Led Zeppelin’s explosive ‘Whole Lotta Love’ topped BBC Radio 2’s 100 Greatest Guitar Riffs, reigniting the British love of rock and roll and reinforcing Jimmy Paige’s status as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Riffs in the list that have transcended time, included ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple, ‘Oh Well’ by Fleetwood Mac and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana amongst others.
ACDC’s ‘Back in Black’ was one of the highest placed on the list, at 3, bursting onto the radio with its legendary riff played by Angus Young.
Slash, guitarist of Guns and Roses labelled ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ as ‘the biggest song we ever did’, thanking radio 2 listeners for voting it at number 2 on the list.
The number 1 spot however, was given to ‘Whole Lotta Love’ with Jimmy Page making a guest appearance speaking to Zoe Ball, describing being ‘knocked out’ by the reception and positive response the song has received by the rock hungry public. The riff was described by Jimmy as ‘something that people would really get’ and that ‘just went into overdrive’ when recording.
Page used a Gibson Les Paul when recording the number, describing how he wanted to create a riff that had ‘movement, menacing as it was caressing’.
A riff that has ‘stood the test of time’ according to Zoe and used as the theme music to the once popular music show Top of the Pops.
The song is well supported by the bass of John Paul Jones and John Bonham on drums and brought to life, driving through beneath the soaring vocals of Robert Plant.
Record producer Steve Levine who compiled the list, described ‘Whole Lotta Love’ as containing ‘one of the most important guitar riffs of the century’, and that it is ‘instantly recognisable’, standing the test of time according to Zoe.