Has any piece of musical equipment proliferated more, or more rapidly, than the humble electric guitar effect unit? Though there is no official tally, suffice it to say that thousands of stomp boxes, effect devices and processors have been created for the electric guitar over the past 60 years (and that’s not including rackmount effects). Conceivably, more than half of those devices are distortion, fuzz and overdrive effects.
In 2004, the landscape of mainstream rock was jarred once again by Green Day's American Idiot. An incredibly ambitious rock opera that touched on politics, depression and suburban ennui, it shifted millions of copies and re-established the trio as the American pop-punk band.
Luckily, musicians in search of quality signature gear — from guitars to amps to effects to pickups — don't have to worry about that nonsense. Generally, gear manufacturers work closely with their signature artists, in some cases, right down to the tiniest of details (Some artists repeatedly send back the prototypes until they're perfect).
What, exactly, is a headphone album? Well, the definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone album is a work that is so exquisitely recorded that it demands that you have to listen to each beautifully recorded note under a sonic microscope. Something like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fits that bill.
Stevie Ray Vaughan released four studio albums, a live album and a Vaughan Brothers album, not to mention enough leftover live and studio material to fill several posthumous albums and a box set. He even found the time to perform on albums by several other artists — from Teena Marie to Stevie Wonder to Don Johnson — very often with fiery results.
Today, Guitar World checks in with Jethro Tull and tracks down what we feel are the legendary British band's 10 greatest guitar moments. As always, our list digs deep into the band's six-string artistry (a staggering amount of which was provided by the great Martin Barre and, of course, Ian Anderson), while taking historical importance and other factors into account.
Here's an ode to a piece of gadgetry rarely covered on GuitarWorld.com, something that has brought a whole new world of sounds to guitarists' fingertips: the guitar synthesizer, aka the guitar synth. First of all, exactly what is a guitar synth? To quote Norm Leet, who wrote an authoratative feature on the topic for Roland's UK website, "a guitar synth is a synth module whose input device is a guitar instead of a keyboard."
In early 1990, the editors of Guitar World magazine sat back and painstakingly selected what they considered the top 50 guitar albums of the just-ended Eighties. In the photo gallery below, you can see what they came up with! What were the editors of GW thinking in 1990 when they picked their 50 favorite albums from the Eighties? Anyone's guess. Take a look at the list - in order - below to find out.
This list of Guitar World's 10 essential classic rock guitar albums is part of a much larger feature — Guitar World's 100 Essential Guitar Albums — which you'll be seeing in the weeks ahead. For the time being, we'll start you off with these 10 masterpieces from guys named Harrison, Townshend, Hendrix and Gilmour.