SPANISH CASTLE MAGIC:
The lyrics were inspired by Jimi's high school days (roughly 1958-1961), when he regularly visited a dance hall called "The Spanish Castle". The club was south of Seattle in what was then unincorporated King County (now Des Moines, Washington). The Spanish Castle was built in the 1930s outside Seattle to avoid the city's then restrictive nightclub laws. By 1959 it began featuring top local rock groups, such as The Wailers and occasional touring stars. Events at The Spanish Castle were hosted by Seattle's best known DJ of the time, Pat O'Day. Jimi had the opportunity to play with other musicians at the club on several occasions.
Hendrix would later describe his frustration getting to the club, saying, "(The bass player) in the band had this beat-up car, and it would break down every other block, on the way there and back..." hence the line, "Takes 'bout a half a day to get there..." In the days when Jimi visited the club there was no freeway between Seattle and Des Moines, so the drive was much longer than today. It was not until the mid 1960s that Interstate 5 linked the two towns. The Spanish Castle was demolished in April 1968.
Rock critic Dave Marsh said about the song “Once you know the legend of the Wailers at the Castle and the facts of Jimi’s attendance there, the lyrics of his Spanish Castle Magic seem haunted by homesick nostalgia. It’s very far away, it takes about half a day/to get there/if we travel by my...uh...dragonfly, he sings, in the voice of a kid stranded a couple continents from home.”
The 1967 USA Reprise stereo remix of "Fire" was subsequently released as a stereo single in 1969, outside of USA and Canada as "Let Me Light Your Fire." The track has been included on a number of greatest hits collections, including Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience. 'The Experience' frequently opened live concerts with this song.
Despite its sexual overtones, the song had an innocuous origin, stemming from a cold New Year's Eve in Folkestone, England after a gig. Noel Redding, bass player for The Jimi Hendrix Experience invited Jimi and Cathy as guests at his mother's house. Jimi asked her if he could stand next to her fireplace to warm himself. She agreed, but her Great Dane was in the way, hence the line, "Aw, move over, Rover, and let Jimi take over..." ("Electric Gypsy").
The album version of the song contained a very short and simple solo, but through several live performances, Hendrix expanded it.
The album version also features Backing vocals from Trevor Burton (The Move) and Jim Leverton (Steve Marriott, Rory Gallagher)
WIND CRIES MARY:
The song was recorded at the end of the "Fire" sessions. It is said to have been inspired when Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, had an argument over her cooking; after she stormed out of their apartment, Hendrix wrote "The Wind Cries Mary", as Mary was Etchingham's middle name. Another possible inspiration could be the poem 'To Mary' by the English poet John Clare. Kathy has said that many of the Dylanesque lyrics describe the test card that appeared at the end of BBC television transmissions at that time. However, this is probably a mistake on Kathy's part as that particular testcard was not first broadcast until July 1967, while the song had been written long before that. Billy Cox, who was the bassist for the Band of Gypsys and long-time friend of Hendrix has stated Curtis Mayfield's influence on the song. "'The Wind Cries Mary' was a riff that was influenced by Curtis Mayfield, who was a big influence for Jimi."
"Machine Gun" is a song written by American musician Jimi Hendrix, and originally recorded by Band of Gypsys for their self-titled live album (1970). It is a lengthy, loosely defined (jam-based) protest of the Vietnam War, and perhaps a broader comment on conflict of any kind. Although a proper studio recording was never released, there are several other live recordings on album, including Live at Berkeley and Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight.
The Band of Gypsys performance is often lauded as Hendrix's finest, and is widely considered one of the finest electric guitar performances in the history of recorded music. The Band of Gypsys version of "Machine Gun" is roughly 12 minutes long. Hendrix's long guitar solos and percussive riffs combine with controlled feedback to simulate the sounds of a battlefield, such as helicopters, dropping bombs, explosions, machine guns, and the screams and cries of those wounded or grieving.
"Red House" is a slow twelve-bar blues, usually notated in 12/8 time in the key of B (although played in fingered key of B, with Hendrix's guitar typically tuned 1/2 step lower to B♭). Band of Gypsies bassist Billy Cox described "Red House" as "Jimi's way of using his musical roots, everything he knew and understood best, in a pop context".
The song's theme is "as old as the blues itself—the singer's woman doesn't love him anymore and has moved". According to Experience bassist Noel Redding, Hendrix told him "the song was written about his old high school girlfriend Betty Jean Morgan", although her house was reportedly brown. It has been suggested that Linda Keith's (who brought Hendrix to the attention of future manager Chas Chandler) friend's New York apartment with "the red velvet walls and decor influenced Jimi's writing". However, for Billy Cox "As far as I know, 'Red House' didn't have any significance in reference to a particular person, place or thing. It was just a blues number that Jimi put together".
