50 величайших гитарных риффов в истории Рок-н-ролла

50 величайших гитарных риффов в истории Рок-н-ролла по версии Spinner. Beat it на 42 месте.

Pearl Jam (1991)
Stone Gossard came up with the opening riff for grunge's biggest anthem while he was in Seattle's legendary Mother Love Bone with fellow future Pearl Jam member Jeff Ament. The demo, originally called 'Dollar Short,' eventually made its way into the hands of a part-time gas station attendant named Eddie Vedder. The rest, as they say, is history.
Stone Gossard
Redferns / Getty Images
'Girl U Want'
Devo (1980)
Ironically, the album that cemented Devo's New Wave synth-pop legacy (1980's 'Freedom of Choice') opens with their most rockin' guitar line — just ask the monster riff-meisters in Soundgarden, who covered the song in 1992.
Bob Mothersbaugh
Redferns / Getty Images
'Dig Me Out'
Sleater Kinney (1997)
Despite being the highest-ranking woman on Rolling Stone's «Most Underrated Guitarists of All Time» list, Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein isn't one to fly below the radar. Just listen to the adrenalized opening chords of 'Dig Me Out,' a supercharged blast of string-snapping punk energy that just screams «look at me!»
Carrie Brownstein
Theo Wargo, WireImage
'My Girl'
The Temptations (1965)
Robert White of the Funk Brothers, Motown Records' legendary stable of session musicians, provided the riff on the Temptations' first No. 1 single, which features a pair of major pentatonic scales. We don't know what that last part means, either, but it's probably a musicological term for «wicked catchy.»
Getty Images
'Plug In Baby'
Muse (2001)
England's newest guitar hero, Muse's Matt Bellamy, cemented his status with this finger-breaking play on Bach's 'Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565' (aka «that creepy organ tune everyone plays around Halloween»).
Matt Bellamy
Redferns / Getty Images
'Feel the Pain'
Dinosaur Jr (1994)
Just a year after Spin proclaimed, Dinosaur Jr's «J Mascis is God,» the slacker generation's answer to Clapton smashed two lazy little guitar lines together into one of indie rock's most indelible riffs.
Dinosaur Jr
Redferns / Getty Images
'The Trooper'
Iron Maiden (1983)
Based on Alfred Lord Tennyson's great war poem 'The Charge of the Light Brigade,' 'The Trooper' is Iron Maiden's furious call to arms, with Dave Murray and Adrian Smith's perfectly harmonized dual-guitar attack leading the way into battle.
Dave Murray
Redferns / Getty Images
Iron Butterfly (1968)
A perfect mix of heavy (as in «like, wow, man») and heavy (as in «metal»), Iron Butterfly's seemingly endless 17-minute magnum opus tries your patience as it blows your mind. Luckily, 17-year-old guitarist Erik Brann had the youthful endurance to sustain that fuzzed-out minor-key riff, which remains a classic at any length.
Iron Butterfly
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Beat It'
Michael Jackson (1983)
How does the (soon-to-be) biggest pop star in history spice up his most rockin' song to date? Simple: Jackson calls Eddie Van Halen, then the biggest guitarist on Earth. But Eddie contributed only the solo; the song's distinctive riff was played by Toto guitarist and session musician Steve Lukather.
Steve Lukather
Redferns / Getty Images
'Cinnamon Girl'
Neil Young (1969)
Neil Young is rightly heralded as a master of the guitar solo, but he can stomp out a riff with the best of them, too. In perhaps the purest example, the deceptively simple up-and-down of 'Cinnamon Girl' is achieved through a complex combination of «double-drop» tuning and being one of the most badass guitar players ever.
Neil Young
Getty Images
'Sweet Home Alabama'
Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
You're damn right, «Turn it up.» Former Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King, who joined Skynyrd as a bassist in 1972, had recently switched back to guitar when he came up with this Southern rock gem in a dream.
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Teen Age Riot'
Sonic Youth (1988)
The one-two punch of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo has never been more, dare we say, transcendent than on the opening track of 1988's 'Daydream Nation.' A wild, asymmetrical monster of weird tunings and mind-boggling interplay, it's one of the signature riffs of the «modern rock» era.
Sonic Youth
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
'Life in the Fast Lane'
The Eagles (1976)
Glenn Frey had been mulling over the phrase «life in the fast lane» ever since taking a high-speed car ride with the band's drug dealer, but it wasn't until he heard the newest Eagle, Joe Walsh, play a riff during practice that it all came together. Walsh's slick intro formed the song's backbone and, according to Frey, solidified Walsh's place in the lineup.
