Prince was a mercurial artist with the rare ability to assimilate himself with any genre or artistic endeavour he desired. If you needed further proof of his majestic skills then his cover of Jimi Hendrix song ‘Red House’ is all the funky evidence you need.
While there have been countless tributes to the brilliance of Jimi Hendrix, rarely do those homages feature an iconic figure with the ability to match his mind-bending guitar skills. Here, Prince does some of his best work as he paints Hendrix’s house in a unique shade of purple.
The Purple One took on the cover as part of the 2004 tribute album Power Of Soul: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix, a project that welcomed some of the finest guitar players of all time, with the likes of Eric Clapton, Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan all contributing with their own efforts.
Prince’s version of ‘Red House’, a song which was first featured on Hendrix album Are You Experienced?, is a deeply funky number. The material exhibits Hendrix’s most intricate moments, but the version put forward by Prince version adds a smoky and slinky sound to this otherwise psyche-rock masterpiece.
Naturally, Prince couldn’t keep the title of the song as is, deciding to put his own purple spin on it. While the title is one step towards Prince making the track his own, it is in his vocal delivery that he truly elevates the song to a new level.
Prince’s smoother than smooth tone is prevalent across the song as he leaves behind his R&B roots to add a little more rock and roll to his performance. It’s yet another reminder of Prince’s ability to seamlessly move into whatever musical area he pleased.
Hendrix may well have been the king of all guitarists, but The Purple One was the Prince of everything. Stream both renditions, below.