Monday, 18 October 2010


The iPod was on full volume yesterday whilst the housework was completed with a loving and efficient touch. I've got a whole playlist on rock tracks which need an increased volume to appreciate them fully. Some of the tracks have not been heard for ages but blimey, they're a great backdrop for ironing, hoovering and dusting. The tracks got me thinking about guitar riffs and how they have inspired millions of people to air guitar in front of the mirror, or drive a little too fast around country lanes. So, just for a bit of fun, here's my top 20 take on the greatest guitar riffs of all time, starting with the very brilliant Chuck Berry and Johnny B Goode.... 

Sunshine of Your Love - Cream 
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns n Roses 
Rebel Rebel - David Bowie 
All Right Now - Free 
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin 
Back in Black - ACDC 
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix 
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
You Really Got Me - The Kinks
Rock n Roll -Led Zeppelin   
Layla - Derek and the Dominoes 
Day Tripper - The Beatles 
Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix 
Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison 
Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin
Vertigo - U2 
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes 
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana  

I'm sure there's a million others I've left out. Feel free to add any further suggestions....


  1. Right - coming from a household that boasts a Yamaha digital piano, a set of Roland digital drums and 4 (yes 4) guitars including a Gibson Les Paul - oh and not forgetting the Stykophone, I couldn't resist this. How about:

    Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
    Freebird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
    Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
    Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits)
    Whole Lotta Rosie (ACDC) - memories of Sunday nights in The Gardener's Arms listening to the Richard Head Band circa 1984.

    Great stuff!!!!!!!

  2. Clearly the reference to Stykophone in my previous comment should have read "Stylophone" - that of Rolf Harris and David Bowie (Space Oddity) fame.

  3. Wow, sounds like the Partridge Family! Great suggestions Sarah. How could I have forgotten Whole Lotta Rosie? Heady days indeed in the Gardeners Arms circa 1984! Great memories.

  4. Well you aint heard nuffin till u listen to this

  5. BV Dave,
    The word 'incongruous' springs to mind when comparing the William Tell Overture played on a Stylophone by a geek in a buttoned-up shirt to Jimmy Page aka Led Zep's Sex God and guitar legend. Great shout!

  6. Hi Hel

    now that's a proper blog. some big misses from your list:

    - smoke on the water, deep purple. oh i know it's a cliche but when you're driving down up the M6 at 10pm a little heavy-lidded and this comes on the radio, well I defy anyone not to turn it up to level 11 and just cruise the next 15 miles smacking that steering wheel and pointing with your right hand towards the dark horizon.

    - two huge misses from the stones - brown sugar (shame hel) and start me up. even paul daniels would start throwing some shapes to these riffs

    - purple haze and all along the watchtower, jimmy HE. Nuff said?

    - ace of spades, motorhead. one song, one riff, one memorable moment but give lemmy some respect for this blaster.

    - one top one from the kinks but 'all the day and all of the night' is almost as brilliant.

    - RU going my way, lenny kravitz. don't know what else the guy did but this carved his name in the cool riff tree.

    - how about - a flute/guitar riff - living in the past, jethro tull
    - a drum, piano, sax riff - take 5, dave brubeck
    - a clarinet riff - stranger on the shore, acker bilk

    you can tell i'm old school/ brother.


  7. Hey Paulie,
    Great to have my big bro commenting especially on a topic close to both our hearts. Ace suggestions and yes, I feel thoroughly ashamed that I missed an opportunity to include Brown Sugar.. that old dance floor stomper guaranteed to get us both up for a strut at family parties! Two eye catchers from your suggestions have to be All of Day and All of the Night and Take Five. To think mum & dad went to see the Beatles live in Blackpool back in '64 with the Kinks as support act. The bloody Kinks as support!

    Old school? Never. I call it damn fine taste xx