If you want to listen to the very best guitar solos ever played, I can point you in one direction - Steely Dan. Not so much a band but two intellectual songwriter/producers Walter Becker & Donald Fagan, who created music that was both popular and intelligent.

As Ian Dury said…

They were Jazzers who played rock without looking down their noses
Black Friday by Steely Dan cover
Black Friday

Their band, as such, didn’t have a fixed line-up after the first album, it comprised the best of the best session musicians of the time – and it was a very good time for session musicians.

They integrated the lead guitar solo into their music front and centre. They elevated the lead guitar solo to the highest art form.

If you want to buy a hi-fi from one of these posh boutique stores (like Richer Sounds) Steely Dan is often the demo music, because of its production values; a rich spectrum of perfectly matched bass, mid and high frequencies.

Their secret was to get multiple lead guitarists to play on a tune and pick the best. They were ruthless. As one lead guitar legend, Dean Parks, once said…

If something wasn’t working in the studio one day the next day there wouldn’t just be a new guitarist, there’d be a whole new band.


There are other hot spots of lead guitar excellence out there of course but Steely Dan are unique in having so many multiple lead guitar legends in one place being captured so beautifully.

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