This list of songs is inspired by a list published by radio station, KEXP, from Seattle in 2010. For the most part, I will faithfully countdown from their list, from Song #500 to Song #1. So, when you see the song title listed as something like: “KEXP: Song #XXX”….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. If I post the song title as being: “KTOM: Song #xxx”….it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In either case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Enough said! Let’s get on to today’s song.
KEXP: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #475: Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix.
Over the whole of modern music history, there have been many excellent guitarists. There have been accomplished Bluesmen like B.B. King and Muddy Waters, Heavy Metal shredders like Steve Vai and Tony Iommi, along with rockers like Eddie VanHalen and Carlos Santana. All of these folks are/were masters of their craft and are held in high esteem by fans and by fellow musicians for a reason. But, few would argue with the assertion that the greatest guitar player of all time was Jimi Hendrix.
Jimi Hendrix packed a lot into his 27+ years of life. He was a prodigy on the guitar in the same way that Mozart was a prodigy on the piano. Hendrix did things with a guitar that had never been done before and have rarely been done since. His playing style was primal and theatrical and displayed an easy virtuosity that is amazing to see, even all these years later. He was a powerful, musical force. Hendrix had many hit singles including, “Purple Haze”, “All Along the Watchtower”, “The Wind Cries Mary” and, today’s song, “Foxey Lady”. He was the star attraction at the original Woodstock Music Festival in 1969. He was a first-ballot Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame selection in 1992. His three albums, “Are You Experienced?”, “Electric Ladyland” and “Axis: Bold As Love” have all been deemed by Rolling Stone Magazine as being among the Top 100 Albums of all time. The same magazine ranked Hendrix as the Greatest Guitarist of all time and the sixth Greatest Performer ever, too.
Jimi Hendrix began his career playing with Little Richard, The Isley Brothers and others but, his virtuosity made it difficult for him to maintain a backing role on any stage. He was a star from the moment he began to play. I confess that I do not possess the musical knowledge to accurately describe his playing style in precise technical terms. Instead, I, like you, am left to watch his performances and marvel at the ferocity of his playing. In this video for “Foxey Lady”, his guitar style seems almost sexual which is, I presume, in keeping with the seductive nature of the lyrics to this song. Whatever the case, he is obviously a man who is supremely confident in his gift.
Jimi Hendrix died when he was just 27 years old. He asphyxiated after an overdose of barbiturates. Along with Jim Morrison of The Doors, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Amy Winehouse and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones (who all died at age 27, as well), Jimi Hendrix died way too soon and left us all to lament what more he might have been able to give us, musically. But, what he did give us musically while he was alive was phenomenal! Jimi Hendrix was unlike anyone who has ever played the guitar. If you have never watched him play then, you are in for a treat. If you have seen him play then, get ready to relive the magic that he brought with him to the stage. Regardless of what you bring to this post/video, you are about to watch the greatest guitar player of all time doing what he did best. That is treat enough for this day.
The link for the music video to Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix can be found here.
The official Jimi Hendrix website can be accessed by clicking on the link here.
Thanks, as always, to KEXP, for honouring the music of the past, with as much fervour, as they do the music of the present and the future, too. a link to their website can be found here.