Adam 12

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Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid performs at the 99x Big Day Out 2001 at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. 9/22/01 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

Today is Angus Young‘s birthday. By any account, the AC/DC lead is one of the top guitarists of the 80s (or any decade, for that matter). But what about these other guys?


Last year, guitarist and writer Michael James put together his list of the 10 Most Underrated Guitarists of the ’80s Glam Metal Era. The whole list is a trip, including the section titled “Hair Metal and Other Derogatory Terms” but I’d like to focus on who I believe are the top three shredders here.


Reb Beach – The Winger guitar-slinger had a style that complimented Kip Winger’s polished look and style almost perfectly. Watch him tap away on the solo for “Seventeen,” a song that absolutely would never be written or released today, haha.


Vernon Reid – Like Eddie Van Halen, the Living Colour guitarist is completely self-taught. But unlike EVH, Reid never gets his proper due as an innovator. Take another look and listen at “Cult Of Personality” and you’ll see what I mean.


Steve Lynch – Autograph’s “Turn Up The Radio” is an 80s rock anthem, no doubt. But that big singalong hook overshadows Lynch’s solo, which is the work of a consummate rock pro.


Want the rest of the list? Get it here.