Boston – Hitch A Ride (Tom Scholz)

Solo timing: 2:32-4:11

First time I heard this solo was 2009 when I purchased the album.  I was surprised it was not heavily played on the radio and wondered why I didn’t hear this before.  Right before the solo Brad says, “Carry me away for the last time,” then Tom Scholz hammers out the most epic outro solo of all time. The overdubbed 2nd guitar catapults the solo into the next century while his euphoric notes leave you speechless throughout the entire solo. Sholz’s staccato picking will have you catch “More Than A Feeling” and will leave you wanting to hear it over and over again.  This hidden gem has timing of drums to shred a perfect match.  Usually I’ll listen to the solo on an average of 10-15 times before a review however this one slipped into the 20-30 times range just because it’s that powerful.

Timeless classic.

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Pantera – The Sleep

Solo timing; 3:00-4:42

Lots going on here. It’s a 2 part solo with a break in the middle and then Dime continues to shred.

First part: 3:00-3:43

First 19 seconds you face the facts that you’re flying in the dark. Not sure what’s next, Dime takes you to his house of shred which he abruptly kicks in the door at 20 seconds to provide an electrifying “soaring over the clouds” riff whilst whammy is on point. If you’re listening at a low volume, you would lose out by not kicking it up a couple of notches. He doesn’t let his foot off the gas until there’s a small break leaving us wondering if shred is complete.

2nd half: 3:53-4:42

Two words: Strong finish. Whammy bar damage is an understatement here. If I’m a professor of Whammy, this would be the solo I’d make all the students learn first. Everything else is easy after that.

Chalk this up as one of the classics metal solos out there. Dime may be gone but his music is very much alive today.

-Mark

Zakk Wylde – Between Heaven and Hell

Solo timing: 2:09-2:35

The process for reviewing solos is as follows; Listen to solo 10-20 times to ensure I don’t miss the mark. This ensures I’m fully invested in the solo. Each one is unique and requires a fair handshake.

Today we’re discussing the guitar solo from Zakk’s first “solo” studio album Book of Shadows, song is “Between Heaven and Hell.” It’s a bit more light touch and introspective than his previous work with Pride & Glory.

Two words sum up this shred: Mini Vacation.

Right when the solo starts he says, “Somewhere” as if to say, I’m taking you to your somewhere. Right when the solo takes off you immediately feel good, picturing a sunny beach day with a slight snooze while you’re rocking this song via headphones. When you hear the slide used it gives a tropical feel of white sand and clear water, the opposite of any New England beach. When the solo is over you want to go back and listen again but you also want to listen to what’s next. I went back to listen.

-Mark

Ozzy Osbourne – Hellraiser

Solo timing: 3:11-3:34

Zakk Wylde does it again on this one. Very similar solo to “Desire” in my opinion. Takes you in different directions throughout the solo however it fits perfectly with the song. Beginning starts off soaring into long stretched out notes, gearing you up for the merciless shredding about to take place all within seconds halfway through. Ending focuses on giving you a ride on Zakk’s rollercoaster of solo. Listening to this makes you want to learn guitar or get better if you’re playing already. Perhaps I should trade in my drums sticks?!

-Mark

Ozzy Osbourne – Desire

Solo timing: 3:26-4:01

Desire is from the No More Tears album from Ozzy Osbourne.  I wish this solo was longer as Zakk Wylde makes it seems so effortless and leaving you wanting more.  44 seconds of pure shredding.  It starts with taking you through an uplifting melody along the strings of the axe, taking you back and forth between high and lows of the strings, midway you feel more positive about what’s about to happen then he hits the “high” right at 3:33.  Here I’m visualizing Zakk saying, “Not done yet, gotta finish strong and make every last note count.”  The last 20 seconds he pulls you in every direction possible and you’re left at the end wondering what just happened.

ps.  The image is from the cover of the 1991 “No More Tears” single vinyl disc.  All star line-up pictured!