Oct 06


FT + Popular106 comments • 10,787 views

#293, 21 November 1970

I was playing this song and my wife walked in.

“Who’s this?” she asked.
“The Jimi Hendrix Experience”
“Oh. Couldn’t he have got a better singer?”

I’ve never really bothered trying to get into Hendrix. Guitar heroics don’t generally interest me, and by the time I got into music the churning vitality of his stuff had got lost under layers of rock icon varnish. For instance: at school we had three options on a Sunday morning – a solemn early morning service for the actual believers, a later standard-issue service, and a secular ‘talk’ for the agnostics. At one of these talks, the trendiest of the three chaplains delivered a lecture – nay, a meditation – on Hendrix, culminating in playing “The Star Spangled Banner” over the school’s PA system. I was excruciatingly bored and embarassed by the whole thing.

At the same time, though, I was listening to music clearly inspired by “Voodoo Chile” – ‘baggy’ music had rediscovered the wah-wah, and Stone Roses guitarist John Squire’s own personal rerun of sixties pop was taking him deeper into Hendrix territory. So this single is oddly evocative of the turn of the 90s, stabs at flares and bowl cuts and trying to reconcile a love of the Happy Mondays with a puritan horror of drink and drugs. (The horror lost.) Which might go to show that music lives better when well meaning fans try to make it than when they try to teach you about it. Even so I never wanted to dig back into the sixties source material – partly because I was sixteen and affected not to care about old stuff, and partly because Hendrix’ gruff blues mumble is quite unattractive.

I’m glad this single reminds me of something, though – it grounds my response to it, stops it sounding quite so freakish in the context of this pop procession. Freakish in a good way – the strafing solos, the grinding pulse of the drums, the way the sound drops in and out like some alien radio broadcast, the aggression. And also in a less good way – after the dramatic band entrance and first verse its five minutes meander, and I can’t get much of an emotional toe-hold on it. Maybe that’s not surprising – this is a rock album track, plucked from its parent to serve as a rushed memorial. As a pop single – something it was hardly meant to be – it works best as yet another farewell to the sixties, and a slightly awkward intrusion of the musical stories unfolding outside the singles chart.




  1. 1
    rosie on 23 Oct 2006 #

    I thought I’d commented on this.

    It’s a funny thing, but although I know the track very well, I had no idea it was in the singles chart, let alone number one!

  2. 2
    Daniel_Rf on 23 Oct 2006 #

    Maybe much of it is just down to the fact that they dressed better, but somehow I’ve always thought that the Jimi Hendrix Exprience, despite having become sort of guiding lights for an aesthetic where musicianship beats catchyness and the traditional conception of songcraft, were actually quiet good at the whole Pop thing, hit singles and everything. Their hits fit in nicely with the Mod Pop and Freakbeat of their era, which is something that can’t be said for a lot of other groups of their movement, from Jefferson Airplane to John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.

    I *think* this might deserve a higher grade – great opnening line! – but it’s been a long time since I’ve heard it, and anyway most probably you’ll soon be at the mercy of much verbal abuse by googlers and non-googlers alike here, so I won’t grumble much.

  3. 3
    Daniel_Rf on 23 Oct 2006 #

    “dressed better” – than the other bands they get grouped with, I meant.

  4. 4
    Tom on 23 Oct 2006 #

    Like I say, I don’t know much about Hendrix’ other stuff – this is the first thing I’ve listened to with any intensity.

    As with most marks, I can only go on how much I’ve enjoyed the thing. I enjoy this in a different way from most things, certainly.

  5. 5
    wwolfe on 23 Oct 2006 #

    I’m amazed this was a #1 single. When I read references to Hendrix’s upcoming entry over the past couple of weeks, I assumed it would be “All Along the Watchtower,” since that was his only American Top 40 hit. That one at least seems like a single – or, perhaps more accurately, it gestures in the direction of being a single. “Voodoo Chile,” by contrast, seems utterly outside of and uninterested in the disciplines involved in making hit singles. As such, seeing it here is like seeing an ox at a dog show: it may be a perfectly fine beast, but it looks truly bizarre in its present company.

    I agree with your take on the record’s strengths and weaknesses. For me, the best context to hear it was in “Withnail & I,” where its placement on the soundtrack in the scene where the two protagonists drove blindly through a wild night storm was a perfect visual and sonic expression of the chaotic historic moment that produced it. Plus, it was about four minutes shorter than the too-long record.

  6. 6
    intothefireuk on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Some years ago I bought a Hendrix A & B sides compilation on CD mainly because I had never owned anything by Hendrix and thought it long overdue I should (and even though I was persuaded as a child that it was ‘just noise’ by my parents because my neighbour used to play it at full volume). I was suprised at the bass heavy distorted sound coming out of my speakers (an mp3 won’t do it justice) which seemed to distance it somewhat from other 60s artists I had heard on CD. I suspect there is no time when VC would have sounded less out of place as Hendrix & co. seem to be on a trip that no one else was (or were willing to take). The sounds he conjured (strangled) out of his guitar were unique and in many ways have never been equalled and I’m sure others who are more eloquent than I can describe it better. Suffice to say I was impressed but as great a musician and performer as he was he wasn’t always a great songwriter (he probably didn’t need to be). VC in particular is so uniquely Hendrix it probably couldn’t be performed by any other artist and make sense. Personally I love what he did and this would therefore lead me to award it a slightly higher mark but as a pop song (which as Tom rightly points out it was never meant to be) I can see it has its limitations.

  7. 7
    Tom on 24 Oct 2006 #

    It’s worth pointing out that – as far as I can tell – this VC is the song that appears on its album as “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”. Whether that’s more or less far out I wouldn’t yet know!

  8. 8
    Matthew K on 24 Oct 2006 #

    The non “Slight Return” version is much spacier and slower, it’s a cooking, brooding jam recorded in the studio when a camera crew came in to get some footage of the Experience making their album. It really is a stunning track, starts with the sound of people idly chatting, then Hendrix sings the opening line and the band just plop down into a comfortable groove, which slowly builds like a tsunami. I think Steve Winwood is on organ as well. The Slight Return is great for the big surges of guitar, but the other version is an order of magnitude better I reckon.

    But the single deserves at least a 7, who else was doing this at the time? I hate guitar histrionics as well, the difference with Hendrix is that the music just spilled out of him, rather than being inserted into an instrumental break for pose value.

