Top 20 Rock Riffs Of All Time

A new list compiling the Greatest Rock Guitar Riff Ever has just been revealed and include Led Zeps, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Nirvana ad more.

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A new list compiling the Greatest Rock Guitar Riff Ever has just been revealed, and includes songs by Metallica, Muse, Rage Against The Machine and Queens Of The Stone Age. But who tops the poll? The new poll appears in Total Guitar magazine, and intends to recognise the most impressive piece of rock plank spankery ever committed to record.

While there are creditable entries for modern acts including Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name" (#20), Queens Of The Stone Age's "No One Knows" (#18) and "Plug In Baby" by Muse (#13) the chart really belongs to the classics.

Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" tops the list with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" just behind. Another GN'R song "Paradise City" is on the 19th place. Elsewhere the old guard of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix dominate the top ten. Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and "Master Of Puppets" masterpieces entered the top list at 5th and 7th place accordingly.

The full list is:

01. Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine" 02. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 03. Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love" 04. Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water" 05. Metallica - "Enter Sandman" 06. Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton - "Layla" 07. Metallica - "Master Of Puppets" 08. AC/DC - "Back In Black" 09. Jimi Hendrix - "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" 10. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" 11. Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train" 12. Free - "All Right Now" 13. Muse - "Plug In Baby" 14. Led Zeppelin - "Black Dog" 15. Van Halen - "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" 16. Aerosmith w Run DMC - "Walk This Way" 17. Cream - "Sunshine Of Your Love" 18. Queens Of The Stone Age - "No One Knows" 19. Guns N' Roses - "Paradise City" 20. Rage Against The Machine - "Killing In The Name"

