When it comes to the music business, time is not always on the side of the artists. Aside from trying to be the best at what you do in your field, you also have worry about keeping up with trends, staying true to yourself, and by some miracle have your fans be willing to go along for the ride with you. Despite that virtual tightrope to walk, there are always the few musicians out there that make the whole thing look easy.
Compared to the shaky starts or even the combustible endings of our favorite artists, these acts left behind a virtually spotless legacy for their fans to look back on, not really having a time where they coughed it up all that often. As much fun as albums like St. Anger by Metallica or Cut the Crap by the Clash might be fun to look at in retrospect, it's a lot better to just be known for your kickass music than your flagrant failures.
From the debut all the way to the end, these artists always put their best foot forward and did right by their fans rather than chasing the spotlight for the rest of eternity. Then again, when you have the spotlight on you from one album to the next, it's best to get in and get out of the music business without making a fool of yourself.
10. Jimi Hendrix
Every so often, you'll get an artist that feels like they're disconnected from reality altogether. As much as they may be a part of their respective scene or take influences from other places, the entire aura of their playing doesn't even seem to be from this time or planet. Though Jimi Hendrix typically falls into that category, it was as if you blinked and he was gone.
Despite being a member of the 27 club towards the tail end of the '60s, Hendrix was responsible for pioneering a new brand of guitar hero with his handful of albums. Starting with Are You Experienced, Hendrix taught a masterclass on how to use the guitar almost as an extension of your body, as if you're trying to squeeze out every last bit of musical life you can on songs like the Wind Cries Mary and Red House. Aside from the regular pyrotechnics, Hendrix was also an amazing songwriter to boot, with stoner wisdom being imparted on tracks like If 6 was 9.
It's still a shame that Hendrix was taken from us at such a young age, considering that he looked to be just coming into his own on Electric Ladyland, even going so far as to book a session with jazz great Miles Davis. Though we may not be able to hear Hendrix grace us ever again, all we can do is marvel at the holy grail of albums that he did give us.