Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted best guitar riff

Jimmy Page, in 1983 Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page described the riff as "menacing and caressing"

Related Stories

Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love has been voted the greatest guitar riff of all time by listeners of BBC Radio 2.

The rock classic came out top from a list of 100 riffs drawn up by a panel of Radio 2 and 6 Music DJs, critics and record producers.

Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns 'N' Roses was second in the poll, with Back In Black (AC/DC) and Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) the next most popular.

Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page said he was "knocked out" by winning the vote.

"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," he said.

Listen to an excerpt of the new Whole Lotta Love

"There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing."

Other riffs in the list included Layla by Derek And The Dominoes, which was voted fifth best, Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols and Metallica's Enter Sandman.

Led Zeppelin The combined talents of Page, Robert Plant and John Bonham sent the riff into "overdrive", Page said

"Whole Lotta Love is one of the most important guitar riffs of the 20th century," said record producer and panellist Steve Levine. "The moment you hear literally two notes of it, you know exactly what it is."

The Top 30 announcement came on Zoe Ball's bank holiday show.

Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, Daft Punk and Pink Floyd were among the acts jostling for favour. The vote closed on 25 July.

The BBC station has been celebrating the guitar in a special season featuring documentaries and live performances.

The countdown of the top 100 riffs began on Will Gompertz's midnight show and continued across the day on BBC shows hosted by Alex Lester, Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine and Jo Whiley.

Top 10 guitar riffs

Title Artist

Source: BBC Radio 2

Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin

Sweet Child O'Mine

Guns 'N' Roses

Back in Black

AC/DC

Smoke On The Water

Deep Purple

Layla

Derek and The Dominoes

How Soon Is Now?

The Smiths

Down Down

Status Quo

Money For Nothing

Dire Straits

You Really Got Me

The Kinks

Money

Pink Floyd

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • An ant and a humanAnts v humans

    Do all the world's ants really weigh as much as all the humans?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Indian coupleSuspicious spouses

    Is your sweetheart playing away? Call Delhi's wedding detective


  • Civilians who had been hiding inside during gun battles manage to flee  from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya Saturday, 21 September 2013Westgate's questions

    One year on, Kenyans await answers about the mall attack


From BBC Culture

Programmes

  • StudentsClick Watch

    Could a new social network help tailor lessons to students’ needs and spot when they fall behind?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.