1. Slash – World on Fire
Many people know that Slash is my number 1 when it comes to my top 10 of guitarists. But his third album “World On Fire” is also a number one for me. It totally set my world on fire. There is not 1 song on this album that I don’t like. I love them all. One of my favorites is “Beneath the Savage Sun” which is about elephant hunting, written from the perspective of the elephant itself. Great lyrics, very creative. Another favorite is “Shadow Life”. This song gets me every time and it has to be something in the drums. The bass drum in the chorus is steady, solid, heavy. I love it. The rest of the song is just pure, solid rock. The breaks are great. It also reminds me of something I could have said to a friend. I think we all have a song that gives this feeling, right? But really, everything is awesome in this song.
2. Whitesnake – Purple Album
This is actually a cover album. David Coverdale has been the singer off Deep Purple for a while and this album is a tribute to that period of his music career. Very cool that one of my favorite bands of all time, covers one of my other favorite bands. “Burn” and “Lady Double Dealer” are by far my favorites. These songs make me want to run a marathon. I get so much energy when I listen to this! The guitar solo and organ solo in “Burn” are at a high level of greatness. I really dig the classical music scales. Reb Beach is a great guitarist, I would love to get a few lessons from him, but the same counts for Joel Hoekstra. Also, Whitesnake is a great live band. They fully live up to the standards they have set on this album!
3. Guns ‘N Roses – Appetite For Destruction
You can wake me up in the middle of the night to listen to Guns ‘N Roses. I fell in love with “Sweet Child Of Mine” when I was a kid. My dad played this song with his cover band. At one point, I told my dad he didn’t nail the solo and that a few notes were missing. That’s how much I loved it. It was also the song that got me interested in guitar playing (among a few other guitarists and songs). I can get a kind of angry when I hear someone rape this song. Hahaha. This is also the point where I started listening to more rock, hardrock and even metal. This album is life to me and of course I love all the hits very much, but there is this one song that ticks my happy box: “Think About You”. This is the sweetest song from a hard rock band I have ever heard, ever. Guitarwork is a great balance of rock distortion and clean, sweet sounds (can’t tell if that’s an acoustic guitar or keyboard). This song gives me the feeling of being at a festival, sitting on the grass while listening to music. The only minor on this album is “It’s So Easy”. The vocals in the verse are annoying and the rest of the song just doesn’t rock like it could have. I don’t’ really know what to think of it. The guitar solo is great though, simple and punctual.
4. Alter Bridge – Fortress
Is there a song on this album that I don’t like? Nope. This is really a great album. First of all, for the fact that Tremonti sings the lead vocals in “Waters Rising”, which is a great turning point on the album. “Bleed It Dry” is my favorite, along with “Addicted to Pain”. Both songs have an amazing cooperation between big, fat guitar riffs and heavy double bass drums. Miles Kennedy shows all his qualities on this album, the guy has great techniques and a huge reach between high and low notes. He catches me with his intro in “Lover”. He tells a story here. “Al Ends Well” is a great song if you feel down or if you want to cheer up someone. An album full of hooks, angles, surprises, stories, love, fun, anger, and so much more.
5. Wishbone Ash – Argus
This is the third Wishbone Ash album. And actually, they are all good albums. Give it a try. This is an album I grew up with. One of my dad’s favorites as well. The happy egg guitar work in “Time Was” makes me feel enthusiastic, happy, cheerful, funny. The song has a great vibe in total. An up-tempo song with great vocal parts and glorious guitars. My favorite is “Throw Down the Sword”. On the end of this song there is a double guitar solo. Andy Powell recorded two solo’s which were played in the track at the same time. It makes it difficult to find out what he is actually playing, but very fun and challenging to dig into! Powell has a great feeling and vibrato, hard to match.
6. Brainbox – Brainbox
The album starts with my favorite song “Dark Rose”. My dad used to sing “Dark Roast” on this melody when he was making coffee. The guitar in the intro is very tensive. It grabs my attention directly. The follow up by pure old school rock ‘n roll, really presses my movement button. I love it. Our Dutch glory, Jan Akkerman, really shows some guitar skill in this song. He makes great melodies and also has a truckload of techniques. He has inspired me a lot. Also, I think Kaz Lux is one of the best Dutch singers ever. Period. The fifth song on this album is a George Gershwin cover: “Summertime”. I think this is the best cover of that song ever. The solo’s in this song, are the best. Jan has this strange thing he does with half notes in strange places. It sounds totally crazy and really cool! It happens at about 2:13 in the song, and on many other places as well. I always laugh when he does this. If you can sing this at one of his concerts, he will notice and definitely play a solo with this lick in it.
7. Heart – Dreamboat Annie
This album starts with “Magic Man”. This song shows why I love Ann Wilson so much. She is a very talented singer. Clean, distorted, nothing is too much for her. Everything she sings has soul and meaning. The tension in this song is very high and gets better every second. The guitar solo is really thought through, the bridge in total is a beautiful hook in the song. The three parts of “Dreamboat Annie” are beautifully made. Like little gifts on this album, I can really enjoy “opening them”. My favorite song is “Crazy on You”. I wish I could sing like Ann. I would sing this song all day. The acoustic guitar intro by Nancy Wilson in this song is very catchy. Also, the electric guitar in the pre-chorus, sounding like an underwater world, really completes the music. The bridge gives a nice angle in the song and the choirs are great. I can listen to this album every day, all day. It won’t ever bore me.
8. Carach Angren – This Is No Fairytale
Carach Angren is one of my favorite metal bands. Every album they make is a gift. All albums are very well thought through and handle one theme. This album is about Hansel & Gretel. The whole storyline is used. As usual the album starts with an intro song, which is often used in live shows as well. It sets the tension for the explosive first song. Seregor’s screams in the intro, set the tone for the song. Aggressively “telling” about the alcoholic father of Hansel & Gretel. This album is worth a listen if you like Symphonic Black Metal. My favorite song is “Dreaming Of A Nightmare In Eden”. It sounds like it came from a Tim Burton movie. I am dreaming of the day they would collaborate! The album is filled with surprises, rhythm changes, beautifully arranged orchestra’s and insanely tight drums.
9. Extreme – Pornograffiti
This is an album I listen to when I’m in need of “complicated music”. This band really is extreme, hahaha. I think it’s remarkable how they can make hard to play songs, still catchy. I just very much enjoy this album.
10. Toto – Falling In Between
This is one of their later works (2006). I am really into the song: Taint Your World. The guitar riff is pure hard rock. Lukather proves himself to be one of the best guitar players ever, in my opinion. Not much to say about this album, other than: LISTEN TO IT!
- The Agonist – Lullabies For The Dormant Mind
- Slash – Apocalyptic Love
- Deep Purple – In Rock
- Textures – Silhouettes