Is Jimi Hendrix the most overrated musician ever?


Plainview1981
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Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some of his stuff. However, I don't think he is all that he's hyped up to be. Maybe he was back in the day... But that was then.

i think he was sloppy and lacked technique abit... He played a form of the blues with some effects. Not that I can't appericate that, but is he really worth all the hype?

I believe he and Cobain are the two most overrated musicians ever. And don't talk to be about "soul" Jimi bashed women's heads into the floor. That doesn't sound like a soulful man to me. In fact, anything but.

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First of all, I definitely agree with you on Cobain. I just can't figure out much of what constitutes music today and I sure as hell can't figure out the idolization of Curt Cobain. Sure, Nirvana were pioneers of grunge, but the music itself was hardly inspirational and very very simplistic.

As for Jimi, for some reason I never attached myself to his music like I did other classic rock. I am personally a metalhead at heart with love for classic jazz and classical in doses. But I would have to really sit down and listen to all of his stuff, not just the radio hits, to have a legit opinion.

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You really have to take a muscian in the context of the time that he/she actually played. Hendrix was something very new when he hit the scene. For me, since I am not a muscian, I take what other guitar players say as the best evidence. Hendrix' contemporaries thought he was amazing: Claption, Paige, etc. So, I don't think he was overrated, but his influence was so great that his stuff now sounds trite and dull.

As far as Cobain, I think it was the lyrics that really got people. I still remember the day he died> several of my office mates just stopped and were out of it for a week. It didnt' affect me like that. Though the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn did that to me. I was driving into work at a book- store on the Sunday morning when it came over the radio. Had a collection of tapes in the car and played them the whole day in the store.

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Nirvana was the founding father of grunge music, and Cobain's suicide came when the band was at their peak. That, along with his relationship with Courtney Love, his posing for pictures (posters) with guns, and his negative attitude towards life is why his death was (and is) so publicized.

On the flip side, one musician who's music and death I view as underrated is Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Rock and roll with a twist of grunge, or vice versa depending on opinion, Staley with his unique voice and lyrics made Alice in Chains a band for the ages.

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Nirvana was the founding father of grunge music, and Cobain's suicide came when the band was at their peak. That, along with his relationship with Courtney Love, his posing for pictures (posters) with guns, and his negative attitude towards life is why his death was (and is) so publicized.

On the flip side, one musician who's music and death I view as underrated is Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Rock and roll with a twist of grunge, or vice versa depending on opinion, Staley with his unique voice and lyrics made Alice in Chains a band for the ages.


Agreed on all this. I like Nirvana but thought they and Cobain were definitely overhyped.

I do think Jimi Hendrix was pretty ground breaking as a guitarist and is not really overhyped. He is more of a legend like every other muscician who died at their peak (Joplin, Morrison, etc.) but his guitar-work would be legendary regardless.

I think Cobain would have faded from the public's eye a bit like Eddie Vedder has done had he not commited suicide. Staley's death was a bigger personal loss for me.

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when you say something as absurd as "jimi hendrix is overrated" it's hard to resist bashing you.

It shows, at worst, a sub-basic understanding of music, musicianship and creativity. From a purely guitarist standpoint, calling him sloppy and saying he lacked technique shows a complete lack of knowledge of the instrument on your part (and of blues/jazz in general). He didn't just play "a form of blues with effects". He was one of he best all around blues/jazz guitarists of his day and the music he created is an example of one who had mastery of his instrument, a great understanding of a variety of styles and the creativity to take it places that nobody had thought of before. What he did from a production standpoint almost matches the impact he had actually writing and playing. Is he deserving of the hype? unquestionably. He is one of the top 3 guitarists of all time, regardless of style and an innovator in a multitude of ways.

Kurt Cobain was a below average musician, a decent song writer and in the right place at the right time.

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i find neither of them to be overrated. neither of them are the most precise, tightly cut musicians, but then that's not what all of music is about. both of them are able to evoke strong feelings through their performances, and when dealing with many of those feelings, precision doesn't can't fully express what's going on inside. just because it's different from popular forms of music doesn't make it any less of a talent. i'm an artist, and i could draw photographic depictions of things all day long, but that doesn't say as much to me that i want people to get from my work.

the great thing about both jimi and kurt is that they were able to bring their "new" styles to a large mass audience and have it appreciated. nirvana wasn't that groundbreaking, it was dirived from punk that had been around since the mid/late 70's. nirvana got mtv and airtime, though, and got some folks to expand their horizons. jimi was very similar. he pulled from a lot of past blues, gosspil, etc. with an added edge and brought it out to the mass (i.e. white) audience, expanding their horizons as well.

neither of them were earth shattering, but both were extaordinary in their own way and deserve their respect.

