Best electric guitar American national anthem rendition.

While I was clicking through some of the links here, I came across this from Ted Nugent, which I thought was pretty cool.

Still going with Jimi as the gold standard here, though.

July 4th, 1986: A friend and I were crashing at a third friend’s dorm room in Boston - at the Berklee College of Music, to be exact. OK, wait. There’s too many friends there. For the sake of expediency, we’ll call my Boston friend, ‘KevvieBastid’, because that’s what I called him. OK, so my friend and I had driven up from Pittsburgh to visit KevvieBastid, hang out in Boston for a couple days, then drive down to New York to be a part of the 4th of July/Statue of Liberty reopening festivities. On the morning of the 4th, when were were going to drive to NYC, we were awakened by a SICK, bombastic, very, very damn good version of the Star Spangled Banner, as performed by my buddy’s roommate on guitar. He’d been up all night working on it so that he could wake us up with it at dawn.

I’m not a musician (much as I wish I were in any capacity at all), so I awoke with delight to this awesome tune, knowing immediately it was the roommate’s work. KevvieBastid, on the other hand, was kind of, well, ill-tempered when he woke. He went off on his roommate for like 30 seconds of solid yelling. He walks off to the bathroom still half-asleep, appears to have a thought, turns and asks, “Hey, was that you?” (playing the guitar, he meant). The roommate nods, and KevvieBastid gives him his ‘Not Bad’ face and says, “That was pretty bad-ass.”, and shuffles off.

This thread brought that to mind, and made me smile thinking about it.

IMHO (and I’m 64 YO) - Jimi’s is the ONLY version. All of the others are pale imitations (period). [Is that enough emphasis!]

Hendrix did it first, and almost all the others, in some way, are emulating Jimi.

Others attempts by guitar greats include:
Yngwie Malmsteen
Steve Vai

I think **Nazarene **nailed it. Personally, after Jimi, the Eric Johnson clip is the one I enjoy most.

No offense to the OP, but after watching all the clips in this thread as well as others from Neil Schon, Ace Frehley, Paul Gilbert, Stu Hamm, a couple of guys in their basements, and a kid or two at their high school talent shows, I can’t say that Zakk Wylde’s is all that much better thann most of them.
I love Zakk, but his rendition is a dummied down version of Hendrix’s arrangement, more apparent in this clip

ETA, I really like what Boston did with it too.

On the electric bass, I give you Stuart Hamm

I honestly don’t see the connection between Hendrix’s version and Wylde’s version, other than they’re both doing distorted versions of the anthem. Wilde’s just sounds like how I’d expect a metal lead guitarist to cover the Star-Spangled Banner. It’s a perfectly fine interpretation, but doesn’t really remind me of Jimi, other than the fact that Jimi is best known for doing an electric cover of it.

What!? Are you deaf? It’s obvious, listen to it again.
Besides use of distortion, Wah and Flanger effects, there’s a ton of Jimi’s phrasing and techniques.
For example, listen to:
Huge bend at 0:40
Trills at 0:58
Another bend and dive at 1:07
Alternate picking section at 1:20
Plus, dropping in major chords between the phrases.

It’s not identical Zakk sticks to the melody and adds his own fills and flourishes to it but the foundation is pretty well built on Jimi’s version.

Dude, chill.

If someone is listening to Zakk to hear “impressionistic soundscapes meant to evoke rockets and bombs” they are less likely to hear it - he plays some superfast triplets in those passages, whereas Hendrix used his whammy, harmonics and some out-there playing to create a swirl of noise.

There’s a lot of what Zakk does that is very derivative of Hendrix, but Zakk sticks to the notes and technique in some key parts - parts that differentiate Hendrix and are part of what the OP is talking about when he says that he is not a big fan of Jimi’s version - because he (the OP) tends to favor cleanly-executed technique…

shrug We’ll just disagree, thanks. It doesn’t evoke Hendrix to me anymore than any other distorted version of the Star Spangled Banner does. All versions of the Star Spangled Banner on electric guitar are going to somehow be compared with Jimi’s version, as that’s so engrained in the public conscience. Stylistically, Zakk’s approach is quite different. I would not call it a “dummied down” version of what Hendrix did. It’s a different take, a more metal lead guitar approach with the vocabulary of that genre.

Wow. KISS much better than expected. I liked the using their pyrotechnics in time with the song.

Boston’s version, IMO, is the best “full band” version I have yet heard, especially in light of the fact that they were playing in a stadium, which is a really crappy acoustical environment.