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Rolling Stone rating of top Guitarists
4 January 2012
2.01am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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In their Dec 2011 issue, Rolling Stone ranked the top 100 rock Guitarists.

Harrison came in at #11 … and Lennon at 55.

No Macca.

Anyone else think that if Lennon's in there, McCartney should be there too?

I'd say McCartney's been a pretty inventive guitarist.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
4 January 2012
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mr. Sun king coming together
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It's the fact that Rolling Stone has always been big on Lennon over McCartney. Isn't Imagine at 100 something on the albums list, with Band On The Run (The equivalent) at 430 ish?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
4 January 2012
2.23am
PennyLane
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I went over that list. And I was happy George was top twenty nonetheless top 15. (Jimi Hendrix rightfully deserves his spot as number one.) But I did have a problem with John being on there. Paul is a better guitar player and musician to be honest. John holds a higher position as being a better songwriter. If it were up to me, neither John nor Paul would make the list of best guitarists. But I think Paul wasn't on the list because he's known as a bass player and that's what he's good at.

I had a problem with some people on that list like Kurt Cobain. Though I appreciate it was low on the list, I don't think he's that great of a musician either. Again, a better songwriter. I also had a problem with the fact Keith Richards is higher than B.B. King. I love Keith and all, but really?

Well we all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun.
4 January 2012
2.57am
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Spot on mr. Sun king coming together.

Jan Wenner's been friends with John and Yoko right from the beginning (who graced Rolling Stone's first cover?).

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4 January 2012
3.10am
meanmistermustard
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I pay little attention to these lists, there is always at least one mind puzzling result.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
4 January 2012
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mr. Sun king coming together
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John graced the first cover (screencap from How I Won The War). I think he is on 3 of the first 10 (solo or Beatles). They've always been on him, and they even gave Yoko a cover in 1985, after she toured Europe. My mother has lots of old RS', but I still haven't found the McCartney "cover for no reason" yet.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
4 January 2012
3.36pm
Von Bontee
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Wenner's always been a big groupie who loves to put his friends on the cover (Billy Joel many times, even Michael frickin Douglas for less than no reason), and indeed Lennon has graced more RS covers than any other individual. As for the list itself, I thought it was the typical mixture of the predictable with the inexplicable, but I guess that's inevitable. Plus lots of guys (and even a woman!) who pretty much deserved to be there (also inevitable.) Most wtf inclusion: the guy from the Black Crowes?!

[For my money (which is only a figure of speech because my RS subscription was last year's xmas gift from my sister and I wouldn't've bought the issue myself), I don't think Paul OR John belonged on the list, and that George was ranked too high. And don't hate me guys - you know they're all three wonderful musicians, and I WISH I could play (or sing, or write songs) as well as any one of them, but it's a big world and there's been 5000 great guitarists over the years, after all.]

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
4 January 2012
10.04pm
seaglass eyes sunny smile
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8I have to agree with you. George deserves top 100 much more than John and Paul, but I think 11 is too high. They had him at 22 on the last count they did and that's more like it in my opinion.

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
5 January 2012
12.26am
GniknuS
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I think Rolling Stone just puts out stuff like this to get a buzz because the magazine seems pretty much dead nowadays, I can't remember the last time that something came out which caused even a bit of a stir. I do remember hearing about the last guitar list they came out with and they probably figured that they should pretty much do the same thing but switch a few guys and maybe add a guy like John to try and get people talking. Saying that John is the 55th greatest guitar player of all time is laughable just like saying that George is the 11th best. Both guys could really play, I'm not denying that for a second and I love both of their styles, but like Von said, there have been an awful lot of good players.

Anyway, I'm quite disappointed that my favorite player Leo Nocentelli didn't make the list (Leo could play circles around George and John btw) but the point of music is to enjoy each individual style, not to sit on the holy throne of Rolling Stone Magazine and pretend to have an actual ranking system for these guys. I like to read when a musician describes another musicians style, which they do a pretty nice job of, but the actual rankings mean absolutely nothing. Who declared that it was undeniable that Hendrix and Clapton were the top two guitar players of all time is beyond me, but Rolling Stone has an agenda and they know they have to stick to their myths, just like the myth of Sgt. Pepper being indisputably the number one album of all time and Like a Rolling Stone being the greatest song ever and so on and so on. It's a bit of a joke and I don't know anyone who actually listens to their own music that really believes in what these guys put out there.

I can't say that I blame them, you have to try and keep up with the internet, but stunts like these make it difficult for me to really care about that magazine.

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5 January 2012
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Inner Light
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It's great to see George is now number 11 instead of 21 like a few years ago but I still feel he should be higher up in the standing. The problem as always is that it's based on more flash and fast playing then on innovation though I do feel Hendrix and Clapton are in the right spots. 

