Rock legend Jimi Hendrix has been named as the greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone.
A panel of 58 music experts and influential guitarists voted and gave their thoughts on the greatest 100 guitarists to have ever made a storm in the industry and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Jimi took the top spot.
With seemingly effortless playing, Jimi Hendrix’s guitar performances were more than just highly-skilled.
Tom Morello, writing for Rolling Stone, claimed: “There’s not one minute of his recorded career that feels like he’s working hard at it – it feels like it’s all flowing through him.”
Suggesting that Little Wing is Hendrix’s most beautiful song, which uses” chord voicings that don’t appear in any music book”, the guitarist suggested that on Voodoo Chile and Machine Gun, “his instrument is like a divining rod of the turbulent Sixties”.
“His riffs were a pre-metal funk bulldozer,” Morello said of the Purple Haze star, “and his lead lines were an electric LSD trip down to the crossroads, where he pimp-slapped the devil.”
The top ten guitarists that have influenced today’s musicians and those that have gone before them read like a hall of fame. Eric Clapton is voted in second place, with Eddie Van Halen noting that there was a “basic simplicity to his playing, his style, his vibe and his sound” when he picked up a Gibson guitar.
Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, BB King, Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Duane Allman and Pete Townshend complete the top ten.
Even those who have been named by their peers as brilliant guitarists in their own right have cast their vote and lent their thoughts on the world’s greatest guitarists in music history.
Keith Richards, number four in the chart, celebrated Chuck Berry’s daring to play against the grain with “a bunch of jazz guys”, while Joe Perry noted how Jimmy Page had a “vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do”.
To mark the compilation of the list, Van Halen, Clapton, Hendrix and Page will appear on four special edition covers of the next issue of the magazine.
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