German single picture sleeve
|Single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm|
|Experience UKsingles chronology|
|Experience USsingles chronology|
"Purple Haze" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and released as the second record single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on March 17, 1967. As a record chart hit in several countries and the opening number on the Experience's debut American album, it was many people's first exposure to Hendrix's psychedelic rock sound.
James Marshall Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an American-English rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and bassist Noel Redding comprised the group, which was active until June 1969. During this time, they released three studio albums and became one of the most popular acts in rock. Starting in April 1970, Hendrix, Mitchell, and bassist Billy Cox performed and recorded until Hendrix's death on September 18, 1970. This later trio was sometimes billed as the "Jimi Hendrix Experience", but the title was never formalized.
Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.
The song features his inventive guitar playing, which uses the signature Hendrix chord and a mix of blues and Eastern modalities, shaped by novel sound processing techniques. Because of ambiguities in the lyrics, listeners often interpret the song as referring to a psychedelic experience, although Hendrix described it as a love song.
A psychedelic experience is a temporary altered state of consciousness induced by the consumption of psychedelic drugs. For example, the term acid trip refers to psychedelic experiences brought on by the use of LSD.
"Purple Haze" is one of Hendrix's best-known songs and appears on many Hendrix compilation albums. The song featured regularly in concerts and each of Hendrix's group configurations issued live recordings. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and is included on lists of the greatest guitar songs, including at number two by Rolling Stone and number one by Q magazine.
The Grammy Hall of Fame is a hall of fame to honor musical recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance. Inductees are selected annually by a special member committee of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts. It is compiled by The Recording Academy in the United States, and was established in 1973. Recordings in all genres are eligible for selection, and must be at least 25 years old to be considered. Additions to the list are chosen annually by a committee of recording arts professionals.
By January 5, 1967, the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first single, "Hey Joe", backed with "Stone Free", had peaked at number six on the UK record chart. '" Chandler claimed that after some more urging, Hendrix wrote the rest of "Purple Haze" in the dressing room of a London club during the afternoon of December 26, 1966, before a gig. In several interviews, Hendrix spoke about writing the song, but did not mention where or when he wrote it."Hey Joe" was not a Hendrix composition – it was written by Billy Roberts and recorded by several groups prior to the Experience. Hendrix commented, "That record isn't us. The next one's gonna be different. We're working on an LP which will mainly be our stuff." The group recorded several demos of original material at studios in London, including "Can You See Me", "Foxy Lady", "Third Stone from the Sun", "Red House", and "Remember". In the middle of December, producer Chas Chandler heard Hendrix toying around with a new guitar riff. "I heard him playing it at the flat and was knocked out. I told him to keep working on that, saying, 'That's the next single!
"Hey Joe" is an American popular song from the 1960s that has become a rock standard and has been performed in many musical styles by hundreds of different artists. "Hey Joe" tells the story of a man who is on the run and planning to head to Mexico after shooting his unfaithful wife. The song was registered for copyright in the United States in 1962 by Billy Roberts. However, diverse credits and claims have led to confusion about the song's authorship. The earliest known commercial recording of the song is the late-1965 single by the Los Angeles garage band the Leaves; the band then re-recorded the track and released it in 1966 as a follow-up single which became a hit. The best-known version is the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1966 recording. The song title is sometimes given as "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?" or similar variations.
"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. 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.
William Moses "Billy" Roberts Jr. was an American songwriter and musician credited with composing the 1960s rock music standard "Hey Joe".
The Experience began recording "Purple Haze" on January 11, 1967, at De Lane Lea Studios in London. According to drummer Mitch Mitchell, he and bassist Noel Redding learned the song in the studio: "Hendrix came in and kind of hummed us the riff and showed Noel the chords and the changes. I listened to it and we went, 'OK, let's do it.' We got it on the third take as I recall."The basic track was recorded in four hours, according to Chandler. Multitrack recording technology allowed engineers to record and complete additional parts on the final master. After the basic track was finished, Chandler explained that he and Hendrix developed the song:
Warner Bros. De Lane Lea Studios is a recording studio, currently based in Dean Street, Soho, London, England, UK. Although the studios have mainly been used for dubbing feature films and television programmes, major artists such as The Animals, The Beatles, Soft Machine, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Renaissance, Electric Light Orchestra and Deep Purple recorded songs in their studios, particularly at their former premises at 129 Kingsway and at Engineers Way, Wembley, where Queen recorded demos in 1971..
