100 Greatest Guitarists

Find out who our panel of top guitarists and other experts picked

Load Previous
Jonny Greenwood
John Shearer/Getty Images48/100

48. Jonny Greenwood

Radiohead are the consummate 21st-century rock band, and in Jonny Greenwood, they have one of the 21st century's defining guitarists: an effects-loving wizard whose endlessly mutable style has powered the band's restless travels – from the interstellar pomp of "The Tourist" to the misty shimmer of "Reckoner." Like the Edge, only farther out in the art-rock stratosphere, Greenwood is a guitar hero with little apparent connection to the blues and little interest in soloing. He's been known to attack the strings with a violin bow, and plays so maniacally that at times he's had to wear a brace on his arm. It was Greenwood's gnashing noise blasts that marked Radiohead as more than just another mopey band on 1992's "Creep" – an early indicator of his crucial role in pushing his band forward. "I've admired him for a long time," says Rush's guitarist Alex Lifeson. "The way he weaves his parts through the melody of a song is really exceptional – just amazing."

Key Tracks: "Creep," "Paranoid Android," "My Iron Lung"

The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: Radiohead
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Radiohead's 'Kid A'

Back to Top