Guns and what??

We all know that the BBC suffers from errors of judgement from time to time but the rating of “Sweet Child of Mine” has having the best guitar riff by Total Guitar’s readers suggests that they are really quite logical in comparison.
Here is their “Top 20”

1. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
3. Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
4. Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
5. Enter Sandman – Metallica
6. Layla – Derek & The Dominoes/Eric Clapton
7. Master Of Puppets – Metallica
8. Back In Black – AC/DC
9. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
10. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
11. Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
12. All Right Now – Free
13. Plug In Baby – Muse
14. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
15. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love – Van Halen
16. Walk This Way – Aerosmith w Run DMC
17. Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream
18. No-One Knows – Queens Of The Stone Age
19. Paradise City – Guns N’ Roses
20. Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

I can’t believe they had “Aerosmith” and not Dire Straits- something like “It Never Rains” is just way ahead….



  1. Patrick

    The Paradise City riff is lifted wholly and unchanged from Black Sabbath’s Zero The Hero (from Born Again). The riff is indeed a great one a worthy of being on the list, however it would have been nice if they had acknowledged who had done it the first time round.

  2. Sasha Castel

    I have my quibbles with the order but at least two of my favorites made the light of day: Walk This Way and Sunshine Of Your Love. Also agree with the selection of “Layla”, but I’d add another Clapton song: the somewhat sappy but sincerely beautiful “Wonderful Tonight”.
    I think they should also include “Love For Sale” by the Talking Heads, “Need You Tonight” by INXS, and “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. And where, pray tell, is the riff di tutti riffs, “Satisfaction” by the Stones?

  3. Alan K. Henderson

    Never heard 5, 13, 18, or 20. (Definitely showing my age.) I’ve heard Nirvana and the other Metallica song – what kind of controlled substances were they doing at Total Guitar?
    One I’d add is “Town Without Pity” by Montrose. And maybe Pink Floyd’s “Confortably Numb” for its ending guitar solo.

  4. Yobbo

    Which riff are they referring to in “Killing in the name?” There are 2 separate mighty riffs in there. I would attempt to describe them in words but it would just be retarded.

  5. Robin

    The “Layla lick” is usually attributed to Duane Allman, whose overall contribution to the project helped make it great.

  6. Chris

    “Welcome To The Jungle” has a better riff than EITHER G&R song on that list, and IT shouldn’t be in the Top 20!
    Totally agree that at least one SRV song should be there – “Crossfire” is the first one that comes to my mind.
    Why specify the version of “Walk This Way” with Run DMC? What did they add in terms of riffiness?
    Interesting choice for Van Halen, but I probably would have gone with “Running With The Devil.”
    Other songs I hope they considered:
    “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
    “Where The Streets Have No Name”
    “Riding The Storm Out” (Live)
    “Spirit Of ’76”
    “Rock You Like A Hurricane”
    “In My Dreams”
    “Born To Be Wild”
    “Fire On High”
    “Run To You”
    And that’s just off the top of my head and the short .m3u I have here at the office.