TEAMROCK has come up with their list of the crowning moments from the king of shred…
If you’re compiling a list of the world’s greatest guitarists, then Eddie Van Halen should be at the top. Across the course of his band Van Halen’s 40-plus-year career, he took what could be done with the guitar to a level not see since Jimi Hendrix. Such is his importance in the evolution of the instrument that some guitar courses divide their syllabuses into pre- and post-Eddie eras. But which solos are his best? We’re glad you asked…
10) One Foot Out The Door (1981)
Squeezed into the last two minutes of 1981’s Fair Warning album, this is an overlooked gem of a solo. It wails in like an ecstatic ghost before Eddie’s fingers dance around the fretboard, his enthusiasm obvious and contagious. The second half of a solo takes things up a notch, before some funky sliding power chords take us to the fade.
9. Chinatown (2012)
From the woefully underrated comeback album, A Different Kind Of Truth, this was a searing return to form for the band and a reminder that Eddie remains the Dutch Master of the guitar. Fast, aggressive and in your face it’s like receiving multiple roundhouse kicks from Bruce Lee.
8. Beat It (1982)
From the biggest selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, this jaw-dropper was recorded in one take and given to Michael Jackson gratis. Eddie manages to showcase everything that makes him great in almost demo-like fashion, before the high note crescendo that almost sets the fretboard on fire.
7) Hang ’Em High (1982)
A gritty Western-inspired track demands a lightning fast gunslinger style of solo and that’s exactly what Eddie delivers on this track from Diver Down. The man himself describes it as “loose, fun and crazy.” Yup.
6. Outta Love Again (1979)
This Van Halen II track is easy to miss, but the solo is a clear and deep display of Eddie’s blues roots. Featuring practically all minor pentatonic based phrases, Eddie brilliantly stitches together a series of vibrant and aggressive licks, which effectively tells the story of the electric blues from Muddy Waters to Eric Clapton.