The iconic Gibson Les Paul, took the music world by storm when it debuted in 1952. More than five decades later, this all-time favorite solid body electric guitar continues to influence guitarists, musicians and music lovers all over the world.
Any player who knows their guitar history is already aware that the Les Paul was pioneered, developed with the assistance of, and endorsed by the famous jazz-pop artist of the same name. Paul wanted a guitar that better served the needs of jazz guitarists, one that would offer more sustain and feedback resistance than the hollowbody archtops that were the norm at the time, and would also be more versatile sonically. Of course these qualities also suited electric players in just about every other genre, and Les Paul Goldtops in their earlier incarnations with P-90 pickups quickly wound up in the hands of a diverse range of artists, from formative blues men John Lee Hooker and Freddie King to rock'n'roller Carl Perkins. Following Paul's lead, plenty of jazz players took them up too. Adept at producing thick, warm tones from its neck pickup in particular despite being a solidbodied design, the Les Paul proved a natural choice for plenty of great jazzers. More surprising, perhaps, is the ease with which it adapted to country styles.
Back in the fifties and in the early days of the solid body electric guitar, guitar models were simple in design, barely more than a flat price of wood with minimal accouterments. With the Les Paul Standard, Gibson moved up the aesthetic value of the guitar by designing a stylish and sleek work of art. The move might have seemed strange to followers of Gibson, generally regarded as traditionalists in the field, but on hindsight it was actually an extension of Orville Gibson's radical mandolin designs back in the 19th century. The new member of the Gibson stable was set to have the same caved top form that had so distinguished Orville's earlier designs form the rest of the pack.
The Gibson Les Paul Standard has a solid mahogany body embellished by a carved maple wood top. All Gibson Les Paul guitars have humbucker pick ups that vary depending on the model. The Gibson Les Paul has changed little since its introduction. There have been a few humbucking pickups and updated bridge, but besides these minor changes, this is still the guitar that defined an entire generation of music, from the blues rock of the 60s to the southern rock of the next decade.
By the time the nineties rolled around, the Les Paul signature sound was found in virtually every musical genre there was, from rock and alternative to metal.
( I wish that I can have my own les paul gibson )