According to Hendrix biographers, "Red House" was inspired by blues Hendrix was performing with Curtis Knight and the Squires in 1965 and 1966. One calls the Knight/Hendrix version of Albert King's "Travelin' to California" (from his The Big Blues album, later re-recorded as "California" for Door to Door) as "a dead ringer, both in structure and mood, for his 1967 perennial 'Red House'". The song (sometimes listed as "California Night") featured an early vocal performance by Hendrix and in one version he reminded the band "B♭" before counting off the song. Another calls Knight's/Hendrix's arrangement of Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Running" (also known as "Baby What You Want Me to Do") "closely parallel[ing] that of 'Red House', down to the parallel-harmony bass part and the loping rhythmic feel".
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN (TO ELECTRIC LADYLAND):
The lyrical content of the track, as well as the entire album, has been said to be inspired by Hendrix's infamous practices in relation to promiscuity with women, which he labelled "Electric Ladies", with Devon Wilson (a well-known groupie of the 1960s rock scene) rumoured to be amongst the inspirations for the lyrics. Writing for website AllMusic, Matthew Greenwald has proposed that the track was influenced by soul musician Curtis Mayfield, "with a distinctly bluesy, psychedelic edge".
The United States version of Are You Experienced (also released in Canada) listed the song with a spelling mistake as "Foxey Lady" and this is how it is still known among many North American fans and critics today.
The group had difficulties deciding how to end the song. Bass player Noel Redding claimed that the last chord was his suggestion.
Hendrix commented on his own lyrics by saying that he did not approach women in such a straightforward manner as the lyrics might suggest.
The song was described, in the book Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy, as "a joyful autobiographical stomp," explaining it as being a story of the pursuit of the American Dream. Matthew Greenwald of Allmusic also talks about the song as autobiographical, claiming that "It's easy to see that Hendrix was writing about himself here, and his life as a musician on the road in the R&B/soul "Chitlin' Circuit," and forming his own unique vision and style."
Musically, "Highway Chile" has been described as "A funky shuffle [...] a great place for Hendrix's mid-tempo, R&B riffing, based on a blues pattern. The song was released, both on "The Wind Cries Mary" and Smash Hits, in mono; it was made available in stereo for the first time when released on the box set The Jimi Hendrix Experience in September 2000.
The use of the word 'chile' is a deliberate misspelling of the word "child", to mimic that Hendrix didn't pronounce the end of the word, which he also used on the song "Voodoo Chile" from Electric Ladyland.
WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW:
"Wait Until Tomorrow" is a song by English/American psychedelic rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience, featured on their 1967 second album Axis: Bold as Love. Written by lead vocalist and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, the song details the scenario of a male protagonist addressing his female love with whom he plans to leave home, only to be shot dead by her father. Despite not being released as a single, "Wait Until Tomorrow" has been recognised as one of the strongest songs on the album.
Wait Until Tomorrow" was one of the first "situation song[s]" written by Hendrix and is said to be influenced by soul artists such asThe Isley Brothers (with whom Hendrix performed before forming The Experience) and stylistically similar to guitarist Steve Cropper. A "head-on boy–girl song," "Wait Until Tomorrow" was one of the final songs recorded for the album on October 26, 1967, before the album was completed with the recording of title track "Bold as Love" three days later. In a review for music website allmusic, Matthew Greenwald described the progression and style of the song thus:
“A great bass and guitar duet is the core riff, and, as usual, Hendrix builds up to gentle and entertaining crescendos from there. Lyrically, the song finds Hendrix writing a situation song, creating characters in the first person. This was one of his first attempts at this, and it's fun listening to him stretch his songwriting abilities.”
Hendrix wrote this song for his girlfriend Devon Wilson.
Recording was completed on August 24, 1970. The song was not released as a single because Hendrix died before he could give consent.
Hendrix used this as the opener for his concerts in the summer of 1970.
Arthur and Albert Allen from The Ghetto Fighters provided backup vocals.
The line "Dolly Dagger, she drinks her blood from a jagged edge." is a reference to Mick Jagger, at one of Hendrix's birthdays, Mick Jagger pricked his finger, and Devon Wilson, in full view of Hendrix rushed over and sucked the blood from his finger, refusing to get him a band-aid until the bleeding subsided.
he song's name, "Manic Depression," is an old name for bipolar disorder, a mental health disorder. There is no evidence the Hendrix ever suffered from bipolar disorder himself. Hendrix was doing a press conference in London and his manager at the time, Chas Chandler, told him that he sounded like a manic depressive. So the next day Hendrix wrote this tune. In this song, Hendrix sings of despair and confusion, and wonders just what kind of world this is anyway. His protective haven from the chaos is "music, sweet music."
This song was inspired by the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, a concert held during 3 days of the "Summer of Love" (1967) featuring The Who, The Byrds, Janis Joplin, and many others. Attended by about 200,000 music fans, it happened 2 years before Woodstock. Jimi wrote about the atmosphere at the festival as if it was a girl. He described the feeling as "Everybody really flying and in a nice mood." He named it "Little Wing" because he thought it could just fly away.
Hendrix has described this as being one of the few he likes from this album. He said "Little Wing" is "like one of those beautiful girls that come around sometimes." Hendrix enjoyed writing slow songs because it was easier to put emotion into them.