The Eagles
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Oh, Pretty Woman'
Roy Orbison (1964)
When Roy Orbison's wife asked for some cash to go shopping, Orbison's co-writer, Bill Dees, noted that a «pretty woman never needs any money.» Orbison started picking away on his 12-string, and within 40 minutes, 'Oh, Pretty Woman' was in the books.
Roy Orbison
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Ace of Spades'
Motorhead (1980)
When Lemmy Kilmister persuaded Motorhead guitarist «Fast» Eddie Clarke to use a «darker» riff (by moving from the A string to E), the ideal soundtrack for running from the cops was born. Yet despite the song's nefarious tone and metaphorical overtones, Lemmy claims this ultimate outlaw's anthem really is just about playing cards.
Redferns / Getty Images
'Sharp Dressed Man'
ZZ Top (1982)
That little ol' band from Texas had been laying down asphalt-melting licks for well over a decade when ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons (wielding his famous Mexican peso guitar pick) ripped out this Southern-fried masterpiece — and encouraged a generation of rockers to go buy a suit.
ZZ Top
Redferns / Getty Images
'Mr. Tambourine Man'
The Byrds (1965)
Admittedly, most of the stuff on this list is «funky» or «heavy,» but that doesn't mean there's no room for «pretty.» On the Byrds' first single, Jim (later Roger) McGuinn's chiming 12-string Rickenbacker gave birth to the band's distinctive «jingle-jangle» sound (and purportedly persuaded the song's author, Bob Dylan, to go electric himself).
The Byrds
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
Nirvana (1991)
The riff that killed hair metal starts out almost placid, until Kurt Cobain steps on the pedal — literally — and ushers in the era of angst. Though music journalists have spilled gallons of ink on its significance, we still can't get our heads around the smoking crater Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' left in the history of rock.
Kurt Cobain
Kevin Mazur, WireImage
'Raining Blood'
Slayer (1986)
The two most common reactions to Slayer axeman Jeff Hannemann's «lacerating» central riff are a) uncontrollable head-banging, and b) cowering in a fetal position and crying. Both reactions make sense, because a) the riff is a work of face-melting genius, and b) it's a song about getting drenched in the blood of angels while conquering heaven.
Marty Temme, WireImage
'Le Freak'
Chic (1978)
After getting turned away by a Studio 54 bouncer on New Year's Eve, Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards went back to Rodgers' place for a champagne — and anger-fueled jam session. Despite the bad vibes (and their original chorus of «Aaaaahh, f--- off!»), Rodgers made lemonade with the best guitar line of the disco era.
Redferns / Getty Images
'Killing in the Name'
Rage Against the Machine (1992)
Does this song make anyone else want to set stuff on fire and bring down the government? Rage Against the Machine's lead singer Zach de la Rocha's multi-culti radical politics are well known, but Tom Morello is the band's true champion of diversity. He mixes a grab-bag of influences, from Pantera to Devo to P-Funk, into an all-out assault on The Man ... and your eardrums.
Rage Against the Machine
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
'House of the Rising Sun'
The Animals (1964)
Far and away the oldest song on this list, at least in terms of pedigree, 'House of the Rising Sun' is an American folk ballad that some have traced back to 18th-century England. The song had already been recorded by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and several others when the Animals' Hilton Valentine plugged in his guitar and dragged it into the age of electric.
The Animals
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
'Seven Nation Army'
The White Stripes (2003)
Essentially a bass riff in disguise, Jack White's menacing opening chords are already being deployed as psychological warfare: According to every college marching band in America, the White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army' strikes immediate fear in the hearts of one's enemies.
The White Stripes
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage
'Crazy Train'
Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
Something about Ozzy must bring out the best in others; he appears twice on this list without picking up a guitar. Rumor has it that, prior to his tragic death at age 25, metal prodigy Randy Rhoads was preparing to quit Ozzy's band to study classical guitar. Based on 'Crazy Train,' he was certainly up to the challenge.
Randy Rhoads
Fin Costello, Redferns
'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love'
Van Halen (1978)
The only Van Halen single that never cracked the charts just happens to feature some of Eddie Van Halen's finest guitar work. And that's saying a lot. At first, Eddie didn't even think the riff was worth playing for the band, but over the years it has proven itself worthy, popping up everywhere from hip-hop samples to sports arenas the world over.
Van Halen
Fin Costello/Redferns

'Sing a Simple Song'
Sly and the Family Stone (1968)
Freddie Stone's ringing Telecaster helped push funk into the spotlight in the late '60s and early '70s, and Sly and the Family Stone's 'Sing a Simple Song' is his crowning achievement. Featuring a booty-swinging lead that's anything but «simple,» it's become one of the most-covered funk songs of all time.
