Jimi’s “Voodoo Chile” is the Mona Lisa of blues rock. With an impossibly wicked lick, the song draws you in instantly. Here’s some info on the song.
“Voodoo Chile” is a song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from the album Electric Ladyland. Recorded on May 2, 1968 at the Record Plant Studios in New York City, the recording session included Mitch Mitchell, drummer of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Steve Winwood of Traffic on B3 organ, and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane on bass duties. The song, basically a 15-minute blues jam, evolved into the final product over the course of an hour.
After many of the late night Electric Ladyland recording sessions, Hendrix and the band went to one of the New York City clubs to jam with whoever was there. One such jam at The Scene Club included Steve Winwood and Jack Casady. Noel Redding was not present as he had stormed out of the Record Plant studio earlier that evening. They spent the night playing “Voodoo Chile”, and when the club closed, Hendrix invited everyone back to the studio. At about 7 a.m. the next morning they began to formally record “Voodoo Chile”. It took only three takes and the final 15 minute version was Hendrix’s longest studio recording. The second take did not come out well, since a string broke. The first and second takes are used in “Voodoo Chile Blues” that is a combination of two takes released on Hendrix leftovers-album called Blues.
While “Voodoo Chile” sounds like a live recording, the crowd noise was actually recorded afterwards. Some twenty people were brought to the studio to record appropriate background noise.
Some notable video recordings:
From the BBC’s Happening’s For Lulu 1969:
Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1983:
Zakk Wylde and Slash from 1994:
Jimi again at Woodstock: