When looking back on the greatest riffs of all time, there's almost a certain omnipresence to their sound. Throughout every generation of rock and roll, there's always that one song that comes along with a riff that sounds like it's been part of music since the dawn of time. So these musicians must have put all of their blood, sweat and tears into crafting these right? Well...not exactly.
On almost all of these entries, most of these classic riffs came from artists just goofing around on their guitars before eventually hitting on something brilliant. As much as something like these shouldn't have worked at the time, what was originally considered a goof turned into some of the most classic sounds that the rock world has ever known, coming from the likes of metal, glam, punk, and everything in between. It almost doesn't seem fair that these guys were able to harness such power in these riffs, considering they didn't necessarily spend that much time on them to begin with.
Then again, sometimes rock and roll is about being in the right place at the right time, and these riffs are no exception. They may not have taken that much thought, but these little nuggets of guitar history have found their way into the hearts of milliosn of fans around the world.
10. Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
There's probably not a single garage band in all the world who hasn't jammed on Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin at least a few times. In just a couple of minutes, this traditional blues shuffle became one of the most infectious pieces of music in Led Zeppelin's catalog, as everyone plays like they're in the middle of some dumpy dive bar. It actually makes sense that it sounds so uninhibited because...well...it really is.
When assembling the initial songs that would find their way onto Led Zeppelin IV, Rock and Roll was not even an idea. During the recording of the song Four Sticks, John Bonham decided to have some fun by playing a runthrough of the Little Richard song Keep a Knockin, after which the rest of the band joined in. For other bands, this would just be a fun little joke, but by the grace of God someone managed to press record in the middle of the proceedings.
Compared to the more meticulous songs on the record like Stairway To Heaven, Jimmy Page maintains that Rock and Roll is one of the most purely inspired Zeppelin cuts, saying that it came together just on a whim in the studio. While many rockers talk about being in the zone during recording, the vibe must have been undeniable if you call this one of your table scraps.