Freddie Stone
Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images
'Walk This Way'
Aerosmith (1975)
Although Steven Tyler claims it was a nod to Yardbirds-style blues, Joe Perry, who came up with the strutting Aerosmith riff during a soundcheck in Hawaii, says he was going for a funk sound somewhere in between the Meters and James Brown. Perry's fears that it was «dangerously close to disco» were unfounded, but Russell Simmons and Run-DMC did notice its hip-hop potential.
Joe Perry
Fin Costello, Redferns
The Allman Brothers (1973)
Just over a year after the motorcycle death of Duane Allman (and just weeks after the eerily similar motorcycle death of bassist Berry Oakley), Dickey Betts and Les Dudek put together this instrumental, named after Betts' daughter. As the Allman Brothers' a tribute to legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt, who could use only two fingers on his fretting hand, Betts plays the entire thing with only two of his own.
Dickey Betts
GAB Archive/Redferns
'Boom Boom'
John Lee Hooker (1961)
An early inspiration to people with names like Page, Clapton and Richards, John Lee Hooker's Delta-blues milestone and its influence can't be overstated. Without this call-and-response stomp, you could forget about blues-rock bands from the White Stripes to the Black Keys.
John Lee Hooker
Val Wilmer/Redferns/Getty Images
'I Wanna Be Your Dog'
The Stooges (1969)
When it comes to rock 'n' roll, emotion trumps artistry nine times out of 10, and the Stooges' 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' is a beast of pure, primal desire. Ron Asheton's three monstrous chords crawled out of the primordial ooze, plugged directly into mankind's collective lizard brain, and gave messy birth to the toil and trouble of punk rock.
Ron Asheton
Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty
'Funk 49'
James Gang (1970)
Featuring the riff that launched a thousand beer commercials, 'Funk 49' was the signature song of the James Gang, a Cleveland trio that featured a young guitarist named Joe Walsh. Let's just say there's a reason Walsh appears on this list twice.
Joe Walsh
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Look-ka Py Py'
The Meters (1969)
The Meters' Leo Nocentelli's head-bobbing up-high, down-low (with a little single-note funk flourish thrown in) is the quintessential New Orleans groove — ridiculously funky, but laid-back enough for dancing in 100 percent humidity.
Leo Nocentelli
Gilles Petard/ Redferns
Derek and the Dominoes (1970)
For all the talk of heartache and scandal — Clapton wrote the song about George Harrison's then-wife, Patti, whom Clapton would soon steal away — the song's «tortured» riff came courtesy of Duane Allman. Still, he and Clapton play the absolute hell out of it.
Eric Clapton
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
'Smoke on the Water'
Deep Purple (1972)
Talk about getting back to basics. Ritchie Blackmore originally came up with the Deep Purple riff during a jam session, but he thought it was too simple to use in a song. Maybe that's why it's Planet Earth's unofficial «First Guitar Riff Everybody Learns.»
Ritchie Blackmore
Jorgen Angel/ Redferns
'20th Century Boy'
T. Rex (1973)
The British glam scene may have been all about glitter and makeup, but it produced some really macho guitar sounds. In terms of pure ferocity, nothing comes close to Marc Bolan's monstrous opening chords on T. Rex's '20th Century Boy,' an uncharacteristically heavy tune that pushed his trademark Les Paul to the limits.
Marc Bolan
Jan Persson/ Redferns
'This Charming Man'
The Smiths (1983)
In the mid-1980s, most of the jaw-dropping guitar acrobatics were being performed by dudes in metal bands, but a pale Mancunian lad called Johnny Marr was doing things with «jangle pop» that still blow minds today. Just listening to the Smiths' 'This Charming Man' — which sounds like the fretwork of at least two people — makes our fingers tired.
Johnny Marr and Morrissey
Redferns / Getty Images
'Hit It and Quit It'
Funkadelic (1971)
Remain motionless while listening to this song. Seriously, try it. Yeah, we couldn't do it, either. Only one man ever challenged Jimi Hendrix for wah-wah-pedal supremacy, and that man was Eddie Hazel, master of funk guitar. Funkadelic's 'Hit It and Quit It,' with its sticky melding of funk and hard rock, can be heard in the heavy grooves of everyone from Living Colour to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Eddie Hazel
Gilles Petard/Redferns
'Rebel Rebel'
David Bowie (1974)
A song about, you guessed it, a rebel who likes to dress up in women's clothing requires a certain amount of strut, and Bowie provides it in spades. For his first glam hit without guitar god Mick Ronson by his side, Bowie pulled out all the stops, coming up with a raunchy, ballsy riff and then declaring his independence by playing it himself.
