Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ named greatest guitar riff of all time by Radio 2 listeners

Classic track finishes ahead of AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Deep Purple

Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ has been named the Greatest Guitar Riff of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners.

Listeners have been voting for their favourite riffs since July, when a list of riffs from 100 songs were selected by a panel of music experts.

Other riffs featured in the top ten, which was revealed in full by Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 yesterday (August 25), included Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ and ‘Back In Black’ by AC/DC. Scroll down to see the full list.


Speaking about his iconic riff and the vote, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said he was surprised by its success. “I’m knocked out by this, because I didn’t expect that to happen,” he said.

“There’s been so many wonderful riffs along the way. 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.

“There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing.”

BBC Radio 2’s Greatest Guitar Riffs of all time

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 Dominoes – ‘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’