The Perfect 10 Guitar Riffs
They are the tunes that fill stadiums. A chord progression or a few simple notes that you will never forget. They live long in the memory and give rise to feelings that can take you back in time. A great riff can turn a musician into a superstar and make a song a hit world-wide. Here are our Top 10 Guitar Riffs. What are yours?
Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
‘Satisfaction’ was the The Rolling Stones first number 1 in the US. The Keith Richards-penned classic consists of just three notes and has had Stones fans singing and dancing for nearly 50 years. Rolling Stone magazine placed the song at number 2 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
A musical masterpiece, written and performed by the master himself. A mixture of rock, blues and psychedelia, ‘Voodoo Child’ is rough, raw and is his Jimi at his best. Never has a song made you want to set fire to your Fender as much as this!
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
A Led Zeppelin classic, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is rock n' roll at its finest. Whilst the writing is now credited to Willie Dixon it was Led Zeppelin that made this tune famous. With a groove that hooks you in like no other, nothing makes you want to get the led out like ‘Whole Lotta Love.’
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
So sweet and simple but so funky. It was originally a Top 10 hit in the U.S. for Aerosmith in the late 70s. However, it was the 1986 version, which brought together rappers Run DMC with Aerosmith that made the song a world-wide hit. ‘Walk This Way’ is instantly recognisable and is guaranteed to have you nodding your head from the opening bars.
Back in Black – AC/DC
From the masters of rock riffs, Malcolm and Angus Young, this is arguably their greatest. With a back catalogue of classic rock tunes, ‘Back in Black’ is always a standout. The song appears on the Back in Black album which went on to become one of the highest selling albums of all time and which turned AC/DC in to mega stars.
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns n Roses
What started out as a fingering exercise has gone on to become of the greatest rock songs of the past thirty years. Melodic and powerful, it sounds as fresh today as it did when first released. ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ is Guns n Roses' only song to reach number 1 on the U.S Billboard charts and regularly tops lists of greatest guitar riffs.
Enter Sandman – Metallica
Already giants in the world of heavy metal it was the 1991 ‘Black album' which made Metallica international superstars. The first single, ‘Enter Sandman’ marked a significant shift in the band’s musical direction and became a hit the world over. The song endures today and always features in the band’s live shows.
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
For many this is THE tune that defines grunge. Four chords that helped bring the Seattle Sound to the rest of world and turned Nirvana and Kurt Cobain in to household names. It helped to create and foster an entire scene and was the anthem of a generation.
Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz
If the opening to this song doesn’t get you up and out of your chair then very little will. Although it came off his third album, with ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way,’ Lenny Kravitz had truly arrived. After 20 years the song still rocks. Not to mention the killer video!
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Released in 2003, the Jack White-penned ‘Seven Nation Army’ is one of the stand-out rock songs of the past decade. This modern day anthem has become hugely popular at sporting events and can be heard in music stores globally by novice guitarists testing out a new axe.
— Dave Thomas
Tune in to the Perfect 10 Guitar Riffs at 5pm this Saturday – only on MTV Classic!