Friday, August 5, 2011
My Jimi Hendrix Experience Top Five
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.