Favorite Jimi Hendrix Songs




Despite having a music career that only spanned four years and four albums total, American singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix left a huge mark on music that cannot be overstated. Hendrix pioneered the art of electric guitar playing with the Wah-wah pedal and stereophonic phasing effects, and became one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century as a result. In light of the Hendrix biopic “All Is by My Side” coming Sept. 26, here are my top 10 favorite songs by rock’s greatest instrumentalist. (Song-Album Title)

  1. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (“Electric Ladyland”): A great finale to what would tragically turn out to be Hendrix’s last album while he was alive. With an explosive riff (THAT WAH-WAH PEDAL!!), great solos and quotable lyrics like the ominously prophetic (“I didn’t mean to take up your sweet time / going to give it back to you one of these days”); Hendrix created one of the greatest songs ever.
  2. “Castles Made of Sand” (“Axis: Bold as Love”): A semi-autobiographical song about how everything in life should be appreciated because nothing lasts forever, hence the metaphorical chorus “And castles made of sand fall into the sea eventually”.
  3. “All Along the Watchtower” (“Electric Ladyland”): A cover so good that even Dylan himself admits it’s better and plays it in a similar manner to Hendrix’s reinterpretation. Now that’s impressive!!
  4. Purple Haze (“Are You Experienced”): Hendrix’s most famous composition and the archetypical psychedelic rock song of the 60s.
  5. “Machine Gun” (“Band of Gypsys”): A 12-minute Vietnam-protest jam containing Hendrix’s best guitar solo and a great number of breathtaking guitar effects that resemble the sound of machine guns and helicopters.
  6. “Foxy Lady” (“Are You Experienced”): Whenever I listen to this great track, I envision the hilarious scene from “Wayne’s World” in which Garth lip-synchs this song in order to woo a beautiful lady.
  7. “Little Wing” (“Axis: Bold as Love”): Clocking in at a short and sweet two and a half minutes, it is Hendrix’s most concise song with its soulful chord progression and melodic closing guitar solo.
  8. “Hey Joe” (“Are You Experienced”): Hendrix’s break-out single tells the harrowing story of a man who is on the run and planning to head to Mexico after shooting his wife.
  9. “Angel” (“First Rays of the New Rising Sun”): A cut from his un-released fourth LP, this touching account of a dream Hendrix had about his mother represents his finest ballad.
  10. “Freedom” (“The Cry of Love”): A great R&B-style jam from his first posthumous album.




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