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Two Guitar Bands

Two Guitar Bands

There is nothing quite a great two-guitar rock and roll band. By this, I don’t mean just any band where one guitar strums rhythm, while another player does the lead, but a band where the two guitars work together so symbiotically, they become almost a single great instrument in the band. When two guitar players are truly locked in, the give and take creates a tension that just doesn’t, can’t, happen when there’s only one guitar player.

This doesn’t mean you NEED two guitars to make a great band—I’d be leaving off a lot of great guitar music if I scratched Hendrix, Cream-era Clapton, The Who, early Uncle Tupelo and a ton of other great bands. Nor do you need to have the kind of two-guitar interplay I’m talking about to have a great band—there are fabulous bands with two guitars playing standard rhythm-lead arrangements that don’t fall into the category I’m talking about here. Bands like CCR, the Beatles, the Byrds, Big Star, the Replacements and the Kinks are filled with great guitar work. But great guitar work done (usually) in the traditional rhythm/lead style.

No, I’m talking here about bands where the two guitars are so intertwined, so filled with communication that the players seem to be operating on a telepathic level when playing. There’s nothing quite like it (for the player or audience) when two guitars really have that going on.

Here’s a list of some great twin-guitar bands. I’m not claiming these are the GREATEST twin-guitar bands, as music is largely an issue of taste. And my greatest is not your greatest. For instance, while I greatly admire the dual-guitar work on King Crimson’s DISCIPLINE record, I don’t really love the record, so it’s not on the list. But that’s no dig on the talent and ability and chops of Belew and Fripp—you’ll find a bunch of players on this list who are, technically, nowhere near as good as the guys in Crimson. But here are some bands who, if you love dual-guitar, you just might love. Some of them are big and you’ll have heard of them, some of them should be bigger and you might want to check them out. In no particular order:

  • The Rolling Stones: While there may not be a “particular order” you kind of have to put them first because, well, they’re the Stones…not named “The World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band” for nothing. While early Stones is incredible, and Brian Jones had a wonderful genius for playing, well, for playing things that weren’t guitars (sitar, dulcimer, and so on), the band really starts becoming a major two-guitar band in the Mick Taylor years (1969-74). Listen to the interplay that drives through EXILE ON MAIN ST and you’ll hear Richards and Taylor at their best. Ron Wood, the “new guy” (all 34+ years of being the new guy) is no slouch, either.

    Richard Hell & the Voidoids on stage at CBGB in 1976

    Richard Hell & the Voidoids on stage at CBGB in 1976

  • Richard Hell and the Voidoids (first album, especially): Ivan Julian and the late, great Robert Quine offer up a killer dose of dueling guitars on the first album. Great tones, great playing and great intertwining parts—while showing each player’s distinct style in their solos. Check out the traded leads on “The Kid with the Replaceable Head” and tell me you don’t love guitar.
  • The Dream Syndicate: For their whole career, but especially on the still fresh and incredible sounding DAY OF WINE AND ROSES. The original lineup of the band (with Karl Precoda and Steve Wynn on guitars) brought back long guitar songs—reclaiming them from boring patchouli drenched jam bands and given them back to rock and roll. Examples? The title track, with Precoda torturing a Harmony-made Silvertone awash in feedback, or “Halloween” with Wynn showing us why those plinky Jazzmasters are such great guitars when used right. And they are used right here.
  • Luna: Again, most of their recorded work. But the live version of “23 Minutes in Brussels” from the fine movie of their final tour TELL ME DO YOU MISS ME is a good place to start. They were always a great night out for lovers of guitar (or of great songs) and this has some great live footage of underrated guitarists Dean Wareham and Sean Eden (along with a fabulous rhythm section…actually every band on this list has a great rhythm section, which should tell you something about what guitar players need to soar) making some great guitar rock. Also, anyone who doesn’t own PENTHOUSE has missed out on some of the best music of the last 15 years. I wouldn’t stop there, but it’s not a bad start.
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse (especially in the Danny Whitten era): Later versions of the band have Young handling (quite capably, btw) all the lead guitar. But to listen to the interplay between Young and Whitten on EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE is a true joy.

    Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers

    Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers

  • Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers: Maybe a surprise pick, but damn if LIVE AT THE SPEAKEASY doesn’t show the 2nd-Generation Heartbreakers (after Richard Hell left) as one of the great two-guitar bands of all time. Walter Lure and Johnny Thunders learned all (or at least most) of what was great about Chuck Berry, Keith Richards and R&B and tossed it into this great mix. If there had been less heroin and better lyrics in this band, they might have conquered the world.
  • Television: Wow, three bands that Richard Hell was a part of at one point (though he isn’t on any of the classic Heartbreaks or Television material). But Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd set the bar for punk-era dual guitar bands. Listen to the majesty of the building guitars of the title track on MARQUEE MOON, or the incredible intertwining guitars on “See No Evil” or “Prove It.” One of the all-time great bands for guitar-heads. These two guys play together, as Richard Lloyd once said, “like the gears of a watch.” No doubt.
  • Wilco: Another, perhaps, surprise pick. And while, if I had to choose (and I’m glad I don’t), I’d take the Jay Bennett era Wilco over any other lineup, the current lineup is a better live band and able to show off a range than would stun most rock bands. Nels Cline has been showing the world what had been one of LA’s biggest secrets prior to his joining Wilco—that he’s one of the best guitar players alive. A man able to play a three hour show and not play a cliché. Not easy. And for anyone who doubts Jeff Tweedy is a great guitar player, listen to “Kidsmoke” (off A GHOST IS BORN) and tell me differently. One of the great guitar songs of the last ten years. Also, check out any live footage of the current band doing “Impossible Germany” which blends not two, but three guitars (thanks to multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone) in about a beautiful a fashion as possible.

    The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1966

    The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1966

  • The Velvet Underground: Really, any of the records, but check out how Reed’s “ostrich” guitar (the strings all tuned to one note) and Sterling Morrison’s standard-tuned guitar go together on the classic “Run, Run, Run” or the gothic drone of “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” Or, to jump to the third album, the classic rhythm/lead combo of “What Goes On.”

So, there you go. A short starter-list of great two-guitar bands. Buy some CDs, or download the MP3s or add it to your phone or the chip in your head or whatever it is you kids do to get music these days. But, remember, PAY the artist for it!

Rob Roberge

75 thoughts on “Two Guitar Bands

John BurdickPosted on  8:02 am - Jun 1, 2010

Nice article on a good subject. While I dig all our picks, You didn’t include what I consider to be one of the truly great non-traditional two-guitar bands: XTC, especially on Drums & Wires, Black Sea, and English Settlement, when they still had the angular new wave energy of their youth. Oh, Pavement, too…
Well done, thx.

JoshPosted on  8:04 am - Jun 1, 2010

What about Sonic Youth?!

Or Broken Social Scene? (You guys are canadian right?).

Fred CapoPosted on  8:08 am - Jun 1, 2010

Brian Jones contributions to the Stones on Guitar (Slide, Rhythmn and Lead) as well as blues harp are extremely and unfairly underrated, as your article demonstrates. He was a musical pioneer with no equal. Keith, Mick T and Ronnie are better guitarists than was Jones, but Jones was the artist in interpreting and adding voices to blues and other genres. He had the keen sense of knowing what to play and when.

TimPosted on  8:45 am - Jun 1, 2010

Great list. I would also add The Pixies and The Black Crowes as great examples of locked-in, tension-creating two-guitar bands.

StevePosted on  9:11 am - Jun 1, 2010

Might want to check that Velvet Underground in 1967 picture. I think you may have got the wrong shot there…

Link LallyPosted on  9:26 am - Jun 1, 2010

Great list! However, that’s clearly not the VU in the bottom photo.

TimCPosted on  9:53 am - Jun 1, 2010

A great list, but you missed the greatest twin guitar band of all: Thin Lizzy!

