The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Top5Thurs: Top 5 Best Guitar Riffs

This week's Top 5 Thursday pays tribute to the passing of guitar icon and rock legend Eddie Van Halen by counting down the Top 5 Bet Guitar Riffs ever.

Think about hearing a song and knowing within the first few notes exactly what song it is by the guitar riff. Or if there was someway to keep track of the songs you've air guitar'd the most in your life, these songs would almost certainly be on your list. These are the kinds of songs and riffs that you can play in virtually any part of the country for any demographic and there would be a majority of people who have heard it.

Without further ado, here is this week's Top5Thurs.

Top 5 Best Guitar Riffs

5. Enter Sandman - Metallica

  • There was a point in time in the early 90's when Metallica was considered devil worshipping music. My older brother got in trouble at school for having a Metallica cassette tape and then brought it home and had to hide it in his room so my parents wouldn't find it. Now they regularly tour (or did, thanks 2020!) with a full blown orchestra. This song and its guitar riff basically define the 90's.

4. Sunshine of Your Love - Cream

  • The first 10 seconds of this song is so well known and so well worn most people aren't 100% sure where its from, they just know it reminds them of something. Eric Clapton could probably have all five songs on this list but this little ditty by Cream gets the nod on this Top 5.

3. Sweet Child of Mine - Guns 'N Roses

  • I'm not a Guns 'N Roses guy. I blame MTV for shoving them down my throat as a kid and playing the 9 minute November Rain every 15 minutes for a year. But the first 30 seconds of this song is going to give you goosebumps. Every. Single. Time. And then you're going to briefly think you're at a Gentlemen's Club only to realize you're at home watching Youtube.

2. Ironman - Black Sabbath

  • There's a rite of passage most kids in America go through on their way to puberty and adulthood. It involves listening to this song and then breaking something or talking back to your mom because at age 9 you don't know what else to do with the energy suddenly swarming through your body like you were just strike by lightning after hearing this song for the first time. It's beautiful.

1. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

  • Most things that you watch that were filmed before 2000 look like they were from a different planet. Characters in TV shows before teeth whitening, live sporting events before score boxes and in game graphics and movies with rudimentary special effects are usually what you'll see. But when you see any video of Jimi Hendrix, you can't help but wonder how someone so insanely talented and the personification of cool could have existed. It's amazing.

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