What’s the Best Riff of the 80’s?
There are several notable guitar licks from the 1980’s, but are these best? I’m sure this was a tough task, but Gibson.com has compiled a list of the ten best guitar riffs of the 1980’s.
Judas Priest Breaking The Law, Michael Jackson Beat It, The Clash Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child o’ Mine and Rush Limelight all round out the top ten, but what did they name as the top five?
Coming in at number five was Def Leppard’s Photograph which was written about Marilyn Monroe and I completely disagree with that high of a ranking for this song. I actually had to look up the video to remember how the tune went. I know all the words and I have since the record came out in 1983, but the guitar part is kind of forgettable. Sweet Child O’ Mine should have taken this spot.
Number four was The Scorpions Rock You Like a Hurricane and I totally agree because I don’t care where I am, when I hear those three chords, I just know exactly what song that is, so I think this one is perfectly situated at number four. You may disagree with me and think it belongs in a better spot, but it’s truly difficult to find more iconic and definitive songs than these next top three.
Number three is Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train. Randy Rhodes was one of the greatest guitarists of all time period end of story so it’s no shock they ended up so high on the list, but did you know that Randy actually co-wrote this song with Ozzy? Did you also know that there is a chart that measures downloads and usages of songs as ring tones on our mobile phones and that Crazy Train ranked at number 30? Did you know Crazy Train’s mobile phone ring tone has been certified multi-platinum and that Crazy Train is considered by many to be Ozzy’s best performance as a solo artist? That sounds like a great accolade, but Crazy Train is Ozzy’s debut solo single off Blizzard of Ozz. Thank God he had more in the tank! Even with all that said though, I fully agree with its placement ranking on this list.
Number two is the Rolling Stones Start Me Up from 1981’s Tattoo You. Again, just like Rock You Like a Hurricane, the first three chords make me stop and reach for the knob to crank it as loud as it will go. I never, ever get tired of hearing that song. Ever.
Number one was AC/DC Back in Black from 1980. Gibson called the whole record, “perhaps the greatest riff-oriented album of all time,” and that Angus Young and his brother band mate Malcom “cooked up some of the greatest riffs of their career.” Back in Black is also where you find the songs You Shook Me All Night Long and Hell’s Bells but Gibson.com says that the riff for the title track is the one that’s the most memorable.
So, what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? What would you put on your list?