John Graham Mitchell was an English drummer, and actor who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2009.
David Noel Redding was an English rock musician, best known as the bass player and occasional lead singer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and guitarist/singer for Fat Mattress.
With 'Purple Haze', Hendrix and I were striving for a sound and just kept going back in [to the studio], two hours at a time, trying to achieve it. It wasn't like we were there for days on end. We recorded it, and then Hendrix and I would be sitting at home saying, 'Let's try that.' Then we would go in for an hour or two. That's how it was in those days. However long it took to record one specific idea, that's how long we would book. We kept going in and out.
Redding and Mitchell were not included in the process because Chandler felt that it was more efficient for him and Hendrix to do it alone.To get a better quality recording, Chandler took the four-track tape recorded at De Lane Lea to Olympic Studios for overdubbing (although Hendrix had worked with eight-track recording in the US, it was not yet available in the UK). At Olympic, they were assigned Eddie Kramer, who, as a sound engineer, played an important role in subsequent Hendrix recordings. Hendrix added new vocals and guitar parts between February 3 and 8, 1967. Unlike the conventional techniques used by the Experience to record previous songs, Chandler decided to try out new effects and sounds for "Purple Haze". He enhanced background sounds (some contributed by Redding) by playing them back through headphones, which were moved around the recording microphone, creating "a weird echo". Chandler also used sped-up guitar parts recorded at half-speed (which also raises the pitch) and panning to create novel effects. The guitar solo features the first use of the Octavia guitar effects unit. Acoustical and electronics engineer Roger Mayer developed the unit with input from Hendrix. The Octavia doubles the frequency of the sound it is fed, essentially adding an upper octave.
In interviews, Hendrix usually gave different answers about the development of the song's lyrics. Biographer Harry Shapiro points out that "Purple Haze" is most likely "a pot-pourri of ideas" which Hendrix developed over time.As a fan of science fiction, he frequently incorporated its imagery in his songwriting. Hendrix read Night of Light , a 1966 novel by Philip José Farmer, that expanded on a short story published in 1957. In the story set on a distant planet, sunspots produce a "purplish haze" which has a disorienting effect on the inhabitants. An early handwritten draft by Hendrix, titled "Purple Haze – Jesus Saves", uses dream-like imagery where the sense of direction and time is distorted. In an interview on January 28, 1967, before the song was completed, Hendrix was asked how he wrote songs; he responded, "I dream a lot and I put my dreams down as songs. I wrote one called 'First Look Around the Corner' and another called 'The Purple Haze,' which was about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea." He later expressed frustration that he was unable to more fully develop his ideas for the song:
You know the song we had named 'Purple Haze'? [It] had about a thousand, thousand words ... I had it all written out. It was about going through, through this land. This mythical ... because that's what I like to do is write a lot of mythical scenes. You know, like the history of the wars on Neptune.
So far, only a crumpled single sheet of ruled yellow tablet paper is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and does not include any of the lyrics used in the Experience song.Chandler admitted that in the early stages, he helped Hendrix shape the songs and lyrics to radio single length. Biographer Keith Shadwick comments that although much of the complexity may have been sacrificed, it resulted in verses that are "simple, focused and striking".
