credit: Hulton Archive
Jimi Hendrix. credit: Hulton Archive
A masterful showman, a brilliant experimentalist and one of the most influential musicians in rock history, Jimi Hendrix revolutionized the way people think about the electric guitar in genres ranging from psychedelic rock to blues, R&B and jazz. Though Hendrix couldn't read or write music, his incredible ability to manipulate the guitar with controlled feedback, distortion, pedal effects and other techniques opened the door to a wide range of possibilities.
Hendrix's flame burned hot and bright. He skyrocketed to fame after releasing a wealth of demo recordings and mastered albums with groups such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Gypsy Sun and Rainbow and Band of Gypsys. He first established himself in Europe, then won more fans after his famous performances at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969. Even after his death in 1970, Hendrix continues to leave his mark on the music world, influencing legends such as George Clinton and Miles Davis. He continues to rake in music awards for posthumous studio albums.
The most recent Hendrix album, set for release on Tuesday, revisits songs from his creative period after 1968. Titled Valleys of Neptune, the record allows fans to tap into a part of his career that is rarely heard, with five unreleased songs and unfamiliar arrangements of signature songs such as "Red House" and "Fire." The album chronicles Hendrix's studio experiments in '69 and '70 — sessions that helped him define his musical direction.