Rolling Stone's Top Guitar Classics

The greatest riffs, from Bill Haley to Metallica
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 6:07 PM CDT
This is a 1970 photo of Jimi Hendrix performing on the Isle of Wight in England.    (AP Photo/FILE)
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(Newser) – There are those tunes driven by the rhythm section, but nothing lights a fire in the blood quite like the power of the perfect guitar riff. Thus, Rolling Stone suggests its favorite guitar anthems, hitting all stops between BB King and King Crimson. The top five:

  1. Johnny B. Goode: Chuck Berry's "true story about how playing music on a guitar can change your life forever."
  2. Purple Haze: How Jimi Hendrix "opened a new age of expression."

  1. Crossroads: Eric Clapton's Cream wonder is "grounded in the blues vocabulary but pointed to the future."
  2. You Really Got Me: The Kinks "heralded the birth of '60s garage and punk-rock guitar in one fell swoop."
  3. Brown Sugar: The Rolling Stones hit their "raunchy guitar pinnacle."