After its release, Hendrix offered another explanation: "He [the song's protagonist] likes this girl so much, that he doesn't know what [state] he's in, ya know. A sort of daze, I suppose. That's what the song is all about."This draws on an experience Hendrix had while still in New York, where he felt that a girl was attempting to use voodoo to trap him and he became ill. Shapiro believes that this is reflected in most of the first two verses:
Purple haze all around, don't know if I'm coming up or down
Am I happy or in misery, whatever it is that girl put a spell on me
Many fans and the press interpret the song as referring to a psychedelic experience due to lines such as "purple haze all in my brain" and "'scuse me while I kiss the sky".However, Hendrix and those closest to him never discussed any connection between psychedelic drugs and the song, although Shapiro admits that, at the time, to do so would have been "professional suicide". Chandler, who claimed he was present when Hendrix wrote it, later denied suggestions that Hendrix did so while under the influence of psychedelics. Commenting on the lyrics, Shadwick concludes "the music [was allowed] to tell the larger story. Poised effectively between the twin intoxicants of drugs and desire, they could be interpreted to the listener's taste". In concert, Hendrix sometimes substituted lyrics for comic effect; "'scuse me while I kiss the sky" was rendered "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" (while gesturing towards Mitchell), "'scuse me while I kiss that policeman" (at a near riot in Los Angeles), or "'scuse me while I fuck the sky" (during a downpour in Seattle).
Music critic William Ruhlmann describes "Purple Haze" as having "relentlessly driving, if relatively slow-paced underlying music, which provides a good platform for some of Hendrix's inventive guitar playing". ♭ on guitar against an E played by Redding on bass, followed by the respective octaves. Mitchell on drums comes in for the third measure, when Hendrix introduces the riff that piqued Chandler's interest, and Redding continues playing the octaves in E.Beginning with its dissonant opening and heavy use of distortion, Hendrix's techniques "all contributed to the dirty, raw, metallic, [and] angular sounds" heard in the song, according to Shapiro. The intro consists of the melodic interval of a tritone or diminished (sometimes called flattened) fifth. Historically, this dissonant interval has been referred to as diabolus in musica (literally "Devil in music") and was reputedly proscribed by papal bull during the Spanish Inquisition, because "to play it was like ringing Satan's doorbell". It is sounded during the first two measures by Hendrix playing a B
After the riff, the verse sections begin, which Shadwick describe as "simplicity itself, consisting of just three chords": E7♯9, G, and A. The E7♯9, or dominant seventh sharp ninth chord, has come to be called the "Hendrix chord" by guitarists and was used primarily in rhythm and blues and jazz before Hendrix helped popularize it. He also used an unconventional fingering technique for the G and A chords. Because Hendrix used his thumb to fret the roots of the G and A chords on the sixth string, his fingers were left in a position to create different chord voicings. Instead of the usual G barre chord (G–B–G–B–D–G), a G5 (G–X–G–G–D–G) is sometimes played with the major third (B) being muted on the fifth string and replaced by the open third string (G). Redding follows the chord changes mostly by playing the root with occasional passing notes, while Mitchell heightens the tension with drum flourishes that accentuate Hendrix's vocal and guitar.
Biographer David Henderson describes Hendrix's guitar tone as "at the razor edge of distort".However, individual notes are still clear, as well as the harmonically more complex chords, even with the use of extreme overdrive for the time. The tension is maintained until the guitar solo, which "arrives as something of a release rather than a further racking up of the atmosphere." It is also when Hendrix first introduces the Octavia, coupled with a Fuzz Face distortion unit. Whitehill describes the solo as "almost sound[ing] likes he's playing a blues raga. He starts out playing in the Mixolydian mode and then he goes right into the blues side. The Octavia has the effect of a sitar, kind of like Ravi Shankar meets B.B. King." During the song's outro, the guitar part recorded at 7½ inches per second (ips) played back at 15 ips, is combined with the Octavia, further extending the guitar's upper frequency range. Henderson describes it as "an uncanny piercing tone that takes off, Eastern-sounding beyond the range of the guitar" and, according to Shadwick, "gives the impression that the guitar notes are flying off into the ether."
|Top singles charts 1967||Peak position||Weeks on chart|
|Austria Austrian Hitparade||7||8|
|Netherlands Dutch Charts||11||5|
|Norway Norwegian Charts||7||3|
|UK Official Singles Chart||3||14|
|US Billboard Hot 100||65||8|
On March 17, 1967, "Purple Haze" was released in the UK as the first single on Track Records.Another Hendrix composition, the R&B-influenced "51st Anniversary" was included as the B-side. Paul McCartney, who was an early Hendrix supporter, gave the record an enthusiastic pre-release review in Melody Maker . The single entered the charts at number 39 on Record Mirror and at number 43 on Melody Maker. It peaked at number three and spent 14 weeks on the chart. During March 1967, several performances of "Purple Haze" were filmed to promote the song and used for television programs, such as Beat-Club , Dee Time, and Top of the Pops . Live performances were also broadcast on German NDR and BBC Radio's Saturday Club .
