Rock Solo X 12: Jimi Hendrix


As with many Jimi Hendrix songs, this solo should be accessible to most guitarists. Focus on the phrasing rather than playing all notes at once.

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ lead guitarist Flea has come up with another great melodic solo that fits perfectly with their song and proves that you don’t need to shred for your guitar to sound fantastic!

AC/DC – Back in Black

After Bon Scott died on February 19th, 1980, AC/DC decided to press forward with their plans and record what would become Back in Black. Malcolm and Angus Young wrote the music, while Brian Johnson provided the lyrics. His deep and throaty voice proved ideal for this hard rock album full of alcoholism, gun lust, and rock and roll!

Though its subject matter is sobering, this album never becomes maudlin or depressing – instead, it celebrates life and its endless adventure as much as anything. “Hells Bells,” for instance, starts with the clanking of an enormous iron bell before opening with one-ton guitarists Angus and Malcolm’s incredible guitar riffs are put under full scrutiny while Johnson (who had only ever performed two songs in pubs before this) brings the material alive with his powerful, throaty growl.

Back in Black is now 40 years old and stands as one of the highest-selling albums ever. This timeless rock masterpiece can unite all walks of life – metalheads, punks, stoners, skaters, and hip-hop DJs alike can find common ground when listening to this album.

Badfinger – All Over the Place

Badfinger appeared poised to meld pop-influenced rock and roll with hard rock in an immensely satisfying manner; unfortunately, they sadly went their separate ways following Apple Records’ collapse and personal, managerial, and financial issues that eventually caused Pete Ham to take his own life in 1975.

Wish You Were Here is Badfinger’s final studio release under its original lineup and successfully blends high-end seventies pop with contemporary rock, including elements of folk, country, and prog. While an enjoyable listen, Wish You Were Here lacks some of the energetic rockers that characterized earlier Badfinger LPs.

Side two opens with two solid and distinctive tracks to set the album off right. Gibbins’ “Dennis” stands out with moderate piano backing cut by powerhouse guitar riffs and an unforgettable melody.

Molland’s “In the Meantime/Some Other Time,” a seven-minute opus that may have been Badfinger’s closest stab at progressive rock ever, begins with an eerie orchestration before leading into a dynamic section full of rudiments and riffs reminiscent of Kansas and Styx, providing an early preview.

Green Day – American Idiot

Green Day took the world by storm with their astounding seventh album release, American Idiot. Although little notice had been given prior to its release, American Idiot quickly became the year’s most significant rock record and became an instant classic. American Idiot’s musical-political manifesto addressed disenfranchised suburban underclass members while criticizing media for selling government lines of fear and war; it also rails against George W. Bush, the Iraq War, as well as censorship and conspiracy theories.

This record exudes hopelessness, often lashing out against the status quo with angry swear words. It attacks political leaders on songs like American Idiot and Holiday, attacks Christianity with Jesus of Suburbia while jeering sin and salvation, and also revels in nihilistic lostness on Basket Case and St. Jimmy.

American Idiot was propelled further to success by Green Day’s 2004 tour, drawing huge crowds to arena-sized venues like Giants Stadium in New Jersey and Milton Keynes National Bowl; its success even inspired an award-winning Broadway adaptation. Since 2004, few albums have come close to matching American Idiot as one of the most critically and commercially successful punk albums of all time.

The Beatles – The Long and Winding Road

As The Beatles neared their final stage as a touring band, this song conveyed a sentiment of longing and nostalgia for days past. Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 film Let It Be immortalized this sentiment by documenting both their final album recording session as one last live performance atop London’s Apple Building.

In January 1969, when recording began for this song, its primary arrangements consisted of piano, bass guitar, and percussion with some sparse piano accompaniment. When producing tapes for release in April, Phil Spector added orchestral and choral overdubs, resulting in what Kenneth Womack describes in his 2003 book Phil Spector: Out of His Head as “an overly sentimental ballad with strings added too sentimentally.” This interpretation would go on to receive widespread critical acclaim until April 1970, when Phil Spector added orchestral and choral overdubs into this version, resulting in what Kenneth Womack calls “a lot of criticism.”

McCartney later released an alternate version without string overdubs, and it remains a regular part of his live concerts to this day. According to John Harris’ 2003 review for Mojo magazine, its removal had improved it but still left it teeth-clenchingly mawkish.

Oasis – The Scientist

Coldplay’s piano ballad ‘Melancholy Piano Ballad’ explores a man’s powerlessness against love – something they rarely do – giving the song an emotionally stirring depth that transcends arena rock cliches. Additionally, their vocal performances are profoundly moving: Their falsettos sound genuine rather than exploitative.

Supersonic is an ambitious film project, and not everyone will agree with its approach, but the team behind Supersonic has done an excellent job at documenting this epochal event. The movie depicts their meteoric rise from council estate lads to global music superstardom via tabloid exposure, 90s excess, and two record-breaking shows at Knebworth Park.

This film exudes drama and exploration, with very little human-inflicted violence and no hint of Noel Gallagher’s trademark nihilistic pop culture that leaves his fans befuddled by unintelligible riddles. Furthermore, this movie showcases some fine acting from Anil Kapoor as the leader of Oasis, Antje Traue as a security officer, and Zawe Ashton as a medical doctor – three impressive actors all.

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Nirvana pioneered grunge rock music and Smells Like Teen Spirit marked their revolutionary turn. It features a catchy guitar riff while its lyrics remain iconic: “I know you think you are everything/ but I just don’t care.” A timeless classic indeed!

The music video for “Chugging Rhythms and Cobain’s Menacing Bass Work” serves as another testament to the band’s angst-ridden aesthetic. Filmed at an American high school gym, it depicts them performing for cheerleaders touting anarchy and disinterested teenage listeners – an apparent visual declaration of youth-inspired frustration that goes perfectly with Cobain’s menacing bass work and its accompanying rhythms.

Nirvana’s lead single was one of the top-selling songs of the 1990s and remains one of the most iconic tunes ever. At first, it shocked parents but quickly disproved any notion they may have had regarding what children should listen to; ultimately, it created an avenue for disenfranchised youths to continue carrying punk rock values into adulthood, further cementing its influence even today.

The Shadows – The Echoes

Alm and Celica have been separated by war, embarking on separate journeys in search of each other. Along their paths they discover a world that is much closer than expected, learning how their actions impact everyone around them.

Echoes of Yore is a remake, so some of the series’ unique mechanics have been removed. Yet, many that work well are retained, particularly Mila’s Turnwheel, which allows players to rewind turns in battle should mistakes be made. However, death remains present, and the option for rewinding provides additional flexibility to combat.

Support conversations are an extremely welcome addition to the franchise, providing more depth in character development and providing further insights into each unit’s history and personality. 8-4 truly excelled in localization here, and most characters feature strong characterization.

The soundtrack for The Bridge to Terror is superb, featuring heavy guitars and dramatic vocals by Mike Lamb (Sojourner). His instrumental composition includes large harmonized guitar chords as well as melodic piano passages, while Aaron Stainthorpe’s combination of cleans and death growls provide an ideal complement to Langhans’ airy vocals.