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Friday 6 December 2019

Retro Top Ten: This week in 1970

Jimi Hendrix: posthumous number one
Jimi Hendrix: posthumous number one

Guitar great Jimi Hendrix was just 27 when he died on September 18, 1970. Less than a month later, 'Voodoo Chile' was posthumously released by Track Records and became the legendary artist's only number one hit in the UK.

During his lifetime, his biggest hit in the singles chart was 'Purple Haze' which climbed to number 3 in the UK in 1967.

'Voodoo Chile' had two classic Hendrix tracks on the b-side, 'Hey Joe' (a No. 6 UK hit in 1966), and his cover of Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower' which had reached number 20 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.

Described by Joe Satriani - one of the biggest-selling rock guitarists of all time - as 'the greatest piece of electric guitar work ever recorded, 'Voodoo Chile' was the final track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's 1968 album 'Electric Ladyland'. It was also the last song Hendrix ever played live in concert, at the open-air 'Love and Peace Festival' in Germany on September 6, 1970, twelve days before his drug-related death.

'Voodoo Chile' was originally recorded in New York on May 2, 1968, during a studio jam session which featured, among others, Steve Winwood on organ. The next day Hendrix returned to the studio - and the song - with additonal musicians Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums.

There is much confusion over the title of the song, as 'chile' in this usage is a phonetic approximation of 'child' and Hendrix used both for different variations of the track. The US version of 'Electric Ladyland' includes 'Voodoo Chile', running to almost 15 minutes in length, and 'Voodoo Child (Slight Return)', clocking in at just over five minutes.

However, the UK edition of the album lists the latter as 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)' and this is the track released as simply 'Voodoo Chile' in the UK in 1970.

1 Voodoo Chile Jimi Hendrix Experience

2 Woodstock Matthews' Southern Comfort

3 Indian Reservation Don Fardon

4 Patches Clarence Carter

5 War Edwin Starr

6 It's Wonderful Jimmy Ruffin

7 San Bernardino Christie

8 The Witch Rattles

9 Ruby Tuesday Melanie

10 Cracklin' Rosie Neil Diamond

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