Most Iconic Rock Guitarists Ever | Volume I | Mahesh Ogale | The Hit List |


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Whenever you come across the name of any rock band or a Rock concert you always imagine a person with guitar, long hair and performing wildly on the stage. Of course this persona of a guitarist playing wildly on the stage with his guitar is a USP for a rock band but from 60's , 70's , 80's and 90's there are a  number of amazing and fabulous guitarist enthralling the audience with their sheer talent of playing the 6 strings and there on-stage persona. So let's take a dig into this Hit List where will explore some of the best rock guitarist in the world ever. These are the names that are not only great performing artists but are also Musicians of  divine level and have inspired millions of guitar players worldwide ,so let's begin with this.


Eddie Van Halen had to be the 1st one to talk about because we lost Eddie  a few months back.  Eddie Van Halen was not a great guitarist but was a legend.  Van Halen's albums became huge hits just because  of Eddie Van Halen'S mastery and innovations on the six strings, he was a giant  guitar player. His Eruption solo is just mind blowing. He entered the music industry with a bang. His mastery and heavy use of  fingerstyle solos  became instant hit. He was also  was an acclaimed pianist. His keyboard intro on Van Halen's super hit song Jump can never be forgotten. His guitar playing  was so magnificent that the king of pop Michael Jackson too collaborated with him on the  International super hit Beat It.  Guitar solos in Beat It is unforgettable and because of  that the song became a timeless classic.   Due to his amazing solos and guitar riffs in innumerable songs  Eddie Van Halen is Immortal forever. Do checkout his famous tracks with his band Van Halen such as Eruption, You really got me now, Right Now, Jump, Panama, Can't stop Loving you etc etc...


The stature of Jimi is that of a guitar god. The name Hendrix says it all. Jimi Hendrix has been an huge inspiration to millions of guitarist worldwide. Number of his legendary tracks have been covered by hundreds of celebrated musicians and bands in the past 6 decades. His magic with the guitar was such that he used to make the instrument speak the way he wanted to and that too with immense grace. He was considered a living guitar god at his peak.  His charisma was such that even after his death in 1970 he received numerous awards and accolades and many a times even considered as the greatest guitarist of all time. His all time hit numbers include Voodoo Child, Purple Haze, Hey Joe, etc,  etc.....  


A classically trained guitarist Randy was member of Quiet Riot but switched to join Ozzy Osbourne when Ozzy kicked off his solo career in the early 80's. Randy quickly became an hit sensation due to his magical guitar playing and neo-classical solo style, his tragic death in a plane crash sent shockwaves among the fans and the Rock world. Randy is still today considered as one of the best metal guitarist ever. His intro on Crazy Train and extended solo in Mr Crowley is still today seen as one of the top 10 of all time. Randy Rhoads will always be remembered and his music will be cherished forever. There are rarely a few guitarists who created such melodic yet fast solos and Randy is certainly on the top.



Grammy award winning American with Mexican roots is a highly acclaimed guitarist who rose to fame in the early 70's. Carlos Santana with his band called Santana debuted with a hugely hit album also called Santana to become a worldwide sensation. Santana has been known to mix Mexican folk with American Jazz to bring out a beautiful sound which was unheard before. He has collaborated with several artist worldwide to release multiple super hit songs. Beautiful solos with intricate style of playing makes him a living legend. Long hold notes in the solos is his specialty with very melodious fillers. Some of his best songs are Black Magic Woman, No one to Depend On, Smooth, Maria Maria etc etc....


There's hardly any one in the world who doesn't know or heard the name Eric Clapton. An accomplished guitarist and equally genius vocalist. Clapton is Godfather of guitar. His immensely beautiful playing along with his equally brilliant voice is one of the rarest combination for a true music lover. Different chord structures blending with complex yet beautiful solos is a sheer genius of this man. His intro on Layla followed by deep rooted vocals is a real treat. After the tragic death of his son Clapton was so devastated and he wrote one of the best song of his life " Tears in Heaven ". Fans and music lovers all over the world will always be grateful towards Eric Clapton for mesmerising them for decades.


The " Sultans of Swing " star is in true sense the Sultan of six strings. His unique style of playing is probably the rarest in the world. Strumming and soloing with just 3 fingers of his right hand makes the instrument sound so beautiful that every time listening to his songs makes us more and more happy. And along with his deep and heavy vocals its a musical treat for the listeners. Mark has had a successful career with Dire Straits and equally successful as a solo artist has sold millions of copies worldwide. Sultans of Swing, Grammy winning Money for Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Twisting by the pool, Walk of Life are all time classics by this Sultan of six strings.


This neo classical wizard is best known to fuse heavy metal with his neo classical guitar playing. With an incredibly fast solos and amazingly brilliant right hand techniques Malmsteen is certainly right on top of the list of such brilliant guitarists. Known for over 20 albums in last more than 5 decades Malmsteen has time and again proved his class and sheer brilliance. Although shrouded in controversies Malmsteen is a sheer monster of guitar. He is also known to be the founder in Joe Satriani and Steve Vai's G3 Live project. Though being swedish he has hardly performed in his native country. His notable albums are Fire and Ice, Seventh Sign and Facing the Animal.


Arguably the most iconic name in the rock world, Jimmy Page is a living guitar God. Teaming up with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. Page created one of the most iconic songs of the 20th century. His Led Zeppelin era is considered to be the golden era of Rock n Roll. some of the all time classics include The Immigrant Song, Stairway to Heaven, Gallows Pole, and many more. His artistic brilliance was such that there were generations of guitar players who dreamt of becoming like Jimmy Page. Jimmy has received numerous accolades and awards for his contribution to music. 


Probably the most popular guitar instrumentalist in rock music. Joe has sold millions of copies of his albums in last 4 decades. Starting to play the guitar at very early age Satriani became a accomplished guitarist teaching a number of students who would later become fabulous guitarists themselves such as Kirk Hammett, Steve Vai etc etc.. Satriani is best known for his melodious instrumental tracks like Surfing with the Alien, Flying in a Blue Dream, Love Thing etc.. Satriani started his dream project G3 Live with Vai and many celebrated musicians. he has also formed a super group with Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith known as Chickenfoot. 


Founder of arguably 1st Heavy Metal band Black Sabbath Toni is always considered the big daddy of Metal. With countless classic riffs he's also considered to be the Riff Lord. At a very young age Toni had a tragic  accident at a factory where he had to lose a part of his right hand fingers , being a left handed guitarist he had lost all hope of making it to the big stage due to accident. But Toni didn't lose hope he instead worked on it at became a super star guitarist and pioneer of Heavy Metal. His work with Black Sabbath is school in itself. 

This is just the beginning  of this Hit List so keep looking for this space as its gonna be more interesting in Volume 2. To be continued....

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