Listmania: Top 50 Guitarists (Epilogue)

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

It all started with a discussion around the Popdose water cooler. The LA Times piece on the 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever was the catalyst, setting the staff on a quest to parlay the chatter into a concise list. Over 200 guitarists were submitted and voted on, and over the course of the last month we counted them down, from Wes Montgomery to Jimi Hendrix. In the course of that month, we’ve heard your agreements and objections –the objections coming louder than agreements.

Rising above the din was the laundry list of guitarists that we overlooked, or just plain got wrong –though I’ve had a hard time grasping that one. So as a epilogue to the Listmania: Top 50 Guitarists, I give you the rest of the list, in alphabetical (by first name) order. These are the 150+ that didn’t get enough votes but were on at least one contributor’s list. You will see many of the names that were mentioned as “missing,” and a few that I’m certain don’t even belong in the top 500.

Next week, we take a look at 10 movies that are guaranteed to kick your ass.

Just in case you missed the previous installments of the series, here are a few handy links.

Top 50 Guitarists (50-36)
Top 50 Guitarists (35-21)
Top 50 Guitarists (20-11)
Top 50 Guitarists (10-1)

Those were the best, here is the rest:

Aaron Turner
Ace Frehley
Adam Jones
Adrian Belew
Albert Collins
Andres Segovia
Andy Partridge
Angus Young
Bill Frisell
Billy Corgan
Billy Zoom
Blind Willie McTell
Bo Diddley
Bob Mould
Brad Paisley
Brett Mason
Brian Setzer
Bruce Cockburn
Bruce Springsteen
Buddy Guy
Buddy Miller
Carrie Brownstein
Charlie Burchill
Charlie Christian
Chris Smither
Chris Whitley
Chrissie Hynde
Christopher Cross
Chuck Schuldiner
Curtis Mayfield
Dan Huff
Danny Gatton
Danny Whitten
Dave Davies
Dave Mustaine
David Bromberg
David Lindley
Dennis Coffey
Derek Trucks
Dick Dale
Dimebag Darrell
Django Rheinhart
Doug Martsch
Dweezil Zappa
Elliot Easton
Elmore James
Eric Johnson
Ernie Isley
Fred “Sonic” Smith
Freddie King
Freddy Stone
Gary Moore
Glen Campbell
Glenn Tilbrook
Graham Coxon
Grant Green
Ian Crichton
J.B. Lenoir
Jack White
James Burton
James Iha
James Taylor
Jerry Garcia
Joan Jett
Joe Messina
Joe Perry
Joe Walsh
Joey Santiago
John Cippolina
John Fahey
John Hammond
John McGeoch
John McLaughlin
John Scofield
John Sykes
John Wesley
Johnny Ramone
Johnny Winter
Jon Brion
Joni Mitchell
Jonny Greenwood
Josh Homme
Julian Bream
Justin Broadrick
Kenny Burrell
Kevin Shields
Kirk Hammett
Kurt Rosenwinkel
Larry Campbell
Larry Carlton
Leo Kottke
Leo Nocentelli
Leslie West
Lightnin’ Hopkins
Lowell George
Magic Sam
Marc Bolan
Mark Smith
Marnie Stern
Martin Barre
Marv Taplin
Matt Guitar Murphy
Matthew Bellamy
Michael Hedges
Michelle Shocked
Mick Jones
Mikael Akerfeldt
Mike McCready
Mike Roe
Mike Stern
Muddy Waters
Munuf Rayani
Neal Geraldo
Nels Cline
Nick Drake
Nile Rodgers
Nils Lofgren
Pat Metheny
Paul Gilbert
Paul Kossoff
Paul Simon
Peter Frampton
Peter Green
Phil Campbell
Phil Collen
Pops Staples
Randy California
Randy Rhoads
Richard Lloyd
Robbie Krieger
Robbie Robertson
Robert Fripp
Robert Johnson
Robert Quine
Robin Trower
Roger McGuinn
Roger Miller
Rory Gallagher
Roy Buchanan
Russell Malone
Ry Cooder
Scotty Moore
Smokin’ Joe Kubek
Son House
Stanley Jordan
Stephen Stills
Steve Morse
Steve Rothery
Steve Vai
Stuart Adamson
Susan Tedeschi
Taj Mahal
Tanya Donelly
The Edge
Todd Rundgren
Tom Morello
Tom Scholz
Tom Verlaine
Tommy Emmanuel
Tommy Tedesco
Trey Anastasio
Vince Gill
Waddy Wachtel
Wayne Kramer
William Hamper
Zakk Wylde
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  • Thierry Côté

    Bob Stinson is not on this list? That's bullshit! How can your favourite guitarists not include him! This list is worthless, like this website!!!1!!!!11!!