DavidPosted on  9:53 am - Jun 1, 2010

Hey there, cool article, but I just thought I should mention that that photograph is most definitely not of the Velvet Underground. By 1967 the Velvets were releasing their first record and surely were not dressing in matching cardigans. In fact, I’ve come across this photo a few times and to my understand it’s a photo of a 67 garage band that happened to share the same name with the velvets. cheers.

chrisPosted on  9:58 am - Jun 1, 2010

Pretty sure that last picture definitely is NOT the Velvet Underground. Most likely they looked like this (http://www.likeadesertprophet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/a1967-warhol-velvet-underground.jpg) in 1967, not a group of bright, young, dapper garage band men.

All this said, awesome article.

chrisPosted on  10:00 am - Jun 1, 2010

By the by, that picture was probably from this (http://www.terrymike.com/life.html) webpage, which may explain the wrong picture choice.

Taurus PedalsPosted on  10:18 am - Jun 1, 2010

Massive points for Luna. And Television…but you missed out on one of the greatest twin guitar bands…The Church. Other than that though, great piece!

Kerry DeanPosted on  10:32 am - Jun 1, 2010

Hey Chris. Thanks for pointing that out. I was posting the new articles last night, and I decided to add a few pictures. I did grab the VU picture from that site, and obviously it was inaccurate. I just switched them out. Just don’t tell Rob that I made that mistake!

– Kerry Dean, webmaster

StevenPosted on  10:42 am - Jun 1, 2010

Another fun article, Rob! Great choices. I think John’s addition of XTC would make my list as well. Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory are both amazing guitar players. One of my favorite XTC moments is the guitar dual between the Andy and Dave at the end of “Books Are Burning” from their Nonesuch album. I might also add Young and Stills to your list. While their interplay may not have come across so much on the studio CSN&Y albums, live they were a force to behold.

DaveGPosted on  10:57 am - Jun 1, 2010

+1 on the early Stones with Brian Jones. All of those records are a primer on simple, blues-based twin guitar arrangements. So many of those songs have a cool, hooky intro that Keith and Brian obviously spent hours working out: e.g. Down Home Girl, Spider and the Fly, She Said Yeah, etc. All killer, with each guitar “in it’s place”, with a great distinctive tone.

+1 on Television too. The last, “reunion” Television album is mind boggling and criminally overlooked by “modern” guitar players. No Glamour For Willie, Call Mr. Lee, Mars – Perfect tones, perfect arrangements.

AC-DC – need I say more?

Finally, OK, we’re talking about *two* guitars here, but what about *three* guitars? You’d have to put these two at the top of any list:

Moby Grape – just incredible guitar arrangements. There are some songs where one guitar is playing “country”, another “folk” and another “blues” – and they all work perfectly together.
Buffalo Springfield – ditto

Surely these tow bands are the model for modern bands like Uncle Tupleo, Wilco, Thorns, etc.?

Brian EPosted on  12:28 pm - Jun 1, 2010

The Eagles should for sure be on this list

Travelin’ GeetarPosted on  12:52 pm - Jun 1, 2010

Kudos on kudosing Cline & Thunders.

Glaring omissions:
Alice Cooper (Glen Buxton & Mike Bruce)
MC5 (Fred “Sonic” Smith & Wayne Kramer)
1974-77 KISS (Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley)
Blue Oyster Cult (sometimes upped to 3 guitars)
Trouble (Bruce Franklin & Rick Wartell)
Pearl Jam (Mike McCready & Stone Gossard)
G’n’R (the Slash/Izzy era)
Sunship (Marc Ribot & Mary Halvorson)

Marty SmithPosted on  12:58 pm - Jun 1, 2010

WISHBONE ASH ?????????? They INVENTED 2 guitar harmonies !!!! Listen to ARGUS if you’ve never heard them, you’re truly missing out…

