The Six Sweetest Riffs of All Time

Categories: Nitpick Six


4. Sonic Youth, "Teenage Riot"

"Teenage Riot" is one of only a few moments in which Sonic Youth let its artsy guard down enough to be a big, dumb rock band. This riff -- the one after the "Spirit Design" intro, the one that kicks off the main tempo -- proves that heady and visceral can coexist.


3. Kansas, "Carry On Wayward Son"

Fun fact: It is incorrect to call this song "Carry On My Wayward Son." This track makes the cut for quality and quantity. There could be a list inside of this list of the sweetest riffs just on this song. Let's run it down chronologically. There's the first intro riff (duh duh duh DAH [organ], duh duh duh DAAH [organ], do dah da-da-da dah DUH [organ], dah DUH [organ]), which trades off with a second phrase in the intro (duh duh... WAH WAH, da do da duh DAH di duh). And who can forget that bridge (doo, meedy meedy meedy me-dee, duh duh DAH DAAAAAH)? They alternate just enough to make "Carry On" a bit of an obstacle course and to remind us all that Kansas is kind of a prog band.


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