Jimmy Page is Better Than Brian May is Better Than Jimmy Page

Rob and Rich argue, but what's the point?   04-Oct-12

Rich Argues in Favour of Brian May

Dear Officer of the Law,

Sorry about that time I played 'Folsom Prison Blues' at the annual police party, I'm also sorry for emulating Johnny Cash's famous pose by flipping the bird at the audience.

Let's move on though. I've been told by my lawyer that to get out of this tricky mess I need to write about why Brian May is better than Jimmy Page. So that is what I will now do.

I'd like to start off by saying that it's Brian May. He's like… you know, Brian May. That should be explanation enough for about 90% of people, if you need me to elaborate further though, then I will.

First of all, other than being, you know, Brian May and everything, there's the fact that when you hear Brian May playing guitar, you don't go, "who is that guitarist, it sounds familiar but I can't work it out."

No. You hear one note and say:

"Brian May. He's awesome."

While all the other guitarists (well most of them) in the 70s were preoccupied with playing pentatonic riffs and discussing how great their Les Paul sounded through their Marshall stack, Brian May was preoccupied with playing a guitar made out of parts found in a skip, using a sixpence instead of a plectrum, and recording with an amp that Queen's bass player, John Deacon, fashioned out of a motorcycle and a unicorn (probably).

His tone on Queen's first album was a bit sketchy, it improved on Queen II, and then on Sheer Heart Attack it sounded like a choir of promiscuous lesbian angels. Amazing.

Not content with rocking harder than a diamond encrusted diamond on songs such as 'Brighton Rock', Brian May also had the humility to just sit back and play second fiddle (not literally) on songs such as 'Killer Queen'. Then, when Freddie calls on Brian to come up with an incredible solo on a song he barely plays on, he busts out one of the best freaking solos of all time. He's not just another lead guitarist who thinks his guitar is an extension of his penis, he's a composer, an arranger, and a talented musician all around.

Let's face it, Brian May didn't even like 'Killer Queen', he thought it wasn't the direction the band should be going in. Most guitarists would record the crappiest solo possible just to prove a point. But not old Brian Harold May.

His solos were carefully constructed to take the song to a different level, just think about 'Somebody To Love' for a second. How many times have you been listening to that song at home or in your car and been singing along like you've just gone mental, and you think this song has hit its crescendo, it can't actually get any cooler than Freddie's perfect vocal performance alongside the awesome backing vocals.

Then the solo comes in, not even one of Brian's best, might I hasten to add, and the song somehow goes up another level. You find yourself actually singing along to the solo, people think you've gone mad, but then they realise you're listening to 'Somebody To Love' and they just join the hell in, right then and there.

Brian May might not be as cool as Jimmy Page, he might not have written as many pentatonic riffs, but he also didn't rip off near as many other artists, and he is truly a thinking man's guitarist. Oh yeah, and he's an astrophysicist in his spare time. No big deal.

Yours righteously,


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6 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

Brien Comerford    Said...

Jeff Beck is better than Brian May and Brian May is better than Jimmy Page. Two animal lovers are the greatest guitarists. They are Jeff Beck and Brian May.

04-Oct-12 06:20 PM

Claire Saunders    Said...

Brian May. If you've been a fan since you were in high school (1977) then you know that there is no comparison. Go Brian!

05-Oct-12 03:39 AM

Ted    Said...

Brian May, by several orders of magnitude. His technique and taste was and is impeccable: perectly realized riffs that enhance every song they're on. Creatively played on his homemade guitar into a a fully cranked Vox amp, a singing tone that other guitarists have been chansing since the 1970s.

Both arguments are concvincing. Page is unquestionably a rock guitar deity of the higest order. By Brian May is all that, plus a sonic sculptor who has a nearly supernatural control of his instrument. Licks with an abundance of personality, irony, sweetness, and ball-scorching rock.

05-Oct-12 02:36 PM

Jeff    Said...

Jimmy Page rules above all.The man wrote the Rain Song one of the greatest pieces of guitar music ever..

05-Oct-12 10:23 PM

Devon Tyler    Said...

Jimmy Page The master of alternative tunings,Recording, Producing,Arranger,Songwriter,Master of painting pictures with different shades of guitar tones.Used a Supro amp & a Telecaster to record one of the heaviest records ever made ..Jimmy Page is really that good.

05-Oct-12 10:33 PM

Me    Said...

May vs Page? Hmmmmmm...well this is just a variation on the old apples vs oranges debate.

01-Sep-13 08:50 AM

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