Sunday, September 30, 2012

Uli Jon Roth's "Why" Guitar Solo

I have been a guitar fan since I was around eight years old, many years before I ever picked up the guitar. Though I came late to the post-Scorpions Art of Uli Jon Roth, the guitar solos on Beyond the Astral Skies have become my favorite, in terms of both playing and tone, by anyone. Please grant me the benefit of patience while I offer some backround: when I was growing up, great solos for me included the ones for Flying High Again, Free Bird, Heaven and Hell, Beyond the Realms of Death, Black Rose, We'll Burn the Sky (from Tokyo Tapes), and Stargazer. Looking over those solos, it becomes obvious that I appreciate most the kind of solos that have an escalating quality. This particular solo epitomizes the aforementioned climbing quality...only here the word soaring is more apropos.  The solo also serves to express musically the soloist's personal experience of the theme of the song; childlike wonder is artistically depicted in the upswept notes, a fearless spreading of infinitely spanning eagle wings. Au fond, Uli Roth once again proves the Sky is never the limit.