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ANALYSIS: ROLLING STONE NAMES 100 GREATEST GUITARISTS

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We at MetalSucks have dealt with the paradoxes involved with conducting a poll to determine great guitar players (read our 25 Best Modern Metal Guitarists poll here)! So we get that in a unweighted vote, the top-ranked axemen may just represent those liked by the largest number of voters; i.e. a dude who we agree is pretty good may score higher than each of our individual favorite dudes.

So when Rolling Stone magazine enlisted a who’s-who of classic rock personalities for their 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time cover story, we prepared for some wacky aberrations. Let’s check out a few of the RS list’s inconsistencies:

  • List comprised wholly of whites, 18th-Century blacks
  • Entry for seven-string virtuoso Steve Vai mistakenly printed in margin beside Axe Body Spray ad
  • Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore (#99) misidentified as guitarist
  • Guy whose handful of guitar solos were coached by Kirk Hammett (#87, James Hetfield) ranks ahead of Rush’s Alex Lifeson (#98)
  • Keeping with the poll’s parameters, RS voters slot #80 for the unborn child of Marnie Stern and Yngwie Malmsteen
  • Bonnie Raitt (#89), Joni Mitchell (#75) break top 100 despite lack of beards
  • List lauds Lou Reed (#81) for his groundbreaking use of guitar strings to tie off
  • Dude who invented rock ‘n roll (#71) edged out by Jack White (#70)
  • #56 – #66: Miscellaneous blues, whites
  • Ritchie Blackmore (#50), author of history’s most famous riff < that pussy from Radiohead (#48)
  • #40, #38 = guys who make really neat noises
  • Randy Rhoads (#36), Prince (#33) highlight section devoted to guys with an extra digit in their rankings
  • Still riding high on his co-starring role in Bo Jackson’s Nike spots, Bo Diddly breaks top 30
  • Dude who invented heavy metal (#25, Tony Iommi) voted roughly half as great as Duane Allman’s fourth replacement
  • Under different spellings, Jimi Hendrix appears on the list at #19, #5, and #1
  • Malcolm Young-penned riffs incorrectly attributed to brother and AC/DC bandmate Angus Young (#24), talent and skill incorrectly attributed to Neil Young (#17)
  • Name of Iron Maiden guitar great Adrian Smith erroneously printed as “David Gilmour” (#14)
  • RS editorship declines to list Chuck Berry (#7) under his original moniker, Marty McFly
  • Courting wild controversy, voters bestow #2 spot on a daring unknown named Eric Clapton
  • Dimebag Darrell Abbott < Willie Nelson
-ADF
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Find Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time here.

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