  9. 9
    blount on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I LOVE GUITAR HISTRIONICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    other folx definitely doing the ‘what if we made our guitars sound like AWESOME JET FIGHTERS PLUS TIGERS PLUS RACE CARS OMG LOL VRRRRRROOOOMGRROOAAAAAAAAAR’ at the time albeit not as well/as ‘pop’ even as hendrix, who of those late 60s titans seemed the most the singles act to me – all his albums sound like a collection of singles plus a couple of b-sides plus obv filler (i mean this as a compliment btw), even the most ‘albumy’ one (electric ladyland from whence this sprung) seems to be very hodge-podge ‘here’s some new stuff and some old stuff and some stuff we had lying around’. love love love this track – hendrix maybe at least as strong a root of getting off on NOIZE as the velvets, and decidedly more upfront about ‘gawd this is FUN’. you can trace prince + funkadelic + sonic youth + my bloody valentine + god knows some heavy metal (and maybe some madchester though i don’t really hear that tom – that alley’s more page maybe?) from him and you can trace chitlin circuit + swinging london + (maybe too much at times) dylan to him = i got nothing bad to say about him. i definitely prefer his BACDAFUCUP songs to his dylan takes and proto-‘wonderful tonight’ ballads (though i love his BACDAFUCUP dylan take, ‘all along the watchtower’ (i’d give it a 9), helps to have dylan handling the dylan part), of his straight blues numbers this is my fave (it’s the most ridiculous in every way), i’d give it an 8, ‘crosstown traffic’ would get like 10 squared times infinity or something. spining on something from the ‘woodstock’ thread where mod said he prefer’s hippie’s positism to punk’s negativity, i think i prefer punk when it’s heart on the sleeve hopeful or idealistic/in love at least, and i definitely prefer hippie when it’s bad trips and negativity (or at least defeated and downcast) – stuff definitely resonates, especially lately (read= past five years).

  10. 10
    fivelongdays on 24 Oct 2006 #

    It just says a hell of a lot when a psychadelic blues jam was the best selling single in the country. Happy days.

  11. 11
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Blount gets it.

    10 out of 10 out of fucking 10.

  12. 12
    rosie on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I wasn’t ever a great fan of Hendrix, nor of musical pyrotechnics – as a master of guitar playing give me Richard Thompson any time – but Hendrix had a certain something. I wouldn’t give this 10 but it’s worth an 8 – simply for the sheer cheek of getting something like this, which belongs in a smoky basement at three in the morning, to the top of the singles charts. NOt as good as All Along The WatchtowerPurple Haze but the experience of listening to it just now, through cans at full volume, is as freaky an experience as I’ve had since I was at Uni!

  13. 13
    Lena on 24 Oct 2006 #

    One of my favorite quotes about music ever is by Hendrix – “Rock is so much fun. That’s what it’s all about – filling up the chest cavities and empty kneecaps and elbows.” I feel – I can’t really pinpoint every moment – that this song is almost a history of recorded music all by itself, blues and rock and pop and even post-war jazz all thrown together; it soars and smiles and slams and surprises…it marks the ending of a time and yet opens the door to the 70s before it goes…to me this is a 10 (obviously!)…

  14. 14
    Kat on 24 Oct 2006 #

    This is my favourite Hendrix track. I can’t stand the widdling on Star Spangled Banner, but for the most part I really enjoy all the tracks on the greatest hits compilation. This one in particular sounds wild and furious and COOL. Jimi snarling away “I said I didn’t mean to take up all your sweet time, I’ll give it right back to you one of these days…” like he’s singing down a tube. Magic stuff. I would give this a 9.

  15. 15
    Tom on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Blount’s comment easily the most persuasive so far, but keep ’em coming!

    (re. the ‘cheek’ of getting this to the top of the charts – dude died! High price to pay for cheek! :) There wasn’t anything like “Grandad” by Clive Dunn near the top of the charts either, and I’m not boosting that mark.)

  16. 16
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    In actuality that chart was a remarkably good one – a few questionable records (Des O’Connor at 30, Gerry Monroe at 33) but nothing screamingly naff.

  17. 17
    jeff w on 24 Oct 2006 #

    At work, we have a used books/CDs/DVDs “dump” for stuff even charity shops would turn their noses up at – in the case of the CDs, they’re usually newspaper freebies in card sleeves. Aware that Voodoo Chile was coming up, I grabbed a Hendrix comp CD that someone had added to the dump recently, since I don’t actually own anything by him on CD; I have one vinyl LP of his Radio 1 sessions and some stuff on cassette that is probably in storage somewhere. Nonetheless, I have heard quite a lot of Hendrix stuff over the years (and seen plenty of film of him performing live too); I just wanted to refamiliarise myself with “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” in time for Tom’s post.

    It was only when I got the CD home that I realised these Hendrix tunes were live recordings from a Royal Albert Hall concert. Still, “Voodoo Chile” sounded not unlike the studio version and any number of other live versions I’ve heard. This reminded me just how much the mystique of Hendrix has been devalued by the cottage industry that was set up after his death to make publicly available every last note of his playing that was captured on tape. (Said mystique had already been given a knock during my second year at Uni, when I shared a flat with a guitarist who demonstrated how easy it was to replicate Hendrix’s playing.)

    I’m displaying my prejudices here, I know: my answer to ‘where does a record end?’ is “with the record”. I’m sure that plenty of less talented musicians would suffer in much the same way if they were given the Hendrix treatment. But with Jimi in particular, it seems to me that without a certain level of mystery surrounding the “how” and “why” of his studio recordings, he is nothing.

  18. 18
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    The amount of ill-informed bullshit accumulating on this thread is astounding.

  19. 19
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Frank Marino could “replicate” Hendrix and so could Robin Trower. But they weren’t Hendrix, hadn’t lived his life and so couldn’t play AS he did.

  20. 20

    jeff the first hendrix i owned was a live album and (to me at the time) (=late 70s) it seemed just murky and baffling — so i didn’t get him for years (now that i know a lot more abt improv, and guitar-noize generally, i’d love to revisit that LP but i sold it decades ago) (ie haha basic point: PLAY THE RECORD LOUD — i was much too considerate of my student neighbours to do any such thing!)

    for years i knew this song as “voodoo chilli” on the assumption that it was somehow about a country in south america — proof if proof be need be that a. i don’t listen very closely to the words in songs, and b. i am an idiot

  21. 21
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Gil Evans live at the Royal Festival Hall in Feb ’78 was one of the greatest gigs I have ever been to; the show climaxed with “Voodoo Chile” arranged as a feature for fuzz-electro-tuba (Bob Stewart).

    Gil also got it, even though I agree with CSM that on his Hendrix album he would have been better using Archie Shepp as soloist and not used guitars at all.

  22. 22
    Ward Fowler on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Hendrix himself wasn’t very confident abt his singing abilities, but for me the fragility and uncertainty in his voice helps to undercut and complicate the monolithic macho virtuosity of his gtr playin’ (which I love).

    I can’t think of a HEAVIER sounding song that has reached number one; ten out of ten, fer sure

  23. 23
    Pete Baran on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Marcello, it seems to me that your point is one of the problems underpinning the Hendrix myth, and partially what Tom hints about above with his appeal to Baggy (or Baggy’s appeal to him). I knew guitarists who could note for note replicate Hendrix but were frankly fuzzy and boring because they weren’t Hendrix. This question of what is in the music apart from the notes (and perhaps even the situational context) is a vexing one, but one i agree with you on. It is also the reason why I despise 90% of live Jazz, slavishly imitating, rather than where the excitement in the original recording relied on the tension of improvisation. Again not a big Hendrix fan, but the occasions I do listen to him, there is that “first time something has been played” feel about it (which the bootlegs can sometime dispell, or put in a more workmanlike context).

    I guess what Jeff is saying is that to what extent does out knowledge of Hendrix (good and bad) influence our listening as much as Hendrix’s life distinguishes his playing. The hard nosed scientist in me would say that’s all there is, but the cloth eared aesthete that rules my passions disagrees.

  24. 24
    Tom on 24 Oct 2006 #

    The heavier thing is interesting cos I was surprised at how un-heavy it sounded – this not meant in a bad way: I was expecting it to plod more. I think my ears have been seduced by the modern compression techniques I hear so much about on ILM.

  25. 25
    Tom on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I’m going to add a ‘should have been a 10’ to the polls from now on, by the way. I fully expect p^nk s to tick it every time.

  26. 26
    Kat on 24 Oct 2006 #

    > I can’t think of a HEAVIER sounding song that has reached number one


  27. 27
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I suppose the advantage in my upside down upbringing is that I heard Sharrock and Bailey before I heard Hendrix, thus to my six-year-old ears “Voodoo Chile” getting to number one was like the first free jazz number one*, viz. good heavens other people like this as well! It’s not just me!

    *another one of those coming up later…

  28. 28
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Improv types are of course v. keen on Not Being Categorised As Jazz, and in the long term that has probably proved to be hugely advantageous.

  29. 29
    Pete Baran on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Agreed. This is soooooo Jazz.

  30. 30

    i have always (ph34r my contr4ri4nism) assumed that the miles-hendrix link-up — which was planned but obviously never got to happen — would have been in itself a bit disappointing (hendrix for once intimidated and trammelled; miles as usual manipulative and controlling — and the “hendrix-types” miles later used, except maybe on dark magnus and agharta, were on the whole skewed too much towards orchestraed muso-biz elements in rather than electric free-jazz-as-freedom-from-form)

    what i do wonder is what the aftermath would have been — when they STOPPED working together; a jazz-accredited hendrix, w/o access to possible chart success and the lulu show, but on the avant-circuit alongside, oh, amm, would i think have lopped off some of his edges, but who knows? i’m not sure that hendrix himself had any presence in the 70s — his place was taken by an army of confused projections

    still, the fact that something as unpredetermined as this poked up through into full-on pop had enormous consequences for mainstream rock, in that it allowed CASUAL NOISE to become part of the everyday non-virtuoso teen palette, not as momentary freak-out but as the ground itself setting the stage for QUEEN hurrah

  31. 31
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I think the answer would have been Bill Laswell (the Herbie Hancock link that the Miles connection would have afforded). I can easily see Hendrix on CellulOid circa ’85 with Sly/Robbie, Brotz/Shannon, Lemmy/Pharaoh…

  32. 32

    i hadn’t really thought the idea through to the 80s — an ulmer-hendrix duo wd have been awesome i think

  33. 33
    jeff w on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Pete gets my point. Marcello (wrongly) extrapolated from one – admittedly not very useful – sentence.

  34. 34
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Why write that sentence then?

  35. 35
    Håkan Eriksson on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Personally, I think Jimi is a great singer. The voice is as important as the guitar to me.

  36. 36
    markgamon on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I’ve been waiting for this one to show up.

    11 out of 10. More than that, really: it’s off the scale. But everyone who’s commented that it seems a little odd at the top of the pop charts is quite right. Voodoo Chile was out of place in the charts.

    The reason it got to number one is because Hendrix had just died. End of story, in so many ways.

    I can remember the first time we saw Hendrix on the TV like it was yesterday. No-one but no-one had ever dared look so outlandish. More to the point, NO-ONE but no-one had ever SOUNDED so outlandish. We rushed out and bought Are You Experienced the minute it came out. And we were stunned, as anyone with any sensitivity for the guitar would have been.

    Hendrix didn’t just make bluesy jams – though some of his stuff might sound a little like that to today’s more experienced ears: he rewrote the book of what a guitar could do. He remains the most exceptional guitarist in the electric instrument’s history, technically and as a innovator, but what’s more important is what he did to the sound of rock recordings. Listening to that first album was like plugging into the music of the spheres, and it got better on succeeding recordings.

    The opening bars of Voodoo Chile are still, to this day, among the most thrilling, physically exciting music I’ve ever heard. Maybe you had to be there, first time round, but this one kicks off an emotional disconnect without fail. So does Watchtower, come to that.

    Sorry, but I think his voice is great too. You wouldn’t ask him to sing an opera, but one of the wonderful things about this ‘popular’ music we all love is that it allows people to sing in their natural voices.

    Curiously, I wasn’t that familiar with the Electric Ladyland album that this came off until recently. I knew the singles, but by some quirk of finance I’d never heard all the album. I have to report that some twenty years after the event, I found tracks on there that were still thrilling. They really DID make ’em like they used to.

