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Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Randy Rhoads + More on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists List

Jimi Hendrix
Central Press, Getty Images

The late, great Jimi Hendrix was voted No. 1 by a panel of professional guitarists and other experts in a new Rolling Stone poll of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Two other hard rocking trailblazers ranked in the Top 10 were Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 and Led Zeppelin legend Jimmy Page at No. 3.

From there, the list gets somewhat unfocused, with influential personalities and singer-songwriters ranking higher than technically agile players. While about 20 hard rock and metal players ranked in the Top 100, filling up a solid 20 percent of the list, some of their positioning seemed odd. Pantera’s late guitar genius Dimebag Darrell just made it in at No. 92, and Metallica anchor James Hetfield was only ranked at No. 87, just six slots above his recent collaborator Lou Reed, who’s not renowned for his playing acumen.

Kurt Cobain came in at No. 73, while Slash only made it to No. 65. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello nabbed the No. 40 slot, but even more questionable was Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads ranking at only No. 36.

Aside from the Top 10 contenders, several hard rock and metal guitarist made the list, but there were some surprising omissions, including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde, Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, Tool’s Adam Jones and shredders like Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai.

Guitarists who were on the panel of voters included Morello, Hammett, Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Motley Crue’s Mick Mars, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready and Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

Below is a list of some of the hard rockers in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time:

92. Dimebag Darrell (Pantera)
87. James Hetfield (Metallica)
73. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
72. John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
65. Slash (Guns N’ Roses)
40. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine)
36. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)
25. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
24. Angus Young (AC/DC)
8. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
3. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
1. Jimi Hendrix

For the full list of 100, click here. Who do you think should be No. 1? Let us know in the comments section below.

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