The Greatest Prog Guitarists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown

Whether they’re the mastermind of the band or keep the cosmic flights well-grounded, we pay tribute to the best prog guitarists of all time.

(via udiscovermusic) by Brett Milano

Think of progressive rock and what immediately comes to mind is caped keyboard players navigating a sea of wires connected to their Moog. Yet many of the pivotal players in prog rock have been guitarists, and there are easily as many earth-shaking guitar solos in prog as there are in hard rock or metal. Sometimes those prog guitarists are the leader and mastermind of their band, sometimes they’re the player who keeps those cosmic flights well-grounded. This list pays tribute to some of prog’s landmark ax-slingers.

25: Steve Rothery (Marillion)

In both the Fish and Steve Hogarth incarnations, Marillion was always an unconventional prog band. They avoided instrumental prowess for its own sake, preferring slow and stately pieces built largely around the vocal. Steve Rothery can be a model of restraint, playing mood-enhancing textural parts, but he can also deliver a solo as dramatic as the one on “Easter,” Hogarth’s lament for Northern Ireland.

24: Franco Mussida (PFM)

Italy’s premier prog band, PFM absorbed some influence from their peers. Listening to Franco Mussida’s leads you can detect traces of Steve Howe, Robert Fripp, and Al DiMeola – all with a strong European classical influence. The latter came out when Mussida played acoustic, which he did often: PFM’s “Jet Lag” may be the only prog classic to open with three minutes of pure acoustic guitar. But he could also do a ripping electric solo; witness the live showpiece “Alta Loma Five Till Nine,” with a solo that keeps ramping up the power…

Read more: The Greatest Prog Guitarists: An Essential Top 25 Countdown | uDiscover (udiscovermusic.com)

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