Choosing the best guitar riff is completely subjective, but it's always fun to debate.
Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines conducted a poll and Jimmy Page's riff in Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was number-one.
The July issue of Total Guitar says the song's "guitar figure took just 2.7 seconds to play, but it immediately projected music into another decade. While everyone else was still playing the '60s, Zeppelin were now playing the '70s.
"It wasn't the first great riff, but it is the defining one. It's why riffs became central to guitar music, the reason bands search for the guitar hook that can propel a whole song — or even a whole career."
Last year, Page told Total Guitar that the riff was "so fresh and it still is. If somebody plays that riff, it brings a smile to people’s faces. It's a really positive thing."
The Top 10 greatest riffs of all-time, as chosen by the readers of Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines, are:
- "Whole Lotta Love" -Led Zeppelin/ riff byJimmy Page
- "Crazy Train" -Ozzy Osbourne/ riff byRandy Rhoads
- "Back in Black" -AC/DC/ riff byAngus Young
- "Smoke on the Water" -Deep Purple/ riff byRitchie Blackmore
- "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" -Van Halen/ riff byEddie Van Halen
- "Enter Sandman" -Metallica/ riff byKirk Hammett
- "Iron Man" -Black Sabbath/ riff byTony Iommi
- "Walk" - Pantera / riff byDimebag Darrell
- "La Grange" -ZZ Top/ riff byBilly Gibbons
- "Purple Haze" -Jimi Hendrix
BTW, Plant's lyrics are based on a 1962 Muddy Waters song written by Willie Dixon called "You Need Love," where Waters sings:
I ain't foolin', you need schoolin'
Baby, you know you need coolin'
Woman, way down inside
The band reached an agreement with Dixon, who used the settlement money to set up a program providing instruments for schools.
And in other news:
It looks as though Robert Plant and Alison Krauss to their 2007 Grammy Award-winningRaising Sand album. Ultimate Classic Rock posted that pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, revealed on the Everyone Loves Guitar podcast, "I actually just recently heard a song from the upcoming record. (Plant) is doing another record with -- has done another record -- with Alison Krauss and I heard a track from it the other day."
Leisz went on to describe the song, titled, "Searching For My Baby" as "incredible," adding "When you hear that, it’s going to blow your mind. It’s fantastic."
Greg Leisz isn't the first musician to hip the public on the new sessions. Back in May 2020,Lucinda Williams revealed that she had taken part in sessions for the album, which included returning producer T Bone Burnett.