Even though he died 36 years ago yesterday, his music is among the most timeless and influential ever produced. Jimi Hendrix arguably changed the electric guitar sound more than any other guitarist in history. He was the guitar player who brought deft use of overdrive, feedback and the wah pedal to the masses and following in the footsteps of Eric Clapton’s days with Cream and John Mayayll’s Bluesbreakers, was among the first to swear by the Marshall Stack (amplifier) to give him one of the loudest, most blistering guitar sounds to accompany his legendary playing technique.
Hailing from Seattle, Jimi Hendrix moved to New York City in the mid-1960s to establish himself as a musician. He played as a rhythm guitarist in a number of local outfits, many of which he was kicked out of, being that even his rhythm playing would overshadow the band’s lead guitarist. He was finally noticed by Animals bassist Chas Chandler in 1967, convinced to form a group and start recording in Britain and rocketed to stardom thereafter with back-to-back-to-back top 10 singles in the UK. Though he only released three studio albums before his untimely death in 1970, well over 50 albums of live dates and unreleased studio material were mastered and released posthumously. The volume of work he generated in the realms of psychedelic, prog-metal (in its earliest form) and blues exceeds what any other rock guitarist (with the ostensible exception of Frank Zappa) has accomplished in such a brief span of time.
Noteworthy albums: Band of Gypsies (live recording), Electric Ladyland, South Saturn Delta, Are You Experienced?