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The riffmeister on the greatest riff of all time

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer maestro Tony Iommi, a riffmeister extraordinaire himself, weighted in on the greatest riff of all time question:

Apart from your own, what’s the greatest riff of all time?

That’s even harder. There’s so many great riffs out there from the past, and up to date stuff. But you’ve got to have Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water. And of course there are a lot of Zeppelin songs. Jimmy Page has some great riffs.

So there you have it.

Thanks to BraveWords for the info.

18 Comments to “The riffmeister on the greatest riff of all time”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore & Jimmy Page. Say no more, nothing else needs to be said! Cheers.

  2. 2
    Dim Tod says:

    Smoke On The Water The Best!

  3. 3
    Wiktor says:

    he´s soooo right..good ol Toni Iommi!!

  4. 4
    AndreA says:

    also Angus and Malcom.

  5. 5


  6. 6
    Adel says:

    In my opinion ‘Burn’ is the most enjoyable riff of all time.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Strangely enough, I always dug what the Sabs did to it (with a little help from the Javelins singer they had at the time), they somehow made it their own with their idiosyncratic dinosaur juggernaut groove. Geezer Butler’s bass runs are to die for. Godzilla plays Smoke on the Water …


    But then the whole Gillan & Sabbath era is vastly underrated me thinks. Born Again is one of Gillan’s “outside of DP”-masterpieces.

  8. 8
    Jesse McDonald says:

    Honestly, ‘Money Talks’ from ROTD is ridiculously underrated!! That riff is absolutely booming! The whole album is incredible

  9. 9
    Buttockss says:

    Burn and Highway Star for me.

  10. 10
    NWO says:

    AC/DC – As a new old guitar player, their riffs are fun and rock. Instantly recognizable by friends and fairly easy for a new guitar player. When you are trying to get from just awful to a decent crap level :)…

  11. 11
    Bob Brodman says:

    Iommi’s right. Into the Void & Smoke on the Water.

  12. 12
    Tommy H. says:

    @ 7, Uwe Hornung:

    IMHO, there’s no better tone than Ritchie’s mixed with Jon’s Hammond/Marshall. If you play Smoke with just an overdriven guitar it’ll never sound as dense, heavy and big, no matter how much overdrive you put on that guitar. In addition, I prefer Ritchie’s tone over Tony’s any day if there was only guitar.

    Regarding Gillan’s time with Sabbath: To describe it as totally weird is an understatement. You know that it served as a template for the movie “Spinal Tap”. The Stonehenge-reference is unmistakable. I had to laugh really hard when I heard “Disturbing the Priest” for the first time – and it still makes me laugh. You don’t have to take their efforts too seriously, they had a lot of fun but I’d never say it’s “underrated” or a “masterpiece”, though it’s still really entertaining for sure. Do you know Gillan’s story from that time (which can be found within his autobiographical movie “Highway Star – A Journey in Rock”)?

  13. 13
    Kim Peters says:

    Agreed Jesse.
    Morse era is underrated.

  14. 14
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    You’re all missing the blindingly obvious…
    ‘Wake up Jeff’ by The Wiggles!… For sure. 😄

  15. 15
    Arby5 says:

    Yikes, Smoke is way overrated surely….I know, I know…they have to play it, everyone knows it but man, Purple and RB had far better riffs than this over the years. If I never hear the song again I’ll be ok with that!

  16. 16
    Buttockss says:

    @ 14, That’s funny……check out Jim Breuer on utube……his comparison of Iron Maiden and the Wiggles is some funny stuff.

  17. 17
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Sorry to upset anyone but Burn is the greatest riff of them all in my opinion.

  18. 18
    Blackwood Richmore says:

    @17 Adel, c’mon man, you must recognise the virtuosity of this song…. Just checkout that guitar solo!:

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