Every great rock band normally has to rely on a good guitar player to get their point across. Even if they aren’t able to play on the same level as virtuosos, the importance behind a good riff is what often makes or breaks great songs, with fans being just as interested in the licks as they are in what the singer has to say. The guitar might be the coolest instrument in the band, but these are the songs where it became the face of all that rock and roll stands for.
Even though acts like Chuck Berry and Little Richard may have given us the core sound of rock and roll back in the day, these are the kind of lead breaks that feel like events when you first heard them, with melodies that were just as good as the songs they were meant to accompany. As much as these songs might fit into the traditional rock and roll tropes, there are certain aspects of these solos that seem to pull from different types of music as well, from dipping their toes into classical composition to delving into the jazz world to put a bit of color into their phrases.
From every stripe of rock music, each of these solos seemed to stop the clock, with the rest of the music world being curious as to how they got that particular sound and trying to emulate it themselves. There have been many fans trying to copycat solos like this, but you never forget your first, do you?
10. Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
Just as the Sunset Strip was starting to come alive, every single guitarist on the block was basically trying to outdo Eddie Van Halen. For all of the glamour that was going around and bands being influenced by the likes of David Bowie and T Rex, the guitar community started to get incredibly stale, with many six stringers thinking that all they needed was to learn a couple of tapping licks to be successful. There's only one Eddie Van Halen though, and Randy Rhoads found his calling by diving into classical music.
Going through both albums that Randy made with Ozzy Osbourne, you could tell that he was still a student of music, oftentimes taking different classical lessons on his days off during the tour. For as much shred is packed into the solo for Crazy Train though, there's a lot more taste in there than you would find in someone like Yngwive Malmsteen, making the guitar almost feel like a symphony when he's playing, from the tapping licks that churned out full chords to runs so fast that he practically sounds like he's going through the sound barrier.
Seeing how this was his first time in a professional studio with Ozzy, hearing this just makes all of us wonder what could have happened had Randy not been in that fateful airplane accident just a few months later. Because of this solo was any indication, metal was only one stripe of the genius that he had.