LED ZEPPELIN's 'Whole Lotta Love' Named 'Greatest Riff Of All Time'

June 4, 2021

Jimmy Page's riff from LED ZEPPELIN's "Whole Lotta Love"has been named the greatest riff of all time by the readers of Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines.

The ZEPPELIN classic placed ahead of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", AC/DC's "Back In Black" and DEEP PURPLE's "Smoke On The Water".

Total Guitar wrote in its July 2021 issue, which is out today (June 4): "In 1969, the year Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, Jimmy Page launched 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.

"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."

Top 10 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)

Other riffs featured in the list include NIRVANA's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's "Killing In The Name" and SLIPKNOT's "Psychosocial".

Page spoke about the "Whole Lotta Love" song creation in a 2014 interview with The Wall Street Journal. He said: "I came up with the guitar riff for 'Whole Lotta Love' in the summer of '68, on my houseboat along the Thames in Pangbourne, England. I suppose my early love for big intros by rockabilly guitarists was an inspiration, but as soon as I developed the riff, I knew it was strong enough to drive the entire song, not just open it. When I played the riff for the band in my living room several weeks later during rehearsals for our first album, the excitement was immediate and collective. We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing."

Last year, Jimmy told Total Guitar that the "Whole Lotta Love" riff "was so fresh and it still is. If somebody plays that riff, it brings a smile to people’s faces. It's a really positive thing."

Find more on Led zeppelin
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).