Friday, August 5, 2011

My Jimi Hendrix Experience Top Five

Another day, another list. This time I'd like to indulge my humbly opinionated self by sharing what I feel are the top five songs by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and why. You'll notice that I refer in this case to the band as opposed to Hendrix's later solo achievements. It seems that the
phenomena of his music is most often dealt with in terms of Hendrix himself while the other band members get the short end in terms of attention. Sure, they weren't Cream...but then they weren't supposed to be, were they? The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in a totally different way for totally different reasons no matter how much the two bands are compared with each other. Cream were three virtuosos who decided to play together while The Experience were recruited to back up Mr. Hendrix. Even so, Mitch Mitchell provided quite incredible drum work and Noel Redding performed the thankless job of providing melodic counterpoint to a brilliantly instinctive guitarist while holding the rhythm down with a rather busy drummer...on an instrument he never intended play, no less!
So here we are, my top five from the band in order of last to first.

"Remember" is from the British release of  Are You Experienced. A beyond tasteful, masterfully crafted pop song. It just doesn't sound much like pop because it was written by Jimi Hendrix.

"Little Wing"...a song of uncommon beauty topped off with an equally gorgeous solo. No wonder everyone wanted to cover it.

"Up From The Skies". Here the band nails a shuffle and makes it like no other. Credit the rhythm section on this one. Noel grips the song with an iron hand while Mitch delivers wickedly clever fills throughout.

"Manic Depression". One of the most distinctive songs in rock. The ascending tension-filled main riff, the innovative guitar and bass figures on the verses, The never-since-duplicated drum part Mitchell plays, the 6/8 time signature...all dead on.

And at #1..."Purple Haze". One has to marvel at the mind that places that nightmare intro line, that utterly psychotic guitar and bass figure following each verse, and that pleasantly disturbing guitar solo...all in the same song. An evil, evil masterpiece.


  1. I don't if I should include anything that came from the revitalized Jimi Hendrix Experience lineup consisting of Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox that made First Rays of the New Rising Sun. Much of Hendrix's best stuff's there. So I'll stick to the original lineup on the first three albums...

    1) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
    2) Third Stone from the Sun
    3) Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)
    4) Are You Experienced?
    5) Spanish Castle Nagic

  2. Voodoo Child is a great pick,Drew..a dark stomper of a blues. Are You Experienced is another good one,pure Hendrix atmospheric madness with very clever use of the reverse tape effect not only on the solo but on the song's beat as well.

  3. I agree with Voodoo Child too. That's probably my favorite Jimi song. It has more attitude and passion than just about anything I've ever heard. All Along The Watchtower is also great.

  4. Thanks,Ryan...and I am getting right to work replacing those two missing videos. I try to regularly update these posts.