"You're on ten on your guitar", states Spinal Tap legend Nigel Tufnell, famously, "Where can you go from there?"
Every rock fan in the world knows that "for that extra push over the cliff", there is only one place to go from there... Eleven!
Now, in real life, amps (even Marshall stacks) only go up to ten. That "one louder" is not achieved by turning a dial. It's achieved by throwing one's body into a dramatic rock shape, gurning the face and letting the guitar take center stage. The resulting 'solo' can be a scream or a whisper, but the voice that emerges is every bit as powerful, emotive and articulate as that of the band's singer, if not more so. People don't listen to Hendrix for the words that left his mouth, his true lyrics were spoken through the pick-ups on his burning Strat.
As the world's most vibrant and opinionated interactive online rock forum, what better place to conduct a poll to judge the best guitar solo ever, than on the Official Download Festival Message Boards? Over a period of 8 weeks, nominations were collected from the 2000+ registered community, before the most popular twenty suggestions were then put to a public vote. The results are as follows:
In first place, title for the undisputed guitar solo champion, with a crushing 29.4% of the total vote, goes to Metallica's chief shredder Kirk Hammett, for his superhuman fretwork in the live version of the band's epic 'One'.