100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

From Jerry Garcia and Joan Jett to B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone critic chooses the best and most influential guitarists in rock

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Eddie Van Halen

70. Eddie Van Halen

The sound-obsessed Van Halen makes even simple lines sound like towering chorales and pioneered all kinds of tricks, such as fingers hammering the fretboard. Van Halen sought something different from his rock peers: music that was defiantly arty, but never so much so that it lost touch with devastating hooks.

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