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SmashTheState's avatar

What is the most addictive musical riff?

Asked by SmashTheState (14245points) August 15th, 2015
31 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Which instantly-identifiable musical riff do you believe is the most frustratingly addictive in all of music? Not necessarily the one you like most, but rather the one which, when heard, infects your brain and begins repeating on a loop ad infinitum?

My answer: Doo doo-doo doo-doo. Doo doo-doo doo-doo DOO DOO. (The fact that you recognize this typed out is testament to this riff’s malevolent ability to hijack the human brain for hours.)

How about you? Moonlight Sonata? 1812 Overture? Enter Sandman? Seven Nation Army? Something else?

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snowberry's avatar

Ha! It didn’t hijack MY brain! But I’m not a musician.

janbb's avatar

The first ten bars of “Sunshine of Your Love.”

cookieman's avatar

The opening guitar riff to the Beatles “Daytripper”.

The opening bass line to Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”.

The main riff in Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island”.

These run through my head all the time.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The palm muted Em on a heavily distorted guitar.

Pachy's avatar

Both the Stones and the Beatles produced some amazing riffs. Sympathy for the Devil and I Feel Fine immediately come to mind.

zenvelo's avatar

Nothing quite as addictive or earwormy as Manamana.

But I didn’t decode your typed out riff.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Pretty sure it was the theme from The Twilight Zone..but he did it wrong!

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo That was my grandson’s first favorite song. (And I didn’t decode Smash’s riff either.)

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Theme from Twilight Zone is more “dee-di-dee day, dee-di-ee day, duh DUN!”

zenvelo's avatar

My favorite riff, my personal theme riff, is from the Beatles Drive My Car – “beep beep un beep beep YAH!”

Dutchess_III's avatar

No it it isn’t @zenvelo! It’s doo doo doo doo. doo doo doo doo DOO DOO DOO DOO!!! ARGH!!!!

Pachy's avatar

The theme for the “New” and infinitiely inferior Twilight Zone TV series didn’t hold a candle to the original… except for the few bars of “da da da da” that briefly showed up in it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Gosh, I’ve never even seen the “new” Twilight Zone. I can’t imagine it would be any good.

Pachy's avatar

@Dutchess, it ran years ago; in fact, I think there were two remakes and both were awful. Serling was one of a kind.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Plus it was in TV’s early years. The imagination was awe inspiring. I think it made adults remember their childhood, and it made kids scream and hide.
My dad had an HO train set, complete with towns, and roads and farms….one time, after watching a Twilight program he stuck the cat on the train set and took a picture. Looked like a giant cat, terrorizing the world.

Berserker's avatar

Actually I’m going with Bruce’s theme as well. It’s classic enough that the first time I heard it wasn’t even in the movie.

gasman's avatar

@zenvelo, @janbb: Manamana is a total ripoff of “Love Is Just Around the Corner,” here sung by Bing in 1934

Of course I’d reach back to the underrated swing era (which is not only before your time but before mine, too) for Glenn Miller’s In the Mood, a classic “riff melody” whose main theme begins at 00:13 & again 2:07. The syncopated sax intro is famous in its own right as well.

ucme's avatar

…that hypocrite smokes 2 packs a day

zenvelo's avatar

@Symbeline What is Bruce’s theme?

@ucme What are you smoking? Off handed remark with reference to something in your head?

@gasman I wouldn’t call that a rip-off, I’d call it a vast improvement.

SmashTheState's avatar

@zenvelo @Dutchess_III It’s the theme to Inspector Gadget. Most people I’ve done this to recognize it instantly, even typed out. And the riff from the Inspector Gadget theme is the nuclear option; if any other people of music gets trapped in your head, humming the Inspector Gadget theme will obliterate it… at a terrible, terrible cost. Doo doo-doo doo-doo…

Berserker's avatar

Inspector Gadget?! Oh…I thought it was Jaws. That’s why I said Bruce, the name they gave to he mechanical shark prop, so as not to spoil it, but I was wrong lol.

tinyfaery's avatar

“Under Pressure”

Pachy's avatar

Yes, @gasman In the Mood. What a great one! I met and talked with Miller’s arranger, Glenn Gray. He arranged that one.

cookieman's avatar

@tinyfaery: I love that song.

Pachy's avatar

How about Boz Skagg’s Dirty Lowdown. Listen to that great bass line under the drums and cymbals. So cool.

ucme's avatar

@zenvelo It’s my answer, buzzard!!
Lyric from Beastie Boys Fight for your Right…to Paaaaaarrtaaaayyyy!!
Uncool reaction man, but hey, that’s okay.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never seen Inspector Gadget.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Blitzkrieg Bop

Silence04's avatar

Any chord progression within the circle of fifths in western music. This is essential the formula used on every chart topping song in the past 100 years.

gasman's avatar

@zenvelo Maybe an improvement but suspiciously unoriginal lol
@Pachy It’s cool you met Glen Gray—one of the pioneers.

srmorgan's avatar

What about what I think is called the ‘Bo Diddley’ riff?
As in Willie and the Hand Jive. ‘I know a cat named wayout Willie, he’s got a swinging little chick named Rocking Millie.

I don’t have the musical knowledge to describe it better, but whenever I hear it. it sticks in my head for hours.


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