There’s tireless chatter nowadays about the Internet, piracy, and the demise of the music industry as we once knew it. It is indeed a truism to say that album sales have entered a free fall and the major record labels are flailing about as they plunge toward their impending doom.
The thing is, they have it all wrong. The problem has little to do with the Internet or its savvy swashbucklers. They are not in fact the source of this industry implosion. Nope, the answer is much simpler. All it takes is a simple comparison of the great albums of today versus those at the height of the music industry bull market – the renaissance if you will: the 1980s. Today’s albums still have almost all the pieces in place: great songwriting, check; pleasing vocals, check; clever promotion, check; loyal fans, check. So, that leaves just one missing ingredient: a mean mother beast of a guitar solo.
Hit songs of the late ’80s almost always included a masterpiece of axe-wielding showmanship. On today’s albums, particularly on the great indie rock ones, the guitar solo is de-emphasized almost to the point of non-existence. Well, for this listener, long before the jam bands it was all about the glam bands and I for one love the guitar solo and miss it. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look back at the monster hits of the 1980s – the monster ballads to be precise – and take a close look at those epic guitar solos.
Skid Row – I Remember You (guitar solo from 2:37 to 3:18)
Listening to a monster ballad guitar solo is like judging a dive. There are myriad key factors to evaluate in unison over the course of a very short time. The key elements of these power solos include mastery of such variables as degree of difficulty, technical prowess, useless showboating, number of notes, and of course, squeal. While Sebastian Bach always stole the Skid Row thunder, in large part due to the fact that he kinda looked like a blonde Kristen Stewart, Dave “the Snake” Sabo co-founded the band before Bach ever joined and put the band on the map with guitar playing like this. Judges say? 9.2.
READ ON for more legendary monster ballad guitar solos…