Jimi Hendrix Made Some Legendary Covers And We Found 10 Of ‘Em
Jimi Hendrix live in 1970 - Jimi Hendrix / Youtube
Like a mockingbird, Jimi Hendrix was known for mimicking songs, and in turn, making them his own. The legendary guitarist showed through his many cover songs that the role of a musician is to make the audience be a part of something iconic. As well as establishing himself as a pioneer, Jimi Hendrix also demonstrated himself to be an insightful observer who showed power through song renditions. The fury of Hendrix’s guitar lines could threaten some changes to the song, but it nevertheless pays homage to its originality. Below, we’ll take a look at 10 legendary covers from the legend himself.
Bob Dylan – “Like A Rolling Stone”
Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” one of many Dylan tunes Jimi altered into something shockingly fresh, was performed by Hendrix at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. It was also one of the reasons why Chas Chandler was persuaded to bring Hendrix to the UK, and the rest is history.
The Troggs – “Wild Thing”
To their credit, The Troggs, a then-unknown English suburbs band, popularized Chip Taylor’s three-chord marvel. For Hendrix’s part, he reportedly ran out of the shower during the iconic 1967 Monterey Festival to perform an impromptu rendition of the song after hearing it played on the radio.
The Beatles – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band”
With the Beatles in attendance, recently releasing their phenomenal album Sgt. Pepper; Jimi Hendrix took the stage at the Saville Theatre in London on June 4, 1967, to pay homage to the Fab Four and show his extraordinary talents to them. His version of the title track wowed the quartet, and Paul McCartney thinks it was the “ultimate compliment” they’d ever receive.
Billy Roberts – “Hey Joe”
Folk singer Billy Roberts wrote ‘Hey Joe’ in Greenwich Village, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it became a commercial success, through Jimi Hendrix’s power. It was the song that blew Chas Chandler’s mind, a clear indicator that Hendrix truly was a guitar prodigy.
Cream – “Sunshine of Your Love”
Hendrix reworked Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” over a year after its 1968 release. In Jimi’s hands, the most popular songs of the day were transformed into his works of art, therefore, you could identify the greatness of this one.
Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode”
It makes sense that Hendrix would pay homage to some of his musical heroes, given that he was brought up on blues music. A cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” was one of the highlights of his debut performance at Berkeley Community Theatre on May 5, 1970. The guitarist’s rendition of Berry’s original was uncharacteristically faithful, adhering to the same speed, beat, and vocal melody as Berry’s original. Later on, he would create some viciousness by conjuring up reckless guitar solos.
The Animals – “House of The Rising Sun”
There is so much to thank the rock band The Animals for, and this is just one of them. Apart from their rousing edition of House of the Rising Sun” which prompted Bob Dylan to go electric, artists like Jimi Hendrix were also inspired to do something so innovative and experimental; as seen with his version of the same song.
Lee Dorsey – “Get Out of My Life Woman”
Assisted by Chris Knight on the drums, Jimi Hendrix provides a magnificent vocal performance that is thick with lush resonance. This basic blues tune takes on an entirely new dimension. You can’t find anything like that anywhere else.
Bob Dylan – “All Along The Watchtower”
Some songs are meant to be covered by others, and “All Along The Watchtower” is one of those examples. Speaking about the song, Hendrix said: “Sometimes, I play Dylan’s songs and they are so much like me that it seems to me that I wrote them. I have the feeling that ‘Watchtower’ is a song I could have come up with, but I’m sure I would never have finished it.”
John Stafford Smith – “Star-Spangled Banner”
Hendrix’s rock ‘n’ roll rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” during the first Woodstock Festival in 1969 is unparalleled, honestly. At a time when the “peace & love” movement rose high, it’s a statement of independence, a clear message that most youngsters want to deliver.