Author Topic: Great British Guitarists  (Read 682 times)

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Offline Barnezy

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Great British Guitarists
« on: January 12, 2018, 11:20:25 pm »
On a previous post about Knopfler it made me wonder where he was ranked by Rolling Stone, as he's one of my favourites. Sadly he is only 44th. However I was surprised to see that out of the top 5 of all time, 4 are British.

Does anyone know what's behind this. How has Britain produced such a disproportionate amount of great guitarist? My thinking is Britain was open to Blues music influence, the roots of rock and roll, at a time when the US still had segregation. Interested in other views on this.




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Offline joueur de guitare

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 11:46:36 pm »
Subjective innit?

I'd put Robin Trower in there
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Offline Barnezy

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2018, 12:16:19 am »
Another Brit.

Yes, completely subjective. However it is undeniable that the UK has produced a disproportionate number of great guitarists for such a small island. Was the UK just more open to new music at the time the electric guitar was becoming mainstream?


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Online close2u

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2018, 01:09:00 am »
British music is a globally dominant force relative to its population size in the entire pop-rock genre.
Language, culture, empire, history, trading links etc will all be involved in this mix.
More telling for me in that top five is not the countries of birth but the years of birth. All were at their peak of fame and popularity and renown in a very narrow timeframe from about 1965-1970.
In all the decades since the guitar became a centre-stage instrument, are those five years the only ones that have had the most brilliant of musicians?
I would say no.
I would suggest it rather reflects on the nature of the magazine's writers and readers than on the greatness of those 'on' or 'not on' the list.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 09:30:13 am by close2u »

Offline stitch101

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 01:18:21 am »
Rolling Stone Magazine is stuck in the 60's and 70's. I love all 5 of the so called top 5 but I also grow up
listening to them (I'm 57 years old) but in the last 50 years there has been a lot of great guitarist that blow
these 5 out of the water.
Just my 2c



Online DarrellW

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 09:10:47 am »
Absolutely, there have been lots of great guitarists since that era that seem to get ignored by that particular group of journalists, they are definitely stuck in a time warp!!!
Despite being 66 now I still like to keep up with certain genres, one of my favourite guitarists is Matt Bellamy, I think he has been quite innovative and the wall of sound from a 3 piece band is nothing short of amazing!
For those who don’t know I’m referring to Muse, and yes I do go to see them live when I can, planning for Glastonbury this year if they are headlining as has been reported!
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Offline Joerfe

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 09:20:00 am »
Whenever I read an autobio or watch a documentary on some of these guys I often notice that they have been loners in their teens, in many cases with poor family relations.
Could it be due to the harsh circumstances their families lived in during the 50’ties to 70’ties and, for quite a few, the life in industrialised areas.
Them getting an escape from the daily life and using the guitar to create a safe haven for themselves.

I don’t know. Just throwing a few thoughts on the table.
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Offline Barnezy

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 09:17:10 pm »
Circumstances will defiantly be a factor, but I don't know that any of them came from extreme deprivation, otherwise their parents wouldn't have been able to buy them a guitar. I think all teenagers think they have it hard and hate their families at some period.

Looking at the names on the list it has to be the blues influence. White US needed a white Elvis to be introduced to black music, whereas the UK was clearly more open to it. Even Jimi had to move to London to get his break. What was guitar before blues?


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Online DarrellW

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 09:39:23 pm »
What was guitar before blues?
What was guitar before blues?
It was many things, mostly classical and traditional, but immediately prior to Blues it was and still is Jazz, with many amazing guitarists, Al di Meola being one of my favourite current artists, all modern guitar music has its roots way in the past, you can’t reinvent the wheel - scales, modes, etc etc have existed for many years, there are many ways of combining and presenting guitar music but the fundamentals haven’t really changed, just the presentation!
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Offline Barnezy

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 10:25:40 pm »
Did jazz come before blues? Many think jazz came from blues. Either way blues changed the way a guitar was used, and is what led to these legendary electric guitarist. If blues is the influence that changed music and guitar, it might explain why the UK excelled in this new form of playing, given the diverse culture and openness at the time this came about.


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Offline stitch101

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 11:41:34 pm »
I checked out Roll Stone's list and it seems to be a popularity list not a skills list.
Neil Young is 17th ahead of Les Paul and 24 place ahead of Mark Knopfler.
Neil is a great songwriter but I wouldn't put him on list top of guitar players.
Lindsey Buckingham is 100th on the list and Steve Vai isn't on the list even
though he was voted 10th by Guitar World Magazine.

I think the editors of Rolling Stone stopped listening to music when 8 trakes
went ot of style.

Offline michaelholmes

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2018, 11:36:43 am »
Don't forget the great dutchmen.
Jan akkerman
Ad vandenberg
Eddie van halen

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Online DarrellW

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 05:16:27 pm »
Doesn’t anyone read the OP title - BRITISH GUITARISTS???
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Offline Drubbing

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Re: Great British Guitarists
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 10:46:01 pm »
Peter Green
Lemmy

RS is a bit of a tired joke. The same 100 just reshuffled each year. A publication full of baby boomers, for baby boomers. The fact Neil Young makes such a list, when his guitar skills are questionable at best (one note solos...) and certainly not breaking any sonic ground, like the other regulars

 

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