David Bowie
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
'Sunshine of Your Love'
Cream (1968)
Clapton again, playing another riff written by someone else. Naturally, Old Slow Hand came up with the song's classic 'Blue Moon'–inspired solo, but it was bassist Jack Bruce who created the supergroup Cream's most distinctive riff, after he and Clapton saw Jimi Hendrix in concert.
Jack Bruce
Jorgen Angel, Redf
'Day Tripper'
The Beatles (1965)
At the height of their powers, the Beatles could take one person's great idea and turn it into three minutes of utter perfection. John Lennon came into the studio with lyrics and that terrific bluesy hook, and through the miracle of double-tracking and a brilliant co-lead from George Harrison, they created a guitar masterpiece.
John Lennon
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
'Enter Sandman'
Metallica (1991)
'Enter Sandman,' probably the best-known metal song on Earth, was a major turning point for the band. Kirk Hammett «knew it wasn't your basic Metallica song,» but at the time he had no idea what he'd created. «I used to think it'd be great to write a riff like 'Smoke on the Water.' I guess it happened!»
Kirk Hammett
Mick Hutson, Redferns
'Money for Nothing'
Dire Straits (1985)
Dire Straits' Mark Knopffler certainly gets points for his sense of the dramatic. After a massive build-up that sounds like an orchestra tuning, everything cuts out just in time for his big entrance. But that «crunchy» guitar sound almost didn't make it to tape: A recording engineer claims it was the result of an accidental microphone placement.
Mark Knopffler
Ebet Roberts, Redferns
'Back in Black'
AC/DC (1981)
According to legend, Malcolm Young was going to trash the tape of what would become AC/DC's 'Back in Black' opening riff, but his brother Angus persuaded him to hold onto it. When original lead singer Bon Scott died, the brothers polished up the original, and new singer Brian Johnson added the lyrics as a tribute to Scott.
Angus Young
Clayton Call, Redferns
'Sweet Child o' Mine'
Guns N' Roses (1987)
The most iconic riff of the 1980s started off as a joke and was dismissed by its creator as «completely sappy.» Slash was apparently just trying to make Steven Adler laugh, «making funny faces and acting like an idiot,» when he played those opening notes. Luckily for us, the rest of Guns N' Roses managed to convince him it wasn't a total waste of time.
Robert Knight Archive / Redferns
'You Really Got Me'
The Kinks (1964)
Two chords and a snotty attitude were all the Kinks needed to «invent» hard rock. OK, that last part is a bit of an overstatement, but Dave Davies did slash open his amplifier with a razor blade in order to maximize the crackle and distortion in those demonic power chords. That, at the very least, is punk rock.
Dave Davies
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Johnny B. Goode'
Chuck Berry (1958)
A song by a guitar genius about a guitar genius was bound to be a work of, well ... guitar genius Chuck Berry. No matter what 'Back to the Future' tells us, 'Johnny B. Goode' didn't give birth to rock 'n' roll (the riff is just a supercharged version of Louis Jordan's 'Ain't That Just Like a Woman'), but it was undoubtedly a giant leap forward.
Chuck Berry
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Led Zeppelin (1969)
Picking the best Jimmy Page riff is a lot like picking the best sexual position: You can make a convincing argument for most of them. Some involve more technique and manual dexterity ('Black Dog'), while others involve sheer power ('Kashmir'), but they all leave you tired and happy. We're going with Led Zeppelin's 'Heartbreaker' because, well, we had to pick one, and it kicks copious amounts of ass.
Jimmy Page
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Iron Man'
Black Sabbath (1970)
Most songs get «played on the radio» or «come out of your speakers.» Not 'Iron Man.' 'Iron Man' stalks the Earth. It lurches across continents, devouring all in its path. The riff is so mammoth, the rest of the song was written around it by Sabbath after Ozzy Osbourne pointed out that it sounds «like a big iron bloke walking about.»
Toni Ioomi
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)'
Jimi Hendrix (1968)
Most guitarists will tell you that, top to bottom, 'Voodoo Child' is the single greatest electric guitar song ever recorded. So there's that. The truly scary part? Hendrix and the band nailed the track on a lark, when a visiting TV crew asked them to look busy in the studio.
Jimi Hendrix
David Redfern, Redferns
'(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'
Rolling Stones (1965)
Hey, guitarists, you might consider putting a recording device next to your bed. Like many of mankind's greatest inventions, the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction' arrived in a dream. According to Keith Richards, he woke up just long enough to record three things: 1) the phrase «I can't get no satisfaction,» 2) the most iconic three chords in rock 'n' roll history, and 3) 40 minutes of snoring.
Keith Richards
Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

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