Sorry for missing this on Monday. I’ve been working a lot, and my brother is in town, so I’ve been distracted. Astronomy Picture of the Week should be up in around half an hour.
Echoes… what is there to say about Echoes? For me, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time. Yeah, sure, it’s 23 minutes and 36 seconds long… but that’s 23 minutes and 36 seconds you will be glad to have spent just… listening.
As for the guitar solos… well… there are no words. Moving, powerful, emotional…
The first solo, an understated intro piece, starts at 1:10 and ends at 2:57. Then there’s a riff that repeats itself, though it is very solo-like, that starts at 3:45 and ends at 4:12. The riff repeats again at 4:56 and ends at 5:24. Immediately, the second proper solo starts. At 5:53, a second, more distorted guitar comes, and we have two guitars soloing at the same time, which ends at 7:01. Thus begins a very funky section, in which the third solo, a really cool distorted solo, starts at 7:24 and starts to fade out into a section of ambient, atmospheric, rather creepy noise at around 10:50, and disappears fully at around 11:25.
I know the ambient section is weird, but try to stick it out. If you don’t want to, it ends around 15 minutes in. The fourth solo starts at 18:14 and ends at 19:11. The repeating lead riff, though much more simplified, starts at 19:56 and ends at 20:15. The fifth and final solo starts at 12:26 and ends with the fade out.
David Gilmour frequently challenges Jimmy Page for the spot as my all-time favorite guitarist, to be honest. What keeps them tied is that it was Jimmy Page who actually inspired me, while it was David Gilmour who taught me that guitar is about more than how fast you can play. And yes, Jimmy Page playing his guitar with a violin bow really opened me up to ways of playing the guitar that aren’t… let’s say… typical… while David Gilmour taught me the importance of emotion and space.
And yeah, Gilmour has more consistently amazing, innovative, emotional, powerful guitar solos (in fact, I honestly can’t think of a Gilmour solo I don’t like, while there’s a couple Page solos I can name that I don’t like [mostly on Coda and that guitar solo piece he did on the 1977 and 1980 tours]). But Page has brilliant riffing, recording innovation, the bow solo, and brilliantly structured Blues solos. And Page, not Gilmour, was the first lead guitarist I really listened to.
Jimi Hendrix sometimes finds his way in their, too… and I’ll be highlighting another of his solos next Monday (and I promise it’ll be on Monday).
“Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes, inviting and inciting me to rise; and through the window in the wall come streaming in on sunlight wings, a million bright ambassadors of morning.” And the guitar.