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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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50 Greatest Guitar Riffs

Here's a list of the 50 greatest guitar riffs of all time, complete with audio!

As such lists go, this one is pretty good--although how the Smiths and Stooges made it, and Rush's Working Man and Mountain's Mississippi Queen didn't, is beyond me.

Enjoy this blast from the past.  50 Greatest Riffs

Reader Comments (28)

Its missing Oh Well (Fleetwood Mack with Peter Greene).
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterreg
Can't believe how many of these I've never heard of.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpb

One great thing about raising two sons (now 23 and 20) is that they listened to a lot of music--extending my own music interests beyond my classic rock days. I knew most of these . . .
January 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterKim Riddlebarger
Ya, that's weak that Rush didn't get it. They have a million more riffs than the same generic Ramones riffs.

January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermatt
As far as Zeppelin is concerned, wouldn't "Stairway" have been the more iconic choice?
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPreston
Can't You Hear Me Knocking? wasn't on the list? What gives? That's the official anthem of Decision Theology by the way. You heard it here first.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Not that I approve of the message of or the bad language in Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" at #30 but that some crazy guitar work in that song - listen at around 3:50 on.

Flashbacks to my teen years when I thought I was cool.

I have to agree with their LedZep choice - I might have considered "The Ocean" too.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick B.
I must be getting old because I don't know a lot of these songs but any list is subjective and the author of this one misses some great songs and guitarists.
I was listening to MS Queen recently and still think what a great song and a short song too. What about Ernest Isley and Who's That Lady? What about Jeff Beck , Alvin Lee, Ronnie Montrose, Johnny Winter just to name a few. What about groups like Free, Foghat, sorry, I'll stop here. I was not saved in the 70's and went to a lot of concerts.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill
Bill - You can be saved and still go to a lot of concerts. Unless, of course you are a Southern Baptist.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
I think the list is good, and I recognize about 80% of the licks without playing the audio and 95% of the bands, so that was nice.

Two comments: One, when seeing Voodoo Chile at number two, I am a firm believer that as iconic as Hendrix was, pick a different Hendrix riff because Stevie Ray Vaughn played Voodoo Chile just plain better. Two, I'm not one to argue with the Stones in the top spot as I believe they firmly deserve the title of "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band." However, the last 30 seconds of "Sway" is transcendent.

As to the Smiths, they were all about Morrissey's vocals and song writing. I don't think they belong on the list, either.

Great list. Thanks.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMerlin
I will go for Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" as the best on the list. Second, I'll go with "Smoke on the Water, by Deep Purple.

In one of Neil Young's songs, he says that it is better to burn out than to fade away. I don't think that Neil imagined that he would still be cranking out the hits for four decades!

Neil and Eric Clapton are still going strong.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Merlin - I think that the Beatles are the greatest Rock 'n Roll band.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd I. Cadle
Stairway to Heaven, Locomotive Breath, Aqualung, Highway Star from Zep, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, respectively. Where are they?!

Who makes up these lists--are they clueless?

I agree with Stones and Hendrix boggles the mind at the oversight, though.
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrobin
We thank you for the list!!! I don't think the Stones deserve the top mainly because the list is supposed to be about guitar riffs - not the overall ability. When I think of guitar, I don't think of the Stones, the ugliest group of men ever assembled!
January 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhb
I also notice Joe Satriani is nowhere to be found - "Surfing with the alien" for example.
January 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpb
How about Queen? Bohemian Rhapsody has some sick riffs.
January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPreston
Glaring omission:

Jeff Beck's "Beck's Bolero"

Also missing:

The Amboy Duke's "Journey to the Center of the Mind"
January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Warren
some surprising choices here. the meters and funkadelic are 2 of my favorite bands and i didn't expect either of those tracks. hah! iron maiden's the trooper and sly and the stone's sing a simple song are well deserved on this list.
January 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpryce
What stands out is what's left out. Joe Walsh gets a couple of nods, but one should have been for "Rocky Mountain Way". And, only one mention of AC/DC? Are you kidding me?
January 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBill in Texas
I have heard most of them but the Funkadelic Hit it and Quick is just as my son says is sick. the Bass riff and Guitar is killer

These are God given talents but sadly in today's modern music you hardly hear this anymore.
January 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

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