“In 1969, the year Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, Jimmy Page launched his own giant leap for mankind,” Total Guitar wrote in its July 2021 issue, which is out today.
“‘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.”
Below is the top 10 list of 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)