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    Saucy112
    i hope u guys enjoy my short little posts, i didnt want to write alot at first and then things just started poopin into my head
    Aetius
    srinkc you idiot, Joe satriani isn't the greatest... Nobody beats Hendrix.. When Hendrix died, Clapton took the crown of both best bassist and best electric player. Joe satriani comes close but he'll need to better to beat Hendrix and Clapton.
    jakalope
    i couldnt disagree with this list more. people who makw these lists should start listening to the artists cds, not the fukin singles.
    TomSk
    stupid magazines telling you whats the best again. Absolute rubbish.
    Axemaniac078
    Why does every1 hate Nirvana? Just because Nirvana was 1 of the first bands to write music for the SONG over the guitar line? Their music is creative, and if you guys are good enough to diss nirvana, why arent u all in great bands? mayb u dont have enough friends to form bands? What about Purple Haze?
    jockus
    01. Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine" 07.... Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 03. Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love" 04. Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water" 05. Metallica - "Enter Sandman" 06. Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton - "Layla" 02..... Metallica - "Master Of Puppets" 08. AC/DC - "Back In Black" 09. Jimi Hendrix - "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" 10. Black Sabbath - "Paranoid" 11. Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train" 12. Free - "All Right Now" 13. Muse - "Plug In Baby" 14. Led Zeppelin - "Black Dog" 15. Van Halen - "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" 16. Aerosmith w Run DMC - "Walk This Way" 17. Cream - "Sunshine Of Your Love" 18. Queens Of The Stone Age - "No One Knows" 19. Guns N' Roses - "Paradise City" 20. Rage Against The Machine - "Killing In The Name"
    sicarlako
    i think metallica should take the crown. they are all hard rockers and really deserved it
    OffspringPhreak
    meh, i don't agree with some on the list, i give them credit for saying "look this is my opinion" though. about some of the songs that are "super easy"- i thought REAL MUSIC was about the feeling, not technicality....
    meadowskid
    these are all catchy songs, which is basicly what the title implies. and you gotta admit, even if you dont think nirvana should be in there you've gotta admit, smells like teen spirit is a very catchy riff, although very easy to play. and everytime nirvana gets into a top ten or top onehundred or top anything, the whole response is people complaining. if you dont think that it should be there then you should have voted against it. there is a reason why nirvana is famous, they had really catchy riffs. which is what this list is about, but honestly i would like to see more GnR in these lists.
    zepplinmike
    FYI- Izzy wrote most of the songs on Appetite for Destruction, so credit should probably go to him. Anyway people, stop making a big deal about these stupid, stupid lists.
    daytripper75
    atleast nirvana isnt #1 for once, though they shouldnt be on that list at all in my opinion. i love nirvana but compared to a lot of other bands their stuff isnt that great.
    ed_banger
    what are muse and QOTSA doing in the top 20, yeh they are alright riffs but there hardly classics like Crazy Train and Sweet child o mine.
    JPGR93
    The list is pretty shitty i admit, one band i havent heard anyone mention but really does deserve credit are....The Beatles. No one here can say that they hate EVERY SINGLE song the Beatles made. Day Tripper, And Your Bird Can Sing, Paperback Writer, Sgt. Pepper, I Wanna Hold Your Hand. All these unforgettable riffs, some hard, some simple but all influential to rock as we know it today.....
    Encore_God
    shut the *** up. just read the goddamn thing. and ive never even heard of "rainbow" and ive been exposed to quite a bit of music.
    Then you need to keep listening. Rainbow at their height were one of the greatest rock bands ever. Ever.
    jamm
    FYI- Izzy wrote most of the songs on Appetite for Destruction, so credit should probably go to him. Anyway people, stop making a big deal about these stupid, stupid lists.
    in case you didn't know the riff for sweet child is something slash used for warming up before playing
    jimmypagerules!
    1.Black Dog-Led Zeppelin 2.Heartbreaker- Led Zeppelin 3.The Ocean-Led Zeppelin 4.Moby Dick-Led Zeppelin 5.Stairway to Heaven-Led Zeppelin 6.Communication Breakdown-Led Zeppelin 7.Dazed and Confused-Led Zeppelin 8.Good Times Bad Times-Led Zeppelin 9.Immigrant Song-Led Zeppelin 10.Nobody's Fault But Mine-Led Zeppelin 11.Rock And Roll-Led Zeppelin 12.The Crunge-Led Zeppelin 13.The Rover-Led Zeppelin 14.For Your Life-Led Zeppelin 15.Kashmir-Led Zeppelin 16.Bring it on home-Led Zeppelin 17.In My Time Of Dying-Led Zeppelin 18.Whole Lotta Love-Led Zeppelin 19.Living Loving Maid-Led Zeppelin 20.In The Evening-Led Zeppelin as u may see led zep rule
    Aetius
    base riffs? You should see the riffs of Plug in baby, Hysteria, Stockholm Syndrome. Utterly great. You know what, even I could make a list of top 20 riffs, the current list is too biased anyway.
    RossDev
    Well, the reason nirvana comes second is probably because this is a 'best riffs' poll, and to make a good riff, it is supposed to be one that is remembered, and the four chords at the start of '..teen spirit' are probably the most memorable of rock etc in a long while, whether you like it or not etc
    Aetius
    the base-line in Hysteria (muse) is great. If there was a top 20 base-lines, muse would have many titles..
    GuitarJunkie
    1.)leave cream, hendrix, and deep purple as is 2.)leave zeppelin on there, but not that song...one of their better songs...i mean cmon 3.)nirvan=SHOULENT BE ON LIST 4.)STEPPENWOLF should be on this 5.)maybe one metallica song...MAYBE
    shreddgod
    1. Stairway to heaven led zeppelin 2. Paranoid black sabbath 3. smoke on the water deep purple 4. enter sandman metallica 5. Iron man black sabbath 6. Cowboys from hell pantera 7. back in black AC/DC 8. raining blood slayer 9. fade to black metallica 10. sabbra caddabra black sabbath 11. symphony of destruction megadeth 12. post mortem slayer 13. du hast rammstein .... you do the rest, thats MINE.... The ACTUAL list is stupid, WHY ISN'T cowboys from hell in there??? this is insane, or raining blood??? you're probably wondering why "du hast" is on there, well why not? its a better riff, to me, then "smells like teen spirit" pull your pencils out of your asses...
    metOLIca
    this list is aiight...axcept for smells like teen spirit....yeah its catchy but not the best at all..... its the firts song that EVERYBODY learns...so how does that make it one of the ebst riffs...every single metallica song would beat that...and wheres seek and destroy...thats the best...METALLICA KICK FUCKING ASS!!!!
    transcend
    do any of you realize that this list is determined by what MOST people would agree on? teen spirit is up there because it's one of the most regonizable and most loved riffs in recent music. granted, it's not loved by the elitist "my dick is bigger" guitar masterbaters that populate this site, but by many other people who actually enjoy the music they listen to. and what personally would put on the list doesn't matter, because it's meant to reflect a MAJORITY OPINION. no one will agree with it entirely, because it was probably a poll. which means that most people do agree with much of the list, because if they didn't they would have choosen other riffs. i really didn't think it was that hard to understand. so regardless of your approvel, the list stands, and remains true as what it is.
    JPGR93
    Also if you'll click that Total Guitar link at the top of the page you'll notice the page that comes up says EUROPE'S Best Selling Guitar Magazine, not all bands are popular everywhere, which also backs up my point about the Beatles, if you asked someone almost anywhere in the world theyve heard about the Beatles but you cant do that for some of these bands like Creed and Third Eye Blind. Just a thought....
    smitti_cr4
    By the quality of this list, Im surprised the Venga Boys arent in the top 20!!
    rooks
    Any "best riff" list that doesn't contain ACDC's "Thunderstruck" can't be taken seriously!
    GoodCharloteSux
    i think One was a much better song than entersandman Freedon by Rage the intro is awesome much better than killing in the name! No One Knows is nothing!!!!! cmon u might as well put fat lip or sumthin.JK
    kornunit7
    luka krolo: guns n roses and metallica rulz but nirvana sux. smells like teen spirit is worst ever. agree sweet child first but muster of puppets should be second [POSTED: 06 May 2004 - 10:46]| Yeah i totally agree Master Of Puppets is probably the hardest song on the planet to play.I play bass and i just finished the song after 2 months its wikid f**in challenging and i can't imagine how hard it must be to play on guitar.
    iwhiwy
    This whole discussion board and only one person has mentioned Even Flow. Maybe there's only 14 people in the world who though that Even Flow deserved a top 20 nod...and I'm one of them...
    sappy_blew_u
    OK, heres where 99% OF U PIGS ARE WRONG. The list is BEST RIFFS of all time not BEST BADNS OF ALL TIME so get it right all u try hard metal head nirvana abusers and all that shit. by the way, nirvana and metallica didnt CREATE all the shitty bands, SHITTY MUSICIANS created shity bands, if they were smart enough to be inspired by them they would make good music but they're too caught up with making money and being apart for the modern marketing radio-friendly shit music of today so they go off in a totally different direction. and for all u nirvana haters, i'd like to see u write songs as great as kurt did and make history while doing so u ***ing ******* maggots.