There are a lot of great guitarists that have recorded music over the years. There’s just something about a player who is one with his instrument, like it’s an extension of his or body. Many of these great guitar performances are lost to time because the technology to record them wasn’t available widely in the early 1900s. Luckily for us recoding technology has improved over the years and hundreds of great concerts have been committed to tape.
Cream – Crossroads
Crossroads was originally called Crossroad Blues, written and recorded in 1936 by the legendary Robert Johnson. Many of Johnson’s songs have been covered over the years but Cream’s live version from the 1968 double album Wheels of Fire is the most famous. Why? Because of the way Clapton restructured the song. He turned it into a standard tuning twelve bar blues rocker. And to make the song even better Clapton played not one, but two guitar solos on the track. The first solo is a pretty straightforward blues solo but the second, while remaining a bluesy feel, is a blazing solo that proves once and for all why his nickname was God in the 1960s. If you get have a moment look up other live performances online to see and hear for yourself.
Eddie Van Halen – Live Solo
Eddie Van Halen burst onto the scene and into the consciousness of guitarists everywhere with the short but blistering solo Eruption on Van Halen’s first album. He went on to record an instrumental on two other albums, the flamenco inspired Spanish Fly on Van Halen II and the organ sounding Cathedral on Diver Down. In 1986, during Van Halen’s first tour with new singer Sammy Hagar, the band recorded and released a live concert video. The eleventh track on the tape is merely called Guitar Solo. It starts out with Edward playing a clean little ditty that was later recorded as 316 (his son’s birthday). After that he blasts off for eleven minutes of pure rock n roll guitar soloing as only the best guitarist of his era can. He shreds melodically (as is his style) and during the course of the solo he fits in parts of Eruption, Spanish Fly, and Cathedral. This is probably the greatest guitar solo of Eddie Van Halen’s ever caught on tape and must be heard to be fully appreciated.