While the names Robert Smith, The Cure and Jimi Hendrix don’t normally go hand in hand, the post-punk band and goth pioneers did decide to put their own spin on ‘Purple Haze’ in a disorientating tribute psychedelic rock star.
Given the extraordinary legacy left behind by Hendrix, a group of artists joined forces in 1993 to celebrate his music by creating the tribute album Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The Cure delivered one of their most mind-melting renditions of a classic single on the release.
The record combined the likes of The Cure, Eric Clapton, Pretenders, Seal and a supergroup made up of Chris Cornell alongside Pearl Jam members Mike McCready, Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron, comprised of 14 different cover versions of iconic Jimi Hendrix tracks. According to the liner notes, the “artists were encouraged to not only record one of their own personal favourites but also to place their stamp on Jimi’s songs.”
While a number of the musicians involved opted to do a more traditional version of a Hendrix song, which matched more accurately the work of the acclaimed guitarist. Still, a select few decided instead to put together radically different interpretations which matched their own personal style more accurately. Enter, The Cure and Robert Smith’s unbelievable version of a classic.
Opting to run with ‘Purple Haze’, the second single released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967, The Cure added a splattering of their famed 1980s synth style while sampling Hendrix and a whole bunch of otherworldly sounds — The Cure take us into a new realm if one-upping Hendrix on transformative tunes is even possible.
Speaking about the song, Hendrix once said: “I dream a lot and I put my dreams down as songs,” when asked about how he creates his vision. “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.”
So, it seems almost fitting that The Cure added their own dreamlike state to the cover version. Enjoy the audio, below and get lost in the goth pioneers own vision of ‘Purple Haze’.