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The 40 Greatest Rock Riffs Of All Time revealed

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After thousands of Planet Rock listeners cast their votes, the full results for our Greatest Rock Riffs of All Time poll are now in.

As revealed first on Darren Redick’s show last night (17th April), Ritchie’s Blackmore’s legendary riff from Deep Purple’s seminal 1972 anthem ‘Smoke On The Water’ brushed aside the competition and took the coveted top spot.

Closely following behind in second place is Tony Iommi’s pulverising and pioneering metal riffs from Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ with Uriah Heep’s iconic ‘…Very 'Eavy …Very 'Umble’ opener ‘Gypsy’ taking third spot.


Reflecting on Deep Purple's triumph, Darren Redick said: "I was not surprised that Smoke On The Water won as it embodies all that an iconic song should be. A riff that supports the whole song, great playing, an amazing narrative lyric and a huge singalong chorus to boot! But really it’s about that riff, which is essentially the first thing any aspiring guitarist is taught. Don’t believe me? Watch School of Rock with Jack Black! Great documentary!" 

Completing the Top 10 are The Darkness’ ‘Barbarian’, ‘Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’, UFO’s ‘Rock Bottom’, Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’, Derek and the Dominos’ ‘Layla’ and AC/DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’.

Testament to their towering genius, Black Sabbath dominate the Top 40 with a total of six entries. AC/DC have five songs featured, while Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Metallica and Van Halen all have multiple songs in the countdown.

The Top 40 Greatest Rock Riffs of All Time as voted for by YOU are:

1. Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water
2. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
3. Uriah Heep - Gypsy
4. The Darkness - Barbarian
5. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
6. UFO - Rock Bottom
7. Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child Of Mine
8. AC/DC - Back In Black
9. Derek and the Dominos - Layla
10. AC/DC - Whole Lotta Rosie


11. Black Sabbath - Symptom Of The Universe
12. AC/DC - Highway To Hell
13. Budgie - Breadfan
14. AC/DC - Thunderstruck
15. Black Sabbath - Iron Man
16. Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
17. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
18. Deep Purple - Burn
19. Led Zeppelin - Kashmir
20. Status Quo - Caroline


21. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile
22. Metallica - Enter Sandman
23. Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
24. Iron Maiden - The Trooper
25. Dire Straits - Money For Nothing
26. Iron Maiden - Phantom Of The Opera
27. The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Woman
28. The Kinks - You Really Got Me
29. Metallica - Master Of Puppets
30. Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath


31. AC/DC - Riff Raff
32. Guns N' Roses - November Rain
33. Eagles - Hotel California
34. Black Sabbath - Heaven & Hell
35. Free - All Right Now
36. Aerosmith - Walk This Way
37. Van Halen - Unchained
38. Rush - Spirit Of Radio
39. Black Sabbath - Supernaut
40. Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love


You can also see the results from our Top 100 Greatest EVER Rock Songs poll from back in 2012 right here

And if that's not enough to quench your insatiable appetite for countdowns, The 40 Best Ever Acoustic Rock Songs can be seen by clicking this link

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