    You’re right, Tom. Measure this as pure pop music, with ‘being number one’ as the arbiter of excellence, and 6 is about right. But there are better measures. Just ask a blues musician what he thinks.

  37. 37
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Pop has never been pure; it’s an oxymoron (were it pure, no one sane would bother with it).

    As pop music “Voodoo Chile” gets about 28 million out of 10. There are only two number ones in this list to which I would be prepared to give >10 (i.e. the equivalent of A++). This is the first of them.

  38. 38
    Pete Baran on 24 Oct 2006 #

    One of the key tenets of geezaesthetics is that you can’t describe the rapture. I think this discussion interesting has a few attempts at trying to come to terms with this problem.

    Marcello isn’t trying, just hinting that he feels this is the best it can get – which I have to admit makes me want to listen to it more.

    Blount wrestles metaphorically to put the feeling into words, and is surprisingly successful: probably due to usage of the phrase “AWESOME JET FIGHTERS PLUS TIGERS PLUS RACE CARS OMG LOL VRRRRRROOOOMGRROOAAAAAAAAAR”. I think he might be right (his passion suggests it) but I am worried its not a club I can join.

    Everyone one of Gamon’s sentences feels like a nail in the coffin (or a buff on the plaque) of this record.

  39. 39
    markgamon on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Sorry you think that, Pete. I was trying to describe what it felt like at the time.

    Forgive me if I failed. Feel free to listen to Marcello. He put it a lot more succinctly than me.

    By the way, what’s a ‘buff on the plaque?’ Something to do with teeth?

  40. 40
    Pete Baran on 24 Oct 2006 #

    A half arsed reference to the blue plaque outsid ethe house where Handel and Hendrix both lived in London – only awarded to dead, and culturally acceptible artists.

    For me Voodoo Chile was always placed in an unfortunate position of me believing it was number one when I was born. Turns out this wa san error as it was number one when my sister was born so a lot of the time I spent trying to like it as a teenager was wasted – and probably would have been better spent listening to it when I was a bit more open to its charms.

  41. 41
    markgamon on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Oh. And ‘geezaesthetics’. Wassat?

  42. 42


    (mr pteeth shd have provided a link)

  43. 43
    xyzzzz__ on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Tom (or anyone) – how long is the ‘(slight return)’ version that got to no1?

  44. 44
    markgamon on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I Missed that geezaesthetics thing. I’ll get back to you.

    Blue plaques are put up to attract tourists. They’re irrelevant.

    I feel like I should be backpedalling here. Not quite sure what I did to upset Pete. Maybe I’ll give up writing for the day and play my guitar instead.

  45. 45
    Brian in Canada on 24 Oct 2006 #

    How long is it ?
    Voodoo Chile : 15:05
    VC ( slgith return ) : 5:14

  46. 46
    Brian in Canada on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I always loved the guitar-slingers and Hendrix was/is still one of the greatest. I was hooked at ” Are You Experienced ” and loved every album along the way for the mighty mighty guitar playing. He did revolutionize the instrument and although some of hi-jinx were all show ( setting the axe on fire & playing with his teeth ! ) and all the fancy clothes (( aka Band of Gypsies ) he was unique and his playing totally fantastic. He’s was the complete package.

    I was looking up the length of time for VC and a hit I got said VC by Stevie Ray Vaughn & cover version by Jimi Hendrix ! And another nod to Hendrix’s leacy is the recent cover of ” Axis Bold AS Love ” on John Mayer’s latest CD.

    I saw Hendrix live and ther are some old photo’s on this sight http://www.nashtheslash.com – go into the sight and click on ” Rock Photo’s ” and the Hendrix concert at The Coliseum is listed. There is also interseting history of The Rock PIle , a Toronto place where the early history of rock in Canada was written. Sorry I am nor savy enough to provide link. I’m just a ol’ old boy.

  47. 47
    Lena on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Blue plaque nerd corner:

    HENDRIX, Jimi (1942-1970),
    Guitarist and Songwriter, lived here 1968-1969.
    23 Brook Street, Mayfair, W1
    Westminster 1997

    The only other thing I have to say about this song is that there are songs by certain musicians that seem…inevitable? As if they were waiting for a long time to some how get to it…they are fun and bear a lot of listening as well…I realize this is a subjective opinion but for me this is that song for Hendrix, and that may be one of the factors that took it to #1 – beyond his death…though if you think about it in that context, then it is a fitting memorial for him too – “if I don’t meet you in this world, I’ll meet you in the next one, and don’t be late”….

  48. 48
    Chris Brown on 24 Oct 2006 #

    I don’t like guitar hystrionics, but for me Hendrix was better able to get away with this than some because he was able some of the time to make a fairly focussed single, and I’d count this among them. The only album of his I really know is Electric Ladyland, which my Dad had on a double CD with the naughty cover (since replaced). Maybe it’s because I was born so late, but this doesn’t actually sound hugely outlandish to me.

    I’ve got to admit that he ranks among the acts whom I can’t now hear aside from the myth, but I’d probably give this about 6 myself – I think it’s a better than average record but I don’t really like it more than that.

  49. 49
    Tom on 24 Oct 2006 #

    Julio – just over 5 minutes, from memory.

  50. 50
    Doctor Mod on 25 Oct 2006 #

    spining on something from the ‘woodstock’ thread where mod said he prefer’s hippie’s positism to punk’s negativity

    Eh? No, “mod” (as in Doctor Mod) didn’t say this, nor, as far as I can tell, did the mod[erator]. Doctor Mod was in Tulsa and [s]he wasn’t thinking about “positism.”

  51. 51
    blount on 25 Oct 2006 #

    doh – i mean gamon!

  52. 52
    markgamon on 25 Oct 2006 #

    Blount – you DO? But why?

  53. 53
    Martin Skidmore on 25 Oct 2006 #

    I never cared for Hendrix at all – I think the unfortunate influence on all that horrible ’70s rock that I lived through is part of the problem, and while it’s unfair to blame Jimi for that (well, partly unfair) as they missed a lot of what he was trying to do, there is such a thing as retrospective influence, and that makes Hendrix sound worse. I kind of like his singing – he’s going for a soulful bluesy style, and while he isn’t much good at it, it’s a style I like.

    I’d have given this 4 or 5, I think.

