Which is the greatest guitar riff?
Published 14/07/2014 | 19:08
Arctic Monkeys take on acts such as Guns N' Roses, Daft Punk and The Beatles in a search for the greatest guitar riff of all time.
In the hunt for the perfect combination of power chords, hammer-ons, pull-offs, double stops, string bending and whammy bars, a list of 100 tracks has been compiled by experts for BBC Radio 2, with artists as diverse as Buddy Holly, Pink Floyd, Isaac Hayes and Metallica also in the running.
But organisers have ruled that acts can only be represented just once in the list which means popular tracks such as Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix and Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks are edged out in favour of other songs.
And there is no place for stadium-filling rock heroes Muse, despite their song Plug-In Baby being ranked the greatest riff of the past few years in a poll of guitar players. It has now replaced Stairway To Heaven as one of the prime choices for musicians testing out new gear in guitar shops.
Although they were spoilt for choice for Led Zeppelin riffs, it was Whole Lotta Love which made the grade, Queen are listed for One Vision and Hendrix is represented by his work on Purple Haze.
No riff was allowed from a solo performer which was already included with a group, although musicians who had riffed on tracks by more than one act were allowed - meaning that Nile Rodgers' contributions to Daft Punk's Get Lucky and also Chic's Good Times were both allowed.
The most recent release on the list is last year's Do I Really Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys, with No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age and Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes leading the charge for the 21st century.
Tracks from the days when the electric guitar was coming into its own include C'mon Everbody by Eddie Cochran, Holly's Words Of Love, Rumble by Link Wray and Apache by British guitar pioneers The Shadows.
The varied list - which also includes Hocus Pocus by Dutch prog rock band Focus, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Blur's Song 2 and A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins - was announced by Radio 2 presenter Simon Mayo.
And listeners are being invited to vote for their favourites at bbc.co.uk/radio2 with the top choices counted down during a programme on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25.
Jeff Smith, head of music at the station, said: "We've all been brought up with the most amazing guitar riffs throughout the history of pop music, but our trusty panel have drawn up a strong and eclectic mix we know our Radio 2 listeners are going to love."
The vote ties in with the guitar season which features on Radio 2, 6 Music and BBC4.
:: The top 100 in alphabetical order by song title:
20th Century Boy - T. Rex
A Girl Like You - Edwyn Collins
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love - Van Halen
Alive - Pearl Jam
All Right Now - Free
Apache - The Shadows
Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
Atomic - Blondie
Back In Black - AC/DC
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Block Buster! - Sweet
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker
Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
C'mon Everybody - Eddie Cochran
Cannonball - The Breeders
Cigarettes & Alcohol - Oasis
Day Tripper - The Beatles
Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Don't Believe A Word - Thin Lizzy
Down Down - Status Quo
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor
Fools Gold - The Stone Roses
Get Lucky - Daft Punk
Good Times - Chic
Hocus Pocus - Focus
How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths
I Can't Explain - The Who
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Jack & Diane - John Mellencamp
Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
Killing in The Name - Rage Against The Machine
Layla - Derek And The Dominoes
Life In The Fast Lane - Eagles
Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi
Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll - Rainbow
Loser - Beck
Ma-Ma-Ma Belle - Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters
Marquee Moon - Television
Milk and Alcohol - Dr. Feelgood
Misirlou - Dick Dale
Money - Pink Floyd
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers
Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds
My Sharona - The Knack
Need You Tonight - INXS
No One Knows - Queens of The Stone Age
No Surprises - Radiohead
Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac
One Vision - Queen
Paranoid - Black Sabbath
Peter Gunn - Duane Eddy
Pretty Vacant - Sex Pistols
Pride (In The Name Of Love) - U2
Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Rocks - Primal Scream
Rumble - Link Wray
Run To You - Bryan Adams
Running Down A Dream - Tom Petty
September - Earth, Wind & Fire
Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
Shakin' All Over - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple
Song 2 - Blur
Spoonman - Soundgarden
Stay With Me - Faces
Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
That Lady - The Isley Brothers
The One I Love - R.E.M.
The Riverboat Song - Ocean Colour Scene
The Spirit Of Radio - Rush
Theme From Shaft - Isaac Hayes
There She Goes - The La's
Unbelievable - EMF
Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Walk This Way - Aerosmith (and Aerosmith & Run DMC)
Wheels - Foo Fighters
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
Words of Love - Buddy Holly
You Really Got Me - The Kinks
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
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