  • Michael Parr

    There is just no pleasing some folks. ;-)

  • Phil

    You're kidding me. How in the world did King's X's Ty Tabor miss the consolation list as well?

  • smf2271

    Glad that Bruce Cockburn and Todd Rundgren made at least this list. But shocked that Steve Hackett wasn't on there. I can understand that none of them were in the top 50, but not in the top 200?! I guess not everyone is a progger at heart like me.

    Since “Edge” and “The Edge” were both on the list above, I nominate Steve Hackett to replace the dupication. =)

  • grayflannelsuit

    Yeah, that's a pretty major blunder. Meanwhile the Edge is listed twice.

  • jbacardi

    MICK RONSON. You guys are just trying to piss me off, aren't you!

    And including Marc Bolan only makes me a little happier.

  • jbacardi

    MICK RONSON. You guys are just trying to piss me off, aren't you!

    And including Marc Bolan only makes me a little happier.

  • jbacardi

    MICK RONSON. You guys are just trying to piss me off, aren't you!

    And including Marc Bolan only makes me a little happier.

  • Michael Parr

    The Edge being listed twice is an editorial error on my part. Claiming that any missing guitarist is a “blunder,” however, leaves me scratching my head. How is it a blunder if no one on staff thought to throw his hat in the ring. I mean, I like King's X as much as anyone; but that doesn't mean he's getting on my list. I can name dozens of guitarists that I really enjoy (i.e. Nuno Bettencourt, Reb Beach, Mike Keneally and yes, C.C. DeVille) but I'd be hard-pressed to include them on my list.

    Here, let's try something – let's see your list. You can only pick 50, no more; no less. Rank them 50-1. I'll look forward to it!

  • Gms168

    ross hannaford… you forgot him…he could play circles around most of these boys!!

  • Phil

    Oh, I'm not saying you blundered, and I appreciate your effort. Picking 50 favorite guitarists ranked in order is a pretty major undertaking, and one that would have me pulling out what little hair I have left. And just so you know, I agree with the majority of your list (maybe not the order, but definitely who is on there; see above).

    I was just expressing my chagrin that Ty (and King's X) just never seems to get the recognition he deserves (and hoping all the while that maybe he would make the list, but secretly knowing all along that it was an impossibility).

  • Russ

    NOBODY voted for Dave Edmunds???

  • Jesse

    Granted, you can never win with a Top 50, but I never knew you guys had a watercooler

  • Beau

    Tanya Donelly's an interesting choice. I always liked her approach. But some of the songwriter-singer-guitarists are tough to judge because they usually had lead guitarists interacting with them — Gorman with Donelly, Honeyman-Scott/McIntosh/etc with Hynde, Campbell with the unnominated Tom Petty.

    Stanley Jordan's a monster. But because he's so unique and because jazz isn't all that popular, it's hard to put him in the top 50.

    James Iha? Really? Even though Billy rarely let him play on the Pumpkins albums?

    So are Derek Trucks and Josh Homme the youngest guitarists nominated? (Sweet that Trucks and Tedeschi are both here.)

  • Old_Davy

    No kidding about Steve Hackett getting left off. Everyone at Popdose needs to listen to “Firth of Fifth” very loudly NOW.

    I also think Cat Stevens never got enough recognition as a great guitarist, and Jim Croce could pick a pretty mean acoustic too.

    Glad to see that Leo Kottke, Steve Morse and Joe Walsh made the runners-up list.

  • cleek

    props to whoever named Elliot Easton. though he typically only got a quick solo here and there, he was really great at it. very melodic, tuneful, concise, with just enough sizzle to stand out from the crowd.

    and, if this was my list, i'd add:
    Kim Thayil
    Thusrton Moore
    Steve Albini
    John Pizzarelli
    Doc Watson

  • Armenite

    Yeah, You should have left well enough alone.

    Ronson for sure.

  • Michael


  • Chrisyak17

    I started my own list of missed gtr heroes on my blog, and I see you caught some of my faves and others. Oh well, check out the first part of my list if you want, I’m sure lots of you will easily find complaints and insults to respond with.

  • Carygeorges

    You can see the results of LA Times Mag 50 best guitarists here: