100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks

From Jerry Garcia and Joan Jett to B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stone critic chooses the best and most influential guitarists in rock

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Ritchie Blackmore
100
Costello/Redferns55/100

55. Ritchie Blackmore

The Deep Purple and Rainbow leader is a master of both bottom-line riffs and jaw-dropping virtuoso flights. It's ironic that despite his classical leanings, this master technician is best-known for one of the most simplest riffs of all time: Purple's "Smoke on the Water."

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