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Experience Glen Campbell’s Guitar Genius Over the Years in Crazy Video

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Glen Campbell was undoubtedly one of the greatest guitarists in the history of recorded music, but a video compilation of his best solos over the years is still amazing, even if you know that going in.

Though Campbell’s own hit records gravitated toward song-based recordings that mostly featured an emphasis on vocals, with relatively simple instrumental breaks, he actually made his career as one of the top session guitarists in Los Angeles. As a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew, Campbell played on an astonishing array of records from artists as diverse as the Monkees, Jan and Dean, the Mamas and the Papas, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Merle HaggardSimon and Garfunkel and a long list of others.

In the video above, a YouTube user has compiled Campbell’s best live solos from the many television appearances he made over the course of his career, beginning with Campbell clad in a suit and tie during the black-and-white era of TV, with the young guitarist tearing through an amped-up rock solo.

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It progresses through the decades and a wide variety of styles, including later live takes on his solo hits, where he would elaborate extensively on the recordings onstage. One thing that remains consistent is the economy of movement that Campbell employs. Watch his fingers to take note of how smoothly he integrates his picking and fretting hands without excess motion, his fingers not so much flying as dancing across the fingerboard. Campbell employed a very balanced, clean tone that was harshly unforgiving of errors (if there had been any!), with no distortion to hide behind. Marvel at his exceptional playing in the video above.

Keith Urban is just one contemporary player who credits Campbell as a massive influence, and he turned to social media after Campbell’s death on Tuesday (Aug. 8) to pay tribute not only to Campbell’s talent, but his “humanity.” Tributes have flooded in from every corner of the entertainment world in the wake of Campbell’s death at the age of 81.

More Country Singers Pay Tribute to Glen Campbell

Listen to Glen Campbell’s Best Songs

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Next: 10 Best Glen Campbell Songs

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