Jimi Hendrix vs Eric Clapton [POLL]
It’s the age-old question: Who is the better musician, songwriter and singer?
I think the answer is clear but hard to accept.
Jimi Hendrix had a short career of extreme popularity. He made plenty of original songs, often experimenting with weird sounds and techniques. In most cases they sounded pretty good. Most of Eric Clapton’s songs while in Cream were simpler and closer to a blues sound; however, they were clear and well-written. All of Clapton’s notes were done right.
As a songwriter, Jimi Hendrix made more unique, lasting songs that are still apparent to us. Just hearing the first few chords of Wind Cries Mary or the weird guitar noises of Voodoo Child gives us instant recognition, even today. Still, If 6 was 9 and other great songs of his haven’t lasted throughout the decades. But everyone knows Sunshine of Your Love, perhaps more than all of Jimi Hendrix’s work.
Jimi Hendrix was not a good singer. Eric Clapton is a clear win on this topic. Jimi Hendrix talk-sung his way through most of his songs; he held out notes longer on the chorus. This worked well on blues-like songs such as Hey Joe and fast songs like Fire but is an obvious loss compared to Clapton. On talking songs like After Midnight his voice shined through, while in songs like Layla it showed in its awesome entirety. He sounded just as good when live, as well. Jimi Hendrix falls way behind in this way — his live performances were often sloppy and he even missed lyrics, sometimes entire verses. In my opinion, Jimi Hendrix was best when paired with another singer, while Eric Clapton was fine on his own in his long solo career.
Speaking of a long solo career, Eric Clapton has had the opportunity to play with the more recent musicians, such as Stevie Ray Vaughn and even more recently John Mayer. He took part in the historic The Last Waltz. The only legacy we can see of Hendrix is his brief run as a famous musician. Maybe if he was still playing today, we would be able to compare the two, but I have to say that Clapton wins this battle.