Cover of Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix

From Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix and 32 other releases

Folk rock singer Tim Rose’s slow version, (recorded in 1966 and claimed to be Rose’s arrangement of a wholly traditional song) inspired the first single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. One documentary shows interviews with Chas Chandler, who, having just left The Animals, and was focusing on managing other acts. He had been seeking out an artist to record a full-on rock version of “Hey Joe”, and Hendrix fit the bill. Chandler had seen Rose performing at the Cafe Wha? in New York City (Hendrix himself had recently played a few times in the same venue). Some accounts credit the slower version of the song by the British band The Creation as being the inspiration for Hendrix’s version; Chandler and Hendrix eventually saw them perform the song after Jimi finally arrived in the UK along with Chandler although their version was not released until after Hendrix’s. It is unclear if the members of the Creation had heard Rose’s version. Released in December 1966, Hendrix’s version became a worldwide hit, entering the UK top ten within the month in January 1967 and remains the best known recording of the song. The single was released in the United States on May 1, 1967 with the B-side “51st Anniversary”. It is #198 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Lyrics

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand
Hey Joe, I said where you goin’ with that gun in your hand
I’m goin’ down to shoot my ol’ lady

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Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun of your hand
Hey Joe, I said where you goin' with that gun in your hand, oh
I'm goin' down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin' 'round with another man

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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