Gibson’s 10 Albums That Changed Rock Guitar shows that virtuosity covers a pretty wide spectrum. Here’s the list:
Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?
Van Halen – Van Halen
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
Robert Johnson – King of the Delta Blues Singers
Chuck Berry – After School Sessions
Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
The Allman Brothers – At Fillmore East
Boston – Boston
A huge variety of styles, and so many disparate techniques - not to mention tastes (which we shouldn’t mention lest I go off on a rant about where is Eric Clapton and you’ve gotta be kidding about Black Sabbath).
It’s interesting how many of these albums are firsts: Zep, Boston, Hendrix … which doesn’t necessarily mean that subsequent albums didn’t measure up – just that the shock and awe were done.
It’s a good list because every one of these records inspired a million players to say “I wanna play like that!” New ideas, big changes, epic influence.
Hats off to Robert Johnson, by the way, who managed to make the list 23 years after his demise. Which is proper, because if you look at the list in terms of influencing the influencers, Mr. Johnson winds hands down.