The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, The Finals — Eddie Van Halen Vs. Brian May

Who is The Greatest Guitarist of All Time

  • Eddie Van Halen

    Votes: 37 49.3%
  • Brian May

    Votes: 38 50.7%

  • Total voters
    75
  • Poll closed .

ledzepp2122

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It all started a few months back, when 128 132 guitarists went head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format. We filled all but four of the slots with the names of incredible guitarists (dead and living) — players chosen for their technical ability as well as their importance and creativity, not to mention how influential they've been. We asked our readers to vote in the final four names, which you did, selecting Nuno Bettencourt, Chet Atkins, Malcolm Young and Jake E. Lee.

But now, several rounds later, we're into the final matchup, which is being brought to you by Sweetwater Sound.

Some things to take to consider before casting your vote:

• Influence: Who inspired more kids to beg their parents for a guitar for Christmas? Who inspired a wave of copycats?
• Chops/Versatility: Is the guitarist in question a one-trick pony or a master of many styles?
• Body of Work: Who had the more consistent career? Who has played on more classic albums?
• Creativity: Who pioneered new techniques? Who sounds the most radically different from what came before them?

You can check out the full results via our regularly updated bracket here and at the bottom of this story. (Click on the bracket to expand it.)

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4lrAxUuwkk&feature=player_embedded]Eddie Van Halen - Eruption - YouTube[/ame]
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m69BrvJNfg&feature=player_embedded]Queen - Brighton Rock Solo - YouTube[/ame]
EDDIE VAN HALEN may have earned the moniker "King Edward" from his virtuoso guitar chops, but he's just one match away from being crowned your choice for the greatest of all time. Slash, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani and Alex Lifeson have all fallen in his wake, with only one more guitarist needing to bite the dust for his reign at the top to commence.

With the Queen Army behind him, who can stop BRIAN MAY? Dr. May has beaten a path to the finals through a thicket of some of the biggest names in guitar, including Jeff Beck, George Harrison, Les Paul, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, proving that it's hard to beat a vibrant and dedicated fan base. May looks to play the part of the People's Champion if he can rock the cradle one more time today and walk away the winner.
 

acstorfer

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Until now I've just voted for guitarists I've seen live. Today I must abstain. I've seen both live. :)
 

b-squared

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Both are visionaries, and have advanced the instrument as well as their genre of music.

When considering body of work, I give the edge to Brian May; he's stayed clean, advanced his playing as well as mind, and is an extraordinary human being, IMHO. His rhythm and sense of harmony makes me smile every time I hear his playing.

Eddie deserves props for being one of the most complex rhythm and lead players ever; it's a close second in my book.

BB
 

upl8tr

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Both are visionaries, and have advanced the instrument as well as their genre of music.

When considering body of work, I give the edge to Brian May; he's stayed clean, advanced his playing as well as mind, and is an extraordinary human being, IMHO. His rhythm and sense of harmony makes me smile every time I hear his playing.

Eddie deserves props for being one of the most complex rhythm and lead players ever; it's a close second in my book.

BB
+1 :thumb:
 

tom1965

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Music is not a sport , there is no best , only favourites , opinions on whose best are pointless , my favourite colour is not the same as yours just my favourite and thats what it boils down to . I like the two of them , Ive seen Eddie live 3 times and two of those occasions he couldn't bite his finger nails as he was hammered !!!
 

jeff_farkas

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Music is not a sport , there is no best , only favourites , opinions on whose best are pointless , my favourite colour is not the same as yours just my favourite and thats what it boils down to . I like the two of them , Ive seen Eddie live 3 times and two of those occasions he couldn't bite his finger nails as he was hammered !!!
This....:thumb:
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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Seriously?? For "Greatest Guitarist"??
EVH, by a long sea mile. It would be like giving a hammer to King Kong and having him fight a quail egg.
Sorry Brian, that was a bitch of a draw. It would be like me surfing against Kelly Slater.
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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Music is not a sport , there is no best , only favourites , opinions on whose best are pointless , my favourite colour is not the same as yours just my favourite and thats what it boils down to . I like the two of them , Ive seen Eddie live 3 times and two of those occasions he couldn't bite his finger nails as he was hammered !!!
Gee, then I recommend you vote accordingly.
Or don't.
:D
 

tom1965

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Gee, then I recommend you vote accordingly.
Or don't.
:D
I didn't vote . What would be the point . But once Eddie writes anything that comes close to the universally known and lauded Bohemian Rhapsody then perhaps it would be relevent .... or not. Queen piss all over Van Halen in the popularity stakes world wide so much so its not even close , a different league even ! Doesn't matter a damn , like i said what you prefer is the individuals preference , no best just favourite !:thumb:
 

Ledheadforlife

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I consider myself to be one of Queen's all time biggest fans, but I still gotta give it to EVH, he really has no peer(alive anyway) when it comes to influence.
 

tom1965

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I consider myself to be one of Queen's all time biggest fans, but I still gotta give it to EVH, he really has no peer(alive anyway) when it comes to influence.
Jimmy Page , Eric Clapton , BB King , Jeff Beck etc etc etc , list goes on and on as far as influential guitarists alive go , some of those mentioned are every bit as influential as Van Halen , in fact I'd even say that Slash is more relevent or influential to the up and coming generation of guitarists , nearly 30 years since Eddie was revolutionary ! Outside of the USA , he wasn't anywhere near as famous as you would believe , im not aware of a single sold out show ever in the UK that Van Halen ever did ? Hey and im a fan !!
 

Marshall & Moonshine

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I didn't vote . What would be the point . But once Eddie writes anything that comes close to the universally known and lauded Bohemian Rhapsody then perhaps it would be relevent .... or not. Queen piss all over Van Halen in the popularity stakes world wide so much so its not even close , a different league even ! Doesn't matter a damn , like i said what you prefer is the individuals preference , no best just favourite !:thumb:
Shirley, you can't be serious. I don't wanna come off as an VH fanboy. Really, until Hendrix or Page show up, I've got no horse in this race. But, if you start asking random people to start naming rock songs, chances are that Jump and Panama will both pop up before Bohemian Rhapsody. Hell, Van Hagar will probably get in before Queen. Maybe it's a difference between countries.
But this ain't about that. This is about the *guitarist*. I don't give a shit if Brian May did yardwork at orphanages. EVH blows him away as a player/innovator/influence of countless others.
 

Skintaster

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I dig both, think both are amazing players, and find it hard to compare them as they are very different types of players.

I give the edge to EVH simply because I prefer early VH to most Queen, and because I think it's accurate to say that EVH completely changed what was expected of hard rock guitar players, and that his influence in playing is still going today.

Brian May is also amazing, and influenced a lot of players, but I think Eddie's influence was more widespread and stronger.

From what I can tell, Brian May wins the "better personality" and "nicer guy" award by a large margin.
 

Skintaster

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Bohemian Rapsody is a ridiculous song, that's so over the top it sounds like a very elaborate joke. There are lots of great Queen songs, but that one seems to get all of the cred, and I blame "Wayne's World" for that. The tune was rarely played on radio around here until that movie came out.

Give me "Stone Cold Crazy" any day.
 


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