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From Guns N’ Roses to Queen and Led Zeppelin, we take our pick of the best, most iconic guitar solos of all time.

Learning to play guitar isn’t easy. We all remember signing up for lessons, convincing our parents to buy us boutique effects pedals and watching endless videos of our favourite guitarists making it look effortless, only to get frustrated when we couldn’t play our favourite riffs exactly like Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain.

With companies like Aclam Guitars making high-end pedals for us to practice with, there’s no excuse for giving up on the practice. However, we’ve definitely resigned to the fact that we will never be able to play as well as the greats. We’ve rounded up the most iconic guitar solos ever, the ones that make us stare at the screen in awe and repeat ‘how did they do that?’

Fleetwood Mac - “The Chain”

Lindsey Buckingham’s relentless guitar solo in Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 track “The Chain” is probably the one that’s attempted the most often. From the opening bars of John McVie’s bass guitar, this solo is instantly recognisable, and is one of the reasons that “The Chain” reminds a much-loved fan favourite from the band.

Neil Young - “Down By The River”

This one is kind of a cheat - practically the entire song is a guitar solo. Neil Young’s 1969 masterpiece, about a man shooting his partner by a river (though Young confirmed it’s only a metaphorical murder), features a rambling solo for over six minutes of its run-time.

Radiohead - “Paranoid Android”

Radiohead songs are a goldmine when it comes to iconic guitar solos, with honourable mentions undoubtedly going to “The Bends” and “Just”, but Johnny Greenwood’s two separate solos in “Paranoid Android” were so revolutionary that they have to make the list.

Led Zeppelin - “Stairway to Heaven”

This performance of “Stairway To Heaven” will forever be known as one of the most memorable rock performances to ever have happened. Jimmy Page’s guitar solo lasts for a whole three minutes and two seconds in this live rendition from 1973, before Robert Plant takes over and shouts a chorus into the mic, his voice breaking; miles away from the slow, hauntingly beautiful vocals and guitar chords from the beginning of the performance.

Guns N’ Roses - “Sweet Child o’ Mine”

Guns N’ Roses’ only ever Number One single, the 1988 track “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, is one of the best-known rock songs of all time, with the guitar solo sitting at the top of most ‘best of’ lists. Guitarist Slash has famously expressed his disdain for the song, but it simply had to be on our list for the fact that however many times you hear those familiar opening bars, they don’t get old.

The Eagles - “Hotel California”

Like “Stairway To Heaven”, The Eagles’ “Hotel California” starts slow and steady, but by the end of the iconic guitar solo, it feels like a completely different song. Widely thought of as a metaphor for the facade of the American Dream and an epitome of the 1970s counterculture movement of the time, “Hotel California” became one of the most culturally important songs of its decade.

Queen - “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Any list concerning the most iconic guitar solos of all time would not be complete without a nod to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the pop-rock ballad from Queen which opened the famous Live Aid 1985 performance, just months before Freddie Mercury’s tragic death. Both Bryan May and Roger Deakins give impressive guitar solos in the song, and the much-parodied music video is still considered one of the best visuals ever. With an Oscar-winning biopic focussed on the legendary band released just last year, it’s clear that their gargantuan fanbase isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Featured Image: Instagram/@jimmypage