Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Friday, January 21, 2011

B Side Presents, "Friday Gut Check - teRIFFic sounds"

Happy Friday B Siders! It's been a little while since we ran a Friday Gut Check top 5 piece. So today brings me to a couple items of business: 1) This gut check was inspired by JenInTosa. She dropped a link to Spinner's Top 50 guitar riffs of all time. PLEASE! Feel free to do the same. If you read a great music article and want to share it with me and then talk about it here, by all means! The suggestion box covers more than just album reviews. And 2) I absolutely LOVE, ADORE, CHERISH guitar riffs. I love songs that are 15 minutes long and do nothing but have a slick guitar solo for half of it. I'm a sucker for them. There are soo many off the top of my head I can think of...but to put them in some sort of Top 5 order? Phew, that's going to be tough.

I will follow my one artist per list rule, because I could probably drop 10 Clapton songs on here or something. I have to expand to 10 just because there would be too many to leave out. I'll also give some Honorable Mention nods. I think you guys should make a playlist today of these tracks. You'll love 'em all!

I'll share a link from Spinner below - but here is my Top 10. We'll see if we can get Heidi in on the action today too. But please, let me know what your faves are!


Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Eruption - Van Halen
Enter Sandman - Metallica
Hells Bells - AC/DC
Heartbreaker - Led Zeppelin
War Pigs - Black Sabbath
Iron Man - Black Sabbath
Funk 49 - James Gang
Satisfaction - Rolling Stones


10. Alive - Pearl Jam: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't care for Pearl Jam. But this riff, especially the It's just awesome. Great lyrics over it too. And what a great message to send to the haters, "I'm still alive." WATCH

9. Seven Nation Army - White Stripes: There is a reason you hear this at every sporting event too. There is just something about this SUPER simple bass riff played over a standard electric. It's mesmerizing. It makes you want to get up and fight and yell and cheer. It's hits you hard and you hit back. Great riff. WATCH

8. Layla - Derek And The Dominoes: Okay, so maybe the second most iconic riff behind Smoke On The Water. Sure, Clapton stole this riff from Duane Allman - but Clapton plays it like his own. Love the story about him stealing George Harrison's wife too. Sad, but funny. WATCH

7. Day Tripper - The Beatles: Probably the funkiest of Beatles riffs. The arrangement of this song is flat out amazing. It was recorded with dual guitars each coming out of a different speaker. Turn off one speaker once and see what you hear. You should only hear half the track. WATCH

6. Sweet Child O' Mine - GNR: Yeah, you've heard this and it's amazing. Slash can flat out whale on the guitar, and this is a prime example. Love the story posted by Spinner, so I'll let you read it. WATCH

5. Sunshine Of Your Love - Cream: This seems to be a guitar hero favorite of just about everybody I know. It sounds so simple, but it's so pleasing to my ears. Funny story about this too, we were sitting in a friends basement in high school. Pretty much the first time we'd both really sat down and listened to Cream. I heard this song, and asked him if this was a sample from the song 'Blue Moon'. He said "NO WAY" with all certainty. Well, turns out it is. But that doesn't make the riff any less awesome. WATCH

4. Dazed And Confused - Led Zeppelin: Another lower keyed riff. This has got to be my favorite Zeppelin song and I think it's solely because of the opening jam. Apologies to Heartbreaker for not making my Top 10 list, but hey, it's mine and not yours! ;-) WATCH

3. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead: Down and dirty, in your face metal riff. I'm guessing a lot of people haven't ever heard this song before. PLEASE check it out. It's my third best riff for a reason. I don't get to Motorhead often, but when I do, this song is a MUST. WATCH

2. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple: Duh-duh-duh, duh-dud-da-da, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh. Come on. Is there a more recognized riff in music history? I hear this all the time at sporting events to get the crowd pumped up. True story, I heard a friend singing this riff on the walk back after a football game, and I asked if he knew what song that was from. He had no clue. Just that the riff was outstanding and got him pumped. Always a good sign. WATCH

1. Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix: There is little secret this is my favorite Hendrix song ever. It's also my favorite guitar riff ever. The opening alone gives me chills everytime I hear it. Compliment that with the lyric, "Well I stand up next to a mountain. And I chop it down with the edge of my hand." Amazing stuff. The guitar work start to finish on this track is flat out phenomenal. Sit back and really listen and enjoy this one. WATCH


Spinner Link


  1. I said to myself before I even scrolled down to the bottom of this post, I guarantee he's going to mention Jimi Hendrix at some point and 'sho nuff' I was right! You know, I'm surprised that I knew a majority of the songs you listed, yay me! I checked out the page on Spinner and I'm surprised that I knew some of the songs you didn't have listed, yay me again! Seriously though,I think about music history, then I think that many or all of the artists/bands you have here would inevitably be mentioned. It's just that simple. I noticed something, there are no females listed here, at least I don't think. Now I'm not trying to go down feminist road here but I gotta mention some ladies as well. I don't have a particular order here, just whatever comes to mind, 10 nonetheless (maybe more).

    "Sooner Or Later" - NERD: I remember hearing this for the first time at my cousins house. He was blasting it so loud that the kitchen was vibrating. The first time I heard that solo, I almost fell on the floor. Love it to this day.

    "Barracuda" - Heart: Simply love it. Just, ahhhh, when it comes to riffs that's what I'm talkin about.

    "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

    "Black Cat" (CD acoustic version) - Janet Jackson: That first section jumps off so hot, man I love it. Specially there at the middle when It just breaks down into extreme 'killin' it mode. MAN , I could here that a million and one times and never ever never ever get board.

    "King Of Rock" - RUN DMC: The first time I heard this joint was in my aunts basement, playing Thrasher: Skate And Destroy, and I'm thinking, "Goodness, this sounds incredible".

    "Beat It" - Michael Jackson: My cousin and I played the heck out of this on Guitar Hero. We only got to the medium setting. He had me play the solo section because I was a little more coordinated than he was but I loved it regardless of what part I played.

    "Hit It and Quit It" - Funkadelic: I know my mom has this around the house somewhere, vinyl, the real deal, I'm sure of it. I have to credit her for my knowledge of this one.

    "Eye Of The Tiger" - Survivor: Yet another I played on Guitar Hero. Loved it. Just good music.

    "Livin' On A Prayer" - Bon Jovi: That deep bass at the beginning gives me goose bumps. And of course anohter Guitar Hero favorite of mine. It's got some kind of synth oooowwwaaa voice in the background. "oooooohh, were half way there, hhhaaaa, livin on a prayer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.."

    "You Give Love A Bad Name" - Bon Jovi

    "TNT" - AC/DC

    "The Game" - Motörhead: If I'm right this song was originally made for WWE pro wrestler HHH. I don't know if it ever became an official single but I love it anyway. They put a hurtin' on that one, I mean they stuck their toe in it.


  2. Great list.

    I like a couple you got in there. It so happens, Barracuda is a personal favorite of mine.

    I can't put Bon Jovi on the list...I just can't. Sorry.

    Same with Jacko.

    Are you a big WWE fan? I know that song, only because I still watch Monday Night Raw thanks to DVR and only needing about 1 hour instead of 2.

    Great post!

  3. I thought you'd like that article. I don't have a top list... but I agree that Daytripper would be WAY up there! And I can't get Johnny B. Goode out of my head and now I feel the need to watch BTTF again...

  4. Yes! Great suggestion!

    I do enjoy Johnny B Goode also. It should have made my honorable mention list.

    Oh BTTF. Nothing quite like the Enchantment Under The Sea dance...