A riff is a term in rock music for a short phrase used as a background or as a building block for solos and mostly often repeated. There were a lot of songs where a riff is the main thing of a song. During the last days I was searching the songs I have for the final riff at all. It is difficult because there are so many riffs during the last decades that impressed me very much and finally I always come back to Wilko Johnson. Back in 1979 Dr. Feelgood released their fourth album Sneakin' Suspicion and the title track has everything a riff-based song should have. Only a few chords preparing the ground for a some guitar licks. Especially when Johnson plays rhythm and lead guitar at the same time.
Dr. Feelgood - Sneakin' Suspicion
If you have any suggestion for another songs - please let me know. Probably we can make a series out of it.