Top 10 Guitar Albums

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Top 10 Guitar Albums

VOICE OVER: Matt Campbell
Script written by Aaron Cameron

Dust off your air guitars, or if you're feeling really ambitious, your real ones! Join http://www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Guitar Albums. For this list we will be looking at great guitar based albums from across the decades.

Special thanks to our user jackhammer for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Aaron Cameron

Top 10 Guitar Albums


Dust off your air guitars, or if you’re feeling really ambitious, your real ones! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 guitar albums.

For this list we will be looking at great guitar based albums from across the decades. However we will be ignoring albums that are strictly instrumental in nature, as those are a list for another day.

#10: “The Wall” (1979)
Pink Floyd


Looking past the more operatic and plot driven moments, Pink Floyd's “The Wall” is an orgy of premiumguitar tones courtesy of David Gilmour. From the high-strung acoustic work of “Hey You” to the Big Muff soaked majesty that is “Comfortably Numb,” The Wall will have you maxing your line of credit at GuitarCenter. Relying mostly on his trusty Black Strat, Gilmour also used his battered but well loved “Workmate” Telecaster, Strat #001, and - most surprisingly - a 1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with which he recorded the gritty and sustained solo to “Another Brick in the Wall.”

#9: “Machine Head” (1972)
Deep Purple
Recorded in Switzerland during infamous and well documented times, Machine Head was the album that put Deep Purple on the map and Ritchie Blackmore in the hallowed halls of guitar hero-dom. The album completely reshaped hard rock, thanks in no small part to Blackmore's finger picked blend of blues and classical influences, a Fender Strat, and a cranked Marshall stack. The guitarist typically favoured 200 watt Marshall Majors, which he had modded to sound like supercharged Vox AC-30s. This created a sound guaranteed to have neighbours tapping on your wall in appreciation.

#8: “Master of Puppets” (1986)
Metallica
Recorded in Denmark by Flemming Rasmussen, Master of Puppets was the album that brought James Hetfield's signature crunch and Kirk Hammett's crisp, emotive and melodic lead work to the masses. In an effort to keep things efficient, Hammett used pro tips from Joe Satriani. With both guitarists using Mesa/Boogie amps, Hetfield stuck mostly to a Jackson King V. Hammett branched out, employing a 70's Gibson Flying V, a Fernandes Stratocaster copy and a Jackson Randy Rhoads to achieve platinum selling awesomeness.

#7: “Disraeli Gears” (1967)
Cream
If the graffiti artists of London hadn't already declared Clapton “God,” they certainly would have when this dropped. Recorded in New York City in just three and a half days and completed the day the band's US work permits expired, Disraeli Gears broke Cream into the American market. Tracks like “Strange Brew” and the Hendrix inspired “Sunshine of Your Love” are filled to the brim with psychedelically enhanced blues. “Tales of Brave Ulysses” marked Clapton's first use of the wah-wah pedal, while a Gibson SG and a couple of dimed Marshalls fuelled Slowhand's “woman tone,” featured throughout the album.

#6: “Appetite for Destruction” (1987)
Guns N' Roses
Arriving at the height of hair metal, Appetite for Destruction marked the reintroduction of proper, bluesy electric guitar playing to mainstream. Slash and producer Mike Clink explored gear options before settling on the Jimmy Page proven combo of a Les Paul and a Marshall amplifier. While the Les Paul in question was actually a fake Gibson, there's no denying its very real tone. Witness the chunky co-lead work on “Nightrain,” the milky solos on “Sweet Child O' Mine” and the wah-wah frenzy that is “Mr Brownstone.”

#5: “Blizzard of Ozz” (1980)
Ozzy Osbourne
One of just two studio albums Ozzy recorded with the late great Randy Rhoads, Blizzard of Ozz was a cold front of hot guitar playing. Inspired by players like Leslie West and Ritchie Blackmore and compared to the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Rhoads' playing was far more classically infused than that of his peers. He was never limited by metal or hard rock conventions. Using a now iconic white 1974 Les Paul Custom, a polka-dotted flying V, a Marshall Superlead and a handful of choice effects pedals, Randy entered the realm of guitar hero with “Crazy Train” alone.

#4: “Back in Black” (1980)
AC/DC
Produced by Mutt Lange within months of Bon Scott's death, “Back in Black” is widely considered AC/DC's finest hour. From the pulverizing chug of the title song to the bluesy, melodic leads of “Hell's Bells,” “Black in Black” is an air-guitarist's dream. And that “You Shook Me All Night Long” intro riff is more Neil Young than Malcolm or Angus. But Malcolm kept things together, typically sticking with a Gretsch while Angus used- shockingly- a Gibson SG and a Marshall, but added compression through a wireless unit. It's far from the intended purpose, but you can't argue with the results!

#3: “Led Zeppelin II” (1969)
Led Zeppelin
A masterpiece only rivalled by Led Zeppelin IV, “Led Zeppelin II” should be terrible. Instead it's anything but. Assembled during seven tours and recorded everywhere from London’s Olympic Studios to a nameless dive in Vancouver, the album and Page's guitar work are solidly and consistently awesome - from “Ramble On” to “Whole Lotta Love.” Quite likely the reason late '50s sunburst Les Pauls require a mortgage, “Heartbreaker”'s isolated guitar solo was the moment Page finally hit on his classic Gibson/Marshall stack combination. It’s a discovery from which the world has never really recovered.


#2: “Van Halen” (1978)
Van Halen
Sure, the posers were watching David Lee Roth, but the cool kids were all watching Eddie Van Halen. Although techniques like string bending, tapping, pitch harmonics, and playing stupidly-loud had been around for decades, no one quite put them all together like EVH did. Using a hot-rodded Marshall amp and his now infamous “Frankenstrat” on tracks like “Runnin' with the Devil,” “Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love,” and “Jamie's Cryin',” Eddie double-handedly reshaped electric guitar playing for the next decade. The critics may have been underwhelmed, but with 10 million copies sold, fans, including Jimmy Page, certainly were not.

Before we unveil our top picking top pick here are a few honourable mentions.

“Ten” (1991)
Pearl Jam

“Who's Next” (1971)
The Who

“Pyromania” (1983)
Def Leppard

“Exile on Main St” (1972)
The Rolling Stones

“The Bends” (1995)
Radiohead

“Elephant” (2003)
The White Stripes


#1: “Are You Experienced” (1967)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Jimi Hendrix was just some anonymous guitarist in Little Richard's band. Then 1967 happened. Mostly recorded live in studio for budgetary reasons rather than style, Hendrix's debut contained some of the first songs the guitarist ever wrote. It showcased the full range of his playing, and contained an impressive blend of psychedelic, blues, and jazz influences. From lighter, bendier strings to using feedback as an effect, cranked amps and fuzz pedals, to liberal whammy bar abuse, a whole new standard of guitar playing was established.


Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite guitar album? For more string bending Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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