ROLLING STONE Magazine is out with their 100 Greatest Guitarists issue for 2012, but the new magazine is already raising a lot of controversy for leaving some huge names in musical talent such as Alvin Lee from Ten Years After, or country performer Vince Gill or Roy Clark, or maybe even the late greats such as Tommy Bolin or Mark Bolan and others among the most talented guitar players of all time. Further controversy was caused by having guest stories on the top artists written by authors such as Eddie Van Halen, and then naming him as the #8 among the greatest guitarist of all time.
Naturally, critics chose Jimi Hendrix as #1 among all guitarists, with Eric Clapton coming in at #2, although some of his recordings haven’t always been as impressive during his career as others have been, but this uneven career didn’t seem to hurt him among the critics. #3 was Jimmy Page, another easy call for the fantastic frontman of Led Zeppelin. Keith Richards was #4, another easy call for the great guitar behind The Rolling Stones. Jeff Beck was #5, another easy call for one of the world’s best guitarists. B.B. King was chosen as number #6. His easy blues style has helped to make the blues a little more commercial than most other blues acts. But, his guitar style always has a great signature sound. Chuck Berry was chosen as #7, maybe partly because he was the first real rock and roll showman. Chuck Berry was so poor and his suits were so wrinkly after riding a bus to shows that he moved around a lot on stage and developed his signature “duck walk” so that club owners wouldn’t notice how poorly dressed that he was. He also created some of the greatest guitar riffs ever, which were a huge influence on The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and so many other rock and roll performers in their early days of music. Eddie Van Halen was surprising #8, although you can’t help but admire his skills as a fine guitarist. Duane Allman came in at #9, and the great guitar behind The Who, Pete Townshend rounded up the top ten, at #10.
Just below the top ten were George Harrison #11, Stevie Ray Vaughn at #12, Albert King at #13 and David Gilmour, the great guitar behind Pink Floyd at #14. Certainly each has created great works of music that showcase their awesome talents as great guitarists, especially both George Harrison both as a Beatle and as a solo performer and Pink Floyd. And certainly other great guitar performers such as Brian May from Queen and Buddy Guy came in on the top 100 list as well.
Guest voters included legendary artists such as Richie Blackmore from Deep Purple and Robbie Krieger from The Doors, along with more modern artists such as Tom Delonge from Blink-182 or Lenny Kravitz, providing a nice mix of voters representing a fairly extensive timespan of rock music history.
All said, you should pick up this special collectors edition which retails for $11.99 and see what you think about the top 100 choices and the feature article to support why each was chosen as a top pick. The new issue will be on sale at newsstands until October 25, when a new ROLLING STONE special edition issue will replace the softcover book style magazine.