Jimi Hendrix Tops Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists of All Time List

November 24, 2011 03:13:00 GMT

Tom Morello praises Hendrix for his effortless guitar playing and calls the late musician the one who 'exploded our idea of what rock music could be.'

Jimi Hendrix Tops Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists of All Time List
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Passing away over 40 years ago, Jimi Hendrix seemingly would never lose his charm and would continue to inspire the next generations in the years to come. The legendary guitarist, who died after suffering a drug overdose in 1970, is honored with the title of Greatest Guitarist of All Time on the newest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

One of the industry experts who votes for him is Grammy-winning musician Tom Morello. The former member of Audioslave sings praise for his idol, "Jimi Hendrix exploded our idea of what rock music could be: He manipulated the guitar, the whammy bar, the studio and the stage."

"On songs like 'Machine Gun' or 'Voodoo Chile', his instrument is like a divining rod of the turbulent Sixties - you can hear the riots in the streets and napalm bombs dropping in his 'Star-Spangled Banner'. His playing was effortless. 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."

Sitting at no 2 on the list is none other than Eric Clapton. One of his admirers, Eddie Van Halen gushes, "There was a basic simplicity to his playing, his style, his vibe and his sound. He took a Gibson guitar and plugged it into a Marshall, and that was it. The basics. The blues. His solos were melodic and memorable - and that's what guitar solos should be, part of the song."

Jimmy Page rounds up the top 3. "As a lead player, he always plays the right thing for the right spot - he's got such remarkable taste," Joe Perry says. "He was writing the songs, playing them, producing them - I can't think of any other guitar player since Les Paul that can claim that."

He continues, "He had this vision of how to transcend the stereotypes of what the guitar can do. If you follow the guitar on 'The Song Remains the Same' all the way through, it evolves through so many different changes - louder, quieter, softer, louder again."

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Eric Clapton
  3. Jimmy Page
  4. Keith Richards
  5. Jeff Beck
  6. B.B. King
  7. Chuck Berry
  8. Eddie Van Halen
  9. Duane Allman
  10. Pete Townshend


Post Your Comments

posted by slide on Nov 27, 2011
Hendrix was asked what it was like to be the greatest guitarist in the world. "You'll have to ask Rory Gallagher that one" came the reply. Electric, dobro, tenor, accoustic, Rory had it all. Regular three hour gigs, insatiable appetite for playing and the history of guitar. There never was and never will be anyone better. Ry Cooder is better than nine of that list.
posted by Mickeybh on Nov 27, 2011
By the way who wrote then recorded then played live their respective songs. The top four are absolute. In fact if you want to talk about writing Eric, Keith and Page are probably as good as it got, Throw McCartney in there also.
posted by Joe on Nov 26, 2011
Ever heard about John Mc Laughlin ?
posted by Rob on Nov 24, 2011
I agree about Jimi Hendrix. Most guitarists struggle all their lives to play what Jimi seemed to do on a whim. Keith Richards is suspicious as a great guitarist BUT he is definitely the cause of the Rolling Stones' sound.
posted by mips on Nov 24, 2011
any list that doesnt include: Carlos Santana Chet Atkins is not credible. Rolling Stone has lost it's journalistic edge.
posted by foofbunny on Nov 24, 2011
Stevie Ray Vaughan not in the top ten?? mmmmmkay.
posted by foofbunny on Nov 24, 2011
Stevie Ray Vaughan not in the top ten?? mmmmmmkay.
posted by Les on Nov 24, 2011
Where is Les Paul on this list? Was he rated somewhere lower?
posted by tod on Nov 24, 2011
When I was a kid in high school I had an argument with some guy about who was the best guitarist - Jimi Hendrix or David Gilmour. I picked Gilmour. (I was a kid What did I know.) It looks like 30 something years later Rolling Stone magazine has proven that the other kid was right. Somewhere in America that guy is reading this article and saying to himself, 'Tod who?'. I was clearly wrong, kid from my past. Jimi Hendrix IS the best guitarists who ever lived!
posted by Frets on Nov 24, 2011
Hendrix, Page, and Beck sure deserve a lot of credit. But, the list (as well as the full Top 50 version) is not a reliable one, whether it's based on how talented the players are, or on how popular/influential they are. Ritchie Blackmore, for example, deserves to be much higher than #50, based on talent, influence, and world-wide popularity.
posted by Underground Pro Gui on Nov 24, 2011
Jimi Hendrix was a pop music marketer's success. However, he and the other guys on this list.weren't doing anything that wasn't already done and often done better by plenty of unknown guitarists who came before and after them. There are lots of guys who are less famous but have far more real technical talent and even impact on music. Here are some of those greats: Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt, Paco De Lucia, Andres Segovia, Eddie Lang, Joe Pass, Merle Travis, Les Paul, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, Al Dimeola, Tommy Emmanuel, and Enver Izmailov.
posted by snotboogie on Nov 24, 2011
SRV has been disrespected. I love hendrix. He'd be my #1 but SRV could be #1 too. But Keith Richards? Is Keith Richards better then Wes Montgomery? Hell even George Benson? Never. And never ever ever better then SRV? this list is Bunk!
posted by Daveau on Nov 24, 2011
SRV at 12? Gimmi a break!
posted by talentnotreputation on Nov 24, 2011
why is it always that people are picked because of the band and not their individual talen, eg keith richards. Where is richie blackmore or steve morse?
posted by Stramocaster on Nov 23, 2011
Keith Richards ? You must be kidding. The man could never play the guitar ! Is he better than, say, a Mark Knopfler or a Vince Gil or a Snowy White or a John Mayer or a Keith Urban...etc

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