Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Stratall in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.
SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):
Born on this day: July 9, 1946 - Bon Scott (born Ronald Belford Scott in Forfar, Scotland), the original lead singer of AC/DC. Happy Birthday to this rock vocal icon on what would have been his 66th Birthday!!
On this day in music history: July 9, 1955 - "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for eight weeks. Recorded on April 12, 1954 at the Pythian Temple in New York City, the song will go largely unnoticed when it initially released in May of 1954 as the B-side of the single "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)". It is only after it is used for the opening title sequence to the film The Blackboard Jungle (starring Glenn Ford) nearly a year later that record finally takes off. The song will create a sensation around the world, causing teenagers to riot in the aisles of movie theaters. It will be regarded as a landmark in music history as the first number one single of the Rock Era. The record will also earn a place in the Guinness World Book Of Records for the largest selling rock and roll record of all time, with sales to be estimated at over 25 million copies sold worldwide. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982.
On this day in music history: July 9, 1977 - "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by O'Day, it is the lone top 10 hit for the LA-based songwriter/producer who has previously written hits for Helen Reddy ("Angie Baby") and The Righteous Brothers ("Rock & Roll Heaven"). O'Day will be the first artist signed to Pacific Records, a label specifically established by then Warner Bros Music president Ed Silvers, and distributed by Atlantic Records. The hit single version is produced by Steve Barri (The Grass Roots) and Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Donna Summer) after the initial session for the song (produced by veteran producer/engineer Tom Dowd) is scrapped as O'Day has vocal problems due to allergies. The song's unique vocal echo on the bridges is created by running a second tape machine (to create delay) and then manipulating the reels by hand, slightly speeding them up then slowing the down. "Undercover Angel" will actually be banned by some US radio stations when its lyrics are rumored to contain hidden sexually explicit references. In spite of this, the single will sell over a million copies and is certified Gold by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 14, 1969 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, the second studio album by Neil Young is released. Produced by Neil Young and David Briggs, it is recorded at Wally Heider Studio 3 in Hollywood, CA, in January and March of 1969. Recorded in just two weeks worth of studio time, it is the first to feature Young's backing band Crazy Horse. The album features some of Young's best known material including "Cinnamon Girl" (#55 Pop), "Down By The River," and "Cowgirl In The Sand." Young will write all three songs in one day while sick in bed with a 103 ° fever. "Nowhere" will peak at #34 on the Billboard Top 200 and will be certified platinum by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 14, 1971 - Carpenters, third studio album by The Carpenters is released. Produced by Jack Daughtery, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA in late 1970/early 1971. Coming just nine months after their breakthrough album Close To You, it will firmly establish the duo's pop star status on a worldwide basis. Carpenters will spin off three top five singles including "Rainy Days And Mondays" (#2 Pop), "Superstar" (#2 Pop), and "For All We Know" (#3 Pop). The original LP package is designed to look like a formal party invitation, opening from the top like an envelope with an overlapping flap. Carpenters will peak at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has sold over 4 million copies in the US.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now to notice a two-degree temperature drop and the standard grey, morning haze lasting an extra hour and excitedly exclaim, “Fall is in the air!” It’s what I have to work with down here.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. I’m eager to cuddle up in coats, drink steamy brews, over-do holiday cooking, celebrate Walrus Day, and frankly, I like the melancholic pallor it casts o’er humanity – makes my fellow man seem more relatable than when they’re sweating and spiking balls over nets, behavior which makes me skittish and distrustful.
Of course I know this new chill in the air may be a tease; there’s always opportunity for Mother Nature to Alan Funt the situation. I’m not boxing up my cargo shorts and ice cube collection just yet, but I am eager. To prepare, I’ve hand-selected the finest mini-marshmallows to serve in cocoa (I myself hate eating marshmallows – they’re like sugar-sweetened, antique erasers, but ironically I delight in judging and organizing them), I’ve begun psychologically manipulating the boyfriend with subliminal messages while he watches The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to favor Douglas Firs over White Firs, and I’ve taught my cats to knit their own sweaters. (To be honest, this last effort has been a real power struggle, with both felines putting up a lot of resistance and excuses:
Written, recorded, and released back in 1935 by the great delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams, the song "Baby Please Don't Go" has been popular with countless artists in the seventy five years since, having been covered by dozens upon dozens of different musicians to the point that it ranks among the top ten most recorded blues songs in music's history.
Perhaps the most famous or recognizable cover version of "Baby Please Don't Go" is the 1964 recording/release by Them -- the Belfast, Northern Ireland blues-rock ensemble featuring Van Morrison. Them's cover (with "Gloria" on the B side), which was a top ten single in the UK in 1965 and a US AOR radio staple in consequent years, injected a whole rock n roll energy into the classic blues song.
So influential was Van & co's version that nearly all of the versions of the song recorded or just played after 1965 (including by fellow Irish blues-rockers Taste featuring Rory Gallagher) are rock inflected covers a la Them rather than the original blues version by Williams. Another Irish rocker to cover the song was guitarist / vocalist Eric Bell, who was an original member of Thin Lizzy.