Up until the early 60s, recording engineers and producers would make sure that they get the cleanest signal possible in the studio. Distorted signal or going too hot into the desk would have been a no no. In fact, I remember watching an interview of Paul McCartney, he mentioned when they used to turn up their Vox amps high to get the overdriven tone, even when they were all very excited about it and sounded good, George Martin would tell them to dial them down.
It appears that “fuzz” was an unintentional discovery, while tracking Marty Robbins’ “Don’t Worry”, a broken channel strip was used to record the bass solo and stayed on the record. Other musicians wanted this sound for themselves and Glen Snoddy, who was engineering the session, would build a circuit to capture that sound - the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, the first fuzz pedal. (Pedal Crush, page 96)
It didn’t take long for these “fuzzy” tone to become popular and it is the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction, that really brought the fuzz tone to another level.
Here at Mocha Earth Music, if you can’t already tell, we love fuzz pedals. We have a fairly decent range of fuzz pedals, which you can check out here. With this many options to choose from, it can be daunting and don’t know where to start or which is best for you. The good thing is, most of the fuzz pedals we stock were usually derived from some iconic fuzz pedal circuitries. Thanks to our friend, Beginner Guitar HQ over in New Zealand, has written up a great article on how to choose a fuzz pedal and listed out all the famous fuzz circuits/pedals and their characteristic. It should helps you a fair bit on what sort of fuzz pedal is best for your application. Check it out here.