(tekstovi preuzeti s NME i guitarworld)
Arctic Monkeys – ‘Brianstorm
The moment the Monkeys got heavy. The opening track of second album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ saw the band make their intentions clear with a ferocious machine gun riff.
The Black Keys – ‘Lonely Boy’
Inspired by The Johnny Burnette Trio’s 1956 rockabilly blues classic ‘The Train Kept A-Rollin”, Dan Auerbach’s churning guitar buzz is right down there in the dirt.
Blur – ‘Song 2’
Sometimes a classic riff comes from great musicians embracing the power of simplicity. This pogoing four-chord riff may have been Blur’s tongue-in-cheek take on grunge, but it’s also one of the hookiest, catchiest and just plain fun songs they ever wrote.
Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
the most remarkable thing about this riff is that even after hearing it 87 million times it still sounds so visceral, so purely exciting, when you hear it kick in.
Deep Purple – ‘Smoke on the water’
When guitarist Ritchie Blackmore wrote this classic riff, people told him it was too simplistic. He pointed out that even Beethoven’s Fifth uses a similar four-note arrangement.
Prodigy – ‘Firestarter’
An electronic loony-eyed howl of a riff fed through a berserker to set up shop in your nightmares. And that’s before you’ve seen Keith Flint. It’s actually a sample of the ringing guitar squall from The Breeders’ ‘S.O.S.’ but looped and twisted beyond comfortable recognition.
Queens Of The Stone Age – ‘No One Knows’
Homme originally wrote this monstrous guitar riff for ‘Cold Sore Superstars’, a track from his long running Desert Sessions side-project, but it building this song around it gave the Queens their biggest hit.
Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing In The Name’
om Morello’s finest moment, one thing that everyone forgets about this riff is that as well as rocking hard it’s got a little touch of funk in it too. Maybe that’s why it’s scientifically impossible to remain static while listening to it.
David Bowie – ‘Rebel, Rebel’
After the departure of his guitarist Mick Ronson, Bowie wrote and performed this stomping riff himself.
Chic – ‘Le Freak
Disco could do the brain-lodging riff too, with Nile Rodgers’ clipped lick doing the business for all time. Thirty-five years as an instant lethargy cure.
Suede – ‘Animal Nitrate’
Bernard Butler’s opening guitar riff did many things: defined Suede’s sound, created the perfect mood for Brett Anderson’s chemical cynicism, and just downright rocked.
The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
Keith Richards spent most of the Sixties and Seventies plucking all the great guitar riffs out of the air and turning them into timeless songs, but this might just be the Human Riff’s greatest three chords, made no less impressive by the fact he literally wrote it in his sleep.
Metallica: Enter Sandman
But as drummer Lars Ulrich explained in a Classic Albums documentary: “The riff that’s on the record and the way it exists today is not really the way Kirk wrote it.” Hammett’s initial idea was the first five-note refrain morphing straight into the powerchord breakdown. But by chopping and repeating the first clean riff, and doubling it up on the bass, Enter Sandman as we know it was born.
T. Rex – ‘Get It On’
Marc Bolan was so pleased with this clipped riff he used it pretty much all the time, just altering key and tempo to fit. ‘Get It On’ is the perfect example though, low-slung and funky.
The White Stripes – ‘Seven Nation Army’
It’s still a little baffling how, after 50 years of rock’n’roll history. Jack White somehow managed to stumble across such a simple, memorable riff that nobody else had found. By transforming a bass riff into a snarling mutant he created a tune that brings together rock kids and chanting football fans everywhere.
Purple Haze - Jimmy Hendrix
Before Purple Haze, E7#9 was strictly a jazz chord. Only a visionary would consider using it as the tonal centre; conventionally, it was considered too dissonant for mainstream listeners. The Hendrix chord is a cliché now, but then it was a revolution.
The Kinks - You really got me
Kinks guitarist Dave Davis slashed the speaker cone of his amp to create this riff’s distinctive distorted guitar sound. The band had been told they needed to have a hit within their first three singles, and with this riff behind, on their third attempt, they got it.
Motörhead - Ace Of Spades
Ace Of Spades is all syncopated dissonance and tension. Of course, the riff is played at 140 bpm, but it sounds as though it is accelerating. ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke tunes down a half-step, dimes a Marshall and uses the extra clarity from his Gibson Les Paul Deluxe’s mini-humbuckers to spike the riff with something piquant.
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
In 1969, the year Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, Jimmy Page launched his own giant leap for mankind. Whole Lotta Love’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.
AC/DC - Back In Black
It was an album born out of tragedy, following the death of AC/DC’s singer Bon Scott in February 1980. But with a new singer, Brian Johnson, the band pulled off the greatest comeback ever seen in rock ’n’ roll. And for an album that Angus described as “our tribute to Bon”, the title track was hugely symbolic. That funky, earth-shaking riff was one that Angus had first started toying with back in 1979 during the Highway To Hell tour, Bon’s last with the band.