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View Full Version : Who played the guitar solo on Sweet Home Alabama?


rotren
08-18-2012, 12:57 PM
Just wondering who the guitarist was who recorded the guitar solo on the recording of Sweet Home Alabama.

It's a great solo.

27sauce
08-18-2012, 01:01 PM
Ed King

DGTCrazy
08-18-2012, 01:05 PM
Ed King

On an SG too!

rob2001
08-18-2012, 01:06 PM
He was heavy into theory.........

27sauce
08-18-2012, 01:07 PM
On an SG too!

Really? Sounds like a Strat.

3 Mile Stone
08-18-2012, 01:32 PM
Really? Sounds like a Strat.
If that's not a Strat I'll eat my ... Strat.

ScottB
08-18-2012, 01:34 PM
On an SG too!

That's not true. It was a Strat.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/classictracks_0108.htm/

But the real question is...what key is it in? :hide2

taez555
08-18-2012, 01:34 PM
It takes talent to solo over the key of D.

;-)

arthur rotfeld
08-18-2012, 01:35 PM
He does some nice work there....plays the changes too ;)

Baxtercat
08-18-2012, 01:37 PM
Guy really rocked a Strat on 'Working For the M.C.A' and others too.

boldaslove1977
08-18-2012, 01:42 PM
I always thought that solo was in E minor????












..... he said as he hides behind the couch.

mesa/boogieman
08-18-2012, 02:08 PM
On an SG too!

On an SG???

Leonc
08-18-2012, 03:37 PM
On an SG???

Yup. Through Jimmi Page's Supro, too.

:bonk

Leonc
08-18-2012, 03:42 PM
And hey, it starts on D right? End of story.

:bonk :bonk

louderock
08-18-2012, 04:07 PM
Strat thru 50 Watt Marshall

rob2001
08-18-2012, 04:10 PM
It takes talent to solo over the key of D.

;-)

Especially when the solo is in G..............:stir

taez555
08-18-2012, 04:16 PM
Especially when the solo is in G..............:stir

Actually the super secret trick, they don't want you to know about, is playing the solo using an A minor pentatonic with touches of a major 6th.

davebc
08-18-2012, 04:45 PM
Whomever and whatever, it's always been one of those spot on magical solos, everything about it, the feel, the phrasing and definitely the tone.
That is the definitive classic Strat tone, maybe one of the best ever recorded, certainly up there.
Over time after decades of listening the solo in SHA is too easily taken for granted.
It really was a shinning moment during that time.

rotren
08-18-2012, 05:17 PM
Ed King is on Facebook by the way -

https://www.facebook.com/ed.king.52687

Swain
08-18-2012, 07:49 PM
The first Break, or the second, longer one?

I think D first break was Ed King. But, I'm not sure about the other one.

louderock
08-18-2012, 07:57 PM
Both solos are Ed. For sure. Gary or Allen have a totally different style.

davebc
08-18-2012, 08:24 PM
What really stuck for me was when
SHA was released "southern rock"
was really peaking and the formula
sound that Duane and Dickey blueprinted
was Les Pauls through MARSHALLS
period. That was part of the sonic
puzzle, for bands like Marshall Tucker and others who
followed.

When suddenly along come SHA,
twanging Strats a blazin breaking
the mold.

And it sounded SO good in that tune.

tjmicsak
08-18-2012, 09:29 PM
Strat into a Peavey Mace through a Marshall 4 x 12 cab.
Also used by Jeff Carlisi 38 Special and Marshall Tucker.
Transistor preamp into a REALLY LOUD tube power section.
Amps have "that" sound, but are pretty much a one trick poney.
Known as the Mississippi Marshall.
Gary is still with Peavey and has his own signature amp, but it is alot more of a Marshall than anything resembling the old Mace amps. They also had a built in phase shifter which was likely heard on Freebird.
A Firebird or Explorer into a Mace was all about Allen Collins.
There are a couple on ebay but Peavey no longer makes any replacement parts.

dlguitar64
08-18-2012, 09:34 PM
[QUOTE=boldaslove1977;13718561]I always thought that solo was in E minor????



Why do people use question marks when they are making a statement?

Teleplayer
08-18-2012, 09:38 PM
Strat into a Peavey Mace through a Marshall 4 x 12 cab.
Also used by 38 Special and Marshall Tucker.
Transistor preamp into a REALLY LOUD tube power section.
Amps have "that" sound, but are pretty much a one trick poney.
Known as the Mississippi Marshall.
Gary is still with Peavey and has his own signature amp, but it is alot more of a Marshall than anything resembling the old Mace amps. They also had a built in phase shifter which was likely heard on Freebird.
A Firebird or Explorer into a Mace was all about Allen Collins.
There are a couple on ebay but Peavey no longer makes any replacement parts.

