Is Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' Really The Best Guitar Riff Ever?

Tags: Led Zeppelin - Robert Plant - Jimmy Page

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Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' has been named the Greatest Guitar Riff of all time in a BBC Radio 2 poll. The blues riff played by Jimmy Page beat the likes of The White Stripes, Nirvana and Metallica. The riff is also recognised by many as the soundtrack of Top of the Pops throughout the 1970s.

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin in 1973 [Getty/Hulton Archive]

Page said of the honor: "I'm knocked out by this, because I didn't expect that to happen. 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. There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing."

In second place was Slash's riff on the Guns N' Roses track 'Sweet Child O'Mine', while AC/DC's 'Back in Black was third. Deep Purples 'Smoke on the Water' came in fourth place while 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominoes came in fifth.

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Indie fans will have been pleased to see Johnny Marr in at six for his work on The Smiths' 'How Soon Is Now?', while Nile Rodgers' signature guitar sound on Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' snuck in at 100. 

As well as being notable for its riff, 'Whole Lotta Love' is regularly ranked amongst the greatest rock songs of all time. In 2004, Rolling Stone listed it at No.75 in a list of the 500 Greatest Songs, while Q magazine placed it at No.3 in its list of 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. 

In rock folklore, 'Whole Lotta Love' was apparently the song Jeff Buckley was singing while wading into the Mississippi River in 1997. He drowned shortly afterwards  .

More: Jimmy Page honored with doctorate degree


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Abhijit Talukder's picture

Abhijit Talukder

"Whole Lotta Love' is THE GREATEST & BEST GUITAR RIFF EVER!!!!!! PERIOD!

5 months 5 days ago
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dball's picture

dball

Is it really a question Contactmusic?? The people have spoken...you can remove that question mark in the title.

5 months 5 days ago
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