Mediocre bands with great guitarists

I was listening to some classic rock song, perhaps Eddie Money or someone like him, and the guitar work was just fantastic for this song. That got me thinking about bands which aren’t critically acclaimed or had limited success but have excellent guitar players. Care to name a few?

So far Ive got Randy Rhoads when part of Ozzy’s band (I dont think post BS Ozzy is any good). Joseph Satriani when he was part of Jagger’s solo tour and Deep Purple. Clapton and Page with the Yardbirds. Vernon Reid of Living Colour.

I’m a big fan of Dire Straits, but I think many people might say Mark Knopfler.

Dire Straits aren’t critically acclaimed and had limited success? :dubious:

OP: If the Eddie Money song you’re thinking of is Fall In Love Again, I’m in complete agreement with you; fantastic guitar. But then again, Eddie Money’s had a fair bit of success.

How obscure do the groups have to be to qualify? There’s a fairly unknown British group called Bevis Frond whose guitarist, Nick Saloman is pretty good.

An obvious example would be Extreme - Nuno Bettancourt is a complete guitar stud, whose forgotten more technique that I’ll ever know - but good lord is that band…gloriously average.

The pages of Guitar Player are littered with B-grade guitar gods who we players admire in our Secret Six-String Society and converse fluently in, but not many outside our sphere have ever heard of. Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson of Night Ranger. Reb Beach of Winger - I mean jeez, it’s freakin’ Winger. But Beach has chops, just like Winger’s drummer Rod Morgenstern, who played with Steve Morse in the Dixie Dregs. And while we’re at it, any of the various non-Dregs, non-Purple bands Morse has been in. Yngwie and Steve Vai in Alcatrazz. Lotta hair metal, over-the-top technique gymnastics - full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…

Alex Skolnick Testament
Paul Gilbert Mr. Big
Slash Any band he’s been in besides G’n’R
Any band Yngwie Malmsteen was ever in
Any band George Lynch was ever in

How about Guns N Roses? I mean, “Sweet Child O Mine” has one of the top 5 guitar solos of all time, but the song is impossible to listen to when Axl is singing (oh God, the lyrics, make them stop!). I guess they had some ‘success’, but they’re still a mediocre band with a great (at times) guitarist.
This doesn’t really fit the OP, but how about Stephen Sills as a solo act? To quote wiki "Stills’ album is also the only album in rock and roll history to which both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix supplied guitar work. "

YMMV - saying Gn’R had some success is damning them with faint praise. Appetite is one of the landmark hard rock LP’s - not really up for debate. And Sweet Child is a great song that is becoming a covered standard, and Axl gives a signature performance on the original. You are welcome to not like it yourself, but dismissing it and them the way you do undercuts your argument.

and yeah, Slash rocks.

DCnDC - oh yeah - Gilbert is a great choice. He is a poster child (literally) for MI (Musician’s Institute, formerly GIT, always Shredder U and advertised in all the mags with Gilbert singing their praises and offering classes…)

Scorpions (Matthias Jabs)

Journey’s Neal Schon comes to mind. When he wants to be, he’s a remarkable guitarist. You just don’t see that side of him often, because the band plays so much sappy pop.

Kiss / Vinnie Vincent Invasion -> Vinnie Vincent…?

Vito Bratta - White Lion
Vito f’n rocks! Now he’s painting houses in Staten Island or something like that.

WordMan beat me to my prime example, Nuno is really something else, and the singer (Gary Cherone) even turned Van Halen into a cesspool of mediocrity.

…but I also think Living Color is pretty damn awesome from top to bottom, so shows what I know. :stuck_out_tongue:

Jerry Garcia - Grateful Dead

I was going to say Steve Morse for a spell he did with a non-glittery, non-hair-metal band that I actually always liked quite a bit, namely, Kansas. (My fan-dom notwithstanding, I understand that lotsa people and critics think they’re quite mediocre.) The 1987 Kansas album Power sold upwards of three dozen copies worldwide, one of which was purchased by me. Lordy, Morse rocks on that record.

Interestingly, I see from Morse’s discography that around that same time he did a project with the other band I was thinking of for this thread, Triumph. (Same story re: me, fandom, many other people, critics, mediocrity.) Rik Emmett was pretty damn good.

I’ll cast a vote for Kim Mitchell of Max Webster. Great band, limited success, a couple of kind of crappy albums, but a few great ones, too.