Jimmy Page’s guitar solo on Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven has been voted the greatest ever by Classic Rock magazine.

His work on the 1971 track was voted number one by a panel of critics, bands and readers in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine which features the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.

But despite the plaudits, Page says it’s not his best but “it’s pretty damn good.”

Jimmy Page tells Classic Rock, “Is Stairway To Heaven my best Zeppelin guitar solo? No, but it’s pretty damn good. The solo was done very quickly – in actual fact there were already layers underneath, the bottleneck you can hear was on before the solo.

Anyway, I just said, ‘Roll it,’ took a deep breath, that’s what I usually do, and then go. I had a couple of cracks at it because you didn’t have as many options as you would have now. Back then you had 16 tracks and could only put guitar solos down where the vocal wasn’t.

“You’d save maybe three tracks to lay guitar solos into which meant you could have two or three cracks at it and then choose the best.”

He adds: “If everyone else says it’s my best solo then that’s great, that’s good, but there are others that I prefer.”

When asked if there’s a particular solo that has given him trouble, Page said, “I don’t dread it, but the one that was testy, to say the least, to try and replicate, or at least to get a mean average of all the guitar parts on the record, was Achilles’ Last Stand. I really set myself a challenge to try and do that onstage with one guitar.”

Other solos to feature in the top 10 include Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, Eagles classic Hotel California, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid and Prince’s Purple Rain. See the top 10 below.

The full list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos features in the new issue of Classic Rock magazine.

Classic Rock’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos Top 10:

1. Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
2. David Gilmour/ Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
3. Don Felder and Joe Walsh/Eagles – Hotel California
4. Allen Collins/Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird
5. Jimi Hendrix/The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower
6. Eddie Van Halen/Van Halen – Eruption
7. Brian May/Queen – Killer Queen
8. Slash/GN’R – Sweet Child Of Mine
9. Prince/Prince And The Revolution – Purple Rain
10. Tony Iommi/Black Sabbath – Paranoid

What is your favorite solo?


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  • Rattlehead on

    I love this article, Dana!! Thanks for sharing….

    The Stairway guitar solo is one of my favorite solos. I also really like the solo trade offs by Mustaine and Friedman at the end of Hangar 18. And my most favorite solos are all those performed by Randy Rhoads, my favorite guitarist ever, even though he doesn’t have an extensive body of work. He’s the reason I play Jackson guitars.

    • Dana on

      You’re welcome, Rattlehead 🙂

      I would chime in, but there are so many great solos, it’s hard to choose. I agree there are many from Rhoads, quite a few from Sykes and Lynch, KK and Tipton (especially on Bloodstone), Eddie Van Halen (especially on So This Is Love), Warren DiMartini, Paul Gilbert, Nuno Bettencourt, etc.

      D 🙂

  • Michael B on

    Jimmy Page is the reason I play Gibson guitars, though he did play just about everything on the albums from Tele’s to danelctros to theremins.

    I’d agree with that list and wouldn’t change much.

  • Frank T on

    I love the solo in the Alter Bridge song “Blackbird.”

  • dcinsc7 on

    “Firehouse” solo by Ace Frehley is the best solo in context of a song. Best guitar playing solo is Prince at the RRHOF for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

  • T on

    Jimmy Page captured a “feel” on that solo that is just undeniably perfect for that song. He just nailed it.
    Although way less known, Joe Bonamassa did a solo on his song called “Quarrymen’s Lament” that I think is an under the radar masterpiece in both sound and feel. it’s really impressive.

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