Riff Of The Week: Single From Birth Edition


What songs were singles in your year of birth?

Last week we got smoked up and bogged down for our Sludge Edition. Post-metal progenitors Pelican pulled through and ended up 22% of the votes in their gullets.

This week we asked for riffs from singles released during your year of birth.
Here’s what you sent in –

Candlemass – ‘Solitude’ (Riff @ 0:40)

1986. Going with anything from Master of Puppets, Peace Sells, Reign in Blood, or Somewhere in Time is just unfair.
This riff is so simple, yet so haunting. Solitude ain’t loneliness, so I’ll drink to that.

Positronic Brain
Aldo Nova – “Fantasy” (1:25)

Back in 1982, all music videos were action movies wherein the lead singer of a band gets out of a helicopter, and when his idiot bandmates can’t open a warehouse door by hitting it with their machine guns and elbows, the lead singer (did I mention he’s wearing a leopard-print jumpsuit?) straps on a Les Paul and fires a laser beam at it, busting open the lock, ushering in a sick riff and allowing the band into the building where they proceed to perform for about a dozen teenagers who, I might add, seem to have gotten into the fucking building just fine on their own.

Howard Deanzig
Genesis – “Land of Confusion” (Riff @ 0:17)

I was born in arguably one of the best years for heavy metal. 1986 brought us all-time great albums from bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Candlemass, Slayer, Kreator, Dark Angel, Destruction, Iron Maiden, Sodom, Fates Warning, Nuclear Assault, Samhain, Sepultura, David Lee Roth, Possessed–the list goes on for miles. Shit! What a time to be (barely) alive! So what did I pick? Some of my favorite metal albums of all-time are in that list. It was hard not to pick “Yankee Rose” by DLR because I’ve been doing splits and scissor kicking the air to that track for 30 years. But I picked GENESIS. Yes. This third single from their album Invisible Touch always does it for me. The guitar/synth riff in this track gets stuck in my head and stays there for days. Plus it’s probably the coolest music video in history. These are some incredibly talented dudes. HAIL COLLINS.

Saxon – ‘Wheels Of Steel’ (Riff @ 0:12)

It looks like all the best albums in 1980 were released by RotW no-nos, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. But it turns out of one of my favourite Saxon tunes was a single in 1980! Excellent driving riff begins at 0:12.

The Subhumans – “Apathy” (Riff @ 1:08)

I couldn’t find any good metal singles from 1985, but I found a killer punk song from one of my favorite bands of any genre. Fuck hair metal [Lizard: Cosigned]. This is the good shit.

Van Halen – ‘Unchained’ (Riff @ 0:28)

Ah Van Halen: the original heavy metal band (speed these riffs up and it’s basically thrash)! This riff contains ALL the bendies. Eddie rarely phoned in the riffs, there was always something interesting going on (at least until Mr. Hagar joined). I am prepared to lose friends over this submission.

Dementia – ‘Struggle for Rebel’ (Riff @ 0:04)

That riff, that Engrish, that band pic – ’twas an easy choice.

Lord ov Bork
Alice in Chains – “We Die Young,” (Riff @ 0:00)

Not only does AiC’s 1990 single have one of Jerry Cantrell’s dirtiest bendy drop-D riffs, please also check out what is possibly the most dated music video ever made. Does it make sense that Layne Staley is having his hair blown back like Fabio while singing about getting shot to death (presumably)? Not really. Does it riff though? Yes, yes it does.

Deep Purple – ‘Perfect Strangers’ (Riff @ 2:22)

One of my all-time fave Deep Purple riffs.

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Next week our theme is goat(s). The animal, not the acronym.
Anyone can enter. Submission details below.

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