Jimi Hendrix / The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hey Joe

Composed by Billy Roberts

Song Review by

Although not written by Hendrix himself, “Hey Joe” is indelibly associated with the guitarist, partly because the song was the artist’s first hit record, but also because he instils his own individuality in the song, especially in the relaxed phrasing of the vocal. As a song, “Hey Joe” certainly isn’t spectacular, although it contains a nice, circular chord progression. Lines such as “Hey Joe, what ya doing with that gun in your hand?” may have passed into rock folklore, but they’re hardly inspired. What makes the song above average isHendrix’s sheer charisma – his vocal is idiosyncratic, yet perfectly suited to the song. It goes without saying that the guitar solo is awesome, but it’s the economy of phrasing, and it’s lyrical ness that makes the final solo in “Hey Joe” special.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Are You Experienced? 1967 Sony Music
Smash Hits 1969 Legacy / Sony Music 3:30
Live at Winterland 1987 Rykodisc 6:44
Radio One 1989 Ryko Distribution / Rykodisc 4:01
Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story 1991 Reprise
Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival 1970 1992 Legacy / Sony Music
The Ultimate Experience 1993 MCA 3:25
No Image 1994 MCA
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions 1998 Experience Hendrix 4:02
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 2000 Experience Hendrix / Sony Legacy 3:06
The Last Experience 2002 Charly Records
Live at Berkeley: 2nd Show 2003 MCA / Experience Hendrix 4:49
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1966-1967 2007 Geffen / Universal 2:53
Live at Monterey 2007 Legacy 5:12
Live at Berkeley 2008 Sony Legacy 4:49
Live 1968 Paris/Ottawa [CD/LP] 2009 Experience Hendrix 8:46
BBC Sessions 2010 Experience Hendrix 2:43
Winterland [Box Set] 2011 Sony Music 6:45
Winterland [Highlights] 2011 Experience Hendrix / Legacy 5:30
No Image UniVibes 4:40
blue highlight denotes editor's pick