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What's the best riff of all time?
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20 March 2013
6.58pm
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bikelock28
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I think it's Rebel Rebel by David Bowie.

Any other thoughts? (surely Day Tripper is a contender?)

apple01

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

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20 March 2013
7.21pm
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Funny Paper
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What's the definition of a "riff"?

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...

20 March 2013
8.22pm
Ben Ramon
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I don't know if I could name the greatest ever but there are certainly some top contenders. I can understand people who say Satisfaction - instantly memorable and gritty as all hell for 1965.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

20 March 2013
9.12pm
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bikelock28
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What's the definition of a "riff"?

 "A brief, relaxed phrase repeated over changing melodies. It may serve as a refrain or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments or solo instruments that form the basis or accompaniment of a musical composition,"

a-hard-days-night-john-1

 

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

20 March 2013
9.19pm
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Funny Paper
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bikelock28 said

What's the definition of a "riff"?

 "A brief, relaxed phrase repeated over changing melodies. It may serve as a refrain or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments or solo instruments that form the basis or accompaniment of a musical composition,"

a-hard-days-night-john-1

 

That sounds about right, though I'm not sure a riff has to be "relaxed" per se.

It suddenly occurs to me that perhaps every pop song has a riff by that definition.  What famous pop songs (Beatles or non-Beatles) do not have a riff?

 

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...

21 March 2013
11.53am
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fabfouremily
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'You Really Got Me' by The Kinks comes to mind first of all. Instantly recognisable, and one of my favourites, too.

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

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21 March 2013
12.20pm
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BluemeanAl
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I think that Keith Richards is an ultimate riff-machine, with "Satisfaction" (and maybe "Start Me Up") as particularly iconic.

One of my favorite riffs is from the Grateful Dead's "Althea," a loping melodic figure that eventually stretches out to some very nice Jerry Garcia solos.

In terms of classic riffs, though (aside from the ones already mentioned), it's hard to second-guess the ranking of "Layla" (the Derek and the Dominos version, not the Clapton acoustic) as pretty high up the list of all-time greats.

It's gotta be rock and roll music if you wanna dance with me

21 March 2013
2.10pm
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parlance
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^^ I would have to agree that Layla is probably in the Top 10.

On a related note, I can't get the riff from "Let Me Roll It" out of my head lately.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

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21 March 2013
9.14pm
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Long John Silver
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The most famous one is probably Smoke on the Water, not sure if best.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.

21 March 2013
11.45pm
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Funny Paper
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This may not be the most famous, but it's the coolest, baby!

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubech.....id=1044209

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...

23 March 2013
2.21am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Layla #1

Smoke on the Water, Day Tripper, ... all great.

I'd add "Sunshine of Your Love"

And you can't leave out this one hit wonder - Focus by Hocus Pocus:

http://www.tubechop.com/watch/1047845

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

29 March 2013
8.56pm
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Linde
The Netherlands
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Aaah I just wanted to add Sunshine of your love too! I've played it on Guitar Hero and it's been stuck in my head all day.

 

Some other songs with great riffs:

Metallica-Enter Sandman

Led Zep- Immigrant Song, Kashmir

Guns 'n Roses-Sweet Child 'o Mine (of course)

Aerosmith- Walk this way

Nirvana- Smells like teen spirit (who doesn't know this one)

David Bowie- Heroes (does that count?)

MJ- Beat it

Muse-Plug in baby (love it)

Rage Against the Machine-Killing in the name of

White Stripes-Seven Nation Army

 

I just found a list with 200 best guitar riffs of all time and the ones being mentioned in this thread were all very high in the list. And it pleased me to see Day Tripper was #12 and that quite a lot of other Beatles songs were in there too.

 

29 March 2013
9.07pm
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meanmistermustard
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I Feel Fine should be included in any list. Ive also always loved the riff in Tie Your Mother Down off Queen's A Day At the Races.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

29 March 2013
9.35pm
thewordislove94
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No one has mentioned AC/DC yet... Back in Black has a great riff but I can't pick just one riff as the best.

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison

1 April 2013
12.53pm
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bikelock28
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Life in Technicolour by Coldplay?

"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

12 April 2013
1.58am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Gotta put "Kicks" somewhere on the list

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GswuYYTnzE

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

12 April 2013
10.53pm
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vonbontee
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Can't see the Youtube details, but I presume that's Paul Revere & the Raiders. Good choice!

I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

13 April 2013
1.19am
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LongHairedLady
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I very much enjoy the one in "Houses of the Holy" by the all mighty Led Zeppelin.  heart

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

29 April 2013
1.50am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Gotta also consider the Animals' "See See Rider"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxAXspWpQVQ

(Also covered by The Music Machine (from the album (Turn On) The Music Machine), the best album no one's ever heard of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn2bbn0lE-U

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

21 May 2013
1.00am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Ray Manzarek's passing today reminds me of this classic (non-guitar) riff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY1l8T2Lcl0

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

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