1]Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold As Love/Bold As Love – On the title track, the solo seemed so euphoric the first time that I heard it, even on my first crappy CD player. If you’ve ever heard this song, you know what I’m talking about. Right when I thought that the outro guitar solo was over, came a huge drum fill followed by a second phasing/swirling guitar solo that blew me and the first half of the solo away. You’ve got to hear it to understand – and to think it was done on a 4-track.
2] Weezer – The Blue Album/No One Else – I absolutely had to own this album after seeing the video to “The Sweater Song”. I remember calling my best friend Jeff Axford as soon as I saw it come on MTV. “You gotta turn it to MTV, there’s this band singing about sweaters or something, and they have dogs running around too!”, I said. But, once I bought the album, the song that stood out to me was track #2 “No One Else“. First of all, it’s the only song on the album that isn’t tuned down a half step. This meant that I could play along with a fairly difficult song on my guitar…
3] Nirvana – Nevermind/Lithium – Stereotypical choice for someone my age, but this album is responsible for me wanting to play the guitar. I remember listening to Nevermind over at Jeff Axford’s house on his discman, and it would get to track #5 “Lithium“. the tone of the guitar was something very new to me. I had minimal knowledge of the guitar at the time, and looking back on it – the guitar was just a clean guitar, no distortion, and it sounded awesome. I probably listened to that track 10 times in a row.
4] Cream – The Very Best of Cream/Sunshine of Your Love – One of the very first “compact discs” that I’ve ever played in my very first CD player (the first being Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits or Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced?) And oddly enough, the first song that I learned how to play on my friend’s guitar. I begged my parent’s to buy me a guitar, and played it on every guitar that we looked at. (Bought my first guitar (a Yamaha) at Best Company, returned it and got a different one at the Springfield Veneman’s!). the way I learned it was simplified and played it on only the 6th string…hilarious.
5] Queen – Greatest Hits/Killer Queen – Not as much the compilation of hits as much as the song “Killer Queen“. If I could write and play like any guitarist I would be Jimi first, and probably Brian May second. His solo on Killer Queen” might be the coolest solo I’ve ever heard (behind Jimi’s solo on Bold as Love of course). The solo sounds so rich and full, that the band totally takes the back seat for that 30-45 seconds.