DahlbergPosted on  1:49 pm - Jun 1, 2010

The Clash first album (and 2nd and 3rd) is the first that comes to my mind when you re talking about 2 guitars that really works great together.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArL94OjZSAU clash hate and war
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-og7aTnL8Y clash garageland

The Ocean SoundtrackPosted on  2:43 pm - Jun 1, 2010

If you’re into the intertwined guitar sound, be sure to check out SWERVEDRIVER. Most active in the 90s, they still perform occasionally and while actual solos were scarce, Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge made extensive use of opening tunings (on a Jazzmaster and a Les Paul) and lots of effects pedals. The resulting web of guitar layers ranged from searing rock that earned them opening slots for Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins to a sort of modern psychedelia to chamber pop. (The powerhouse rhythm section sure helped fuel the sound too).

Vastly under-promoted by the sick beast that is the music industry. “Mezcal Head” is a good album to start with – great hooks, sounds, and images. Look for the song “Duel” on YouTube.

Tony RizzoPosted on  5:16 pm - Jun 1, 2010

what about SONIC YOUTH?? what about FUGAZI?? You are obviously slanted towards the 70s… Not that it’s WRONG, but you left out a lot.

BrentBPosted on  5:44 pm - Jun 1, 2010

I can’t help but notice most these dual-guitar ensembles are combining two exceptional rhythm guitarists; with one of them having an inclination for lead play. Regardless it’s good to see these pee-pod guitarists get some heartfelt recognition.

AaronPosted on  6:04 pm - Jun 1, 2010

Hey there guys! I know the article is about rock bands, but I gotta tell all the rockers to check out the dual guitar work on any of Fela Kuti’s albums… The Nigerian wizard took his cues from james brown era funk, and the two guitars are just sublime! One is always playing the angular jb type chords (adding on the sixth, seventh or third on top of the chord), and the other is playing staccato riffs (tenor guitar). A great example of two guitars working as one!

WoyvelPosted on  6:31 pm - Jun 1, 2010

Oh come ON! Brad Whitford and Joe Perry of Aerosmith! More orchestrated than most of the two guitar attacks. They don’t simply double parts until one takes off for a solo. I’ll put them up first on any list as far as distinctly two guitar bands. Check out Whitford’s counterpoint on “Walk This Way”, or Perry’s funk chops behind “Last Child”, the trade offs on “Same Old Song And Dance” where each switch seamlessly between leads and rhythm while most don’t even notice.

COUNTING Crows, while now 3 guitars, is another well orchestrated combination of two (or three) guitars that never double parts.

shanksPosted on  9:58 pm - Jun 1, 2010

for a little cancon: Pat Travers and Pat Thrall … mind melting guitar duels

jamey simmsPosted on  11:36 pm - Jun 1, 2010

Michael Bruce and Glen Buxton of the original Alice Cooper band for sure fit the criteria you established. Wayne Kramer and Fred ” Sonic ” Smith of the MC 5 I think fit the bill as well. Great topic and article.

StevePosted on  10:15 am - Jun 2, 2010

Hey, I got the VU thing before Chris! I want a prize! 😉

David SpraggePosted on  3:36 pm - Jun 2, 2010

Hello!!! Allman Brothers??!!

V…Posted on  5:07 pm - Jun 2, 2010

Agree with David Sprague… “Allman Bros”. shoulda been mentioned… as well as “Metallica”, “Smashing Pumpkins”, “Beatles”, And if you’re into heavy bands “The Sword” has some nice double barrell Sabbathy riffage.

CSTurnerPosted on  11:18 am - Jun 4, 2010

i love springsteen’s army of guitars live shown. love the play of ness and wickersham of social d. but my fav duo is woods and richards of the stones.

JakePosted on  11:42 pm - Jun 7, 2010

Really!? How could you forget Duane Allman and Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers Band!?

