And here it is. The best of the best. It was almost impossible for me to narrow down my favorite Hendrix songs for this list (believe me, I initially planned to cut this list to 15, and there was no chance), but I feel pretty solid about the 18 I was able to reduce it to.
They come from the four studio releases Hendrix put together while he was alive, and a couple of albums released posthumously – I couldn’t be happier never-released songs keep popping up for those new compilations. Few of them match the Hendrix tracks I’ve been listening to forever, though.
My first favorite was “Castles Made Of Sand”, and it’s likely because I was an emotional teenager who could never get over the beauty and sadness of those lyrics. And I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the untouchable guitar work of “Machine Gun” and “Voodoo Chile”, as well as the humor and charm of “If 6 Was 9”.
It’s “Bold As Love” that remains my #1, though, as anyone who’s seen my lyrical tattoo can attest. Hendrix is never more appealing than he is as he takes his guitar every which way and sings of the color of his emotions:
My red is so confident that he flashes trophies of war,
and ribbons of euphoria/
Orange is young, full of daring,
But very unsteady for the first go round/
My yellow in this case is not so mellow
In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me
So take a listen! And get yourself wrapped up in the genius that is my favorite musician that ever lived.