Songs You May Have Missed #224


Warren Zevon: “Looking For the Next Best Thing” (1982)

Some years ago a little stray quote made its way to my doorstep. And since I’ve long since forgotten where it came from I’ve adopted it and treated it as my own. It went something like: A great guitar solo has a beginning, a middle and an end.

When I think of the quote, this is the song that always comes to mind. Session ace Waddy Wachtel’s solo in “Looking For the Next Best Thing” is like a little half-minute story, and a how-to guide for budding prospectives on constructing a solo that doesn’t just sound like a lot of wanking around.

The song has significance for me beyond the fact that it contains one of my favorite solos. Let’s just say that, hypothetically, if two people who each had some less-than-successful relationship history found themselves attracted to each other, this song could potentially make a nice icebreaker between them.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zackcyphers
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 04:32:06

    It may be that you had a lot to do with my musical education, or it may be that this song is just gold- either way, I love this tune. The message is perfect for those of us who have experience that “less than perfect relationship”, and who hasn’t?

    This may be my favorite guitar solo. It’s not flashy, but it’s calculated, rehearsed, and serves the song perfectly. It does what a guitar solo should: it provides a short respite from the A-B repetition and allows us to approach the chorus with a fresh set of ears. I love the way Wachtel follows the drummer closely in this one. Also, I love how Wachtel’s distortion guitar has more to say after the solo. He squeezes back in where he can; the descending runs near the end of the song are excellent.


    • Ed Cyphers
      Nov 12, 2012 @ 08:39:44

      Yes! Descending runs, I thought! In an amazingly compressed space! Yeah I forgot to mention his little post-solo addendums (addenda?) But they knock me out also. It definitely seems they spent a little time on this one, polishing it up.


  2. Trackback: Recommended Albums #45 | Ed Cyphers

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