The isolated tracks of famous songs can, at times, feel a little bit redundant. After all, artists work tirelessly to put all the individual parts of a record in one place to work together seamlessly. However on some tracks, and most notably on some performances, it is worth its weight in gold. Jimi Hendrix’s guitar work is worth so much more.
In particular, his work on the imperious song, and an iconic moment of music, Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967 hit ‘Purple Haze’. Released as the second record from the band in the March of ’67, it became a major success as soon as its psychedelic sound hit the airwaves.
It would end up as the opening number of the Experience’s debut American album and it quickly became the first introduction to the band’s subversive sound. A bastion of the counter-culture movement, Hendrix and his guitar playing became a symbol of creative freedom.
This isolated guitar track is the best way to listen to this inventive and beautiful playing. It has all the finer threads of what makes Hendrix a guitar genius, the shining silk of Eastern modalities, the sturdy and colourful blues mix, and rendered beauty of the sound processing. What comes out is a suit worthy of Saville Row.
While the lyrics may leave you misunderstanding the intent of Hendrix—having often been seen as a psychedelic experience—while Hendrix would reiterate it’s intended as a love song. What is in no doubt is that on this track, Hendrix’s guitar playing is the most honest and authentic moment of the song.
One of the best-known songs of Hendrix’s extraordinary yet short catalogue, ‘Purple Haze’ is a shining light of not only the illustrious creativity that flourished in the sixties. But the poster boy of that unbridled and untethered push of pulsating artistry.
Jimi Hendrix was a genius and this isolated guitar of song ‘Purple Haze’ proves it.
Below are two versions, while one is just the isolated guitar another sees the inspiring interplay between guitar and bass. Listen and enjoy.