Let’s face it everybody wants to play guitar. With the popularity of Guitar Hero, even more youngsters are picking up and learning how to play the greatest instrument of all time. That’s right, I said the guitar is “The Greatest Instrument of All Time!” Don’t even try to disagree.

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about my favorite albums for learning how to play blues, rock and slide guitar. Of course there are many on my list but there can only be 5. I challenge all readers to submit their 5 favorite guitar albums and see where we disagree or agree.
Ok here we go. In no particular order, here are my top 5.

  1. Pink Floyd “Dark Side of the Moon” You know it, you love it and if you haven’t heard this album, man you are missing out. Beginners can benefit from all the basic chords in such songs as “Brain Damage/Eclipse”, while the blues guys can learn a thing or two about melodic leads from “Time”. I listened to this CD over and over for about 2 years while in college, and it is just fantastic. Get it, learn it, enough said.
  2. Jimi Hendrix “Are you Experienced” What can I say it’s Jimi. There are so many cool songs and styles on this debut album that if you don’t learn the whole album, you really don’t know how to play guitar. Yes it’s that good, and yes you will learn it. From the fuzzed out solos of “Foxy Lady”, to the clean R&B scrapings of “The Wind Cries Mary”, no one should be without this album. He really is the greatest guitarist ever. Don’t even try to deny it!
  3. Steve Ray Vaughan “Texas Flood” The debut album from the King of the Texas Blues. Listening to this album is like listening to pure perfection of the blues guitar style. I don’t think anyone has been so influential of the blues genre in recent history. The title track does it all, a barrage of notes coming at you like a texas flood. This album feels the blues and the guitar playing is nothing less than legendary. “Pride and Joy” has been covered by more bar bands than I care to mention. All hail SRV. It’s also a fact that this album was recorded live, with only one overdub, in a couple of days. The only reason for the overdub is because SRV happened to break a string!
  4. Allman Brothers “Live at the Fillmore East” You’ve already heard my affection for this album, but I’ll say it again, This is the best live album ever recorded period. Bill Graham, Tom Dowd, what else do you need to know. Standouts include, “Whipping Post” perhaps one of the greatest jams ever recorded! It blends jazz, blues, and rock like no other song before it. Their use of the Dorian scale recalls their love of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. This is a must have. Get it and revel in the masterful sounds that come out of your speakers, or ipod buds these days.
  5. Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin II” No list could be complete without getting the Led out! Responsible for all rock music as we know it. The Gods of Rock release this monumental album in 1969. Every song on this CD is the stuff only legends are made of. From the crushing solos and power chords of “Heartbreaker”, to the Acoustic strummings of “Thank You”, there is something for all rock lovers. The riff to “Whole Lotta Love” Inspired a whole generation of rockers, while the funky bass, and bluesy guitar solos of “The Lemon Song” proved they were a band that knew how to groove. Buy this album if you truly want ot rock. Without it you are stuck in Kenny G. land!

So there you have it folks, my unofficial top five guitar albums of all time. Let me know you’re top 5. I love to see other people’s opinions.

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  1. There are a few that didn’t make that list that would have been on mine:
    1: Albert King – Live Wire Blues Power
    2: Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs
    3: Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand the Weather
    4: Jeff Healey – See the Light
    5: Cream – Disraeli Gears

    And of course, anything and everything Hendrix.

  2. 1 – At Fillmore East – The Allman Brothers Band
    2 – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos
    3 – Live at the Wetlands – Robert Randolph and the Family Band
    4 – Axis: Bold as Love – Jimi Hendrix
    5 – Led Zeppelin I – Led Zeppelin

  3. 1 — B.B. King: Live at the Regal
    2 — Stevie Ray Vaughan: Texas Flood
    3 — Santana: Caravanserai
    4 — Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys
    5 — Derek Trucks Band: Live at Georgia Theatre

  4. 1-Layla and other assorted love songs-derek and the dominoes
    2-Allman Brothers- Live at Fillmore East
    3-Derek Trucks-Soul Serenade
    4-SVR-Texas Flood
    5-Derek Trucks-Songlines

  5. Lots of good albums here. Looks like Texas Flood is a common favorite. Keep em coming!
    Live at the Wetlands is a killer album as well.

  6. 1 Nile-in their darkened shrines
    2 Van Halen-van halen
    3 Immortal-at the heart of winter
    4 Shadows Fall-the war within
    5 Shinedown-leave a whisper

  7. A few that haven’t been mentioned:

    1- The Allman Brothers Band- One Way Out

    2- Joe Bonamassa- Blues Deluxe

    3- Gary Moore- Back to the Blues

    4- Gary Moore- Blues Alive

    5- Any of the Allman Brothers Band- Instant Live CD’s. They’re all great!!!

  8. This is REALLY difficult.

    1. Buddy Guy- Stone Crazy
    2. Jimi Hendrix- Are you experienced
    3. Eric Clapton – From the cradle
    4. Robert Johnson – The King of Delta Blues
    5. Albert King- Born Under A Bad Sign

    I’m leaving out a lot of favourites here. SRV, BB, Otis Rush,Peter Green, Jeff Healy, John Lee Hooker,…. But as I said, it was really difficult.

  9. Some interesting albums but quite surprised BB King’s Live at the Regal is mentioned only once.

    But what abt songs to learn blues solo?

    My take:-

    1. Just the Blues (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac & Eddie Boyd)

    2. Worry Worry (BB King – Live at The Regal)

    3. Have You Ever Loved A Woman? (Eric Clapton – EC Was Ere)

    4. Don’t Throw Your Love On Me So Strong (Mike Bloomfield)

    5. Blue Jean Blues (ZZ Top)

    6. Need Your Love So Bad (Gary Moore)

    7. Ride On (Angus Young – AC/DC) Some tasty blues licks there

    Hey John,

    Keep this topic alive


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