In 2004, Prince played the greatest guitar solo of all-time. Here's how it happened.

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Eskimo_Joe, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    http://verbnews.com/2015/01/in-2004...ppened/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

    Excerpt:
    From a technical perspective, Prince’s three-minute solo is not particularly impressive. He starts with a few monster bends before settling into a series of straightforward blues licks. It’s not fancy; it doesn’t have to be. What makes Prince such a good player is his ability to inject every note with feeling. This is easier to hear than to describe, but it’s worth noting that it involves something more than playing a bunch of notes. And just when it seems like he’s run the tank dry, the diminutive guitarist ratchets up the intensity, drawing on an apparently limitless reserve of energy. Every note that comes out of his amplifier is saturated with emotion, carried aloft by the sheer joy of uninhibited rock and roll.

    It is not enough to simply play a great guitar solo. Convention demands posturing, and Prince delivers a masterclass in making playing guitar look cool. His movements are tight and focused, almost economical. His arm is a piston, making the sort of precise pumping motion you’d expect to see in a manufacturing plant. His whole body is tightly-coiled, like a spring straining against itself, ready to burst in a torrent of chaotic noise. A minute or so into the solo, he turns to face Dhani Harrison — and allows himself to crumple off the front of the stage and into the arms of a burly man whose job description clearly includes a line about “supporting Prince when he wants to feign exhaustion.” After being pushed back to his feet, he cranks up the intensity once again.

    The final flourish comes at the end of the song, as the chorus fades into silence. That’s when Prince, judging the moment perfectly, shrugs off his guitar and launches it into the air. As the instrument soars across the stage, he turns and saunters into the wings, a sly grin spreading across his face. It’s an extraordinary gesture, a moment shared by artist and audience that could only come at the end of a truly remarkable performance. It’s better than any rapturous applause or standing ovation; it’s a moment of musical perfection that, because the cameras miss the plummeting guitar, never has to end. Prince may be an inscrutable and deeply perplexing artist, but he is also one of the finest guitar players ever to walk the earth. And, in three minutes in 2004, he showed everyone what, exactly, that means.
     
  2. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Gotta admit ... this is a totally different perspective on that solo... makes a lot of sense.
    Because I've never thought that solo was one of his high points... however, maybe I'm mistaken about that
     
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  3. guitarplayer1

    guitarplayer1 Supporting Member

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    I've seen that before ... it's great. Somehow ... no matter who is on stage with him Prince just KNEW that he was the baddest cat there (made no difference if he was or wasn't) ..... just amazing. Yeah ... basic rock solo, I see much more technically gifted players every day but somehow with him it just didn't matter as his personality just took over and he looked like he just wasn't going to stop until he got over .... I teach at a school here in LA ... I have been doing the funk guitar class there for years and just yesterday I told the students that next week we are doing "kiss" .... it's going to be bittersweet. RIP .... really one of the greats.

    BTW .. at the end of the clip ... where does the guitar go ???? It's like it just magically ascends ...
     
  4. boldaslove1977

    boldaslove1977 Silver Supporting Member

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    i've watched this solo at least 100 times. and still mesmerized by it. there's probably not a single lick in there most of us couldn't play... yet somehow it would NEVER sound like that at all if any of us played it. all feel and emotion. it sounds like the guitar is talking. even weeping... pun intended.

    and i'm still wondering...

    A. where did the guitar go?
    B. whose job is it to catch it?
    C. has that person ever dropped it?

    btw... you see his pedalboard a few times in this video. all standard issue stuff you could buy at guitar center. lots of boss gear. more proof.... tone is in the hands.
     
  5. Blanket Jackson

    Blanket Jackson ¿Qué Hiciste? Silver Supporting Member

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    My favorite thought in the piece ...
    May it never end.
     
  6. guitarplayer1

    guitarplayer1 Supporting Member

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    NAH ... it never came down . : )

    RIP Prince !
     
