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Arctic Monkeys vs Deep Purple: Public to vote on greatest guitar riff of all time

Tracks from the days when the early days of electric guitar music include C'mon Everbody by Eddie Cochran, Holly's Words Of Love, Rumble by Link Wray and Apache by British guitar pioneers The Shadows

The Arctic Monkeys are to be pitted against classic acts such as Guns N' Roses, Daft Punk and The Beatles in a vote for the greatest guitar riff of all time.

The public is being invited to vote for their favourites from a longlist of 100 top guitar riffs compiled by a panel of BBC Radio 2 experts.

Artists as diverse as Buddy Holly, Pink Floyd, and Metallica have also made the top 100.  But organisers have insisted acts can be represented just once – so Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix and Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks are edged out in favour of Purple Haze and You Really Got Me respectively.

And there is no place for stadium-filling rock act Muse, despite their song Plug-In Baby being said to have replaced Stairway To Heaven as one of the prime choices for musicians testing out new gear in guitar shops.

The most recent release on the list is last year's Do I Really Wanna Know? by Arctic Monkeys, with No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age and Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes leading the charge for the 21st century.



Tracks from the days when the early days of electric guitar music include C'mon Everbody by Eddie Cochran, Holly's Words Of Love, Rumble by Link Wray and Apache by British guitar pioneers The Shadows.

The varied list - which also includes Hocus Pocus by Dutch prog rock band Focus, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Blur's Song 2 and A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins - was announced by Radio 2 presenter Simon Mayo.

Music lovers can vote for their favourites at bbc.co.uk/radio2. The top choices will be counted down and the winner announced on Bank Holiday Monday, August 25.

Jeff Smith, head of music at Radio 2, said: "We've all been brought up with the most amazing guitar riffs throughout the history of pop music, but our trusty panel have drawn up a strong and eclectic mix that we know our Radio 2 listeners are going to love."

The top 100 in alphabetical order by song title:

20th Century Boy - T. Rex

A Girl Like You - Edwyn Collins

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love - Van Halen

Alive - Pearl Jam

All Right Now - Free

Apache - The Shadows

Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet

Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz

Atomic - Blondie

Back In Black - AC/DC

Beat It - Michael Jackson

Block Buster! - Sweet

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley

Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols

Boom Boom - John Lee Hooker

Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf

Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen

Boys Don't Cry - The Cure

C'mon Everybody - Eddie Cochran

Cannonball - The Breeders

Cigarettes & Alcohol - Oasis

Day Tripper - The Beatles

Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys

Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult

Don't Believe A Word - Thin Lizzy

Down Down - Status Quo

Enter Sandman - Metallica

Every Breath You Take - The Police

Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor

Fools Gold - The Stone Roses

Get Lucky - Daft Punk

Good Times - Chic

Hocus Pocus - Focus

How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths

I Can't Explain - The Who

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Jack & Diane - John Mellencamp

Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry

Killing in The Name - Rage Against The Machine

Layla - Derek And The Dominoes

Life In The Fast Lane - Eagles

Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi

Lonely Boy - The Black Keys

Long Live Rock 'n' Roll - Rainbow

Loser - Beck

Ma-Ma-Ma Belle - Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)

Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters

Marquee Moon - Television

Milk and Alcohol - Dr. Feelgood

Misirlou - Dick Dale

Money - Pink Floyd

Money For Nothing - Dire Straits

Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers

Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds

My Sharona - The Knack

Need You Tonight - INXS

No One Knows - Queens of The Stone Age

No Surprises - Radiohead

Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison

Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac

One Vision - Queen

Paranoid - Black Sabbath

Peter Gunn - Duane Eddy

Pretty Vacant - Sex Pistols

Pride (In The Name Of Love) - U2

Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Rocks - Primal Scream

Rumble - Link Wray

Run To You - Bryan Adams

Running Down A Dream - Tom Petty

September - Earth, Wind & Fire

Seven Nation Army - White Stripes

Shakin' All Over - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

Sharp Dressed Man - ZZ Top

She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult

Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash

Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple

Song 2 - Blur

Spoonman - Soundgarden

Stay With Me - Faces

Sunshine of Your Love - Cream

Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses

Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd

Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand

That Lady - The Isley Brothers

The One I Love - R.E.M.

The Riverboat Song - Ocean Colour Scene

The Spirit Of Radio - Rush

Theme From Shaft - Isaac Hayes

There She Goes - The La's

Unbelievable - EMF

Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Walk This Way - Aerosmith (and Aerosmith & Run DMC)

Wheels - Foo Fighters

Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin

Words of Love - Buddy Holly

You Really Got Me - The Kinks

Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie

Additional reporting by PA