Most Memorable Riffs

I’m pretty sure a “Riff” is what I am after. You know, a 5 second or so clip of MUSIC you have engrained in your head. What are your favorite / most memorable riffs and why?

  1. The Law and order “Doink doink”

Gets a Head Bolting turn from me every time I hear it. If it plays about 12 times per episode, and you get 4 episodes a week…

  1. The Nickelodeon “Theme”

This is more or less Nick’s Audio Logo the first part (and most common) is just 8 notes, and gets a LOT of air play on Nick self-promotional spots. The longer version has 6 additional notes that commplement the original 8 perfectly.
You know its ““THAT”” piece of nickelodeon music.

  1. Pitfall! rope swing music. The piece of music that would play when Harry would grab the rope in the Classic Atari game. For me this will always mean “Atari”.

4.Numerous Riffs that span the Zelda Mythology. Hard to pick just one from here. Its any piece that needs to be played just long enough to let you know that it is a Zelda game.

5.Arkanoid Vaus Ship start. Each time a Level starts, or another Vaus ship (The Paddle) enters play, the piece of music provided. I just love Arkanoid. Breakout may have been the first, but as Cugnot’s Fardier made way for Ford’s Model T, Arkanoid remains the best Brick-break game.

From Zelda : The “I found something” tune.

From ‘You Can Call Me Al’ by Paul Simon - the Trumpet riff. You know the one.

Similarly, War’s ‘Low Rider’ has a repeated memorable trumpet riff.

I like trumpets.

The opening to Layla

The opening to Purple Haze

The opening to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

“Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah

The 10-note leadup to the cannon fire from the 1812 Overture

The 8-note opening of the Star Trek theme.

The opening guitar riff of “Day Tripper”.

The opening riff to “(I Can’t No) Satisfaction.”

The bass opening to the **Barney Miller ** show theme.

Yep - I’m *that * old.

The Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare
The Metroid Item Pickup Fanfare
The Megaman/Megaman X Post-Level Select Fanfare (when the robot master/maverick poses dramatically and that music plays)

Who, me, play too much video games? :smiley:

Opening guitar riff of “Smoke on the Water” and “Iron Man”.

One that’s going through my mind right now is the opening to the Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’?”

The first few notes of the Super Mario Brothers theme. I agree that Zelda and Megaman should be on the list, without a doubt, but Mario paved the way. As such it should be on there before either of those two. All the same, I agree with the inclusion of every single bit from classic Nintendo mentioned so far.

The first few measures of the Star Wars title theme, we can’t forget that.

The most memorable guitar riff ever, of course, Sweet Home Alabama, as over-played as it is.

And the opening riff to Edge of 17 by La Nicks, which was bastardized recently by Beyonce & Co. as the dreaded Bootylicious.

Oh, and No Rain by Blind Melon

Johnny Marr’s riff from The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now?”–ripped off in the 90’s in a song called “Hippie Chick”.The opening guitar riff from “Train in Vain” by The Clash. Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas” AND, to expand it past guitars, how about the opening keyboard sequence from “Baba O’Riley”? Lynyrd WHO? :smiley:

The one I’ve got stuck in my head right now is the opening riff to Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In the Years. Man that’s smokin’.

Great thread. My meager contribution is that I can be transported in time and space by many, many riffs in about 1.7 seconds.

If a Clash riff is to be mentioned, want2know, I’d nominatre the opening riff of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” instead of “Train in Vain” (which everyone always thinks is called “Stand by Me” BTW).

Especially now since the SISOSIG riff is featured in a heavy rotation Pontiac commercial here in the States.


Pure rock ‘n’ roll.

The opening of The Beatles’ “I Dig A Pony” is a great riff!

Also, The Stones’ “Brown Sugar”, Rare Earth’s “I Just Want To Celebrate” and The Five Man Electrical Band’s “Julianna” are built on amazing riffs.

Even though it is being overused in a TV commercial, the Yardbirds’ “Over Under Sideways Down” is a good one.

Crazy On You” by Heart.

“Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie, or if you are too young to remember that you will probably recognize it as “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice.

I’m sure you all hate me now. My job here is done, and I’m going home.

Play That Funky Music White Boy, obviously. And My Girl, those are the only two I can actually play. I can recognize the riff to Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl pretty wuickly, but I don’t know if the song counts as memorable. Enter the Sandman is legendary as well.

How about the opening riff to Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman”?