Whole Lotta Love voted “greatest riff of all time” by Total Guitar, Guitar World readers
Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love has the “greatest riff of all time” – at least according to Total Guitar and readers of its sister publication, Guitar World.
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Readers of the two guitar publications voted Jimmy Page‘s riff on the Led Zeppelin II opener to the top of the polls. It beat out Ozzy Osbourne‘s Crazy Train (which nabbed second spot) and AC/DC‘s Back In Black (third), whose riffs were penned by the late guitarists Randy Rhoads and Malcolm Young, respectively.
The full, 50-strong list is published in Total Guitar‘s July 2021 issue. To compile it, the magazine asked Guitar World readers to cast their votes from a shortlist of 125 riffs, picked by the Total Guitar staffers.
Total Guitar noted that while Whole Lotta Love might not have been “the first great riff”, it was certainly “defining” in how guitar riffs became “central to guitar music”.
“Jimmy Page launched his own giant leap for mankind,” Total Guitar wrote. “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.”
These are the other classics that made the top 10: Deep Purple‘s Smoke On The Water (fourth), Van Halen‘s Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (fifth), Metallica‘s Enter Sandman (sixth), Black Sabbath‘s Iron Man (seventh), Pantera‘s Walk (eighth), ZZ Top‘s La Grange (ninth), and Jimi Hendrix‘s Purple Haze (10th).
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