Rocket 88

  • Artist: Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
  • Label: Chess
  • Year: 1951
  • Producer: Sam Phillips
  • Studio: Memphis Recording Service (later Sun Studios)


The electric guitar gets an extra fuzzy tone, thanks to a damaged loudspeaker in the electric guitar amplifier. Folklore tells the story two ways:
1. The amp fell off the roof of the car on the drive to Memphis, or
2. Water damage to the driver.
Either way, there is buzzing and scraping as the cone and voice coil move. The result is an early hint at rock and roll's future.
But is it the first use of deliberate distortion?


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