LS bought my old Mace when they were touring through Chicago about 100 years ago. True story.

louderock
08-18-2012, 11:39 PM
Early stuff was Marshalls and Twins. The Peavey Mace didn't really come along until around 1975 after Second Helping was recorded. I had an email exchange with Ed once and he told me the solo was a Strat into a 50 watt Marshall. I also did several sessions with engineer Rodney Mills who recorded Sweet Home Alabama. He told me it was all Twins and Marshalls.

toasterdude
08-19-2012, 06:56 AM
On an SG too!

No way. SHA was all strat. "Am I losin" was an SG and a killer solo.

toasterdude
08-19-2012, 06:58 AM
Actually the super secret trick, they don't want you to know about, is playing the solo using an A minor pentatonic with touches of a major 6th.

May be a great "trick" but Ed played it in G. He and Al Kooper fought over it. Ed won.

toasterdude
08-19-2012, 07:00 AM
He was heavy into theory.........

Maybe compared to the rest of the band. Not sure I would say heavy into theory. He knew the fretboard really well and played around the chords and arpeggios more than just straight pentatonic stuff.

derek_32999
08-19-2012, 07:38 AM
Early stuff was Marshalls and Twins. The Peavey Mace didn't really come along until around 1975 after Second Helping was recorded. I had an email exchange with Ed once and he told me the solo was a Strat into a 50 watt Marshall. I also did several sessions with engineer Rodney Mills who recorded Sweet Home Alabama. He told me it was all Twins and Marshalls.

I thought they used Vox, too.

EDIT: Tried to find a source and can't ... my mistake.

IGuitUpIGuitDown
08-19-2012, 08:18 AM
I always thought that solo was in E minor????

I always thought that solo was in E minor????

Why do people use question marks when they are making a statement?

That was a question. Not a statement.

Why is that?

Average Joe
08-19-2012, 08:39 AM
The first Break, or the second, longer one?

I think D first break was Ed King. But, I'm not sure about the other one.

That's what I was thinking. Might be that they were both King. About the sounds - while the first one is all strat, I swear that second, longer one sound gibsonesque to me.

davebc
08-19-2012, 09:04 AM
Early stuff was Marshalls and Twins. The Peavey Mace didn't really come along until around 1975 after Second Helping was recorded. I had an email exchange with Ed once and he told me the solo was a Strat into a 50 watt Marshall. I also did several sessions with engineer Rodney Mills who recorded Sweet Home Alabama. He told me it was all Twins and Marshalls.

That's a great revelation, in a million years I would have never thought those solos were recorded through a Twin or a Marshall.

IPLAYLOUD
08-19-2012, 09:06 AM
...apparently everyone since.

ripple
08-19-2012, 09:26 AM
EK is my fav LS guitar player. Total package of groove, melody and TONE. Great songwriter too. The opening note HOWL of the Workin for MCA solo gives me chills everytime I hear it.

His gear on SHA is fairly well documented: Strat into a 50W Marshall. Ed plays both solos, and kills it.


EK used Marshalls on SHA and Workin for MCA, but Fender Twins on the rest of Second Helping. Here's a snippet from the man himself on the Ed King forum:


Amp-wise, Collins & Rossington used Marshall stacks and I used an experimental amp called a Peavey Roadmaster. (It wasn't til after I left that Peavey sponsored Skynyrd's backline.) The Marshalls were just about cranked to capacity. Billy used a Wurlitzer electric piano thru 2 Eliminator cabs...can't recall what amp head he used. There was no Steinway piano or Hammond organ.

I used a Marshall on ALABAMA. A Fender Twin Reverb on mostly everything else except some solos ("...MCA" was also a Marshall). I'll pretty much play through any 50 watt amp.

davebc
08-19-2012, 09:54 AM
I'd love to get my Strat to sound even remotely close to that tone through my Marshall.

Any idea what year Strat, 50's or 60's?

Talk about killer old pick-ups right? Damn!

rob2001
08-19-2012, 09:56 AM
Maybe compared to the rest of the band. Not sure I would say heavy into theory. He knew the fretboard really well and played around the chords and arpeggios more than just straight pentatonic stuff.


I should have added this guy to my post...:sarcasm

rob2001
08-19-2012, 09:59 AM
[QUOTE=davebc;13722355]I'd love to get my Strat to sound even remotely close to that tone through my Marshall.

