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The Wind Cries Mary

“The Wind Cries Mary” is a rock ballad written by Jimi Hendrix and released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience as the band’s third single on May 5, 1967. It reached no. 6 in the UK Charts.[1] It is ranked number 379 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. It has been covered by musicians such as Jamie Cullum, John Mayer, Xavier Rudd, Richie Sambora, Sting, Popa Chubby, Pat Boone and Caron Wheeler.

In the United States, the song was first released as the B-side to the “Purple Haze” single in June 1967 and later appeared on the August 1967 American version of the album Are You Experienced, where three tracks were deleted from the British LP version to make way for the band’s three singles that had been issued in the United Kingdom.

The song was recorded at the end of the “Fire” sessions. It is said to have been inspired when Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, had an argument over her cooking; after she stormed out of their apartment, Hendrix wrote “The Wind Cries Mary”, as Mary was Etchingham’s middle name.[2][3] Another possible inspiration could be the poem “To Mary” by the English poet John Clare.[citation needed] Etchingham has said that many of the Dylanesque lyrics describe the test card that appeared at the end of BBC television transmissions at that time.[4] However, this is probably a mistake on her part as that particular test card was not first broadcast until July 1967, while the song had been written, recorded and released months before. Hendrix mentioned “The Wind Cries Mary” in an interview with Sue C. Clark in December 1969, saying “…it’s like ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ is representing more than one person…”.[5] Billy Cox, who was the bassist for the Band of Gypsys and long-time friend of Hendrix, has cited Curtis Mayfield’s influence on the song:

“‘The Wind Cries Mary’ was a riff that was influenced by Curtis Mayfield, who was a big influence for Jimi.”

The last line to Pink Floyd’s “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict” was “and the wind cried Mary”.[6]

The song was in included in Guitar Hero World Tour along with a live version of “Purple Haze”. It was also included as a downloadable track for the Rock Band series. “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Highway Chile” were re-released in 1983, on The Singles Album compilation.[7]

“The Wind Cries Mary” is the title of the second episode of the fourth season of the FX Network’s Archer television series, with “Mary”[8] being a reference to the gay-romance element of the storyline.

Voodoo Chile

“Voodoo Chile” is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded in 1968 for the third Jimi Hendrix Experience album Electric Ladyland. Music writer John Perry calls it “interstellar hootchie kootchie”, which blends Chicago blues and science fiction.[2] At fifteen minutes, it is Hendrix’s longest studio recording and features additional musicians in what has been described as a studio jam. It was recorded at the Record Plant in New York City after a late night jam session with Hendrix, Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, organist Steve Winwood, and bassist Jack Casady. “Voodoo Chile” is based on earlier blues songs and became the basis for “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, recorded by the Experience the next day and one of Hendrix’s best-known songs.

“Voodoo Chile” uses a phonetical approximation of “child” pronounced without the “d”, a spelling that was also used for Hendrix’s song “Highway Chile”. For the shorter Experience recording, Track Records in the UK used the title “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” for the British Electric Ladyland and “Voodoo Chile” for the 1970 UK single. Although many live recordings of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” have been issued, only the three takes of the original studio jam, “Voodoo Chile”, are known to exist. A composite of the first two takes is included on the 1994 Blues album.

Wait Until Tomorrow

“Wait Until Tomorrow” is a song by the Jimi Hendrix Experience from their 1967 second album Axis: Bold as Love. Written by Jimi Hendrix, the song details the scenario of a male protagonist addressing his female love with whom he plans to leave home, only to be shot dead by her father. Despite not being released as a single, “Wait Until Tomorrow” has been recognised as one of the strongest songs on the album.[2][3]

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 that appears on the Electric Ladyland album released that year. It contains much improvised guitar and a vocal from Hendrix, backed by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The song is one of Hendrix’s best known; it was a feature of his concert performances throughout his career and several live renditions were recorded and released on later albums.

After his death in 1970, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, using the title “Voodoo Chile” was released in the UK and became Hendrix’s only number one single in the British record charts. Several artists have performed or recorded versions of the song. Rolling Stone magazine included it at number 102 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Valleys of Neptune (song)

“Valleys of Neptune” is a song by American rock musician Jimi Hendrix, featured on his 2010 posthumous studio album Valleys of Neptune. Written and produced by Hendrix, the song was originally recorded between 1969 and 1970, and was released on March 8, 2010.