The further one travels, the less one knows
5 January 2012
3.48am
mr. Sun king coming together
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My IPod just stole a long post, so short of retyping all of it, I'll get to the jist. Music liking is driven by taste and how we like a certain style over others. I prefer Clapton to Hendrix, and I would make him #1 on my list, because of style. Just like Von might have whatshisface from Rush, while Gnik might have The Meters' guitarist, or maybe PennyLane having Jimmy Page, or Keith Richards, be ause they like their style, as opposed to critical analysize which is impossible with music. Rolling Stone's lists holds no more weight then mine, yours or Bobby Bobberson's. It's all opinion.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
5 January 2012
4.33am
Von Bontee
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OK, can I just…

 1. James Jamerson

 2. Robbie Robertson

 3. Bobby Bobberson

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
5 January 2012
2.27pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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What, would you have preferred I said Bobby Orr?

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
5 January 2012
4.51pm
Von Bontee
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No, because then I wouldn't have had my fun! apple01 (Not that there's anything wrong with Bobby Orr, of course)

But anyways, stay-on-topic at least Rolling Stone already gave George his magazine cover this year. Jimi himself hasn't made the cover in ages – not since, lemme check [does Google search] April of 2010.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
5 January 2012
7.12pm
seaglass eyes sunny smile
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Well, considering how long he's been dead, making the cover is still an accomplishment. george-martin

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"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
5 January 2012
10.06pm
The Walrus
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

It's the fact that Rolling Stone has always been big on Lennon over McCartney. Isn't Imagine at 100 something on the albums list, with Band On The Run (The equivalent) at 430 ish?

That's because Imagine is good and Band On The Run isn't.

George is more listenable than a lot of guitarists even if he isn't strictly as good. Not on the same level as someone like Hendrix who is better technically and just as listenable, but deserving of a place like that.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
6 January 2012
12.08am
meanmistermustard
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Ooh, a debate on which album is superior; BOTR or Imagine? (Going way off topic)

 

I think BOTR is a far better album when you listen to in chronilogical order of Pauls music. Ram was progress for Paul but then there were the 2 mixed bags of Wild Life (i do love the album by the way and get a real joy from most of it, mainly because it is more raw and unkempt than most of Pauls releases) and Red Rose Speedway, both having some great moments but as a whole are not amazing. BOTR was Paul finally hitting a creative high where all the tracks had strong lyrics and were musically polished, a far more consistant effort than his previous work (tho on a personal note i detest Jet). (Ram isnt quite wings but also isnt quite a Paul solo album as members of wings are on it, somewhere in the middle and can you take Paul solo and wings in the same breathe? Well i can and am here, i might not elsewhere).

As for imagine, its a strong album but i cant help feeling that its given more acclaim than it deserves, mainly because of the song Imagine (for some reason its a song that people feel they have to like). However Gimmie Some Truth and I Dont want To Be A Soldier havent aged well, in my opinion. And yes for the hundredth time i will repeat that Yoko has stuffed Imagine (the song) down my throat so many times that i am trully sick to death of the song, and truth be told ive never had it in the top 3 songs on that album. Anyway for me John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is Johns best album by a country mile.

So overall i would go for BOTR as a better album between the 2 but neither are their artists best releases. (Theres probably a lot of contradiction in there so i apologise.)

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
6 January 2012
12.12am
kataub48
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I like the album Imagine and Band on the Run, but to say that Imagine is a better album is crazy talk. Band on the Run is a great album and Imagine is a very good album

6 January 2012
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Von Bontee said "Jimi himself hasn't made the cover in ages – not since, lemme check [does Google search] April of 2010."

Well, he's on this issue of The Greatest Guitarists! (RS put out two covers [maybe more?], one with Page and one with Hendrix), so Mr. Hendrix is going strong!

 

Note how the criteria for "greatest guitarist" were never spelled out.

 

As mr Sun king ct said, it's obviously in part a question of what style moves you, but I suppose you could break it down to technical proficiency, speed, feel, originality and impact – and of course, that's why Hendrix usually comes out on top. He gets a top grade in every category.

If there's a tie between Hendrix and, say, Page, the tie-breaker goes to Hendrix, because no Hendrix, no Page.

Clapton and Hendrix were exact contemporaries, so that tie-breaker doesn't work; but even Clapton bows down to Hendrix.

But getting back to topic, I think inventiveness is under-rated in many ratings. McCartney has been a VERY inventive guitarist his whole life, which is why, IMHO, if you put Lennon in the top 100 (which I wouldn't), you've got to put McCartney in there too. And this gets back to the Rolling Stone/Lennon/Yoko connection. 

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
6 January 2012
3.33am
GniknuS
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I still think it's funny that RS has nothing better to talk about than this, I'm looking at the cover now and it also says "What's next for the Stones" as if anyone really cares what those 70 year old multi-millionaires are up to. Will they tour again and charge me $100 a ticket to sit in the last row? Oh the anticipation!

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