Queen guitarist Brian May chooses his favorite guitar solo

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“This is the hottest, hottest, most passionate room I have ever heard in my life.” – Brian May, queen

If you were to watch records sold on their own, then Queen figures should reign supreme over much of UK rock. The band, made up of Brian May, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, remains rooted at the top of the pile when considering rock and roll bands that have transcended pop. It is a fact that has often seen the group’s production relegated to the concept of constructed pop. It also means that the band’s impresario guitarist May receives the same treatment.

In fact, May is one of the most gifted guitarists rock and roll has ever seen on the British shores. A technically gifted player, May put all of his studious tendencies to good use when working with Queen, delivering mainlines and solos that most can only dream of. Who can forget his contribution to some of the band’s best songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or, his favorite, “Killer Queen” to name just two.

It’s a statement of fact which means not only that you have to pay attention to the intricate work of May herself, but also listen to her direction when selecting her favorite work from others. We all rushed to attention when May, speaking to Classic Rock Magazine, picked out her all-time favorite guitar solo. Without a doubt, this is the kind of performance that will send chills down your spine – “This is the hottest, sizzling, passionate song I’ve ever heard in my life,” the guitarist said.

Invariably, when artists of a certain age refer to such an experience, they note the work of Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, for May it was the latter. But rather than point to a scorching solo in Cream or Blind Faith or even her staunch favorite ‘Layla’, May goes back a step further.

“It’s Eric Clapton,” he told the publication. “‘Key To Love’, from Blues Breakers by John Mayall [with Eric Clapton] album. It is the hottest, hottest and most passionate play I have ever heard in my life – still to this day. I love. It totally rocks, and I’ll never get over it. This is one of my great inspirations. ”

“He burned in that solo!” The whole piece revolves around this solo. Every time I put it on I just wait… John Mayall is awesome, but you wait for that moment where Eric tears himself apart and suddenly he hits in those top notes. It’s incredible. Absolutely scary. ”

Listen to Brian May’s favorite guitar solo below, and be sure to listen to as much as you can from John Mayall.


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