There are great sounds in rock and roll. They could be the unique sounds of a certain bands. Some guitarists have a unique sound that when you hear the first few notes that are played, you know immediately who it is. There’s the cliché that some singers would sound great if they “sing the phonebook.” There are the collection of sounds that we call songs that define the bands that play them. Last night I did a stream-of-consciousness thing. I looked at my CD collection and just wondered “out of all this, what really sounds ‘cool’”? Here’s what I came up with, in no particular order.
1. Jon Lord's Hammond organ through a Marshall stack
2. The twin guitars of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts
3. Jack Bruce's distorted bass
4. John Entwistle's trebly bass
5. Beatles harmonies
6. Tony Iommi's riffs
7. Keith Richards' 5-string Telecaster tuned to Open G
8. Gregg Allman singing...anything
9. David Gilmour's guitar tones from The Wall (esp. Hey You and Comfortably Numb)
10. Pete Townshend's power chords, esp. Who's Next and Quadrpohenia
11. Eric Clapton's "Woman Tone"
12. Johnny Winter's slide [Dust My Broom]
13. Jimi Hendrix's wah-wah [Voodoo Child (Slight Return)]
14. Malcolm Young's rhythm guitar
15. John Lennon singing, esp. "Twist and Shout" and "Yer Blues"
16. The Mellotron
17. SRV's massive guitar tone
19. Paul Rodgers singing...anything
20. Michael Schenker guitar solos
21. Lemmy Kilmister's Rickenbacker bass and "Murder One"
22. George Harrison's guitar and a Leslie rotating speaker
23. Joe Walsh's talk box guitar on "Rocky Mountain Way"
24. Jimmy Page's acoustic guitars all over Led Zeppelin III
25. Billy Gibbons - tone, taste & tenacity
26. John Bonham's drums, esp. "When the Levee Breaks"
27. Ray Manzarek
28. Ronnie James Dio...anytime
29. Ian Gillan 1969-73
30. Whipping Post
31. Frank Zappa - Dumb All Over [live]
32. Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord trading solos
33. The opening chord of "A Hard Day's Night"
34. Byrds harmonies
35. Tomorrow Never Knows
36. Santana 1969-72
37. Neil Young's Old Black
38. Garth Hudson's intro to "Chest Fever"
39. Levon Helm
40. Gregg Allman’s Hammond B-3
41. Los Lobos
What are your great rock sounds?