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Guns N’ Roses classic tops poll of greatest guitar riffs of all time

Slash’s guitar riff from Guns N’ Roses’ 1989 hit Sweet Child O’ Mine has been voted the most iconic of all time.

A survey of 1,500 fans in the UK voted Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger in second position, with Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust in third place.

Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire came in fourth and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven was fifth, followed by Michael Jackson’s Beat It.

The top 10 was completed by Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton’s Layla and Money For Nothing by Dire Straits.

The Rolling Stones song Satisfaction was at 24, with nothing from The Beatles featuring in the top 30.

"Where the riff came from, I don’t really remember, but I started playing this pattern," rock legend Slash said in a Guitar Center 2010 interview.

"It was one of those things that I was in the process of discovering as I came up with each note and I sort of turned it into something that kept rotating."

Frontman Axl Rose overheard what he was playing and started writing the lyrics – and the song came together.

"In those days I don’t remember spending more than one day writing a song," added Slash.

The survey by Muse Group, creators of Ultimate Guitar, also found 96% of people who took part said they can appreciate a good guitar riff, even if they are not die-hard rock fans.

The Top 10 guitar riffs

Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses (37%)

Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor (31%)

Another One Bites The Dust – Queen (29%)

Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon (28%)

Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin (28%)

Beat It – Michael Jackson (26%)

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (25%)

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd (23%)

Layla – Eric Clapton (23%)

Money For Nothing – Dire Straits (22%)

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