Kim DraheimPosted on  10:18 pm - Jun 10, 2010


BrianPosted on  10:41 am - Jun 14, 2010

I think everyone who has commented on this post has actually named a lot better examples than the ones given in the actual article. But if we move into more modern times we can’t leave out the heavier rock and metal bands like AC/DC. I mean Angus and Malcom Young. Come on. Then of course in classic metal, bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon and The Scorpions have made the 2 guitar setup a mainstay in that genre.

jeffPosted on  3:14 pm - Jun 15, 2010

I couldn’t agree more. two of these bands that I think are truly amazing at the 2 guitar level are moe. and Umphrees mcgee.

rob robergePosted on  10:36 pm - Jun 16, 2010

Hey all-

Thanks for all the comments. And I like most of the additions (though I cannot abide any praise of the Eagles, no matter how talented their guitar players may be 🙂 And the ones I don’t LIKE (as bands), I agree with (as picks of bands that do two-guitars very well).

Re: The early 90’s TELEVISION reunion record. LOVE it! “1880 or So” and “Call Mr. Lee”…great stuff….and, yes, killer tone on that whole record.

Ditto on the Brian Jones comments. Thanks.

As far as the added lists in the comments go, I think they’re great. Please realize this list wasn’t meant to be comprehensive–only a sample of some bands who do this well. If I’d kept writing, I would surely have added the Allman Bros., XTC, the MC5, the early Alice Cooper Band, AC/DC (though they are a rhythm/lead band, I’d argue) and many, many of the others.

And there are many listed here in the comments who do twin-guitars REALLY well, but I can’t stand their music (most metal–which I find sophomoric and dumb ((sorry)), Fugazi, Sonic Youth–even though not liking Sonic Youth hurts my hipster cred–Metallica, and others) . So, they were left off as a taste issue.

And, like I said in the intro, here are “some” bands that are great at the two-guitar thing. I never meant to suggest here are “all” the great two-guitar bands.

I really appreciate all the comments. Thanks for reading and adding to the list–very cool of you all.

THANKS! Even for the Eagles 🙂

HagenPosted on  9:48 pm - Jun 24, 2010

Matthew Sweet’s albums and live band for years was Robert Quine and Richard Lloyd on guitar. Ivan Julian plays on several of the albums as well. Just some amazing guitar work there.

D.L.WiebePosted on  7:00 pm - Jun 28, 2010

That most certainly IS Nico era VU. Reed, Cale, Morrison, and that’s Mo Tucker lower right hand side!

Keith CalmesPosted on  9:49 pm - Jun 29, 2010

oops, I meant to say:

Judas Priest is also one of the great two-guitar rock bands. As noted above, The Clash and AC/DC were also TWO of the great two-guitar bands. Did anyone mention The Beatles? What about The Shadows? The Ventures? Los Straitjackets?

JC HinksmanPosted on  12:59 pm - Jul 23, 2010

I can think of a dozen, but will give you 3 notable omissions….

Grateful Dead (Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir)
Man (Micky Jones & Deke Leonard)
King Crimson mkIII (Bob Fripp & Adrian Belew)

JC HinksmanPosted on  4:22 pm - Jul 23, 2010

Two superb non-rock twin guitar line ups to consider:

Jazz: Prime Time (Ornette Coleman) with Bern Nix & Charles Ellerbee.
Folk: Pentangle with Bert Janch & John Renbourn

Check ’em out dudes, these lads go well beyond a few moody solos…

RA FloydPosted on  8:28 pm - Jul 24, 2010

What about early Poco? The interplay between the lead guitar and the pedal guitar when play live was incredible.

GrahamPosted on  5:24 pm - Jul 27, 2010

If that’s not the Velvet Underground, then it is the best tribute band Ive ever seen. Clearly Lou on the Left, and definitely Nico is the blonde, and who else looks like Mo?

I also agree with most of the other suggestions (inc the Eagles!) – They all have something special in the chemistry between the two players. Especially Wishbone Ash, Lizzy etc. Now, I am not a fan, but Iron Maiden have been around so long now, their guitar interplay between the 3 guitarists is also very good.

