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Posts Tagged ‘100 Greatest Guitar Riffs’

At number 80 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. This song was released in 1982, but the song was actually written and released in 1975 by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of Arrows, but Jett’s version is much better known. It reached number 4 in the Disunited Kingdom, and number 1 in the US and many other countries.



At number 80 in BBC Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "I Love Rock and Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

At number 80 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 best guitar riffs is “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts



The song is taken from the Jett and the Blackhearts’ second studio album, also called “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. As far as I’m aware, this was Jett’s only hit single in the DUK.


I saw him dancing there by the record machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen
The beat was going strong
Playing my favorite song
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, yeah me
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me
Ow!

He smiled, so I got up and asked for his name
But that don’t matter, he said, ’cause it’s all the same
He said, “Can I take you home
Where we can be alone?”
And next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me
Next we were moving on, he was with me, yeah me

Singing, I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me
Ow!

He said, “Can I take you home
Where we can be alone?”
Next we’re moving on, he was with me, yeah me
And we’ll be moving on and singing that same old song, yeah with me

Singing I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with

I love rock and roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock and roll
So come and take your time and dance with me


Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!





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At number 89 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran. This song was released in October 1958 and got to number 6 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and to number 35 in the US. Cochran sadly died in England in 1960 in a car crash at the age of only 21 whilst on tour; most of his songs were released after his death.



At number 89 in BBC Radio 2's 100 greatest guitar riffs is "C'mon Everybody" by Eddie Cochran.

At number 89 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “C’mon Everybody” by Eddie Cochran.




Ah well, c’mon everybody and let’s get together tonight
I got some money in my jeans and I’m really gonna spend it right
Well I’ve been a-doin’ my homework all week long
And now the house is empty and the folks are gone
Ooo C’mon everybody

Ah well my baby’s number one but I’m gonna dance with three or four
And the house’ll be a-shakin’ from my bare feet slappin’ on the floor
Well, when you hear that music you can’t sit still
If your brother won’t rock then your sister will
Ooo C’mon everybody

Well we’ll really have a party but we gotta put a guard outside
If my folks come a-home I’m afraid they’re gonna have my hide
They’ll be no more movies for a week or two
No more runnin’ round with the usual crew
Who cares C’mon everybody

C’mon everybody
C’mon everybody


Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!




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At number 55 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Walk this Way” by American rock group Aerosmith. This song was originally released in August 1975, getting as high as number 10 in the US singles charts. It was re-released in November of 1976, but actually didn’t come to my attention until it was covered by the rap group Run DMC in July 1986. The Run-DMC version became a World-wide hit, reaching number 4 in the US singles charts, and it got to number 8 in the Disunited Kingdom.



At number 95 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 best guitar riffs is "Walk this Way" by Aerosmith

At number 95 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 best guitar riffs is “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith



In the Run-DMC version, Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry also feature, making the song more of a cross-over between rock and rap. The video features Run DMC practicing and being disturbed by Tyler and Perry also practicing the other side of a wall. After some banging on the wall, Run-DMC decide to carry on with their practice of what turns out to be a rap version of “Walk this Way”. After rapping the first two verses, just as the chorus is about to begin, Tyler’s head bursts through the wall to sing the chorus. In short measure the two bands are performing the song together live in front of an ecstatic audience. It is a funny and memorable video, and was most probably a factor in the song’s huge chart success. Both versions feature the guitar riff by Joe Perry which has made this song so well-liked.



The Run DMC cover of , released in 1986, was a much bigger hit than the original version

The Run-DMC cover of <em"Walk this Way", released in 1986, was a much bigger hit than the original version




backstroke lover always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
till I talked to your daddy, he say
he said “you ain’t seen nothin’ till you’re down on a muffin
then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways”
I met a cheerleader, was a real young bleeder
oh, the times I could reminisce
’cause the best things of lovin’ with her sister and her cousin
only started with a little kiss
like this!

seesaw swingin’ with the boys in the school
and your feet flyin’ up in the air
singin’ “hey diddle diddle”
with your kitty in the middle of the swing
like you didn’t care
so I took a big chance at the high school dance
with a missy who was ready to play
wasn’t me she was foolin’
’cause she knew what she was doin’
and I knowed love was here to stay
when she told me to

walk this way [8x]
just gimme a kiss
like this!

schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy
little skirt’s climbin’ way up the knee
there was three young ladies in the school gym locker
when I noticed they was lookin’ at me
I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
till the boys told me somethin’ I missed
then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
so I gave her just a little kiss
like this!

[repeat second verse, substitute this at the end]
when she told me how to walk this way, she told me to

walk this way [8x]
just gimme a kiss
like this!


This is a video of the original Aerosmith version.





Here is the video of the Run DMC / Aerosmith cover version.





Which is your favourite version of this song?

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Today I thought I would share this classic rock song from the early 1980s, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. It was released in 1982 and is possibly best known for it being the theme song for the movie Rocky III which came out in the same year. It was voted number 87 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs. The official YouTube video of the song, which I have a link to below, has been viewed nearly 90 million times!



"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor was voted number 87 in BBC Radio 2's 100 greatest guitar riffs.

