BBC Picks Top Ten Guitar Riffs

London's BBC Radio 2 Picks the "Greatest Guitar Riffs of All Time."
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Might be a bit of national pride at work here, but the audience of England's BBC Radio 2 voted Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" as the greatest guitar riff of all time. The Zep classic was selected from a list of 100 guitar riffs prepared by a panel of DJs, music critics, and record producers.

"Whole Lotta Love is one of the most important guitar riffs of the 20th century," said panelist and producer Steve Levine. "The moment you hear literally two notes of it, you know exactly what it is."

Jimmy Page, the creator of that kick-ass riff, reported that he was "knocked out" by winning the top spot.

"I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces, but when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive," said Page. "There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing, as well as quite sort of caressing."

America did capture the number two spot, by the way, with "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'N Roses. And while any guitarist who frequents a music store has likely heard Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" played about a million times, that riff only made it to the number four slot.

Here's the complete Top Ten List...

[1] "Whole Lotta Love," Led Zeppelin

[2] "Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns 'N Roses

[3] "Back in Black," AC/DC

[4] "Smoke On The Water," Deep Purple

[5] "Layla," Derek and The Dominoes

[6] "How Soon Is Now?," The Smiths

[7] "Down Down," Status Quo

[8] "Money For Nothing," Dire Straits

[9] "You Really Got Me," The Kinks

[10] "Money," Pink Floyd