  54. 54

    if it’s not hammering shut the last coffin panel, the authority i’d appeal to persuade tom isn’t any of those cited so far: it’s MUCH more “pop”, but it’s just as central to hendrix’s known belief-systems

    the last phrase of “(slight return)” (=”if i don’t meet you no more in this world, i’ll meet you on the next one, and DON’T BE LATE”) — which was a gift to the marketing department obv in ref this release (the hero’s farewell message to the living) isn’t at ALL about the “greatest adventure of all” ©p.pan)… he didn’t know he was going to die young and he didn’t plan to either — “world” means what it means to ANY SF/comics fan — viz planet, or parallel world, or neighbouring plane of the multiverse; and the song’s an apology for intrusion here on our world/in her life (from someone creeping sadly away while his lover sleeps)

    “voodoo chile” is a VERY marvel topic, surely? viz: yes JH has these awesome superpowers (cf guitarplayin), but at the same time (cf delivery and manner) he is a shy and vulnerable soft-spoken man, cut off by circs (inc.talent) from all that surround him (not just his uk compadres but the place and people he came from also) — the song is abt the tension between this sudden vast scale of unleashed ability in ONE (technical) sphere vs still feelin all diffident child-like hurt within, far from home and very lonely

    anyway the way his guitar paints always reminds me of the way marvel artists visually depict the clash of elemental powers — lines and pop-art swirls and pulsing clouds of pan-coloured energy as backdrop to battlin superheroes vs s’villains — this achieved, his drop into gentle half-whispered melancholy as the antagonist front central was at the time really startling: “i am the space-alien cut off from all like me — i can do things you only dream of BUT ME, I STILL MISS JUST BEING ORDINARY ME NOW AND THEN”

    (also i never feel it as histrionic — even at force it feels gentle and relaxed to me — unlike many of his successor show-offs he doesn’t really seem to be testing the limits of his powers as the carnival spectacle; it’s more like something he doesn’t quite know how to turn off)

    later on this kind of pop culture would flood into black music — spaghetti westerns and kung fu into reggae; comix and the godfather into rap — but as a direct and overt adopting of a pop-pulp vernacular it seems pretty original (that said, some of the earlier blues figures WERE fascinated by the uncanny and by electricity as a power, but i’d REALLY hesitate to build this similarity up into an “influence”) (and not just bcz there’s no such thing as influence hurrah)

  55. 55
    Tom on 25 Oct 2006 #

    I like this – Hendrix as Silver Surfer! (Joe Satriani was the guitar hero who blatantly self-identified with the Surfer, of course).

    Excellent UK comix artist Brendan McCarthy, who illustrated the Hendrix bio for short-lived mag Revolver, had a kind of psychedelic Jack Kirby style going on (Ward F and Martin will know more of this I suspect) (and not to say Jack K couldn’t do psychedelia himself)

    The opening lines of Voodoo Chile are very superhero, of course.

    Of course in pop vs rock terms (the albums vs singles narrative a lot of the comments box massive have touched on) this is indeed a visitation from a parallel world, an intersection of several planes (if you want a comics image I’m reminded of the 90s Alan Moore Marvel pastiche where a character called the Hypernaut fights a 4-dimensional beast, and can only perceive 3-D slices of its inconceivable bodymass) (I can’t remember who the Hypernaut is meant to be a parody of!)

  56. 56

    haha the moment i wrote “intersection of planes” i wz reminded of HORRIBLE HORRIBLE MICHAEL MOORCOCK so there is clearly a grim downside to this interpetation also — jh as JERRY CORNELIUS the PAN-COSMIC DANDY with his hat tilted JUST SO sigh bah

  57. 57

    actually YOU wrote “intersection” not me — MM obviously haunts the margins of my brane WHATEVER i’m writing :(

    i’ll have to check if charlie shaar murray talks much about this in his hendrix biog — he knows LOTS abt marvel etc and pulp sf AND abt hendrix and blues — but i don’t recall him expanding on this so much

    (and i don’t know enough abt marvel to pinpoint any exact crossovers)

  58. 58
    Brian in Canada on 25 Oct 2006 #

    Although the Jimi as comic character is a lot of fun, it’s more likely that Voodoo Chile , comes from same well of blues songs that use super-human attributes in song. Like ” I’m A Man ” , “I’m Ready” and “Seventh Son”…..

  59. 59

    honestly, brian, i doubt it —

    first: the metaphor the “same well” bears no relationship to how ppl actually came on music, blues or any other kind, by the late 50s — it WASN’T this vast passive sea of mutual telepathic ethnic heritage which black folk could all magically access, and had to willy-nilly (one of the things you have to deal with, with hendrix, is how out of synch he was with his own notional community)

    second: it should be obvious enough not to have to say, but black folk just like white folk also read books and comics — hendrix DEVOURED pulp sf — and watch movies and playfully adapt and adopt same; the “same well” theory assumes a weird pseudo-sociological colour-bar* in what the roots of black pop might be, which simply makes NO SENSE ANY MORE — certainly not after 25-odd years of rap, and how it
    absorbs and reuses ALL available cultural input; let alone how g.clinton and cohorts whirl through pop-cultural material from outside the sociologically “proper” realm (that thread cites clinton on hippy conspiracy theory, but but his buddy bootsy was clicking directly into kids TV as HIS lyrical framework)

    three: if we’re tryin to explore why hendrix is EXCITING and LIBERATING then FUN and IMAGINATION are our best maps — besides the song is FULL of blatant science-fiction images, language which is plainly NOT pro forma blues hand-me-down (tho i’d accept a counter-argument that the “essence” of “blues” means nothing if it doesn’t mean this formal and thematic adaptibility)**

    *this possibly had a certain truth to it when yr discussin delta blues in the 30s — rural music from a VERY isolated and impoverished region — but is just NONSENSE when it comes to black urban life from the 20s onwards; and even then, the earliest blues-as-blues were URBAN and WRITTEN, and full of references to fashions and movies and stuff in the general air, inc. non-black stuff, before percolating back out INTO country areas. yet STILL there’s a habit of assuming that black pop folks are merely somehow passively unable to do anything except “tap into the available folk consciousness”

    **anyway what i think is more likely the point is that the r&b he learnt on the backing-musician circuit was as much something he could dip into and adapt as the superhero comix he was readin while he was on that circuit — they weren’t in a “hierarchy of acceptable influence” for him, so they REALLY REALLY shouldnt be for us

  60. 60
    Ward Fowler on 25 Oct 2006 #

    Re: Hendrix and Comix

    Firstly it was Floyd Hughes, not Brendan McCarthy, who illustrated CSM’s Hendrix strip in Revolver. Brendan was always pretty anti-hippie, in art and life – his ‘Electric Hoax’ strip in Sounds has a gd claim to being the first (uk) punk comix strip. Crosstown Traffic by CSM is still the only decent Hendrix bk I’ve ever read, but the Revolver strip is DIRE – a bit like Oliver Stone’s Doors movie but w/out any of the phun.

