A Rediscovery: Eric Clapton’s Mastery

Recently, my iTunes shuffled to Eric Clapton’s rendition of Freddie King’s “Hideaway” from the John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album. Every note struck by Clapton is impeccable. His tone, his rhythm, and the emotion in every bend and vibrato are nothing short of a masterpiece. This track truly embodies the essence of Clapton as a guitarist.

Kismet provided me with another article idea, a very short and tight one of unfamiliar Iconic Performances – just like Clapton’s “Hideaway.”

Guitar enthusiasts are no strangers to the countless lists of top guitar solos and iconic guitarists found online. Titles like “Stairway to Heaven,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Comfortably Numb” dominate these lists. But let’s not forget the gem “Kid Charlemagne” – a personal favorite of mine. While these lists spark debates and inspire trips down memory lanes of legendary music, I’ve attempted to spotlight the often “overlooked” solos that capture the essence of thier artists.

  • Jimi Hendrix – “Pali Gap”: This track from Rainbow Bridge reveals a side of Hendrix that many aren’t familiar with. It showcases a maturity in his playing that leaves one wondering about the heights he might’ve achieved had he lived longer.
  • Steve Howe – “Yours is No Disgrace”: From the Yes Album, this track is a testament to Howe’s versatility. With a mix of different styles, tones, and techniques, this song stands as a masterclass for guitar enthusiasts.
  • Jeff Beck – “Good-bye Pork Pie Hat”: A collaboration with Beatles producer George Martin, this rendition of the Charles Mingus jazz standard showcases Beck’s unparalleled mastery over tone and space.
  • Eric Johnson – “Cliffs of Dover”: More than just a solo, it’s a masterfully composed piece. Complex yet accessible, its creation in just five minutes is mind-boggling.
  • Steve Vai – “Tender Surrender”: As a testament to Vai’s technical brilliance, this piece is both a marvel in technique and soulfulness, partly drawing inspiration from Hendrix’s “Villanova Junction.”

End Note

While I’d love to say this compilation is exhaustive, it’s far from it. There are countless other “iconic performances” out there. However, these remain some of my cherished favorites.


If you have Spotify you should be able to access this extended playlist of some of my favorites.

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