For the American single, Reprise Records paired the song with "The Wind Cries Mary".It was released on June 19, 1967, the day following the Experience's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart on August 26, where it spent eight weeks and reached number 65. "Purple Haze" was included as the opening track on the American release of Are You Experienced on August 23, 1967. Because of the song's airplay on underground FM radio, the album became more popular than Hendrix's singles.
One of Hendrix's most popular songs,"Purple Haze" appears on numerous compilation albums. Some of these include Smash Hits , The Essential Jimi Hendrix , The Singles Album , Kiss the Sky , Cornerstones: 1967–1970 , The Ultimate Experience , Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix , Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection , and The Singles Collection . An alternative version recorded at the same time, but with different vocal and guitar overdubs, is the first song on The Jimi Hendrix Experience 2000 box set. Live recordings of "Purple Haze" as performed by each of the different Hendrix lineups have been released. These include Live at Monterey (the Experience), Live at Woodstock (Gypsy Sun and Rainbows), Live at the Fillmore East (Band of Gypsys), and Live at Berkeley (the Cry of Love touring group). Additional live recordings with the Experience appear on Winterland (2011 Billboard number 49 album) and Miami Pop Festival (2013 Billboard number 39 album).
In March 2005, Q magazine ranked "Purple Haze" at number one in its list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever!"The song placed at number two on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" list, which noted that the song "unveiled a new guitar language charged with spiritual hunger and the poetry possible in electricity and studio technology". It also appears at number 17 on the magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list, with the comment that "it launched not one but two revolutions: late-Sixties psychedelia and the unprecedented genius of Jimi Hendrix". Author and music critic Dave Marsh called it the "debut single of the Album Rock Era". In 1995, "Purple Haze" was included as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". NPR named the song to its list of the "100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century" in 2000. In 2008, it was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, which "honor[s] recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance".
Many musicians have recorded their interpretations of the song, making it one of Hendrix's most covered songs.Dion DiMucci included an acoustic version with strings on his 1968 comeback album Dion. Released as a single in 1969, it appeared at number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100, which was two positions higher than Hendrix' single in 1967. Also with a new arrangement, the Cure recorded it for the various artist's Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix in 1993. Their rendition reached number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks alternative rock chart. "Purple Haze" has achieved an unusual level of interest among classical musicians. The Meridian Arts Ensemble, the Hampton String Quartet, and Nigel Kennedy have recorded their interpretations and the Kronos Quartet often play it as an encore.
Jimmy James and the Blue Flames was a short-lived American rock group that was fronted by Jimi Hendrix, who was then going by the name "Jimmy James". The band was Hendrix's first extended foray into the 1966 Greenwich Village music scene and included future Spirit guitarist Randy California. At various New York clubs, they played a mix of rock, blues, and rhythm and blues songs as well as early versions of songs that became part of the Jimi Hendrix Experience repertoire. It was at such a performance that Animals' bassist Chas Chandler first heard their rendition of "Hey Joe" and decided to invite Hendrix to England and become his producer.
Are You Experienced is the debut studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Released in 1967, the LP was an immediate critical and commercial success, and it is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music.
Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded to fulfill the Experience's contract, which stated that they had to produce two records in 1967.
"Little Wing" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967. It is a slower tempo, rhythm and blues-inspired ballad featuring Hendrix's vocal and guitar with recording studio effects accompanied by bass, drums, and glockenspiel. Lyrically, it is one of several of his songs that reference an idealized feminine or guardian angel-like figure. At about two and a half minutes in length, it is one of his most concise and melodically-focused pieces.
Band of Gypsys is a live album by Jimi Hendrix and the first without his original group, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was recorded on January 1, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York City with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, frequently referred to as the Band of Gypsys. The album mixes funk and rhythm and blues elements with hard rock and jamming, an approach which later became the basis of funk rock. It contains previously unreleased songs and was the last full-length Hendrix album released before his death.
