Five Great Guitar Records: 1960-1980 (part 1 of 2)

jimiRock and Roll’s history is littered with great rock albums. If that were in dispute, we wouldn’t have much of a website here, now would we? All of the albums on this list are great, but they also have the added bonus of featuring a bonafide guitar hero (or several) causing the guitar track in particular to really pop out. Here now a list of Five Great Guitar Records, from 1960-1980.

5. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

Dark Side of the Moon sold more copies and The Wall is more thematically cohesive, but Wish You Were Here is the purest showcase for David Gilmour’s thorough mastery of the instrument in Floyd’s catalog. Gilmour combines technical mastery with an ear for hummable riffs in a way that is totally his own.

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Must Listen: “Shine on You Crazy Diamond, part 1,” “Wish You Were Here.”

4. Television – Marquee Moon

There goes Jordan, sticking a punk rock album in a nice safe list of classic rockers. Look, this is possibly the only first-wave punk album that I feel can stand up against the likes of Floyd and Zep. The dual guitar attack of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd imbue the record with more texture and style than it has any right to contain.

Must Listen: “See No Evil,” “Guiding Light,” “Marquee Moon”

3. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy

Again, this was never their most popular album, but any record that includes “The Song Remains the Same” should be in consideration for guitar-based awards.

Must Listen: “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Dancing Days”

2. Derek and the Dominos – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

Boasting not only Eric Clapton, but Duane Allman, this album is a no-brainer. Clapton the songwriter is able to spin inner turmoil into memorable lyrics and melodies. Clapton the guitar player is predictably godlike.

Must Listen: “Layla,” “Bellbottom Blues”

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?

It’s possible that other people were playing guitar before Hendrix, but it’s just as possible that every single guitar player was actually playing tuba or something. He created sounds out of that instrument that were formerly thought to be impossible. Hendrix changed the parameters of the instrument in a way that few could even conceptualize, let alone accomplish.

Must Listen: “Purple Haze,” “Fire”

Jim Vangrov contributed to this piece. Many thanks, Jim! Stay tuned for Part 2! It’ll be a scorcher!

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One comment to “Five Great Guitar Records: 1960-1980 (part 1 of 2)”
  1. The Yardbirds
    “Roger the Engineer”

    The Yardbirds
    “Little Games” 2cd set

    First lp proves Jeff Beck is god, not Clapton
    2nd contains Page’s best work before ego and plaigarism kicked in.

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