Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” Voted Greatest Riff Of All Time

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Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” has been voted the greatest guitar riff of all time.

Jimmy Page’s iconic intro riff for the track was voted the best by the readers of Total Guitar and Guitar World.

Page’s riff won the award on Saturday. It also held off stiff competiton from Angus and Malcolm Young’s intro riff to AC/DC’s “Back in Black”. The late Randy Rhoads’ opening riff to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” also featured in the reckoning.

Geddy Lee recently recalled fond memories of seeing Led Zeppelin live.

It was general admission. We lined up for hours. We got in and we sat in the second row. And I swear they didn’t walk out on stage – they floated out”, he said

They literally brought the house down, because by the end of the night there was plaster falling from the ceiling”. More on that here.

“His own giant leap for mankind”

Total Guitar hailed the impact of Jimmy Page’s riff on Led Zeppelin’s track. Referring to the 1969 moon landings, they said that Page had taken his “own giant leap for mankind”.

“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”, the magazine wrote.

“It wasn’t the first great riff, but it is the defining one”, they added. “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”. 

The rest of the top 10 from fourth to tenth featured, Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”, Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talking About Love”, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, “Walk” by Pantera, ZZ Top’s La Grange”, and Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”

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Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love

Check out the track below.