Guitar solos that punctuate or enhance the mood of the song have been imtegral to rock from it's beginning. Think Scotty Moore, Bill Haley, Chuck Berry.
At some point the need to showcase at the expense of the song became acceptable and even anticipated. That's wonderful with players like Gilmour who can take and idea and expand on it so soulfully within the framework of the song. Brian May is a master of tasteful crisp punctuation as is Joe Perry.
For me, Rock has to have the guitar...and a melody is nice too.
Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king
I'm completely fine with them but they've gotten to like the NBA Dunk Competition was up until the last two years, fairly repetitive and routine. I don't know the terms of music but I like complex kind of "solos" that are being played as an underlining to the singer singing.
I don't mind extended solos w/in songs at concerts but I remember seeing quite a few concerts back in hs and college when the band would leave the stage and the guitarist(s) would do his or her thing. 9 times outta 10, no matter how good the guitarist, I'd find the solo to drag on too long. I know now it's not all ego but giving other band members a rest that's figured in to it but still, even Eddie VH I was like, ok, I'm gonna sit down now.
I'll have to think of who I thought was best. Have seen Clapton and Brian May was mentioned and whathisface from Metallica. The dudes from Maiden were good as well. I'll have to think about that. I really like Eruption and Mean Streets from Halen albums as well as the solo on Rock & Roll Machine by Triumph.
The problem with a lot of guitar solos is the people playing them are just pissing around and playing very, very fast, which does not impress me. A lot of people seem to think the guitar solo is the guitarists finest moment, and theoretically, it is, but I would never judge a guitarist based on how well they can solo, but on how they play rythem, because thats where you really need to know your shit as far as I'm concerned. The exception is B.B. King, who can't play rythem at all (his own words, he literally doesn't EVER play rythem, just melody and soloing), but is definitely one of the best because his solo's are so perfect melodically speaking. Hendrix is the ultimate guitarist as far as I'm concerned because although his solo's are mind blowingly amazing, his sheer vision for songwriting -the melodies, the counter melodies, and the rythem and chords, is indescribable to me. Everyone loves Voodoo Child for the soloing, but Hendrix' real talent comes out on his songs that arn't based on improvisation. The Wind Cries Mary is as cool as any of Hendrix extended live solos (which still make me cause Hendrix was so good). Hendrix is way better than anyone has ever given him credit for, ever, because most people trivialize his skill by saying "ROFL LISSEN TO VOODOO CHILD ITS RELLY GUD LOOK HOW FAST HE PLAYZ" when his stuff is easily on par with any fully orchastrated composer in terms of the actual composition of the chords and melodies and everything. Hendrix is my personal savior
So, I enjoy a solo when it is played well and the music it is played too is great as well.