[QUOTE]

I don't know, as a JCM 800 owner I don't think it's hard to imagine.

cottonmike
08-19-2012, 10:10 AM
I'd love to get my Strat to sound even remotely close to that tone through my Marshall.

Any idea what year Strat, 50's or 60's?

Talk about killer old pick-ups right? Damn!

Ed always said that the "Alabama" Strat was a P.O.S.

Fact. He didn't much like it.

He totally choose Stratocaster to contrast tones and flavor as to blend effectively with an already established, GIBSON dominant band. Early on, Ed had to find the in between spaces to create in that band. He states that he often found himself "battling" that instrument (STRAT), and constantly was on the hunt for a diamond among the sea of rhinestones. It wasn't until much later in life did he find that in a custom Strat with an old TELE neck. A Warmoth body, actually.

The earlier post that referenced the Allman Gibson/Marshall heritage to Southern music of the day being split by the contrasting elements brought forth by Ed Kings Fender tones of of "Second Helping", makes a very significant statement.

davebc
08-19-2012, 10:51 AM
Ed always said that the "Alabama" Strat was a P.O.S.

Fact. He didn't much like it.

He totally choose Stratocaster to contrast tones and flavor as to blend effectively with an already established, GIBSON dominant band. Early on. Ed had to find the in between spaces to create in that band. He states that he often found himself "battling" that instrument (STRAT), an constantly was on the hunt for a diamond among the sea of rhinestones. It wasn't until much later in life did he find that in a custom Strat with an old TELE neck. A Warmoth body, actually.

The earlier post that referenced the Allman Gibson/Marshall heritage to Southern music of the day being split by the contrasting elements brought forth by Ed Kings Fender tones of of "Second Helping", makes a very significant statement.

Every once in a great while I actually sound like I have some insight; :D

Hearing those incredible Strat tones in STARK contrast Southern Rock takeover dominated by Les Pauls definitely made a statement;
and I'm sure took a certain level of courage.

It was brilliant.

cottonmike
08-19-2012, 11:03 AM
Every once in a great while I actually sound like I have some insight; :D

Hearing those incredible Strat tones in STARK contrast Southern Rock takeover dominated by Les Pauls definitely made a statement;
and I'm sure took a certain level of courage.

It was brilliant.

Some people are bound and determined to classify the Allmans and Skynyrd together as "Southern Rock". The Allmans weren't Southern Rock.

The main thing that defines "Southern Rock" is precisely the subject matter being discussed here in this thread, IMHO.

It is about the epic Gibson versus Fender debate.

The music contained within "Second Helping", along with the hand written liner notes on the back of the album (written by Ed King), combined, give the truest definition of "Southern Rock" I will ever need.

It's all there.

davebc
08-19-2012, 12:44 PM
:agree
I've never read Ed's liner notes. I'll check them out.

What I remember clearly was that "Southern Rock" became this generic, all encompassing label for a musical movement that had its roots in the ABB,
even though ironically they didn't fit the mold.

It was powerful phenomenon in how quickly it spread and seemed to dominate music and culture. It kept things grounded and for that brief period we were all Southerners.

Those solos were simply, tastefully, masterfully executed and sounded completely spontaneous, like you were hearing them for the first time. And, that's something completely consistent with our other favorite band from the South.

DCAddy
08-19-2012, 01:16 PM
:agree
I've never read Ed's liner notes. I'll check them out.

What I remember clearly was that "Southern Rock" became this generic, all encompassing label for a musical movement that had its roots in the ABB,
even though ironically they didn't fit the mold.

It was powerful phenomenon in how quickly it spread and seemed to dominate music and culture. It kept things grounded and for that brief period we were all Southerners.

Those solos were simply, tastefully, masterfully executed and sounded completely spontaneous, like you were hearing them for the first time. And, that's something completely consistent with our other favorite band from the South.
White Witch???? http://img.thegearpage.net/board/images/icons/icon12.gif

ripple
08-19-2012, 01:49 PM
Great link here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/23991125/Ed-King-Equip-History

Complete chronological breakdown of EK's gear. According to this, the Sweet Home Alabama Strat was a '73.

Baxtercat
08-19-2012, 02:45 PM
Kool!
Used several Strats then. [I didn't see which one was on 'Swamp Music'...another fine, clucky track.]
So, a Tele and Maestro Fuzz for 'Incense'...

davebc
08-19-2012, 03:10 PM
Great link here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/23991125/Ed-King-Equip-History

Complete chronological breakdown of EK's gear. According to this, the Sweet Home Alabama Strat was a '73.

