Riff Of The Week: 1979 Edition


Riffs from Judas Priest, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Motörhead, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Molly Hatchet, Neil Young, and Tangerine Dream.

Before we go back 40 years in riffing history, let’s take a look at the results from last week’s Extinction Edition. Belles of the Bowl Artificial Brain took home the bacon with ease, stuffed it into a compartment on their astral aircraft and fucked off back to whatever wormhole they worship.

Our theme this week is riffs from 1979
Here’s what you sent in…

Positronic Brain
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” (Riff @ 0:00)

No fuzz pedal here, amazingly. Just a Fender Deluxe turned up to 1,000,000, and an octave divider.

Thin Lizzy – ‘Roisin Dubh (Black Rose) A Rock Legend’ (Riff @ 0:00)

This entry seems like such an obvious choice, but we’ve all seen too many ROTW’s pass with the omission of a clear banger that met criteria. Never again!

Molley Hatchet – ‘Whiskey Man’ (Riff @ 0:25)

There may be riffs I enjoy more from 1979, but his one has a Frazetta album cover, which might be better than riffs.

Rainbow – Lost in Hollywood (Riff @ 0:05)

I don’t know shit about this era of metal. Is this still regarded highly or do people only care about the albums with Dio? In any case, this song kinda bangs

Hazza de Raaf
Motörhead – ‘Sharpshooter’ (Riff @ 0:05)

I might damage my case by having no class in submitting something that should tear ya down limb from limb like a nightmare, but it’s too late, too late I tell ya. You might think it’s overkill, I say stay clean cos I won’t pay your price. Foools on parole the lot of ya lost johnny vibrators. (I don’t know what accent that purports to be but this song is on the ugly cousin of their other 1979 recorded album, as might be corporally obvious. Though I just discovered it and for my snarl-blackened and deaf ears it was packed with amphettic riffs. Truth be blundered, nearly picked the opener for the Kilmister proclaiming: “this is it!”)

Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Placebo Effect” (Riff @ 0:50)

Bow down to the queen. Other bands may have dabbled, but up to this point, nobody had brought the darkness with as much dedication as Siouxsie.

Judas Priest – ‘The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)’ (Riff @ 0:08)

Fleetwood Mac is so got dang soft they’ve been reclassified to “yacht rock”. However, right before Peter Green left the band he wrote this, the hardest Fleetwood Mac song, and the riffs therein. Then Judas Priest recorded a cover of it for the 1979 American release of Killing Machine, retitled Hell Bent for Leather. Apparently the American audience of the late 70s was too soft for the original title (but totally okay with leather daddies). Thankfully they didn’t think we were too soft for this cover, because it slaps and has surprisingly unproblematic lyrics for boomer music.

Tangerine Dream – ‘Thru Metamorphic Rocks’ (Riff @ 35:00)

Dial in to somewhere between 33-36 minutes in to hear how this outer-space opus oxidises the oort cloud.

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Next week’s theme is thrash
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