The Greatest Guitar Anthem Has Been Revealed

8 April 2023 | 10:26 am | Mary Varvaris

What songs should have been higher?

(Pic by Adrian Thomson)

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Absolute Radio listeners have voted for the 100 Greatest Guitar Anthems, with thousands of punters choosing rock music to soundtrack their Good Friday.

The UK-based radio station didn’t have a homegrown track like Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, or Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, or Dire StraitsMoney For Nothing at #1; the Absolute Radio listeners opted for something American: the Guns N’ Roses 1987 classic, Sweet Child O’ Mine

Everyone knows Sweet Child O’ Mine - we can all hum Slash's opening riff and even his solo. We attempt to sing it at karaoke bars, and many remember watching the music video for the first time on MTV.

Absolute Radio’s Sarah Champion commented on the #1 voted song: “From the iconic opening bars, you know this is a song which is going to take you on a journey.

“With Axl Rose’s unmistakable vocals added in, Sweet Child O’ Mine is an anthem which is a timeless rock classic and a worthy winner of the Greatest Guitar Anthem poll.”

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Sweet Child O’ Mine is closely followed by Comfortably Numb and AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. As Absolute Radio notes, the 1970s is the most highly represented decade, with 25 songs making the countdown. 

The 80s and 90s nabbed 24 and 23 songs, respectively, while 14 songs from the 2000s made the list. Nine tracks from the 60s made it, two songs from both the 1950s and 2010s, and just one track representing the 2020s (Wet Leg’s Wet Dream, released in 2021).

Check out the top 25 Guitar Anthems as voted by Absolute Radio listeners below, and look at the complete list here. What songs should have been higher?


The Top 25 Greatest Guitar Anthems

Guns N’ Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb

AC/DC - Thunderstruck

Eagles - Hotel California

Fleetwood Mac - The Chain

Dire Straits - Sultans Of Swing

Derek And The Dominos - Layla

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower

Joan Jett - I Love Rock And Roll

Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

Prince - Purple Rain

Metallica - Enter Sandman

Queen - Another One Bites The Dust

Blondie - One Way Or Another

Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water

Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

AC/DC - Back In Black

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Guns N’ Roses - Paradise City

Bryan Adams - Summer of 69

Foo Fighters – Everlong

Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama