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History of Rock ‘n’ Roll Narrowed Down to 12 Minutes in ‘100 Riffs’ Video

100 Riffs

We’ve seen some pretty cool videos on the internet, but the ’100 Riffs’ clip from the Chicago Music Exchange has to be one of the sweetest things we’ve come across in a while. Watch musician Alex Chadwick go through the history of rock ‘n’ roll by playing 100 snippets of the greatest guitar riffs.

Thanks to Spinner for the heads up, we get to witness Chadwick go through six decades worth of some of the most iconic songs in music history. He starts things off with Chet Atkins and his version of the 1954 pop classic, ‘Mr. Sandman,’ before jamming songs like Johnny Cash‘s ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ ‘Johnny B. Goode’ from Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones‘ ‘Satisfaction’ and a lot more. Take a look at all of the songs covered in the video below.

’100 Riffs’ has reached an impressive 1.6 million views so far after being up for only a month. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but of course you can’t please everyone. Matthew Horton from NME thought it was a solid performance, especially for one take, but had his complaints as well.

“Still, where’s ‘Ziggy Stardust,’” he wrote. “‘You Really Got Me?’ Where’s ‘Wild Thing,’ for pity’s sake? And why are they implying it was Camper Van Beethoven — not the Quo — who originally recorded ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’?”

Some of our gripes with missing songs include Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart,’ ‘Pictures of You’ and/or ‘Just Like Heaven’ from the Cure, Beastie Boys‘ ‘Sabotage’ and a couple of other omissions here and there — plus, there’s hardly any thrash metal aside from Metallica. Still, this is an impressive feat that is worthy of your time.

Some of the more modern songs Chadwick touches on include the ’90s grunge-era sounds of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Green Day, the Foo Fighters and Cake round out the mid-to-late ’90s (but no Bush, Oasis or Blur), and Jack White gets plenty of love with the White Stripes‘ ‘Seven Nation Army’ and ‘Blue Orchid,’ plus the Raconteurs’ hit ‘Steady As She Goes.’ All 100 riffs are done using a 1958 Fender Strat.

Watch the History of Rock and Roll in ’100 Riffs’

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