20 Essential Landmarks of The Human Riff

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How to pick the greatest guitar licks recorded by the Human Riff. Keith Richards, born on December 18, 1943, has been playing his instrument of choice in earnest since his mother Doris bought him his first guitar – a Rosetti, costing about £10 – when he was 15. We have 20 of the most memorable Keith Richards riffs to share.

This playlist of some of Keith’s most outstanding riffs, both inside and outside the Rolling Stones, focuses on those short, powerful, often repetitive phrases that form most people’s interpretation of that emotive word. Richards can also be heard playing countless tracks, many of which are quite impressive. However, Richards’s performance is more complex, and melds with other instruments, voices, or guitarists such as Mick Taylor. Ronnie Wood.

“Gimme Shelter” is a prime example, a track with a shimmering lead guitar line that sulks and broods throughout the track, interacting with the harmony vocals and the rest of the band on an undeniable classic. This selection, however, focuses on the punchy themes that can dictate the direction of a song.

Apart from anything else, that’s because Keith has never considered himself an archetypal lead guitarist. Not for him the angst-ridden grimace front of stage, as he attempts to extract some tortured, clichéd solo from his instrument. But he’s happy to be the man associated with that killer turn of phrase that changes a song.

“I’m the riff master,” wrote Richards in his autobiography Life. “The only one I missed and that Mick Jagger got was ‘Brown Sugar,’ and I’ll tip my hat there. He got me. I mean, I did tidy it up a bit, but that was his, words and music.” Later in the same volume, he enthuses about “these crucial, wonderful riffs that just came, I don’t know where from,” especially during the band’s incredible run of work from the late 1960s to the early 70s.

“I’m blessed with them and I can never get to the bottom of them,” he continued. “When you get a riff like ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ you get a great feeling of elation, a wicked glee. ‘Flash’ is basically ‘Satisfaction’ in reverse. These riffs are almost all closely related. But if someone said ‘You can play only one of your riffs ever again,’ I’d say ‘OK, give me ‘Flash.’”

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Brown Sugar” are, of course, all in the playlist, along with the other set texts from the Keith Richards school of riff. You are welcome to tell us about your favorite songs, as always. Respect is also due to later-period Stones tracks such as “You Got Me Rocking,” along with one song from each of Keith’s three solo studio albums, including 2015’s Crosseyed Heart. The lead song from that set, “Trouble,” had him still riffing like a dream, about 57 years after he picked up that first guitar.

You can listen to the best Rolling Stones songs on Apple Music And Spotify.

Check out this site for the most recent music news and exclusive features uDiscover Music.

Universal Music Group (UMG) operates uDiscover Music. UMG has some artists mentioned in uDiscover Music.

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