"Foxy Lady" is a song by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It first appeared on their 1967 debut album Are You Experienced and was later issued as their third single in the U.S. with the alternate spelling. It is one of Hendrix's best-known songs and was frequently performed in concerts throughout his career. Rolling Stone magazine placed the song at number 153 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
"Red House" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and one of the first songs recorded in 1966 by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It has the musical form of a conventional twelve-bar blues and features Hendrix's guitar playing. He developed the song prior to forming the Experience and was inspired by earlier blues songs.
"Voodoo Child " is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 that appears as the final track on the Electric Ladyland album released that year. It contains improvised guitar and a vocal from Jimi 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.
Rainbow Bridge is a 1971 film directed by Chuck Wein about different countercultural figures interacting on the Hawaiian island of Maui. He described it as "a kind of space-age Candid Camera. We're going to place Pat [New York model Pat Hartley, the protagonist] in all kinds of real-life situtations, and film what happens. We're going to shoot a lot of film and just see what comes out of it." Harry Shapiro adds, "the idea was to shoot an antidote to Easy Rider, showing the positive side of the youth movement."
"The Wind Cries Mary" is a rock ballad written by Jimi Hendrix.
"Spanish Castle Magic" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Produced by Chas Chandler, it is the third track from the album Axis: Bold as Love. The lyrics refer to a club near Seattle, where Hendrix sometimes played early in his career. The song was a staple of live shows. Several live recordings were released after Hendrix's death.
Jimi Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter whose career spanned from 1962 to 1970. His discography includes the recordings released during his lifetime. Prior to his rise to fame, he recorded 24 singles as a backing guitarist with American R&B artists, such as the Isley Brothers and Little Richard. Beginning in late 1966, he recorded three best-selling studio albums and 13 singles with the Jimi Hendrix Experience. An Experience compilation album and half of a live album recorded at the Monterey Pop Festival were also issued prior to his death. After the breakup of the Experience in mid-1969, songs from his live performances were included on the Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More and Band of Gypsys albums. A studio single with the Band of Gypsys was also released.
"Third Stone from the Sun" is a mostly instrumental composition by American musician Jimi Hendrix. It incorporates several musical approaches, including jazz and psychedelic rock, with brief spoken passages. The title reflects Hendrix's interest in science fiction and is a reference to Earth in its position as the third planet away from the sun in the solar system.
"Mercy, Mercy" is a soul song first recorded by American singer/songwriter Don Covay in 1964. It established Covay's recording career and influenced later vocal and guitar styles. The songwriting is usually credited to Covay and Ron Alonzo Miller, although other co-writers' names have also appeared on various releases.
"Are You Experienced?" is the title song for the Jimi Hendrix Experience 1967 debut album. It has been described as one of Jimi Hendrix's most original compositions on the album by writer Keith Shadwick. The song is largely based on one chord and has a drone-like quality reminiscent of Indian classical music. It features recorded guitar and drum parts that are played backwards and a repeating piano chord, but no bass. Live recordings from 1968 are found on The Jimi Hendrix Concerts album and Winterland box set.
Jimi Hendrix was an American musician whose career spanned from 1962 to 1970. His posthumous discography includes recordings released after September 18, 1970. Hendrix left behind a large number of recordings in varying stages of completion. This material, along with reissues of his career catalogue, has been released over the years in several formats by various producers and record companies. Since Experience Hendrix, a family company, took control of his recording legacy in 1995, over 15 Hendrix albums have appeared on the main US albums chart. Several of these have also placed on charts in more than 18 countries around the world.
"Hear My Train A Comin'" is a blues-based song written by Jimi Hendrix. Lyrically, it was inspired by earlier American spirituals and blues songs which use a train metaphor to represent salvation. Hendrix recorded the song in live, studio, and impromptu settings several times between 1967 and 1970, but never completed it to his satisfaction.
Jimi Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter whose career spanned from 1962 to 1970. His videography includes commercially released films of musical performances and documentaries about his career. Hendrix appeared in two popular 1960s music festival films – Monterey Pop (1968) and Woodstock (1970). A short documentary, Experience (1968), also known as See My Music Talking, was also screened.