100 Greatest Guitarists

79

Mike Campbell

mike campbell
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Tom Petty's lead guitarist for more than 40 years, Mike Campbell never clutters up a song with notes when two or three bull's-eyes will suffice. "It's a challenge to make your statement in a short amount of time," he has said, "but I prefer that challenge as opposed to just stretching out." Listen to the skeletal hook that holds "Breakdown" together or the laconic, tone-bending solo in "You Got Lucky" to hear Campbell's ingenious use of negative space. "Michael is not one to show off," Petty once said. "What he says is essential."

Key Tracks: "Breakdown," "You Got Lucky"

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