100 Greatest Riffs-Total Guitar (june)

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GypsySoul:
Gypsy note:  Not sure if this was already posted somewhere on the board.  In the USA, we get these UK mags about a month after they're released overseas.

TOTAL GUITAR (mag) JUNE 2004 ISSUE 123
100 GREATEST RIFFS!
VOTED BY YOU, COUNTED BY US.  TG PROUDLY PRESENTS OUR FIRST 100-1 COUNTDOWN SINCE 1999 OF YOUR GREATEST RIFFS.  WITH 1,000s OF VOTES, CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SOME OF THE WORLD’S BEST GUITARISTS AND ADVICE ON HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN RIFFS…

51 OUT TA GET ME
GUNS N’ ROSES (new entry)
Who played it:  Slash
Why it rocks:  Of all the great riffs on the Gunners’ legendary Appetite For Destruction album, this has to be the most mindless: it’s closer to the neanderthal glam rock riffing of their 80s peers (Cinderella, Motley Crue, et al) than they’d ever care to admit.  In other words, it’s bloody great.  The rest of the song isn’t too shabby either, featuring stomping glam drums, some of Slash’s best lead guitar work ever, and a snotty, paranoid Ax Rose shouting the odds at anyone who would listen.  A killer riff, and a band at the top of their game.
Where to find it:  Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Did you know?  There’s more to nailing Slash’s unique lead tone than whacking a Gibson Les Paul Standard through a Marshall JCM800 stack. At the time of recording Appetite…, Slash loaded his Les Pauls with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers.  He also used Ernie Ball Slinky RPS 11-48 gauge strings (tuned down a half step) and purple Dunlop Tortex 1.14 mm picks.  So now you know.

21 WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
GUNS N’ ROSES (^) last time: 90
Who played it:  Slash
Why it rocks:  It goes without saying, of course, that hookers, crack, Marlboro and a relaxed attitude towards public urination are hardly the cornerstones of any forward-thinking society.  In an 80s rock outfit, however, they’re pretty essential – and Guns N’ Roses were only too happy to oblige.
A gleeful speedball of guitar hedonism, Welcome To The Jungle took the Gunners’ seedy leisure pursuits and mainlined them into a riff so savage it should have been led around a council estate on a studded collar.  As welcomes go, it’s more white line than red carpet – but 17 years later, we still don’t want to leave.
Where to find it:  Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Did you know?  Slash actually grew up in the distinctly non-jungly environs of Stoke-on-Trent, leaving for LA at the age of 11.

19 PARADISE CITY
GUNS N’ ROSES (new entry)
Who played it:  Slash, Izzy Stradlin
Why it rocks:  The main riff of this cynical, booze-fried song – itself a highlight of GN’R’s never-equalled debut album – is gloriously simple, based as it is on a rapid three-not hammer-on.  After a clean picked intro, Slash and his less extravagant fellow six-stringer Izzy rip into their guitars with a degree of rock’n’roll nonchalance that upstarts like The Darkness can only dream of.  Will there ever be another band capable of playing with this much soul and swagger?  We doubt it very much.  GN’R were truly gods among men.
Where to find it:  Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Did you know?  Slash, now with TG cover stars Velvet Revolver, once revealed his girlfriend sometimes puts the Appetite… album on at home just to annoy him.


The undisputed Kings of Rock:  Slash’s riff mastery claims the top spot
Photo credit:  Larry Busacca/Retna

1 Sweet Child O’ Mine
GUNS N’ ROSES (^) last time: 8
Who played it:  Slash[/color]

So here it is then.  The greatest riff of all track from one of the greatest ever rock albums, Sweet Child O’ Mine’s position at the top was never in question.  It won by an enormous margin.  No other riff came close.  So what’s left to say about one of the most famous guitar lines ever to be recorded?

Well, it’s worth mentioning first of all that this is a highly unusual riff, and one that seemingly breaks all the rules.  Whereas most classic rock tunes chug away on the bottom string, Sweet Child is played way up the neck.  Where most riffs are simple and direct, Sweet Child is complex and fiddly.  Where other guitarists use open ringing strings for extra ‘chunk,’ Slash uses high, tight, fretted notes.  And while most famous riffs are dark and moody, Sweet Child is in a major key.