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor was voted number 87 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs.



The song enjoyed considerable chart success, reaching number 1 in many countries including Ireland, Australia, the Disunited Kingdom and the US. In the US it was, apparently, the second best selling single of 1982 behind Olivia Newton-John’s aerobics-inspired “Physical”.


Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hanging tough, staying hungry
They stack the odds still we take to the street
For the kill with the skill to survive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

Rising up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger


Here is the official video of the song. Enjoy!





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At number 53 in BBC Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. This song, released in February 1983, is taken from his album “Thriller”; one of the best selling albums of all time and an album which could well hold the record for the largest number of singles released from it. I blogged about “Thriller” here, as it is number 20 in the Rolling Stone Magazine list of the 500 greatest albums.

This song is, for me, quite different from most of Michael Jackson’s songs from this period, and is one of my favourites. This is due, in no small part, to the great guitar riff in the song, which is played by Eddie Van Halen; “Beat It” is much rockier than most of MJ’s songs. The song got to number 1 in both the Disunited Kingdom and USA’s singles charts; in fact it was a huge hit around much of the World.



At number 53 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is "Beat It" by Michael Jackson

At number 53 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is the 1983 hit single “Beat It” by Michael Jackson




[1st Verse]
They Told Him Don’t You Ever Come Around Here
Don’t Wanna See Your Face, You Better Disappear
The Fire’s In Their Eyes And Their Words Are Really Clear
So Beat It, Just Beat It

[2nd Verse]
You Better Run, You Better Do What You Can
Don’t Wanna See No Blood, Don’t Be A Macho Man
You Wanna Be Tough, Better Do What You Can
So Beat It, But You Wanna Be Bad

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It
Just Beat It, Beat It

[3rd Verse]
They’re Out To Get You, Better Leave While You Can
Don’t Wanna Be A Boy, You Wanna Be A Man
You Wanna Stay Alive, Better Do What You Can
So Beat It, Just Beat It

[4th Verse]
You Have To Show Them That You’re Really Not Scared
You’re Playin’ With Your Life, This Ain’t No Truth Or Dare
They’ll Kick You, Then They Beat You,
Then They’ll Tell You It’s Fair
So Beat It, But You Wanna Be Bad

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It

[Chorus]
Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Who’s Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right

[Chorus]
Just Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It
No One Wants To Be Defeated
Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight
It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Wrong Or Right
Just Beat It, Beat It
Beat It, Beat It, Beat It


Here is the official video of this song. Apparently Eddie van Halen was prevented from appearing in the video by his record company. It is also before Michael Jackson became a freak, and was at his best.





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At number 56 in Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is this classic song from the 1980s, “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. The song was released in 1983, and from memory I thought it had been a massive hit in the Disunited Kingdom. I was surprised therefore to see that it peaked at number 22, but it certainly got a lot of air play. The video for this song was also iconic in its time, featuring the band’s signature car, and the band itself featured in the “story” being played out in the video.



At number xx in Radio 2's 100 best guitar riffs is "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top

At number xx in Radio 2’s 100 greatest guitar riffs is “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top



ZZ Top were certainly different in their look, and I remember rumours circulating that the drummer was called “Beard”, which was ironic given that he was the only one without a rather impressive beard reminiscent of Rasputin. Of course, these rumours were back in the 1980s, long before it was so easy as it is today to check information. So, in putting this blog together I was pleased to see that indeed the rumours were true, the drummer was Frank Beard, the only one without a beard!

The lyrics of this song are hardly important, it is mainly about the look and the catchy guitar riff. But, here they are anyway.


Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don’t know where I am goin’ to.
Silk suit, black tie,
I don’t need a reason why.

They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.

Gold watch, diamond ring,
I ain’t missin’ not a single thing.
And cuff links, stick pin,
When I step out I’m gonna do you in.

They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.

Top coat, top hat,
I don’t worry ’cause my wallet’s fat.
Black shades, white gloves,
Lookin’ sharp and lookin’ for love.

They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.


Here is the official video of this song. The video is very 1980s, with the big hair and lycra, but I find that is part of its whole look. Enjoy!


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At number 21 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “All Right Now” by Free.



At number 21 in BBC Radio 2's list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is "All Right Now" by Free.

At number 21 in BBC Radio 2’s list of the 100 greatest guitar riffs is “All Right Now” by Free.




The song was released in May 1970 and got to number 2 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and to number 4 in the US singles charts.


Whoa-oh-oh-oh-woha
There she stood in the street
Smilin’ from her head to her feet;

I said, “Hey, what is this?
Now maybe, baby,
Maybe she’s in need of a kiss.”

I said, “Hey, what’s your name?
Maybe we can see things the same.

“Now don’t you wait, or hesitate.
Let’s move before they raise the parking rate.”

All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now.
All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now.

(Let me tell you now)
I took her home to my place,
Watchin’ every move on her face;

She said, “Look, what’s your game?
Are you tryin’ to put me to shame?”

I said “Slow, don’t go so fast, don’t you think that love can last?”

She said, “Love, Lord above,
Now you’re tryin’ to trick me in love.”

All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now.
All right now, baby, it’s a-all right now


Here is a video of this song. Enjoy!


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