Guitar Solo Week continues at Rolling Stone and the second nominated solo of the week is The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil", from the band's 1968 album, Beggars Banquet. It was written by Mick Jagger and credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. "Sympathy for the Devil" ranks at #32 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
According to Keith Richards in a Guitar World interview, "Sympathy for the Devil" started as a folk song with acoustics and ended up as a kind of mad samba with him playing the bass and overdubbing the guitar later. "That's why I don't like to go into the studio with all the songs worked out and planned beforehand. Because you can write the songs, but you've got to give the band something to use its imagination on as well. That can make a very ordinary song come alive into something totally different. You can write down the notes being played, but you can't put down the X Factor—so important in rock and roll—which is the feel", says Richards.
The high pitched attack of Richards' snake-like guitar solo instantly enhances the groove when it enters the centre stage at 02:54 of the video clip. The piano, congas and the back-up singers' "ooh-ooh's" serves as a sexy, devilish canvas for this unpredictable and timeless solo.
Click here to read what Rian Zietsman (Taxi Violence), Gareth Wilson (Southern Gypsy Queen), André Kriel (The Black Cat Bones) and Albert Frost (The Blues Broers) have to say about the guitar solo in general.