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 MCA 3:30
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Rhino
The Ultimate Experience 1993 MCA 3:25
No Image 1994 MCA
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 2000 MCA / Experience Hendrix 3:06
Say It Loud! A Celebration of Black Music in America [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:56
BBC Sessions 2010 Experience Hendrix 4:04
Playlist: The Very Best of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 2013 Experience Hendrix / Legacy / SMG / Sony Legacy 3:30