70 "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
Smashing Pumpkins (1995
It's consummate Nineties alt-rock: a song about the commodification of angst set to "up-and-down rock guitars, pounding drums," as singer-guitarist Billy Corgan puts it. But Corgan also mocks his own discontent with a laughing wah-wah at the end.
"Bullet With Butterfly Wings" from Mellon Cllie and the Infinite Sadness (Virgin)
Smashing Pumpkins perform "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" live in 1998
71 "Take It or Leave It"
The Strokes (2001)
This closer fromthe New York quintet's debut exemplifies egoless double-guitar dynamics: Albert Hammond Jr.'s glittery rhythm part pulses as Nick Valensi's whining lead hangs out nearby, until he lets loose with a buzz-bomb solo that hovers around a single note.
"Take It or Leave It" from Is This It (RCA)
The Strokes performing "Take It or Leave It" live
72 "Say It Ain't So"
Rivers Cuomo is a student of pop history, and his leads on this single (recently given a second life by Rock Band) distill the lessons of punk rock and arena metal into deceptively tricky riffs and solos. The detail that makes the song, though, is the mushroom-cloud swell of feedback before each chorus.
"Say It Ain't So" from The Blue Alubm (Geffen)
Weezer performing "Say It Ain't So" live