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You really have to take a muscian in the context of the time that he/she actually played. Hendrix was something very new when he hit the scene. For me, since I am not a muscian, I take what other guitar players say as the best evidence. Hendrix' contemporaries thought he was amazing: Claption, Paige, etc. So, I don't think he was overrated, but his influence was so great that his stuff now sounds trite and dull.


Would it be fair to say that Hendrix is to musicianship what Bob Dillon is to vocalization

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Would it be fair to say that Hendrix is to musicianship what Bob Dillon is to vocalization


I think that is damning Hendrix with faint praise.


ACCEPTED-- Beauty or genius is in the eye or ear of the beholder. I have seen tapes of Hendrix shows and I have talked to some who have been at the concerts (on drugs and not on drugs) and they all agree what a spellbinding presence he had. I don't get it with Dillon. His current interviews reveal him to be much shallower than the alter his scribes have exalted him to.
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I think calling Hendrix anything short of earth shattering is an insult and pardon me for saying so, shows a lack of understanding of his talent and impact and musicanship in general. He's still influencing music, across the spectrum, today. That is a testament to not only his pure talent (which was extensive), but also his creativity and his showmanship.

I also disagree that Hendrix simply "pulled" from previous styles. Naturally he had his influences, as everyone does, but he took those influences and created something that was entirely his own. Nobody sounded or has sounded like Hendrix. At the time he died, he was doing things in music that hadn't been heard before. It's impossible to imagine where he might have taken his music and what might have resulted from it, had he lived. As an artist, you should be able to fully understand this analogy: It would be like trying to predict Picasso's impact on art had he died in 1908. Much like Jimi, his talent was undeniable, But just how far it could go is beyond the scope realistic discussion.

We need to have completely seperate discussions when talking about Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. It's foolish to try and draw comparisons between the two at this point in time. They simply aren't in the same realm.

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when you say something as absurd as "jimi hendrix is overrated" it's hard to resist bashing you.

It shows, at worst, a sub-basic understanding of music, musicianship and creativity. From a purely guitarist standpoint, calling him sloppy and saying he lacked technique shows a complete lack of knowledge of the instrument on your part (and of blues/jazz in general). He didn't just play "a form of blues with effects". He was one of he best all arouguitarists ofnd blues/jazz his day and the music he created is an example of one who had mastery of his instrument, a great understanding of a variety of styles and the creativity to take it places that nobody had thought of before. What he did from a production standpoint almost matches the impact he had actually writing and playing. Is he deserving of the hype? unquestionably. He is one of the top 3 guitarists of all time, regardless of style and an innovator in a multitude of ways.

Kurt Cobain was a below average musician, a decent song writer and in the right place at the right time.


Here is my problem. Maybe it's a totally different ball game than him being overrated at as musician. The problem is that rock fans (or some of them) throw this front that if you don't play like him, you don't have soul.

I think it's one of the most stupid arguements that anyone has ever attempted to make. First of all, just because he played blues and came out with some witty lyrics doesn't make him a soulful man.

This is the same guy that was too scared to fight in a war, but had no problem beating up on women. Somebody going to tell me that's a soulfull man? Soulful men don't beat up on women.

Sorry, I've seen some vids and he appears to be alittle sloppy to me. Granted, I'm not an expert on guitar, and I don't think I've ever claimed to be. But that's the way that it looks to me. There's nothing totally wrong with that. Some feel Page is not so perfect live, and Slash appears to be alittle shaky there. And I enjoy both of them aswell.

But just because that's not their strongest thing doesn't mean they're more soulful.

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Is he deserving of the hype? unquestionably


Sorry, I don't find his work the most interesting. Truthfully, saying he's overrated isn't as much of a knock as it sounds like. He simply isn't the god people make him to be in my eyes. I'll say he's easily a top 10, but overrated just the same.

Dolly Dagger is my favorite and I like Foxey Lady, Freedom, Red House, Freedom, All Along The Watchtower.

I like alot of songs, but I'm tired of people acting like he's the only guitarist ever or is clear cut the best. Truthfully, I'm not so sure there is a "best guitarist ever" it's more along the lines of who's your favorite.

I'm just tired of the cliche arguements about him being clearly the best.

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I think calling Hendrix anything short of earth shattering is an insult and pardon me for saying so, shows a lack of understanding of his talent and impact and musicanship in general. He's still influencing music, across the spectrum, today. That is a testament to not only his pure talent (which was extensive), but also his creativity and his showmanship.