    Heavy Metal magazine once did a whole ‘Rock’ issue that included a laughably literal-minded strip version of ‘Voodoo Chile’.

    Vastly underrated English comic artist Paul Bignell once told me that in the 1980s, Chelsea School of Art never admitted any prospective student who had a drawing of Jimi Hendrix in their portfolio.

    Lord Sukrat’s argt is obv. v. convincing – THE Marvel catchphrase is “with great power comes great responsibility”, and that has become perhaps the central bio-narrative of Jimi’s ‘real life’ on Earth (cosmic gunslinger neglects talent/abuses drugs and PAYS THE PRICE). Another possible source of Hendrix imagery – esp. all the swirly oceanic stuff on Electric Ladyland – might be Mati Klarwein’s seminal, garish painted cover for Bitches Brew (which I think predates EL by some months??)

  61. 61

    electric hoax!! — you just reminded me i promised a random i wd dig out my ancient EH cuttings and photcopy them for his project! only i forgot

  62. 62
    Erithian on 26 Oct 2006 #

    Number 2 Watch – ironically given P^nk Lord’s reference to rural music from an impoverished region! – the record blocked from the top by Hendrix was “Patches” by Clarence Carter.

  63. 63
    DV on 26 Oct 2006 #

    Hendrix is awesome. It’s all Hendrix all the time round the vicarage these days, which leads to us saying “Yeah cats!” all the time for no obvious reason. Did you know that Hendrix loved to play Risk?

  64. 64
    koganbot on 27 Oct 2006 #

    A piledriver of a song, keeps driving and driving the same pile until he’s driven through to China. It’s got chord changes and a (slight) refrain and guitar leads, but it could just as easily not have them and still be effective, ’cause the riff is the song.

    It’s a 9.5, so it ties w/ “Rush” and “Get Ur Freak On,” slightly ahead of “London Bridge” and “It’s Goin’ Down,” slightly behind “Purple Haze” and “Since U Been Gone” and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” To put it in context.

    I have NO problem thinking of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” as a single and thinking of it as a hit and thinking of it as pop, but I might have trouble explaining why. There are Frank Singles and there are Actual Singles. If it’s a genre I get, then often enough Frank Singles are also Actual Singles. A Frank Single functions as a single in my psyche; basically it grabs me in a pop hit way. “Like A Rolling Stone” grabs me in a pop hit way, “Visions of Johanna” doesn’t, though if somehow the latter had gotten to number one I’d have endorsed it as a 10.0 on this board. (Well, 9.5, anyway.) It’s too settled and noncatchy to be a Frank Single. “Search and Destroy” and “Personality Crisis,” on the other hand, grabbed me in a pop hit way, even though neither was a hit. “Bodies” and “Takeover” and “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Gimme Shelter” and “Under My Thumb” were Frank Singles even though they weren’t Actual Singles. (And the latter three ended up on Stones’ hit compilations. So there.) Those examples hardly explain anything, but let’s just say that “Voodoo Child” has a hook, and 20 seconds into it, the first time, it was a Frank Single. (And I didn’t know until today that it had ever been an Actual Single.)

    after the dramatic band entrance and first verse it’s five minutes meander, and I can’t get much of an emotional toe-hold on it

    I think that’s your crucial point, not that it’s a rock album track. If it’s a five-minutes meander, then it doesn’t work as a rock album track either, unless it’s either a really engaging meander or a really effective mood. But I don’t hear “Voodoo Child” as a meander, I hear it as more of the same, that consistent pile driver, doing what it’s doing what it’s doing what it’s doing. Enriched by other stuff going on, but not changing. So, to choose from my comparisons above, it’s not a page-turner like “Rush” or “Purple Haze” or “London Bridge” or “Since U Been Gone,” but rather a doin’ it doin’ it doin’ it song like “Get Ur Freak On” or “It’s Goin’ Down” or “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” I recall that you gave “The Last Time” a 6 and “Satisfaction” a 9, and maybe that’s a consistent choice. “The Last Time” is a doin’ it doin’ it riff song, “Satisfaction” is a page turner (it’s also a riff-based doin’ it doin it song, but has more development, variety). “The Last Time” is a 9.5 or 10.0 for me. (I don’t necessarily assume you wouldn’t be up there with 9s and 10s for “Get Ur Freak On,” but if you were I’d be curious as to your reasons for liking it more than “Voodoo Child.” E.g., better vocals, better rhythm. (In a straight up competition I prefer “Freak” to “Voodoo” for just those reasons.))

  65. 65
    koganbot on 27 Oct 2006 #

    Mark S: I’m sure that Jimi’s using the word “voodoo” for its black refs and its blues refs and its magic refs, similar to mojo hand. I can see your objection to the phrase “same well” (he probably got some of his blues education off Yardbirds and Mayall records anyway, and there are all sorts of wells), but anyway the blues superhero and the comic book superhero augment each other. Your sf reading of “I’ll meet you on the next one don’t be late” seems correct, but that doesn’t stop those words from also containing a death threat (as does “Not to die but to be reborn”); the threat is in those words, whether Hendrix wants it there are not. (Just as Debbie Gibson couldn’t decide that “Shake Your Love” has nothing to do with sex.) Just as there’s an implicit death threat in Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and Savage Garden’s “To The Moon And Back.” And conversely, actual straight-up death threats like VU’s “Heroin” and the Stooges’ “Death Trip” are also about envisioning alternate worlds.

  66. 66
    Tom on 27 Oct 2006 #

    “Freak On” reminds me of tai chi or corny film ninja moves (possibly this is the video helping) – i.e. more graceful than piledriver.

    There’s definite ‘doin it doin it’ songs I like but yes, most of my huge 10/10 favourites are page turners.

