Why isn't Alex Lifeson more highly regarded as a guitarist?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by smrybacki, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Supporting Member

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    Just happened across that now infamous Rolling Stone Magazine poll of the 100 Greatest Guitarists and Alex is listed at number 98 in there. I've never seen him do well in those kinds of things, nor is he often cited as an outstanding guitarist outside of Rush fans. For all the years the guy has cranked out memorable riff after memorable riff, all but inventing the "chorused 80's metal" sound, and just being a truly outstanding guitarist and musician -- not to mention a seemingly decent man -- he seems to get little to no recognition for his influence over what is now 40+ years of playing and making fans happy.

    Why?
     
  2. McShred

    McShred Supporting Member

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    Tough to really stand out and shine when the other guys in your band are Neal and Geddy. He also has a haphazard almost anarchistic flair in his soloing that can often be mistaken for slop/lack of technique when evaluating him against the Satriani's and Vai's of the world. I really enjoy just about everything Alex plays.
     
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  3. guitarz1972

    guitarz1972 Member

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    +1. Bottom line...out of 100 of the absolute 'best,' someone has to be #98 on that list. I should check-out the article though, would like to see some that are rated ahead of him.
     
  4. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Alex has always been held in high regard from guitar players.
    Critics , not so much.
    Rush have never been high on the critics list anyway.
    He did make the top 100 on RS list though.
     
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  5. Frank Prince

    Frank Prince Member

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    I always thought he was amazing. The first 6 or 7 Rush albums were a huge influence on my playing.

    Sure, he doesn't have the chops or virtuosity of EVH or a lot of the 80s guys, but none of them wrote anything on the scale of 2112 or YYZ or any of that. I always thought of him as a very creative all-around prog guitarist who could also rock out and get nasty at will.

    So many great tones, riffs, and solos from those early Rush albums.
     
  6. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Supporting Member

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    But it's more than that IMHO. In that RS poll, there were guys well above him that barely qualified as guitarists in my opinion. I think it's something more than that personally. A LOT of people don't like Geddy Lee's voice and I wonder if that doesn't spill over for some?
     
  7. 57gold

    57gold Gold Supporting Member

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    Probably has to do with the songs he plays.

    Either you like them or really dislike them...
     
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  8. micycle

    micycle Member

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    Also, remember that this is a list in Rolling Stone that you're talking about.
     
  9. Mule

    Mule Member

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    Alex's playing kicks butt!! However, IMO Rush has always had more of an under ground appeal (still does) and Alex falls off the radar when it comes to the accolades handed out when judging guitar players.. As far as a RS best guitarists lists, they are a joke. I think Curt Kobain made there list way above some great players....
     
  10. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    These lists are popularity contests even when the ones who are choosing try to be even handed. Beyond a certain level of competence rating simply doesn't make sense: was farlow better than Segovia, Nile Rodgers or Ry Cooder? The question is meaningless

    So, once it's down to popularity it is a fact that a lot of people feel Rush is as exciting as drying paint

    Any man who has been on the cover of GP that many times isn't underrated by his peers
     
  11. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Member

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    Alex is highly regarded by people who have a clue. Do not judge anything by rolling stone. Irrelevant idiots.
     
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  12. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    He is just terrible.






    JK.:)
     
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  13. chrisr777

    chrisr777 Member

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    Because women vote. When do you ever see more than five or ten women at a Rush concert?
     
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  14. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

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    People always say this about Lifeson--that he's underrated, under appreciated, etc. I don't understand that: I've never heard anything but enormous praise for the guy from just about everyone (and rightfully so, in my opinion). That Rolling Stone top 100 list was obviously made to provoke people with a bunch of choices wildly out of touch with popular sentiment among guitarists. Basic trolling, really, and best ignored.
     
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  15. zenmindbeginner

    zenmindbeginner Silver Supporting Member

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    Ahhh... Lifeson suffers from the same lack of respect that another Alex suffers from. The other Alex is Alex Van Halen who gets NO love among drummers.

    It's all about flash and speed and who is the bigger "guitar hero". Alex Lifeson is a phenomenal bad ass and it's a shame that most guitar players don't appreciate his ability to write fantastic rhythm riffs. His leads on a whole are more memorable than most of his peers. Howe, Summers, Fripp, Belew and Hackett get more respect than Alex does... I just don't see him as being inferior to his peers in any shape or form.

    His solo on Freewill is legendary and is completely righteous!

    He's a musical genius in my book and is as fine a player as they come. Those lists are always difficult to put together.
     
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  16. Turi

    Turi Member

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    He's not highly regarded as a guitarist, because he's in Rush.
    Rush isn't highly regarded by the general public full stop. I think they're more of a band for musos rather than.. normal people..

    I don't listen to 'em. I won't deny the tastiness of their guitar work though, both rhythm and lead.

    That Rolling Stones list is a complete and utter load of ****. I disagree with basically the whole thing and I'd boot most of them out of the list.
    Those things can never please everybody though but man, I think that list in particular probably doesn't please ANYONE.
     
  17. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    This thread should be a sticky.....it comes up about twice a year with almost exactly the same thread title. That said, imo Alex Lifeson is a great guitarist, no doubt about it, but he's still the #3 musician in his own band. I think that's why he's not as highly rated as some others......
     
  18. I am the Liquor

    I am the Liquor Member

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    People don't like Rush. I do though and appreciated very much the music, incredible musicianship and technical skill of all the players.

    I grew up in Canada and he/ they were/are huge up here. Moving Pictures is one of my favourite albums.
     
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  19. Stratobuc

    Stratobuc Member

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    There are a lot more that deserve recognition and don't get it. He's way down that list.
     
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  20. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

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    I will put it as a need to see thing. My wife had never listened to Rush other than turning the station when they came on. We got free tickets. (I am a huge fan). We got to meet Alex and Geddy and get pics.

    During the show she said "This is the best band I have ever seen". She has seen some greats. Aerosmith. AC/DC ETC ETC.
    she was amazed.

    So there is the tale of the truth so to speak.
     
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