I actually considered doing a list of guitar riffs to cover the last 60 years of rock & roll music as a post forthcoming but Alex from the Chicago Music Exchange’s 100 Riffs a Brief History of Rock & Roll youtube clip almost essentially covers it.
He begins with “Mr. Sandman” by Chet Atkins and runs in a single take through to “Cruel” by St. Vincent covering everyone from AC/DC to ZZ Top in the process as he utilizes different tunings, picking styles, different fingerboard techniques, peddle effects and more to traverse the range of sounds that made up rock for about six decades.
Sure, he left out a few, like “Rock and Roll All Night” by Kiss, “the Trooper” by Iron Maiden, “Raining Blood” by Slayer, “Slaughter of the Soul” by At the Gates, “Layla” by Derick & the Dominos, “Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks, “Ace of Spades” by Motohead, “Cowboys from Hell” by Pantera, anything by Howlin’ Wolf and I’m not sure that he shouldn’t have picked Creams’ “Sunshine of Your Love” for them but it’s really though to argue beyond a certain point when you consider the smoothness of the take overall and the broad swath.
What’s almost as frightening as his collection of songs performed is how many of them I own making it nearly possible for me to reproduce his feat top-to-bottom if I were to choose. I wonder, has anyone done something similar for the quintessential jazz riffs? I may have to do some research…