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LED ZEPPELIN, BLACK SABBATH, METALLICA And More Featured In ‘Top 10 Greatest Riffs Of All Time’

Here's the top 10 greatest riffs of all time as voted by Guitar World readers.

Jimmy Page’s recognizable, yet simple riff from LED ZEPPELIN’s classic “Whole Lotta Love” has been named the greatest riff of all time by readers of Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines.

The iconic LED ZEPPELIN track beat out Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”, AC/DC’s “Back In Black” and DEEP PURPLE’s “Smoke On The Water” to make the top spot.

Total Guitar wrote in its July 2021 issue, which is out today (June 4): “In 1969, the year Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, Jimmy Page launched his own giant leap for mankind.

“‘Whole Lotta Love”s guitar figure took just 2.7 seconds to play, but it immediately projected music into another decade. While everyone else was still playing the ’60s, ZEPPELIN were now playing the ’70s.

“It wasn’t the first great riff, but it is the defining one. It’s why riffs became central to guitar music, the reason bands search for the guitar hook that can propel a whole song — or even a whole career.”

Top 10 greatest riffs of all time, as chosen by the readers of Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines:

01. Whole Lotta Love (LED ZEPPELIN)
02. Crazy Train (OZZY OSBOURNE)
03. Back In Black (AC/DC)
04. Smoke On The Water (DEEP PURPLE)
05. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (VAN HALEN)
06. Enter Sandman (METALLICA)
07. Iron Man (BLACK SABBATH)
08. Walk (PANTERA)
09. La Grange (ZZ TOP)
10. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)

Other riffs featured in the list include NIRVANA’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s “Killing In The Name” and SLIPKNOT’s “Psychosocial”.