Guitar World’s 40 Most Influential Solos In Rock is quite possibly the list that’s come closest to what I would have expected.
All the early rockers are there: Scotty Moore, James Burton, Eddie Cochrane –and Chuck Berry, who’s Johnny B. Goode GW correctly notes is “the most important rock guitar part ever recorded.”
All the Classic Rockers are there: Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, Blackmore, Allman, Fripp, Page, Gilmour, Knopfler, Young and West.
The blues influencers are there: Elmore James, and the 3 Kings.
The list is chronological, so until it got to the 80’s my reaction was consistently, “yep, influenced me alright.”
The latter-day guitar heroes are there too: SRV, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, Malmsteen, Satriani and, the cat with the coolest handle: Dimebag Darrell.
One or two guitarists I wouldn’t have included myself, but fully expected to see. And given GW limited itself to one solo per guitarist, I think they did a pretty good job of coming up with the most representative tune. No easy feat with most of these guys.
Not sure how Heartbreaker gets to be Jimmy Page’s most important solo, but that’s just me. I certainly remember being floored when I first heard it, but later on I kinda felt it wrecked the song, because it interrupted such a powerful groove.
Nice to see Europa chosen for Santana so they could make room for Peter Green and the original Black Magic Woman. Peter Green is usually under-rated and overlooked. Speaking of overlooked: no Highway 61 Revisited by Johnny Winter?