Saturday, November 12, 2005


I'm a fan of lists. You know, the kind of lists you read in music magazines, or watch on Channel 4: the Top Twenty Greatest whatevers... I enjoy the discussions these lists invariably provoke and the passionate advocacy they generate. And after all, this whole blog is my ultimate list.
I've already mentioned a couple of songs that I think have the greatest intros - Hendrix's "Ezy Ryder" and the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" - but I've so far steered clear of mentioning what I think are some of the great guitar solos. You could suggest Joe Walsh's epic solo on "Hotel California", Billy Gibbons' tear-stained wailing on "Rough Boy", Stevie Ray Vaughan's stupendous "Scuttlebuttin'" and probably any number of others, but I'm going to go for this one as a first entry.
Tears for Fears don't exactly say "guitar solo", do they? But if you happen across one of the many different remixes of this song, you'll come across one of the simplest, most elegant, yet powerful guitar solos it has been my pleasure to hear. It arrives out of nowhere, like the crack of a whip, and forces everything else to one side, insistent, very plain in sound, yet commanding your attention. It's vaguely martial, a stately-paced moment, like catching glimpse of a funeral procession from the window of a passing car, and then it's gone, overtaken by the chorus that marches back into view, a solid, angry block of stone.
You have to want to listen to this song, to feed from it, derive your strength to carry on. There's no bright-eyed impenetrable optimism here, yet it's a song of solidarity, of shared experience and understanding; a song that holds us all together for a moment.

1 comment:

Minerva said...

Loved this review...