  7. drewbledsoe

    drewbledsoe Member

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    Just posted this song on my FB paged and teared up like crazy at the end of his solo. Loved all of the other guys on stage (especially Dhani) getting more and more amped up as the solo went on. Much like with Bowie, this one's going to take a few days to fully set in.
     
  8. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    It's an excellent solo, but let's not get caught up in the emotionality of the day by calling it the greatest solo of all time. I love Prince. Love him. But to say that is just hyperbole.
     
  9. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    I have been saying for years that was the greatest guitar solo in the history of rock music. I said it again tonight. I watched it again. It's perfect; Prince's execution, his licks, his moves, his emotion, everything is spot-on. It doesn't get any better than this.

    And we'll never get to see him do it again. :(

    The guitar was caught by a roadie, BTW.

    And just to end this, I was not caught up in the moment. I've been saying this was the greatest guitar solo for years.
     
  10. drewbledsoe

    drewbledsoe Member

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    Let's get caught up in the hyperbole for a little while while some try to come to grips. Something tells me it's going to happen a lot over the next decade. If it helps people it's not a bad thing.
     
  11. cabrato

    cabrato Member

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    He injects feeling into the notes partly because he has an incredibly perfect vibrato combined with that throaty yet smooth tone. Along with the big bends and those wicked descending licks he does. He has this way of building to his high notes as well, sometimes just a brief burst of notes leading up to them. He just takes you for a ride.
     
  12. seiko

    seiko Member

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    I saw him play better guitar solos than that live TBH, but yeah, totally iconic, his heaviest guitar trio thing was apparently blocked by Warner Bros in 95



    This is just a snippet, it was live-in-the-studio recording.
     
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  13. lestera34

    lestera34 Member

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    Agreed. Far from the best solo.

    That said, I am legitimately deeply saddened by the loss of the Purple God. RIP my dude.
     
  14. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't need for there to be a "greatest guitar solo." I don't think there is such a thing, and I don't even want there to be. I've really enjoyed that one the many times I've seen it, that's good enough for me.

    I also didn't need that one to know that Prince was an excellent guitar player, I don't think most of us here on the gear page did need it, not just me. But it certainly highlighted the idea. Maybe we weren't so much surprised that he could as we were surprised that he would, and did. He chose his path, or better to say paths, in music, and guitar hero wasn't a main one of them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  15. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    He was an ass kicker and name taker when it came to playing guitar.
     
  16. Ubersooner

    Ubersooner Member

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    I hate that kind of journalism, precisely because it reduces an artist with a decades long body of work to a debate over 3:00 + minutes of ripping a solo. Prince provided over 30 years of work to establish his legacy. He doesn't need a defense of that "greatest solo ever" to legitimize his contribution to generations of musical influence. I'm sorry, but I hate what that solo has come to represent.
     
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  17. drewbledsoe

    drewbledsoe Member

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    The OP thinks it's the best solo ever in "their" opinion. They are entitled to that. Stop making such a big deal about it. I'm sure we all have our top ~5 solos. I'm also sure if they were posted it would create a shitstorm here on TGP with everyone chiming in with rebuttals. Difference being Prince died today. Let's keep our eye on the ball for crying out loud. Let the OP express their opinion without crapping on it right now.
     
  18. Bankston

    Bankston Member

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    Learned something about Prince today that I never knew. His guitar hero was Al Di Meola.

    Whether it's the greatest guitar solo of all time is up for debate but it is unquestionably the greatest performance in the history of the RnR HOF show.
     
  19. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Silver Supporting Member

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    I suspect Prince, as humble as he was, would have thought that article, dissecting his solo, to be a bit pedantic. It was a wonderful solo and let's just leave it at that. It's a disservice to the artist when we reduce great rock n' roll moments to competitions. Why does it have to be the greatest? Can't it be enough that it was simply great?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  20. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    He had so many good solos, that one was just one of many.
     

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