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most recognizable opening riffs

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Geez, away for most of a day and the best thread ever comes along and I have to spend 2 hours catching up--but what a memory lane trip.


Here's one that hasn't been posted yet: Every Day is Halloween by Ministry


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Was this thread "invisibled" yesterday?


I looked for it several times but it was nowhere to be found by any means I could come up with.


Anyway I would like to submit that this belongs in the primary list in mongo's first post:



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A riff is a short, memorable repeated phrase, usually a chord progression.


Not every memorable intro is an "opening riff".


Anyway, although I haven't read every page, I bet this hasn't been posted. Only one chord, but exquisitely deployed.




This is an obvious contender for the very best, and if it's already posted I apologize.



And finally, to my taste:


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A riff is a short, memorable repeated phrase, usually a chord progression.


And finally, to my taste:


Ya, mine too. As posted 'way up there somewheres!


The distinction between intro and riff should be maintained.


In that case, I must withdraw Memo From Turner.


However, I still stand behind Johnny Marr's riff in What Difference Does It Make.


Oh, and Peter Shelley's riff in E.S.P.


What is it about Manchester?


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One example that meets the "memorable, repeated phrase" definition and is recognizable to two different generations of music listeners would be The Man Who Sold the World


Bowie Version



Cover Version by Nirvana


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Nice song, nice intro, recognizable... but as a riff?


Other than "Jean Genie", here's an example of a great riff from Bowie:




Listen to the four bars before the vocals start. There's your "opening riff".


Here's another classic. It starts out as a solo guitar figure, but the drummer, then the rest of the band pick it up and it becomes the song's sustaining riff.


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