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  • Feature: Top 10 Adam Jones Tool Riffs

    Wed, 15 Jan 2014 09:18:16

    Feature: Top 10 Adam Jones Tool Riffs - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    Today is the birthday of one of our favorite guitar players ever Mr. Adam Jones of Tool.

    So, in celebration of that, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino has compiled a list of the "Top 10 Adam Jones Tool Riffs". Now, we know this is going to be a highly divisive subject. That's part of the fun of it. His effect on fans and the guitar player has been indelible. His playing remains integral to heavy music's evolution, and we all know that. He's the best player to emerge from the nineties hard rock scene, and that's just a fact...

    We want to encourage everybody to say if they agree or disagree in the comments. However, without any more waiting around, here's this list!

    More importantly, happy birthday Adam!

    Top 10 Adam Jones Tool Riffs


    The ominous apocalyptic yearning of Jones's off-time hammering opening makes this downright unforgettable. As soon as you hear that guitar slip through your speakers, you can practically feel California slipping into the ocean. It's as immortal as it is infectious.

    "Prison Sex"

    It's as dirty and nasty as the title implies. The riff hinges on a clean snap that veers off into truly harrowing territory. This song encapsulates Tool at their grimiest, and for as tight as he is, Jones plays down in the dirt better than anyone.


    In some ways, this could be likened to Jones's "Stairway to Heaven". It's a winding, wild, and wonderful sensory roller coaster that rides to the outer reaches on his six-string prowess.

    "Hooker With A Penis"

    The feedback chug at the beginning quickly gives way to an onslaught of heavy sputtering polyrhythmic mayhem from the guitarist. At the same time, he bolts down the chaos masterfully, churning out an industrial and inimitable riff that's thought-provoking and mosh pit-worthy.


    This combination of two songs culminates on heavy hitting guitar-ing that's emblematic of Tool's sexy side. Something of a space love song, this one floats to climax on vapors of Jones's riffage.


    This was where the world started to see the intergalactic talent bubbling up just below a surface of overwhelming distortion. It's another timeless gem fashioned by Mr. Jones.


    The riff during the bridge kicks in like a steamroller. There's been nothing heavier since.

    "Rosetta Stoned"

    The death march of guitars entwines with Maynard James Keenan's schizophrenic megaphone mania, and then it crashes into a signature Jones crescendo. It's another reason 10,000 Days is goddamn important to rock 'n' roll at large.


    Undertow reaches into the gutter and the abyss, and then it flies on out on this surf guitar style twang—another shimmering example of Jones's own dynamic flare.


    Riff-wise, this may very well be Jones's crowning achievement. It's one of the most marvelous guitar mindfucks ever recorded...

    Rick Florino

    Did you agree with the list? What's missing?

    See what Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, and more have to say about Tool here!

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    Tags: Tool, Maynard James Keenan, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Korn

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