Monday, December 04, 2006

History of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal: Jimi Hendrix

Cream may have been the first hard rock band, but it was Jimi Hendrix who defined and created the basic template of the hard rock sound.

In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion.

His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship — he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire — has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.

With classic albums like Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland, Hendrix created the hard rock, distortion sound that so many have copied and still do till this day.

This video is from the famous Woodstock concert with Hendrix performing 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return).' Awesome stuff.

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