I also disagree that Hendrix simply "pulled" from previous styles. Naturally he had his influences, as everyone does, but he took those influences and created something that was entirely his own. Nobody sounded or has sounded like Hendrix. At the time he died, he was doing things in music that hadn't been heard before. It's impossible to imagine where he might have taken his music and what might have resulted from it, had he lived. As an artist, you should be able to fully understand this analogy: It would be like trying to predict Picasso's impact on art had he died in 1908. Much like Jimi, his talent was undeniable, But just how far it could go is beyond the scope realistic discussion.

We need to have completely seperate discussions when talking about Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix. It's foolish to try and draw comparisons between the two at this point in time. They simply aren't in the same realm.


That's also part of the problem. Just because he was only around a handful of years (Or well known) doesn't mean he would have done alot more great things. A guitarists prime is often short lived.

Creativity only lasts so long. It's not insult, it just happens.

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i find neither of them to be overrated. neither of them are the most sepreci, tightly cut musicians, but then that's not what all of music is about. both of them are able to evoke strong feelings through their performances, and when dealing with many of those feelings, precision doesn't can't fully express what's going on inside. just because it's different from popular forms of music doesn't make it any less of a talent. i'm an artist, and i could draw photographic depictions of things all day long, but that doesn't say as much to me that i want people to get from my work.

the great thing about both jimi and kurt is that they were able to bring their "new" styles to a large mass audience and have it appreciated. nirvana wasn't that groundbreaking, it was dirived from punk that had been around since the mid/late 70's. nirvana got mtv and airtime, though, and got some folks to expand their horizons. jimi was very similar. he pulled from a lot of past blues, gosspil, etc. with an added edge and brought it out to the mass (i.e. white) audience, expanding their horizons as well.

neither of them were earth shattering, but both were extaordinary in their own way and deserve their respect.


I never said it was. But I dislike the people that go to the extreme to diss guys that are maybe stronger in that area as more unsoulful.

Like I said, I'm not even close to being an expert on guitar, but I'll say that I don't find his work the most interesting. I think I have a pretty good ear though. grin.gif

To me guys like Santana, Vaughan, Eddie and CB are the most interesting to hear for me. You don't have to tell me that Vaughan was influenced by Jimi... I know that, but that doesn't make him the best ever to me.

Chillz petty and cliche attacks aren't going to change that to me. I still don't believe Jimi to be the soulful god people make him out to be.

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Eddie will always be my favorite. People say he's just speed. I don't agree. He might not have a blues looking style, but I find it hard to believe that people that can hear solo's from songs like Ain't Talkin' Bout Love and Fire in the Hole and not hear the blues in there.

Satch aswell.

Alot of VH fans buy into the image. Not me... I hate the tacky clothes they wore, the hair they had, the way Dave acted and still acts to this day.

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First of all, I definitely agree with you on Cobain. I just can't figure out much of what constitutes music today and I sure as hell can't figure out the idolization of Curt Cobain. Sure, Nirvana were pioneers of grunge, but the music itself was hardly inspirational and very very simplistic.

As for Jimi, for some reason I never attached myself to his music like I did other classic rock. I am personally a metalhead at heart with love for classic jazz and classical in doses. But I would have to really sit down and listen to all of his stuff, not just the radio hits, to have a legit opinion.


I'm not a huge fan of metal. Only small doses for me. As for me, I wouldn't say there is not attachment to Jimi's music regardless of what someone else says. I enjoy alot of his songs, but don't see him as the god others do.

He's influenced alot of people and made alot of great songs, but other musician's that play differently shouldn't be dissed because of the way he played.

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haha, petty and cliche` attacks? Whoever said he's a soulful god? You're taking your own discussion and stretching it to the extreme limits because you lack the knowledge to discuss it in more depth. Don't blame me for that. I never called him a god and I never attacked you. I just said it's easy to bash you when you say something so absurd.

I find your taste in most things to be simplistic, whether it be movies or music. I don't think you can put aside your initial feelings on anything in an effort to understand what makes it great, or even good. That doesn't mean you end up liking it any more. But you understand why it's considered great and you expand your own understanding in a variety of ways. Otherwise you really sell yourself short. Because you'd be surprised at how often, after you attempt understand something that you didn't really get the first time , you see its influences in everything that followed and how that often leads you back to enjoying it more yourself. Maybe I'm wrong in this case? I just find it hard to believe that if you had listened to the music of his era (and before) and what was being done at the time, both stylistically and sonically, that you could think for a second that he was anything short of revolutionary.

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haha, petty and cliche` attacks? Whoever said he's a soulful god? You're taking your own discussion and stretching it to the extreme limits because you lack the knowledge to discuss it in more depth. Don't blame me for that. I never called him a god and I never attacked you. I just said it's easy to bash you when you say something so absurd.

