Alfred Music Publishing, the official print music publisher of thousands of popular artists, songwriters, and composers, releases. Vince Gill: Guitar Slinger, the album-matching songbook featuring the highly-acclaimed country music guitarist, arranged in guitar TAB and standard notation.
U2’s hit single “One” is a case where a song rises out of the ashes of discarded parts of other music. U2 guitarist The Edge was experimenting with some chord progressions that weren’t working out for the bridges of a few other songs when producer Daniel Lanois overheard him. Lanois had Edge play what he was working on for the whole band, and in fifteen minutes Bono and company had improvised the main ideas of what would become their third single from 1991’s Achtung Baby. The song, which has multiple layers of guitars combining to form a single texture to support Bono’s iconic melody, ended up saving the writing sessions. “One” was the catalyst that helped U2 write the rest of the album, alleviating tensions that had been threatening to break up the band.
As the lead single for their commercial and critical breakout album The Joshua Tree, “With Or Without You” was Irish rock giants U2’s biggest hit to date at the time. It was their first Number One hit in both Canada and the U.S., where it stayed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. The song almost didn’t make it on the album, with earlier versions of the tune called “awful” by U2 guitarist The Edge and both producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois refusing to continue work on it. What saved “With Or Without You” was The Edge’s use of a prototype of the Infinite Guitar, which allowed for unending sustain. As soon as Bono and company heard the combination of Edge’s Infinite Guitar work and the backing track to the song, they knew it was a breakthrough moment for their soon-to-be-classic album.
Van Halen is one of those bands that has it’s different eras, between which fans usually pick their favorites and stubbornly argue their points late into the night, getting louder and more profane the drunker they get. Van Halen has the David Lee Roth era, the Sammy Hagar era, and the Gary Cherone era, and both the Roth and Hagar eras have had reunions. The thing with these different eras of a band is that sometimes the members of the new eras only want to play the songs that they had a part in writing and recording. “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” is one of the songs that broke that barrier for the Hagar era of Van Halen (aka Van Hagar). It was one of the only songs from the David Lee Roth era that Hagar would sing on tour for the near 6 years he was in the band.
Take a dive bomb into the world of insane metal tapping with Eddie Van Halen’s instrumental track “Eruption” from Van Halen’s 1978 debut album, Van Halen. “Eruption,” the second track on the album, leads right into VH’s cover of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” and it works so well that the band often does the same thing live. A heavy dose of tight guitar technique is needed to pull this one off, especially during the climax of the almost two-minute guitar solo when Eddie goes off with some double-handed tapping. Eddie’s guitar work on this short interlude have earned him accolades from multiple journalistic sources, having the song’s guitar solo included in all sorts of “Best of” lists of rock solos.
Oh, “Hot For Teacher,” you were so controversial back in the day, but now with songs like Buckcherry’s “Crazy Bitch” and all manner of sexually-charged Top 40 pop songs your risque-ness almost seems quaint. That really is no matter, though, because what really matters is the music, not the gimmick, and “Hot For Teacher” delivers on all counts. Alex Van Halen’s drum intro is a maddening barrage of machine gun fire that gives way to the furious guitar tapping the Eddie Van Halen popularized. The juice really gets flowing when the main riff kicks in, its grinding syncopation providing the backdrop for David Lee Roth to wail about wanting to get intimate with an authority figure (no pun intended, but we’ll take what we can get).
When “Slither” was released in May of 2004 as the first single for Velvet Revolver’s debut album, Contraband, its immediate success marked the triumphant return of ex-Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland and former Guns N’ Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum. The brash, energetic opening riff, which becomes the basis for much of the song, is a huge part of why “Slither” was such a hit, topping both the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts in the United States. It became a live staple for the band, closing shows out with a bang until they went on indefinite hiatus in 2008/2009. If finding a new singer and ending their hiatus means more badass rock songs like “Slither,” let’s all hope Slash and company find a suitable voice that is worthy of Velvet Revolver!
Even for a band with so many iconic songs released to radio like Weezer, it is odd that one of their most enduring fan favorites, “My Name Is Jonas,” was only an accidental single in Canada and nowhere else in the world. The debut song from The Blue Album, Weezer’s studio debut, “My Name Is Jonas” features an incredible introduction on acoustic guitar, written by founding guitarist Jason Cropper, who shares writing credit with guitarist singer Rivers Cuomo and drummer Patrick Wilson. Cropper left the band while recording the album, however, and was replaced by Brian Bell, who remains a part of Weezer to this day.
Weezer’s 2008 effort, known to many as “The Red Album,” confounded many fans with its decidedly un-Weezeresque musical material, save for one big, fat hit: “Pork and Beans.” It has a great chugging Weezer riff, the clever lyrics that Rivers Cuomo has become known for, and one of his best, catchiest choruses in a long time. Rivers wrote the song after a particularly angering meeting with Geffen label executives, where he was told that the new album needed more commercial songs. This pissed Cuomo off, inspiring him to write “Pork and Beans,” which ironically became Weezer’s most successful single to date, topping the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart for 11 straight weeks.
“Pinball Wizard,” along with “See Me, Feel Me,” is the most famous and enduring songs from The Who’s infamous “rock opera” Tommy. The song tells the story of the deaf, dumb and blind Tommy winning a pinball competition by feeling the vibrations of the machine from the perspective of the champion who he unseats. Despite being a rock ‘n’ roll classic and a staple of countless classic rock stations, composer Pete Townshend at first hated “Pinball Wizard,” thinking it was clumsily written. The rest of the band disagreed immediately upon hearing the song; they could tell it would be a hit.