10 Best Jimi Hendrix Songs of All Time (2023)

Can you believe it’s been 43 years since the legendary Jimi Hendrix passed away? Although he may no longer be with us, his music lives on and continues to be popular as ever. His posthumous release “People, Hell and Angels” sold a whopping 72,000 records, and landed at a solid Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It’s amazing to think that Jimi’s vault still has unreleased tracks after all these years. But, let’s not forget that the man himself was a true workaholic and was constantly creating new music during his brief career. He has left behind an enormous collection of songs that continue to captivate audiences around the world.

So, if you’re a fan of Jimi Hendrix, there’s plenty to look forward to! Who knows what other hidden gems may be unearthed from his archives in the future. Let’s keep listening, keep rockin’, and keep the music alive!

10. ‘Hey Joe’

“Hey Joe” was Jimi Hendrix’s first single, and it’s a cover of a garage rock classic by the Leaves. The song tells a dark story of a man who murders his cheating wife and flees to Mexico. Chas Chandler discovered Hendrix playing the song in New York’s Cafe Wha? in 1966 and brought him to England to record his debut album. The rest, as they say, is history.

9. ‘Castles Made of Sand’

“Castles Made of Sand” is a powerful song that highlights the impermanence of life. The lyrics tell the story of a broken couple, a slain Indian chief, and a disabled girl facing a difficult decision. Although some say it’s based on Jimi’s childhood experiences, he never confirmed this.

8. ‘Red House’

“Red House” is a classic blues track that Hendrix had been tinkering with for two years before releasing it on his debut LP, Are You Experienced. The song draws inspiration from blues icons such as Albert King, Jimmy Reed, and Curtis Knight. Initially left off the American release of the album, it quickly became a fan favorite and a staple of his setlist.

7. ‘Bold as Love’

Jimi Hendrix was one of the biggest names in rock music when he got down to work on his second LP, Axis: Bold as Love, during the summer of ’67. With the pressure on to meet their label’s deadline for a second album release, the group had to work fast, but they still managed to produce some of the best tracks of Hendrix’s career.

One of the standout tracks on the album is “Bold as Love,” which closes out the record with a bang. The song explores how love can transform a person, as Hendrix explained in a 1968 radio interview. He likened it to the way the Earth’s axis shifts every few thousand years, fundamentally altering the planet’s face. Hendrix believed that love could have a similarly profound effect on individuals, changing them forever. The track has proven enduringly popular, even inspiring a cover by John Mayer on his 2006 album Continuum.

6. ‘Purple Haze’

Although “Hey Joe” was Jimi’s first hit, it was “Purple Haze” that made him a superstar. The song even had people air-guitaring in front of their mirrors! While many people assumed the title referred to LSD, Jimi claimed it was actually inspired by a dream he had. Despite the rumors, we can all agree that “Purple Haze” is a rock classic.

5. ‘The Wind Cries Mary’

When Jimi Hendrix got into a massive brawl with his girlfriend Kathy Mary Etchingham, he channeled his emotions into “The Wind Cries Mary.” Despite spending hours in the studio perfecting the song, they ultimately went with the very first take. It’s no wonder this emotional ballad still resonates with so many people today.

4. ‘All Along the Watchtower’

This song was originally written by Bob Dylan, but Hendrix’s version took it to a whole new level. It was released in 1968, after months of tinkering, and it found a much larger audience than the original. Even Dylan himself admits that Hendrix’s cover is superior. Dylan has played the song more than any other in his catalog, and each live version borrows a bit from the Hendrix cover.

3. ‘Machine Gun’

Recorded during the Vietnam War, “Machine Gun” is an anti-war masterpiece that features haunting guitar work and drumming that mimics the sounds of a battlefield. At over 12 minutes long, the song is a testament to Jimi’s incredible talent as a musician and songwriter. It’s no wonder that this powerful track was dedicated to the brave soldiers fighting overseas.

2. ‘Little Wing’

“Little Wing” is a beautiful and simple song that Hendrix wrote based on Indian style. He explained in a 1968 interview that he was inspired by everything he saw around him, and he wanted to capture it in the form of a girl that would just fly away. The song has been covered by many artists, including Derek and the Dominos, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Sting.

1. ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’

This song is on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s final album. It began as an improvisation around some of the same guitar lines and images used in the 15-minute-long “Voodoo Chile.” The song was released as a single shortly after Hendrix’s death and became a hit in the UK, but it didn’t even crack the Hot 100 in America. Nonetheless, it has become a classic rock radio staple that you’ve probably heard about 10 billion times.

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