I find your taste in most things to be simplistic, whether it be movies or music. I don't think you can put aside your initial feelings on anything in an effort to understand what makes it great, or even good. That doesn't mean you end up liking it any more. But you understand why it's considered great and you expand your own understanding in a variety of ways. Otherwise you really sell yourself short. Because you'd be surprised at how often, after you attempt understand something that you didn't really get the first time , you see its influences in everything that followed and how that often leads you back to enjoying it more yourself. Maybe I'm wrong in this case? I just find it hard to believe that if you had listened to the music of his era (and before) and what was being done at the time, both stylistically and sonically, that you could think for a second that he was anything short of revolutionary.


Alot of people talk about him and his music being so soulful. My point is what makes his music so soulful that other people?

What's so more soulful about his music than other peoples? Maybe you do or don't see it this way. But there are plenty of people that do. It's the naysayers of guys like Joe, Eddie, Kenny Wayne, or even in some cases Stevie.

Just because somebody plays blues that sounds like it was recorded in a basement doesn't make them so much more soulful than a more polished and faster style of player.

"Otherwise you really sell yourself short. Because you'd be surprised at how often, after you attempt understand something that you didn't really get the first time , you see its influences in everything that followed and how that often leads you back to enjoying it more yourself. Maybe I'm wrong in this case? I just find it hard to believe that if you had listened to the music of his era (and before) and what was being done at the time, both stylistically and sonically, that you could think for a second that he was anything short of revolutionary."

Did I ever say he was short of great? I've heard his songs, and read some things here and there, but I don't about every single accomplishment.

I'll just be my "simple self" and break it down like this. I don't have this view that he's WAY WAY better than any other guitarist like alot of people act like he is.

If it seemed like I was trying to dog him that wasn't my intentions. I'm frustrated that alot people view more polished playing as souless.

I take everything to the extreme? You took what I said and twisted it around. I said I thought he was alittle sloppy, and you turned it around to basically saying that I said he's a total hack and that he had no good technique at all.

That's the reaction you gave to my post.

I'd rank him in the top 5-10 somewhere. Like you typically do, you didn't bother to ask where I even ranked the guy. You assumed that I thought he was overrated to the point that he isn't even very good.

I never said he wasn't good, or wasn't even a top 5. I don't know why you felt the need to reply responding as if I called the guy a bum or a mediocre player. I understand the progression he made and the direction he pushed the guitar.. I understand that without him, alot of guitarists probably wouldn't exsist.

There probably would be no Eddie or Stevie without him. However, his style of playing the guitar isn't as polished as a EVH or a Joe Satriani. That's fine, you can't hold that againest him, but you can't hold it againest Eddie and Satch and call their playing souless. But alot of people do.

You can't defend Jimi's not so polished playing because of the times and blame Eddie and Joe for their more polished and more speedy way of playing. That's the way it progressed. I don't think it's fair to blame them. But again, alot of people do.

That's my frustration. If that's too simple, I'm sorry. That's the way I view it. If you have a problem with that, that's up to you.

I don't think you and I have as much problem here as you seem to think. From what I get, your a fan of Joe, Eddie, and other such guitarist aswell.

My problem is with the people that praise Jimi to no end and blame is small weaknesses (Nobody is perfect)on the times. But attack "shredders" as souless guitar players.

I think those people overrate Jimi in a certain way. I don't see how his music can be anymore "soulful" than Joe's stuff.

Looking at my first post, I maybe said some stuff that doesn't come out the way I mean't for it to come out. I still think it was uncalled for that you responded as if I called him a bum.

And no, I don't think I view everything so simple. I'm just not the greatest at explaining myself. I fully admit that.

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I totally agree with you that a lot of shredders get a bad label on them about being soulless. Satriani being one who doesn't deserve that label.

However, there are others who I do think could be described as soulless and who kind of ruin it for the rest of them.

Shredders have the potential to be more formulaic since their shredding is often running through arpegios, scales, etc. that is sometimes more about technical brilliance than underlying songcraft.

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I totally agree with you that a lot of shredders get a bad label on them about being soulless. Satriani being one who doesn't deserve that label.

However, there are others who I do think could be described as soulless and who kind of ruin it for the rest of them.

Shredders have the potential to be more formulaic since their shredding is often running through arpegios, scales, etc. that is sometimes more about technical brilliance than underlying songcraft.


I think you describe Malmsteen perfectly. He's the one of the so called Shredders that I don't like. I think they just get a bad rap... ESP because the depressed losers that listen to grunge.

You know, that's another thing... I was hearing on the news about another school shooting that was prevented. Do you think grunge bands are any responsable for this?

I hate to blame music... But I hate that grunge bands made it cool to be depressed. It totally messed up music IMO. Yeah, alot of people don't like the hair metal that became the 80's... But it's better than a 27 year old man like Kurt Cobain crying about his high school life.

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