The Ocean SoundtrackPosted on  9:28 pm - Aug 6, 2010

Someone else mentioned it, but I have to echo that the Grateful Dead were one of the most distinctive two-guitar bands. Bob Weir is underrated as he focused exclusively on rhythm guitar, but his sophisticated chord inversions were the perfect foil to Garcia’s flights (except when the latter was so wasted that he lapsed into snoozedom). Haters, go check out “Help on the Way/Slipknot” or “King Solomon’s Marbles” from the Blues for Allah album – their “prog rock” album if they had one.

dpPosted on  2:27 pm - Sep 7, 2010

Ditto on the Allman Bros sentiment. It would have been a different band without the guitar duo. Not really a band, but the axeslinger duo of Hunter/Wagner (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed) in the 70’s were a force to be reckoned with.

PaddyPosted on  6:40 pm - May 3, 2011

Cheers! Great article. Definitely spot-on with Television, Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Carl Percoda-era Dream Syndicate.

Along the stylistic vain of those bands, I would also add The Gun Club, during their Kid Kongo period(s). The fringe-jazzy, Televisionesque guitar work on ‘The Las Vegas Story’ comes to mind, as well as the more lush sounding stuff they did on ‘Pastoral Hide And Seek’. Though Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s guitar work dominated their final record, ‘Lucky Jim’, it’s still worth a listen. Oh, and having seen them perform ‘Little Wing’ live, twice, I would say their version beats the crap out of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s. (but not Hendrix’s)

Also have to agree with the earlier post about The Allman Brothers, during their Duane Allman/Dickie Betts period. Incredible intertwining of the 2 guitars.

AcidKingPosted on  6:58 am - May 26, 2011

how could you leave out the Allman Brothers Band?

Thom OpalPosted on  12:14 pm - May 26, 2011

Great to see recognition for Karl Precoda and early Dream Syndicate. It is worth mentioning that the Velvet Underground was a very heavy influence to Steve Wynn in forming that band – so much so that they took their band name from an early VU-related experimental music(via John Cale) experimental music group.

I didn’t know Karl played a Silvertone on that album, and I’d only seen him perform with a black Strat, which met its demise at one show in my hometown (Keystone Theater in Berkeley) when he smacked it against a support beam on the stage.

Someone already mentioned The Church, but they’re worth mentioning again. Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper wove a wonderful electric guitar tapestry together.

eMGeePosted on  10:44 pm - Jun 1, 2011

Howzabout Peter Green and Danny Kirwan in Fleetwood Mac?

StraightalkPosted on  7:41 pm - Jul 5, 2011

Wow! For a couple of minutes there I thought I was in the twilight zone or another dimension…until someone finally mentioned the Allman Brothers Band…(Sigh of relief…)there is still intelligant life on earth…

BrianPosted on  5:57 pm - Jul 12, 2011

As mentioned above the Scorpions have been kickin butt for a long time. Not mentioned Whitesnake, those guys put on an unbelievable show in most any of their lineups. Also worth mentioning Def Leppard.

rob robergePosted on  5:42 pm - Jul 15, 2011

Thanks for all the comments. But–to address some of the contentious ones:

As I DID say in the intro…and repeated in the comments…this was NEVER meant to be (NOR was it stated to BE one) a comprehensive list of ALL the great two-guitar bands, but a list of SOME great ones….and there are issues of taste that made me leave some of them off (all the metal bands mentioned in the comments section, for instance). As for the Allman Bros, I should have put them on my list…an oversight, as they were a band I loved and FILLMORE EAST in a incredible 2 git record.

But, again…if people would read the intro, you would see that this is a list of SOME great 2 guitar bands that people might want to check out. And the comments that call for the Beatles and the Dead clearly didn’t read my lead/rhythm distinction…the Beatles and the Dead have some fine guitar work, but they are traditionally-structured where one player (such as Weir in the Dead) plays rhythm and the other (Garcia in their case) plays the lead. The same goes for AC/DC…a fine band…but not one that falls into the category I define in the introduction.

rob robergePosted on  5:50 pm - Jul 15, 2011

Thom Opal wrote:

“Great to see recognition for Karl Precoda and early Dream Syndicate. It is worth mentioning that the Velvet Underground was a very heavy influence to Steve Wynn in forming that band – so much so that they took their band name from an early VU-related experimental music(via John Cale) experimental music group.

