solos Ever Recorded


Music has many genres. From Heavy Metal to Reggae to Blues, music is a way to express yourself and let loose. Although most music takes a full band to play, one of the most powerful moments is a solo from a person and their instrument. Here are the top 6 greatest guitar solos ever recorded. 

  1. Eruption – Van Halen (1976)

Coming in at number 1 is Eruption. This song is strictly guitar and lasts a whopping minute and 43 seconds, which is incredible for just guitar. Eddie Van Halen was the hands strumming away at the guitar, which shook the world when it was released in 1976. The 70’s was when heavier music like rock and metal was introduced not just in America, but worldwide. It was seen across the states and other countries this new trend dressing punk with dark edgy clothes and long hair. While the tapping gets the attention of the listener, his tone, intense legato and creative note choices are all equally important.

2. Hotel California – Eagles (1976)

A classic song that most people in every generation after 1976 know about: Hotel California by The Eagles. This guitar solo starts at 4:20 and lasts for the remainder of the song which is 2:11. Both Don Felder and Joe Walsh worked together to make this guitar solo flow perfectly till the end. Throughout the song you can hear them both strumming away  while the harmony is created by one of the guitars always playing one note lower down in the chord. What most don’t know is that the real meaning to this song is the dark underbelly to the American dream. 

3. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses (1987)

The guitar in this almost 6 minutes long song seems to never end. The opening to this song until around 45 seconds is just guitar along with other minor instruments. At 3:36 the true, very impressive guitar solo begins and ends at 4:39. The guitarist behind this edgy, up-beat song went by the nickname of Slash (his real name being Saul Hudson) who had much success playing the instrument he’s best known for. This song has been the talk of many radio shows and even appeared in some movies because it never gets old. 

4. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits (1978)

Dire Straits through their years of releasing music has made many nostalgic songs from 1978-1988 until they announced they were disbanding September 15, 1988. At the time, the guitarist was Mark Knopfler. Soon after people started crowning Eddie Van Halen as guitar king, but Mark Knopfler came into play with his guitar solos in almost every Dire Straits song. Although the one song that really stood out to fans and the rest of the world was Sultans of Swing which is a 6 minute long song containing guitar all throughout and a minute long guitar solo. Mark demonstrated that not all guitars have to be played the same to make a jaw dropping solo. The outro solo is the real attention-grabber. Which Mark cleanly plays, precise and electrifying every time you hear it. 

5. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1975) 

One of the biggest rock songs of all time: Bohemian Rhapsody. It is a loose, natural song that is one of the most popular for their time. After lead singer Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, this song gained much respect and fame even though it came out in 1975. The guitarist in this band who performed the solo to this song was Brian May. This song is about 6 minutes long with 3 guitar solos, 2 being short (about 10-30 seconds) and 1 longer one that is just under a minute. The beginning of the song is actually strictly piano which makes it an intriguing masterpiece from going into classical piano to eccentric rock. Somehow, within the boundaries of the composite structure of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” this solo fits perfectly into the song between the lyrics and other instruments heard throughout the piece. 

6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles (1968)

In 1968, the super popular British band, The Beatles, released some interesting music including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” This song is just about 5 minutes long with Eric Clapton strumming his guitar throughout the song, his solo being over a minute long as an outro to the song. This song has a weird and whimsical feel to it as it incorporated the fab fours style and yet the complete opposite of what their fans were used to.“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was every bit as good as anything the four musicians wrote, but no one could get up the enthusiasm for it, so George Harrison invited his pal Eric Clapton to play on the session, knowing it would put the Beatles in the right spot. Although the man behind the guitar wasn’t a “Beatle” he sure made his time with the band worth it.  

About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Neeb, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Kaitlyn Neeb, and I am currently a freshman at Hawthorne High School. I am very excited for the years ahead of me here at HHS. This is my first year of writing for the Clarion as well as in high school overall. I love to play volleyball and I am currently on the Hawthorne Bears Volleyball team. My interests include things like reading, writing, volleyball and downtime with my friends and family.