Riffing on guitar riffs

As part of BBC Radio 2’s guitar season they are asking listeners to vote for the greatest ever guitar riff. They’ve identified 100 riffs to choose from. It’s a diverse group to say the least, and I’ve found it challenging to pick a favourite.

The first time that I ploughed my way through them, I tended to favour songs that I liked or songs by groups that I liked. Then I watched a TV programme on BBC Four The Joy of the Guitar Riff, and I adapted my thought process. I re-visited the list to see which riffs had influenced other musicians or really captured the essence of the song/made it gel. My revised top 5 only contains 1 song that I have a copy of. Putting them in order and choosing one to vote for was well-nigh impossible.

If you’re interested, the five songs are:

  • Chic – Good Times
  • Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
  • The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
  • Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode
  • U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love)

… and I voted for Edwyn Collins (I really like the acoustic version in the video below).

If you want to take part you’ll need to be quick – voting closes on 25 July 2014.



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