Triple Played: What’s your favorite guitar album
Almost everyone who listens to rock ‘n’ roll has a favorite guitarist.
Several years ago, I asked readers of this column who their favorite guitarists are. That column generated a lot of feedback and it was even picked up by the Miami Herald, which was flattering.
Today I want to discuss your favorite rock ‘n’ roll guitar album. I have jotted down a few of my favorites that I will share later.
There are so many great guitarists in the rock ‘n’ roll family that it is impossible to make a list without missing several. This doesn’t even take into account jazz, blues, folk, country, bluegrass and other genres that each can sport their own long list of greats.
Every generation can boast that some of their own are among the greats. Moving from Django Reinhardt to Jimi Hendrix to Tom Morello covers many years and there are many, many more guitar players.
Most of the albums on my list are from the 1960s and 1970s, which were my formative years. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate musicians such as Morello, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Tab Benoit, John Mayer, Jack White, Gary Clark Jr. and other “younger” players.
One of the great things about the business I am in is that I must keep an open mind about music. For part of that I have our customers to thank for keeping me informed, making what I do a two-way street.
I could list 100 titles, but I’m limited by space. Here is my list.
■ Jimi Hendrix, “Are You Experienced?” — I could easily list all three of Hendrix’s studio LPs, I’ll go with the first.
■ Allman Brothers Band, “Idlewild South” — Duane Allman and Dickey Betts put on a stunning electric and acoustic exhibition of blues, rock and country on the band’s second and best studio recording.
■ Led Zeppelin, “Led Zeppelin” — A monster guitar masterpiece! This debut album from one of rock’s “royalty” bands was one of the first LPs I ever owned, and I still listen to both sides of it.
■ Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here” — “Dark Side of the Moon” would be the obvious choice from Floyd but I like the guitar play on this LP even better.
■ Joe Walsh, “Barnstorm” — I have always loved Walsh’s guitar playing from the James Gang to the Eagles. It’s subtly or in your face. On “Barnstorm,” he is at the top of his game both electrically and acoustically.
■ Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Texas Flood” — Vaughan is an incredibly soulful guitar master and this is his finest record, leaving me to think of what could have been.
■ Santana, “Abraxas” — Their first three albums put rock music on its ear as nothing like it had ever been heard before. “Abraxas” is the crowning achievement of this great band from San Francisco.
■ Derek and the Dominos, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” — “Layla” is Eric Clapton’s most personal and emotional record. It sure didn’t hurt to have Duane Allman playing slide guitar on the recording, but Clapton never sounded better.
■ Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Damn the Torpedoes” — Mike Campbell is one of those players who doesn’t get enough credit. He has been a big part of Petty’s bands since the days before Mudcrutch.
■ The Beatles, “Revolver” — This is George Harrison’s finest hour as a Beatle and the record where the Beatles really turned the corner and began to change all the rules.
■ Tommy Boli, “Teaser” and “Private Eyes” — After cutting his teeth in the Boulder-based band Zephyr, Bolin released these two monster guitar albums before becoming a hired guitar slinger for Moxy, the James Gang, Deep Purple and Alfonse Mouzon.
■ Jeff Beck, “Blow by Blow”; Dire Straits, “Dire Straits”; Neil Young, “Ragged Glory”; Cream, “Disraeli Gears”; David Bowie, “Ziggy Stardust”; Eagles, “Hotel California”; Prince, “Purple Rain”; and Fleetwood Mac, “Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac” ... they all deserve mention.
What do you think?