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):
Country music icon Kitty Wells (born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville, TN. August 30, 1919 - July 16, 2012) has died today. Farewell to The Queen Of Country Music.
Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreiner in Pittsburgh, PA. November 26, 1937 - July 16, 2012) passed away today.For those of you who may not know this man's name or face, you will certainly know his outstanding work as a musician. Having been a part of Motown's legendary studio band The Funk Brothers from 1967 to 1972, he played on numerous hits such as Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," and other classics like Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio," The Capitols "Cool Jerk," Gladys Knight & The Pips' "If I Were Your Woman" and "Midnight Train To Georgia," The Shades Of Blue's "Oh How Happy," Edwin Starr's "Agent Double 'O Soul," The Parliaments "(I Wanna) Testify," The Spinners' "(They Just Can't Stop It) Games People Play" and "Rubberband Man," Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye," The Main Ingredient's "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely," The Manhattans' "Kiss And Say Goodbye," Ray Goodman & Brown's "Special Lady," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" and "Ready To Take A Chance Again," Deniece Williams' "Silly" and "It's Gonna Take A Miracle," and on and on. He will be missed.
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.
During the much-hyped, highly lucrative and recently launched Police reunion tour, Sting reportedly jumped about onstage like a "petulant pansy" during this past Wednesday's Police concert at the GM Arena in Vancouver, Canada which, again reportedly, was "unbelievably lame" -- all this reported not by some extremely harsh music critic, but by the reunited trio's very own drummer Stewart Copeland, who also ripped apart his own performance as making a "complete hash" and something equally dismissive about guitarist Andy Summers' performance.
The self-critical artist wrote all of this on his personal website in a posting he uploaded Thursday. He continued to write in this highly-critical review of the previous night's show that "the groove is eluding us. We crash through 'MESSAGE' and then go straight into 'SYNCHRONICITY.' But there is just something wrong. We just can’t get on the good foot. We shamble through the song and hit the big ending. Last night Sting did a big leap for the cut-off hit, and he makes the same move tonight, but he gets the footwork just a little bit wrong and doesn’t quite achieve lift-off. The mighty Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of rock." The Police's members were notorious for getting into backstage fights back in the their heyday. Copeland continued: "It usually takes about four or five shows in a tour before you get to the disaster gig. But we’re The Police, so we are a little ahead of schedule. It’s only the second show."
Note that none of the other reviews of the same show that have appeared in the media so far are nearly as critical as Copeland's. The band's third show was scheduled for tonight (Saturday, June 2nd) in Edmonton, Canada. For a review of that show check back in with Copeland's website sometime Sunday June 3rd or soon-after for (hopefully) another review.