It was written, like all early GN’R tunes, in The Garden, a tiny room in LA where the band slept, rehearsed and partied.  Visitors remember every inch of wall space being covered with pages torn from porn mags.  You couldn’t see the floor for a carpet of beer bottles, pizza boxes and drug paraphernalia.  It was a total shithole.  And yet this was the room where some of the greatest rock songs of all time took shape.  “It was this little studio that the whole band kind of moved into,” recalls rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin.  “We would sit in there for endless nights playing whatever guitar was around.”

Nowadays, of course, it’s hard to imagine Slash playing anything other than a Les Paul.  But at the time of recording Appetite For Destruction, he was still an endorsee for Jackson guitars (he’s actually pictured holding a Jackson Firebird on the inside sleeve).  It was only when he started hearing his guitar parts back through the monitors he realized his Jacksons sounded, in his words, “like trash.”  He went through endless guitars and pickup configurations before his manager finally handed him a ’59 Les Paul.  Instantly smitten, he went on to record the whole album with it (although Rocket Queen was played on a ’68 SG, and some of his clean parts were played on a Strat).

Indeed, there’s an ebullience in those guitar parts – a joy in creating, in composing – that comes directly from his discovery of the Les Paul.  All of a sudden Slash had found his dream guitar, and the riffs and solos were starting to flow with a facility he’d never before experienced.  It’s surely no coincidence the riff to Sweet Child O’ Mine was written mere weeks after he’d picked up a Les Paul for the very first time.

Not that he thought much of it back then.  The album was already finished (or so the band thought) when he started noodling the riff in a relaxed jam session.  When Izzy came in with some chords, and Axl started singing the words to a poem he’d written previously, no-one took it particularly seriously.  To this day Slash maintains he was just “fucking around” when he wrote it.  But something about the song felt good, and producer Mike Clink persuaded them to include it on the album (You Could Be Mine and Civil War, written around the same time, were ditched).

Which was just as well.  Before Sweet Child came out as a single, Appetite hadn’t even scraped the Billboard Top 100.  After it, the album went straight to number one.  It would go on to sell nearly 20 million copies, making it one of the biggest selling debut albums ever.  And the catalyst for the whole thing was that spine-tingling arpeggiated riff.

But Sweet Child O’ Mine wasn’t just the making of Guns N’ Roses.  It was a work of singular genius that would define guitar music for the next 20 years.  The greatest riff ever?  Abso-fuckin-lutely.
end

matt88:
Thanx that's a good article


I always thought Out Ta Get Me was a great riff. Really aggressive and bluesy at the same time : ok:


Slashly:
Quote

Slash loaded his Les Pauls with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers

This isn´t true, In AFD Slash didn´t even used a gibson.

Asides from that, it´s a very good article, thanx Gypsy!!!!!!!



Baby Slash//

matt88:
Quote from: Slashly on June 10, 2004, 08:40:48 PM

Quote

Slash loaded his Les Pauls with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers

This isn´t true, In AFD Slash didn´t even used a gibson.

Asides from that, it´s a very good article, thanx Gypsy!!!!!!!



Baby Slash//



I hate to correct you, but slash used Gibsons in AFD. Including a Gibson 85 re-issue, and the 59 Les Paul

darkmonth:
Quote from: Slashly on June 10, 2004, 08:40:48 PM

Quote

Slash loaded his Les Pauls with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro humbuckers

This isn´t true, In AFD Slash didn´t even used a gibson.

Asides from that, it´s a very good article, thanx Gypsy!!!!!!!



Baby Slash//



You are half right.  The guitar given to him by Alan Niven, which remained his favorite recording and touring guitar for some years, was in fact not a Gibson at all, but a very accurate Gibson Les Paul copy, made by Chris Derrig who, sadly, died in 1986.  Slash is quoted as saying his Les Paul copy was better than anything Gibson have ever made.


Just wanna say... this is the quote that must surely piss Axlites off:

"But Sweet Child O’ Mine wasn’t just the making of Guns N’ Roses.  It was a work of singular genius that would define guitar music for the next 20 years.  The greatest riff ever?  Abso-fuckin-lutely."

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