    (And I totally get the distinction between Actual Singles and Frank Singles, except of course mine aren’t Frank Singles.)

  67. 67
    Brian in Canada on 27 Oct 2006 #

    I can see your objection to the phrase “same well”……

    Meant only as the source of inspiration. No negativity implied by me.


  68. 68

    frank is right that i was pushing back wee a bit hard there, brian — fighting demons not present on the page etc

  69. 69
    Brian in Canada on 27 Oct 2006 #

    pˆnk ~

    hope you KER-POWWED ‘ EM to the far side of the gigiverse..


  70. 70
    major clout on 28 Oct 2006 #

    I LOVE HAMBURGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    especially lately (read= past five years).

  71. 71
    Ceres on 20 Nov 2006 #

    I bought this! It was a post-death cash-in of course, with Hey Joe and Watchtower on the other side, a (great) picture sleeve and a discount selling price of six shillings (30p).

    Not all the apparent tape dropouts which appear on this single are on the LP version; either because of sloppy transcription when cutting the 45 or, perhaps, intentionally.

  72. 72
    jimi hendrix rocks on 25 Feb 2007 #

    jimi hendrix is the best rocker in the world well thats what I say im his number 1 fan

  73. 73
    Matthew on 17 Jan 2009 #

    Pop illiterate watch: for the longest time I was only really aware of this song through what had been written about it, rather than my ears. As such, I was always under the impression that it was pronounced “Voodoo Chilli”, and about some kind of incredibly exotic spicy gumbo from Louisiana or what have you.

    (My favourite Jimi Hendrix song, not unconnectedly, was “Storm Green”, which I thought was an extremely poetic and evocative title. I am given to understand that what Hendrix penned and is actually singing is “Stone Free”, alas.)

  74. 74
    Waldo on 29 Sep 2009 #

    DECLARATION IN THE MEMBERS’ REGISTER OF INTERESTS: Hendrix became and remains my big hero.

    At school in 1970, the first thing we had to do in the morning was our “diary”, a paragraph in a small exercise book. Took all of five minutes. Naturally there was little variation day by day apart from on a Monday when we were required to account for the weekend. One boy in my class, who was considered (ahem!) “slow”, practically replicated the same entry every day, beginning with: “Yesterday I went to school and I did my diary…”, which our teacher Mr Turner let pass as the work of a halfwit. The nine year-old me, however, recognised it as the ironic offerings of a genius. The boy ended up as a BT engineer. Not even Waldo can be right all the fucking time.

    Meanwhile, Jimi Hendrix choked to death on a tuna sarnie with all the fixings and “Voodoo Chile” was wrestled off “Electric Ladyland” and took its appointed spot at the top of the chart as a tribute. The more I think of it, the more I become convinced that this was the wrong choice. Perhaps the line about “I’ll meet you in the next world – don’t be late” clinched it. At school the Friday after the TOTP when this was number one, my diary ran something like: “After tea, I sat and watched Top of the Pops with Peter and Mummy and number one was the dead Jimmy. It’s funny to look at him looking alive when really he’s dead…”

    The Waldo psyche was coming along nicely.

  75. 75
    thefatgit on 29 Sep 2009 #

    *FIRST POST* As a 4 year old, the Number One passed me by. However, 10 years later, Hendrix had an immense impact on me. Let me explain that like many kids my age, I grew up listening to my parents’ records (The Who, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, The Beatles and The Beach Boys). That was the grounding. I was given the freedom to find my own taste in music and from the age of 12, I spent pocket money on all sorts of music with a nod to the past. Rock was the foundation of my tastes, but later I found the benefits of diversifying my tastes, taking in soul, blues even folk. On top of this was a total sea-change in the charts (post-punk,new-wave etc). So as a semi-informed NME reader, I stumbled upon Jimi Hendrix.

    Voodoo Chile was the first Hendrix song I heard. From the first wah-wah I was hooked. No, you may mock but this was a life-changing moment. Hendrix underpinned everything heavy that followed. Through Hendrix, I discovered Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and the massive swathe of stateside bands that had adopted the heavy rock sound and developed it. So subsequently, heavy metal has become my first love. The electric guitar, previously the instrument of rebellion, in Hendrix’ hands had become the instrument of wonder and awe. The AXE was a weapon. It had a voice. It altered perception and connected to an amp and effects pedals, could generate tons of wonderful feedback, fuzz, sustain, attack, decay, echo. Looking back to my folks old Who and Floyd records I listened with fresh ears, tuning out Daltrey, focusing on Townshend and the same with Barrett and Waters, concentrating on Gilmour. Let me explain one more thing: I can’t play guitar, never could never will, but Jimi encouraged me to play air guitar on tons of rock records, RamJam’s Black Betty for one. Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades was another. Jimi was never “pop”. Jimi was blues, rock, soul and the godfather of heavy metal. Shame he died when I was 4 years old.

  76. 76
    wichita lineman on 20 Mar 2011 #

    I discovered a copy of this moody cover of All Along The Watchtower last week, released in March ’68 when John Wesley Harding was barely in the shops, and several months before Hendrix’s take. It’s the Nashville Teens, three years on from their last hit but still signed to Decca. They have the distinction of being the last record played in Mad Men, series 4:


  77. 77
    ottersteve on 7 May 2011 #

    Would anyone be interested in starting a thread concerning song lyrics that are never repeated during the course of the song?
    The only example of this that I can think of is “All along the Watchtower” (hence putting this comment in the Jimi Hendrix slot). Be interested to know of any others.

    Cannot count “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the line “Nothing really matters” is repeated at the end of the song.

  78. 78
    Mark G on 9 May 2011 #

    DO you mean “song titles mentioned only once during the song”?

    “Nothing Really Matters” is not the song title, so I don’t follow.

  79. 79
    ottersteve on 10 May 2011 #

    Sorry about the confusion. If you read the lyrics to “Watchtower”, you will see that no phrase or line of the song is ever repeated in the course of the song. I know of no other song that does this.

    In Bo Rhap. “Galileo” is repeated along with “nothing really matters”.

    Not referring to the title of the song – just that fact that it entirely avoids any repetition of any line.

  80. 80
    chelovek na lune on 10 May 2011 #

    Ah, durchkomponiert, you mean, but with regard to the lyrics. I see. Sure I could dig out some others. Big hits? Not necessarily. Will have to ponder it over.