The song is featured as downloadable content in the video game, Rock Band, as a playable single. The song was released alongside his album Axis: Bold as Love on the week of March 30, 2010.[1]

Up from the Skies

“Up from the Skies” is a song by English/American psychedelic rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, featured on their 1967 second album Axis: Bold as Love. Written by lead vocalist and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, the song details the experience of a specimen of extraterrestrial life returning to Earth and displaying concern with the damage caused by the human beings living there. It was released as the only single from Axis: Bold as Love, in the United States and France only, and reached number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[2]

Stone Free

“Stone Free” is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and the second song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It has been described as a “counterculture anthem, with its lyrics praising the footloose and fancy-free life”, which reflected Hendrix’s restless lifestyle.[1] Instrumentally, the song has a strong rhythmic drive provided by drummer Mitch Mitchell with harmonic support by bassist Noel Redding. “Stone Free” was issued on December 16, 1966, as the B-side of the Experience’s first UK single “Hey Joe” and later included on the Smash Hits compilation album.

In April 1969, Hendrix recorded a revised rendition of the song for possible release as a single. However, it was not used and Reprise Records issued the original recording as a single in the U.S. on September 15, 1969. Hendrix often played “Stone Free” in concert using extended arrangements, sometimes lasting over fourteen minutes. The revised song and several live recordings were later released.

Stepping Stone (Jimi Hendrix song)

“Stepping Stone” is a song by Hendrix Band of Gypsys, which was originally released as a single in the United States backed with “Izabella” on April 8, 1970 – the last single released by Hendrix before his death. A second version is featured on his 1972 third posthumous studio album War Heroes. Written and produced by Hendrix, the song was recorded early in 1970 with the short-lived Band of Gypsys lineup of Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles.

The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam’s Dice

“The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam’s Dice”, also known as “STP with LSD” and various related abbreviations and shortenings,[1] is a song by English-American psychedelic rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, featured as the B-side to their 1967 fourth single “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”. Written by vocalist and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, the song was later featured on the 1968 compilation album Smash Hits and the posthumous Loose Ends and South Saturn Delta compilations.

Spanish Castle Magic

“Spanish Castle Magic” is a song by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Written by Jimi Hendrix and produced by Chas Chandler, it is the third track from their second studio album Axis: Bold as Love. The lyrics refer to a club outside of Seattle, where Hendrix sometimes played with his first bands. The song was a staple on their live shows and several live recordings have been released on posthumous albums.

The lyrics were inspired by Hendrix’s high school years (roughly 1958-1961), when he regularly visited a roadhouse called “The Spanish Castle”. The club was south of Seattle in what was then unincorporated King County (now Des Moines). It was built in the 1930s outside Seattle to avoid the city’s restrictive nightclub laws at the time. By 1959, it began featuring top local rock groups such as The Fabulous Wailers and occasional touring stars. Events there were hosted by Pat O’Day, Seattle’s best known disc jockey at the time.

Hendrix performed at the Spanish Castle on several occasions. He later described his frustration getting to the club: “[The bass player] in the band had this beat-up car, and it would break down every other block, on the way there and back”.[this quote needs a citation] This is referenced in the line “Takes ’bout a half a day to get there”. The Spanish Castle was demolished in April 1968. According to rock critic Dave Marsh, “Once you know the legend of the Wailers at the Castle and the facts of Jimi’s attendance there, the lyrics of his ‘Spanish Castle Magic’ seem haunted by homesick nostalgia: ‘It’s very far away, it takes about half a day to get there if we travel by my…uh…dragonfly,’ he sings, in the voice of a kid stranded a couple continents from home”.[this quote needs a citation]

The song features Noel Redding playing an eight-string Hagstrom bass routed through an Octavia effects unit, which Hendrix later overdubbed using the same bass.[2] Hendrix also overdubbed some jazz chords on piano, which he had heard sound engineer Eddie Kramer playing.[2] Hendrix biographer Harry Shapiro commented on the song’s instrumentation: “[The] guitar and bass in unison has the immediate effect of locking up a song in a strong rhythmic voice … [Hendrix uses] some unusual chord progressions and a large number of bend in the solo ending up with a crazy double-stop.”[3] AllMusic’s Matthew Greenwald calls the progression “proto-heavy metal” and compares it to the earlier Experience song, “Foxy Lady”.[1]

“Spanish Castle Magic” is one of the few songs from Axis: Bold as Love that Hendrix regularly performed in concert.[4] Live recordings of the song are found on BBC Sessions, Live at the Oakland Coliseum, Stages, Live in Ottawa, Live at Woodstock, Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight, Winterland, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.[5]

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