On this day, 39 years ago, one of rock’s most recognizable tracks was recorded by one of the genre’s most celebrated artists. February 3rd is the day that Purple Haze by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was transformed into the version that is routinely heard to this day. With its distinctive psychedelic rock sound, Purple Haze was responsible for popularizing the genre, well and truly introducing the world to Hendrix’s trademark guitar-playing technique and heavily contributing to the 1960s counter-culture movement. As the first Hendrix-composed single to be released, the Experience didn’t write their only preceding single, Hey Joe– the song, in many ways, was the first bit of exposure that the band received from many. Hendrix, who is widely regarded as the greatest guitarist of all time, utilized a screechy yet distinctly masterful guitar sound on the song, one that caused it to arguably be his signature song. In more recent times, Purple Haze has been recognized by many publications as one of the best rock compositions of all time. Q Magazine has named the song number one in its list of “100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever”, while Rolling Stone ranked it as number two in a similar list, behind Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, along with placing it 17th on their comprehensive “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.



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