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Led Zep riff tops BBC poll

Whole Lotta Love is Radio 2 listeners’ favourite ahead of classics by GnR, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Status Quo and the Kinks

The riff from Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta Love has been named the best of all time by BBC listeners.

Jimmy Page’s lick came ahead of Guns n’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine, AC/DC’s Back In Black and Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water in a poll of Radio 2 audiences.

They were asked to choose between 100 riffs selected by a panel of DJs. Also among the top 10 are works by Derek And The Dominos, Status Quo, Dire Straits, The Kinks and Pink Floyd.

Page tells the BBC he’s “knocked out” by the result. He describes Whole Lotta Love, from 1969’s Led Zeppelin II, as “menacing as well as caressing.”

The guitarist adds: “I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces. But when I played it with the band it really went into overdrive.”

The poll is part of a BBC multichannel season celebrating the guitar.

BBC listeners’ top riffs

  1. Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love

  2. Guns n’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine

  3. AC/DC: Back In Black

  4. Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water

  5. Derek And The Dominos: Layla

  6. The Smiths: How Soon Is Now?

  7. Status Quo: Down Down

  8. Dire Straits: Money For Nothing

  9. The Kinks: You Really Got Me

  10. Pink Floyd: Money

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