August 26, 2014: England’s most popular radio station, the state-run Radio 2, has posted a list of the Top 20 “Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever.” Like any hardened guitar player and fan of great guitar riffs, we’ve got issues with the Radio 2 list. Maybe you will too. Of course, maybe we’re just being cynical, and, uh, old. But probably not.
The Radio 2 playlist is best described as adult-oriented -- what those in the radio biz might call adult contemporary, AOR, or “Adult Oriented Radio.” Most Radio 2 listeners are over the age of 35. The Top 20 were voted in by Radio 2 listeners from a list of 100 candidate riffs chosen by Radio 2 DJs and programmers.
Naturally, the top 20 list includes plenty of songs which deserve to be there: "Purple Haze," "Johnny B. Goode," "Layla," and the like. But then there are those that really make ya wonder, such as songs by the Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, and the Smiths. Well, you know how radio DJs can be: They always gotta feed ya full of the BS their corporate masters have scripted out for them, whether they believe it or not. The thing that makes them pros, however, is that they routinely regale us with utter nonsense in such a spirited, happy-happy tone of voice, it almost makes you believe they believe it.
See what you think of the list, which, by the way, only includes one song written in the past 20 years. Click the link below to visit the article on the website of London newspaper, the Telegraph.
-- Adam St. James