I didn’t know Karl played a Silvertone on that album, and I’d only seen him perform with a black Strat, which met its demise at one show in my hometown (Keystone Theater in Berkeley) when he smacked it against a support beam on the stage….”

Thom–thanks for the note. Yup, The Dream Syndicate got their name from LaMont (sp?) Young’s experimental band (Dream Syndicate) that John Cale was playing in before he joined Lou Reed and started VU. They were pretty wild…notes sustained for 20 minutes and so on. Interesting stuff.

On the first album, Karl played a Harmony-made 3 pickup Silvertone (the H78 model, I believe…with the Bigsby) with the middle pickup removed. On the tour following THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, it broke and he replaced it with a 335 and a Strat, which is what most of the existing footage of that version of the band shows.

rob robergePosted on  5:57 pm - Jul 15, 2011

All great bands (well, except for Judas Priest :)…but, as stated in the intro, the article isn’t mean to cover bands that do the traditional rhythm/lead breakdown….as great as the Clash are, for instance (my vote for my favorite punk band) Jones played almost ALL the leads and Strummer played the rhythm parts…they didn’t weave 2 guitars the way the bands mentioned did. Same with the Beatles (with the rare exceptions like the amazing two-part riff in “And Your Bird Can Sing”). The Shadows, too, had a lead player (Hank).

So, a lot of these bands weren’t “omitted”…they just didn’t fall into the TYPE of guitar playing I was talking about.

And, as stated in the intro, this is a list of SOME great 2 guitar bands…not ALL great 2 guitar bands.

Thanks for all the commets!

rob robergePosted on  5:58 pm - Jul 15, 2011

Don’t they only have one guitar player?

DanielPosted on  3:05 am - Oct 4, 2011

Yes – was just about to post – wonderful first album – burned

DanielPosted on  3:07 am - Oct 4, 2011

‘Cept John C had trouble keeping up with Gary Duncan!

footballPosted on  9:38 am - Apr 24, 2012

You spelt his name wrong, its spelt Miyaichi.

ojbatistaPosted on  5:03 pm - Jun 1, 2012

this is why the urinals would be on a rocket to the top if they has a guitar numero dos. word.

StevePosted on  12:24 pm - Sep 6, 2012

You all forgot Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap. I mean come ON, people! STONEHENGE, ferchrissakes!
Of course, they really went into the toilet when Nigel left the band and they did that lame Jazz Odyssey thing.

Big DPosted on  6:58 am - Sep 18, 2012

Never mind the dull New York type stuff – what about WISHBONE ASH! Finest twin lead axes ever wielded…! Listen to Argus, then rewrite your blog…..

Rex GranthamPosted on  12:13 pm - Sep 3, 2013

I simply cannot believe that no one mentioned ‘Thin Lizzy’ – some of the best dual guitar riffs out there

Dale HoustonPosted on  12:19 pm - Sep 3, 2013

Always loved the two guitar interplay on the classic Buzzcocks records. There are lots of cool two-guitar arrangements in there, including that most elusive of guitar skills: knowing when not to play.

MikePosted on  1:18 pm - Sep 3, 2013

Just want to say thanks for turning me onto Wilko and Neil’s Cline. I’m older th dirt but I guess way out of the loop,. Went to YouTube a have been checking out videos. So much great music by these guys. I had to come back here to say thank you. Incredible.