  81. 81
    chelovek na lune on 10 May 2011 #

    So, a little bit of thought came up with these, with several near misses. I think all of these qualify

    Ride – Unfamiliar
    Ride – Like a Daydream
    Ride – Chelsea Girl
    Depeche Mode – Somebody
    Judge Dread- Big Five
    Frank and Walters- Happy Busman
    Nick Drake – Things Behind the Sun

    Rod Stewart – The Killing Of Georgie – right up until the repetition of the final lines
    Jesus and Mary Chain – Blues From a Gun – ditto

    I suppose really, songs that tell a story (and don’t have a chorus with repeated lyrics) are what we are looking for. As he is one of the great “storytellers in song”, I’m sure there must be some Rod Stewart songs that do this…

  82. 82
    Mark G on 10 May 2011 #

    Oh, right I see now. Will have to think about that one.

  83. 83
    DietMondrian on 11 May 2011 #

    Lots of Arab Strap stuff, I think. Many are story songs.

  84. 84
    Tom on 11 May 2011 #

    ISTR the Frank And Walters tune repeating “what an iddly-diddly crazy world” an infuriating number of times, but perhaps that was one of their other numbers.

  85. 85
    Mutley on 11 May 2011 #

    How about Bob Dylan’s Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts from Blood on the Tracks? As with examples above, it tells a story. I should think Dylan has quite a few that qualify.

  86. 86
    Erithian on 11 May 2011 #

    “repeating “what an iddly-diddly crazy world” an infuriating number of times”

    was that just the Ned Flanders remix?

  87. 87
    Tom on 11 May 2011 #

    A lot of Dylan’s songs – LR&TJOH, Desolation Row, High Water spring to mind – end each verse with a repeated phrase, though, working as a kind of refrain while avoiding the need for a chorus.

  88. 88
    Chelovek na lune on 11 May 2011 #

    @84 – that was “Fashion Crisis Hits New York”, I think.

  89. 89
    Cumbrian on 11 May 2011 #

    I struggled with this off the top of my head. The closest I got was When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You? by Marvin Gaye which almost manages this but he repeats the title (just once) right at the end.

  90. 90
    lonepilgrim on 11 May 2011 #

    Surprised nobody has mentioned ‘Virginia Plain’.

    I feel that ‘Stardust’ should qualify. Even though the title is repeated it’s always in a different context rather than as a conventional chorus

  91. 91
    Pete on 11 May 2011 #

    Tom you are confusing Happy Busman with Fashion Crisis Hits New York. Well not so much confusing as hoping to conflate to reduce the amount of F&W material in your head. I don’t think Happy Busman ever says Happy Busman in it. But it does repeat most of its lyrics at least once too.

  92. 92
    Mark G on 11 May 2011 #

    Yeah, and Roxy Music’s “Pyjamarama”

  93. 93
    Snif on 12 May 2011 #

    Dylan’s “Changing Of The Guard”

  94. 94
    Mark M on 12 May 2011 #

    Squeeze’s Up The Junction – a classic story song – has lines that are variants (developments, in fact) on each other (three mentions of “the telly” but not that are exactly the same, I think.

  95. 95
    hardtogethits on 12 May 2011 #

    Time by Pink Floyd

  96. 96
    Gavin Wright on 13 May 2011 #

    I’m thinking there must be loads of examples in hip-hop songs without choruses, ‘Triumph’ by Wu-Tang Clan springs to mind. Trying to think of a more recent one – was going to say ‘Roman’s Revenge’ but “starting to feel like a dungeon dragon” appears twice in the first verse.

  97. 97
    Mark G on 13 May 2011 #

    “Paid in Full” Eric B/Rakim

  98. 98
    hilker on 13 May 2011 #

    “Children’s Story” by Slick Rick.

  99. 99
    ottersteve on 14 May 2011 #

    Re: all of you above.

    Thanks for all those tracks with unrepeated Lyrics Guys! I guessed that a few Dylan songs would qualify. There are a few of those songs mentioned that I should have known. But it does hold up my theory that songs with unrepeated lyrics as rare as hens teeth in the music world.

  100. 100
    Mark G on 16 May 2011 #

    I dunno, they just seem hard to recognise.

  101. 101
    Lena on 21 May 2012 #

    More than a slight return: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/real-rebels-don-fardon-indian.html Thanks for reading, everyone!

  102. 102
    hectorthebat on 15 Jun 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010)
    Blender (USA) – Standout Tracks from the 500 CDs You Must Own (2003)
    Blender (USA) – The 1001 Greatest Songs to Download Right Now! (2003)
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    Dave Marsh (USA) – The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989) 579
    Michaelangelo Matos (USA) – Top 100 Singles of the 1970s (2001) 30
    Pitchfork (USA) – Top 200 Songs of the 60s (2006) 136
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (USA) – 500 Songs That Shaped Rock (1994?)
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004) 101
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Updated 2010) 102
    Mojo (UK) – The 100 Greatest Singles of All Time (1997) 101
    New Musical Express (UK) – The Top 100 Singles of All Time (2002) 80
    Q (UK) – The 1001 Best Songs Ever (2003) 688
    Q (UK) – The 1010 Songs You Must Own (2004)
    Sounds (UK) – The 100 Best Singles of All Time (1986) 16
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)
    Toby Creswell (Australia) – 1001 Songs (2005)
    Mauro Ronconi (Italy) – The Best Song from the 200 Best Albums (1998)
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)

  103. 103
    lonepilgrim on 16 Jul 2018 #

    10 year old me wasn’t aware of this at the time – Hendrix crept up on me as a cultural presence – more through images rather than sound. Even now I find his music so rich that I find it hard to consume in quantity. I like this when it pops up on shuffle but would rarely go out of my way to select it

  104. 104
    Lee Saunders on 2 Oct 2018 #

    Sorry but I can’t help but ask.

    At #27 Marcello suggests this was the first free jazz #1, and hinted there was “another coming up later.” Supposing Popular hasn’t reached that “another” yet, I must ask what it is because I’ve gone near-mad trying to think what it could be.

  105. 105
    flahr on 2 Oct 2018 #

    My money’s on “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”.

  106. 106
    Gareth Parker on 1 Jun 2021 #

    Glorious from Jimi in my opinion. 8/10.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)

If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page