Top 10 Underrated Rock Guitarists That Needs To Be Recognized

Top 10 Underrated Rock Guitarists That Needs To Be Recognized | Society Of Rock Videos

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When we dive into the world of rock music, the spotlight often shines brightly on the guitarists. These six-string wizards captivate our hearts with electrifying riffs and solos that can move mountains. While many legendary guitarists have rightfully earned their place in the annals of rock history, there are a select few who have remained unjustly overshadowed. In this list, we’ll uncover the top 10 underrated rock guitarists who deserve the recognition they’ve long been denied.

Robert Smith – The Cure

Robert Smith, the enigmatic frontman of The Cure, is not just a singer; he’s a guitar virtuoso. His style is as unique as it is impossible to replicate. Smith’s guitar prowess shines through his distinctive approach to detuning his instrument, his aggressive picking, and the mesmerizing tones he crafts both in the studio and on stage. While The Cure’s music has spanned various styles, Smith’s guitar work has consistently been the driving force behind their sound.


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Steve Clark – Def Leppard

Steve Clark, one half of Def Leppard’s “Terror Twins,” may not be the flashiest guitarist, but his contribution to the band’s sound is undeniable. Clark and fellow guitarist Phil Collen created a harmonious blend of riffs, leads, and rhythms that defied traditional roles. Known as “The Riffmaster,” Clark’s playing was all about feel, eschewing speed and flash for pure inspiration.


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Gary Moore – Thin Lizzy

Gary Moore, best known for his time with Thin Lizzy, was a guitar virtuoso with a penchant for versatility. Starting his guitar journey at just eight years old, Moore’s aggressive vibrato and speedy picking set him apart. His diverse influences spanned rock, jazz, metal, country, dance, and blues, making him a musical chameleon.


Robert Fripp – King Crimson

In the realm of progressive rock, Robert Fripp stands as an eccentric guitar genius. His work with King Crimson pushed the boundaries of music, blending heavy and quirky elements. Fripp’s experimentation even led to the creation of his own tape loop system, Frippertronics, solidifying his status as a one-of-a-kind artist.


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Mark Knopfler – Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler, the iconic guitarist of Dire Straits, may not be the flashiest player, but he’s a master of his craft. His finger-style technique and signature claw-like approach set him apart. Knopfler’s prowess has led to over 120 million records sold and three honorary doctorates in music.


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Mike Campbell – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

In the late ’70s, as rock evolved, Mike Campbell quietly emerged as a guitar genius with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His understated but essential contributions to songs like “Breakdown” and “Refugee” are hooks in themselves. Campbell’s slide guitar work, heard in songs like “Learning To Fly,” adds a soulful depth to the band’s sound.


Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa, the iconoclast of popular music, often goes unnoticed as a guitar legend due to his satirical and unconventional style. His transcendent solos in songs like “Conehead” and “The Muffin Man” are overshadowed by his wit. Zappa’s guitar genius, from blazing Gibson SG workouts to shred-fests, deserves recognition alongside his satire.


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East Bay Ray

In the world of punk rock, Jello Biafra’s eccentricity often overshadows the Dead Kennedys’ music. However, the band’s lead guitarist, East Bay Ray, deserves recognition. His fluid and explosive guitar lines on tracks like “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Moon Over Marin” make him the quintessential lead-guitar voice of punk.


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Prince, a music legend in his own right, remains underrated as a guitarist. His Super Bowl XLI performance showcased his lead guitar skills, rivaling the likes of Jimmy Page and Eddie Hazel. Prince’s solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is a testament to his unparalleled talent.


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Alex Lifeson – Rush

Alex Lifeson, the unsung hero of Rush, often takes a backseat to Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. His self-taught style incorporates open strings, drone notes, and intricate hammer-ons and pull-offs. Lifeson’s mastery of various guitars and equipment, including the Gibson ES-355, Strats, PRSs, and Les Pauls, adds depth and complexity to the band’s music.


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