SFShoimPosted on  3:51 pm - Sep 3, 2013

Three bands with intricate dual guitars: Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead & Quicksilver Messenger Service. BTW…ZZ Top is a great band but there’s only one guitar – handled brilliantly by the Reverend Billy Gibbons…

RonniePosted on  11:38 pm - Sep 3, 2013

This writer is full of crap. Got on YouTube and checked some of these bands out. Bands like The Beatles and Creedance had a lot more inter-locking guitar playing than the punk rock noise this guy celebrates. I suppose by the “boring patchouli of jam bands” he’s talking about people like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers. I’ll take that any day over the noise made by punk rockers like Dream Syndicate. I can’t stand idiots who glorify punk rock and talk about how much greater it is than music made by real musicians who can really play their instruments.

frenchyPosted on  12:31 am - Sep 4, 2013

well some of these guys obviously didn’t read the criteria to make this list .. it was supposed to be bands that had two guitars that BOTH PLAYED LEAD as opposed to the traditional lead rhythm offereins that usually were .. but to leave off the allmans ?? eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! and not just the dickey and duane period but the warren haynes derek trucks period too? !!!!!!!!!!! eeeeeeeee..they’re every bit as good as dickey and duane .. and how about some of the other southern rock bands ?? it pretty much seemed to be a religion with them guys to have 2 and three guitars .. lynyrd skynyrd , the outlaws ?? and how about early fleetwood mac ?? peter green and danny kirwan ..they were freakin awesome .. or johnny winter and rick deringer ?? now you wanna talk about a two headed monster ?? in 1970 at the height of their powers they were almost untouchable ..or eric clapton and duane allman on the derek and the domino’s album ?? yeah i know it didn’t last all that long but after over 40 years that album still stands as claptons high water mark and duane had a lot to do with that .. and then last but not least .. whats the beef with the eagles ?? come on already .. yeah maybe you might have some kinda beef with henley and frey for one thing or another .. but to dismiss felder and walsh ?? are you kiddin me ? i’ll admit that i wished that henley and frey would have let felder and walsh outta the box and just rip like they could .. but they wanted everything note for note .. it sounds impressive .. the first time you see them .. but after that it gets kinda old .. i agree .. but they didn’t run the band .. henley and frey do so they did as they were told .. but they were awesome guitar players together .. as good as anyone on this list you made .. in fact probably better than anyone on this list you made .. but if you’re gonna make a list of great twin lead bands you can’t dismiss felder and walsh .. especially when they could probably mop the floor with most of the bands you mentioned .. that is if henley and frey say they can .. cause they’re not allowed out to play ( i mean really play ) unless frey and henley say they can ..

John WilliamsPosted on  3:08 am - Sep 4, 2013

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young … (the original) Alice Cooper, and Wishbone Ash.

GuitarmanPosted on  11:44 am - Sep 4, 2013

I was hoping someone would mention Wishbone Ash. One of the greatest 2-guitar bands ever! And Argus is just one of the many albums they did to prove that. Absolutely great! Try listening to “F.U.B.B.,” a totally instrumental cut on “There’s the Rub,” another truly great guitar alubum. Also applaud mention of King Crimson, early Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green, Allman Brothers and Quicksilver Messenger Service, not to mention one of my favorite movies, “Spinal Tap.” Great article and great comments!

MikePosted on  5:59 pm - Sep 4, 2013

The #1 slot belongs unequivocally to the Allman Brothers!!! Go and learn before you make any sort of statement about the best 2 guitar band in the history of Rock and leave them out!!! The Greatful Dead were also quite good, and if you didn’t know that Weir could play lead, listen to China Cat!!! What a maroon…

AlPosted on  2:04 pm - Oct 31, 2013

Not what you’d normally think as a two guitar band, you just think of it as Janis Joplin’s band, but listen to Summertime from Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & The Holding Company. Now that’s two guitar weaving heaven. A big thumbs up from Brian Jones I’m sure. No fancy studio effects either, just primitive fuzz-tones and reverb. I find it hard to think of a better example of two guitars playing different intricate parts yet fitting together and not getting in the way of each other.

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NixPosted on  12:40 am - Feb 9, 2015

Big Country – legendary Scottish band.

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