Shit, Ed was in the Strawberry Alarm Clock! Wow, I didn't know that!
"Incense and Peppermint"

Funny, he mentions how bad the 73 Strat and the pick ups were,
and lays down a flawless solo in every sense.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen is the love/hate relationship with a lot of Fenders right?
It may feel like shit. You may think it sounds like shit. But they just challenge you, and the rewards await, like that solo.

DCAddy
08-19-2012, 03:14 PM
Shit, Ed was in the Strawberry Alarm Clock! Wow, I didn't know that!
"Incense and Peppermint"

Funny, he mentions how bad the 73 Strat and the pick ups were,
and lays down a flawless solo in every sense.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen is the love/hate relationship with a lot of Fenders right?
It may feel like shit. You may think it sounds like shit. But they just challenge you, and the rewards await, like that solo.
Check out Russ Meyer's "Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls" and see Ed and the SAC perform live!

davebc
08-19-2012, 03:32 PM
Very cool history.

dlguitar64
08-19-2012, 08:31 PM
The first solo is good-i can't stand the second one.

smv929
08-19-2012, 08:32 PM
The solos in SHA are really well done. If you ever tried to learn them, they seem to be written as oppossed to be improvised, which would explain why the notes/phrasing are so on the money. Just a guess.

Anway, a lot of guys in local bands fake their way through those solos, and it's always disappointing. I think the solos in the studio cut are so pasted in our heads from years of radio play that any variation from those "perfect" note choices is a disappointment. In fact, even the the big guy in the latest incarnation of LS did his own thing on this tune in a live video I saw on youtube. And it was disappointing; sounded like an average local player. That's not a slam on him. it's just the effect of my wanting to hear the notes. Let me say that I prefer improvised solos 90% of the time, but not with SHA. I've been programmed by classic rock radio.

Stringbender11
08-19-2012, 09:06 PM
I love that solo too, it's always been one of my favorites. It goes through so many cool changes and sounds unique to me, even today. People often knock Skynard but I've always thought they were really great players, and did a lot of timeless material, imo.

teleman55
08-19-2012, 11:28 PM
Shit, Ed was in the Strawberry Alarm Clock! Wow, I didn't know that!
"Incense and Peppermint"

Funny, he mentions how bad the 73 Strat and the pick ups were,
and lays down a flawless solo in every sense.

And THAT ladies and gentlemen is the love/hate relationship with a lot of Fenders right?
It may feel like shit. You may think it sounds like shit. But they just challenge you, and the rewards await, like that solo.

I'm no Ed King. But I used to have one of those Strats from that era and I recall fighting that thing a lot. But when I listen back to old stuff recorded with it, it sounds sweet. Funny how that works.

Frank Prince
08-19-2012, 11:33 PM
I think that solo still stands as a landmark for awesome Strat tone and great, intelligent, non-cliched lead playing. Ed King is a beast on guitar. The breaks on Working for the MCA are just killer as well.

DGTCrazy
08-19-2012, 11:49 PM
That's not true. It was a Strat.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/classictracks_0108.htm/

But the real question is...what key is it in? :hide2



Sorry guys....he played the SG for the slide part to Freebird I believe. Old age is taking its toll.....LOO

EL 34 X2
08-19-2012, 11:53 PM
Rossington played the slide in Freebird.............on an SG.

DGTCrazy
08-19-2012, 11:58 PM
Rossington played the slide in Freebird.............on an SG.

See....that proves it:bonk

Carmour
08-20-2012, 08:17 AM
The solos in SHA are really well done. If you ever tried to learn them, they seem to be written as oppossed to be improvised, which would explain why the notes/phrasing are so on the money. Just a guess.

Anway, a lot of guys in local bands fake their way through those solos, and it's always disappointing. I think the solos in the studio cut are so pasted in our heads from years of radio play that any variation from those "perfect" note choices is a disappointment. In fact, even the the big guy in the latest incarnation of LS did his own thing on this tune in a live video I saw on youtube. And it was disappointing; sounded like an average local player. That's not a slam on him. it's just the effect of my wanting to hear the notes. Let me say that I prefer improvised solos 90% of the time, but not with SHA. I've been programmed by classic rock radio.


For sure man. After having to learn this tune thoroughly for a covers band I just felt like It would be an injustice to try and ape the solo or improve it so I tried to learn it as close as possible. I really think the first solo is great, so short and perfect to the point. I'm not really a big southern rock guy or even huge on ABB or Skynyrd, but the guitar playing in skynyrd always seemed to have PURPOSE. I love that in guitar playing..

bigolcasino
08-20-2012, 09:55 AM
See....that proves it:bonk

Well, he did actually play an SG quite a bit on 'Nuthin Fancy', their 3rd record. Saturday Night Special and a few others has Ed on his SG with bigsby attached.