Does Jimi Hendrix get enough credit for his lyrics

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tone, Aug 5, 2022 at 5:02 AM.

  1. Tone

    Tone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Jimi wrote some really deep, beautiful and unique lyrics..... thinking of Castles Made of Sand, Crosstown Traffic ...and dozens more.
  2. MGSeveral

    MGSeveral Augm

    Oh yeah, and "Angel"

    I have often said the same thing- Jimi Hendrix is underrated as a songwriter, for sure.
    jwoverho, kanakaris, Vic_1957 and 9 others like this.
  3. Tone

    Tone Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Indeed....... Angel is a really well written song, music and lyrics.
  4. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Occasionally cringy, mostly solid, sometimes great. I tend to listen to his guitar more though.
    popol_vuh, dryjoy and Murph like this.
  5. RobNeil

    RobNeil Can I get a Hallelujah

    Midlands, UK
    I've always thought Hendrix deserved more recognition for his song writing abilities. His talents go far beyond setting fire to his guitars......
  6. DJ LX

    DJ LX Forum Resident

    Madison WI
    Given he was a huge Dylan fan it makes sense that he'd pay as much attention to the lyrics as the music.

    FWIW, Dylan's two favorite Hendrix songs are "Wind Cries Mary" and "Dolly Dagger."
  7. WilliamWes

    WilliamWes Forum Resident

    New York
    I think a lot of people get shortchanged when it comes to lyrics cause a lot of music fans are distracted by the music and when they eventually come to know a lyric, they're not necessarily gauging how good they are but more what they're about. Hendrix qualifies - I'm sure he's got some great lyric sets me or others might not know about cause he's so awesome at other things. Great question.
    CaptainFeedback1 likes this.
  8. Old Fart At Play

    Old Fart At Play He won't eat it, he hates everything

    Los Angeles
    Funny, I’ve always thought his songwriting was a bit weak. Not terrible, but not great and not on par with his playing. Kind of hippy dippy-ish.
  9. zphage

    zphage genre fluid

    He has a great elliptical, impressionistic lyrical style, talking directly indirectly, particularly code switching (similar to Chuck Berry) as a black male in a white realm, as a hippie into the straight realm, etc., Most reduce him to just a guitar guy, missing how beautifully written, arranged and composed the songs are. His writing taps into classic blues and rock and roll motifs and wraps them up nicely into the mythic, poetic and spiritual.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 8:36 PM
  10. Anthrax

    Anthrax Forum Resident

    I find some of his more hippie stuff to be terribly dated, but his lyrics were mostly good and sometimes great. I'm especially fond of his storytelling songs and I reckon he would've got much better at lyrics over time.
    Maurice likes this.
  11. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I agree he doesn't get enough credit. But that's only because ge was the complete package - supremely talented singer/songwriter on top of being a virtuoso musician. I don't hear anything hippyish in his lyrics.
  12. louderthan1

    louderthan1 Forum Resident

    Wind Cries Mary was the first song I thought of when I saw this thread. I’ve always thought his lyrics were interesting. He can do simple pop style lyrics, or go on flights of fancy like 1983 or Bold As Love. Basically, I guess, I don’t he’s ever been boring, lyrically or musically. Defiantly underrated as a lyricist.
  13. DJ LX

    DJ LX Forum Resident

    Madison WI
    Richard Thompson, is an exception in this regard, in that his talent as songwriter/lyricist gets as much acclaim as his astounding guitar work. Mark Knopfler is another example.
    ConnieGuitar and lucan_g like this.
  14. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    Average lyricist, average singer.
  15. Cryptical17

    Cryptical17 Forum Resident

    New York
    Hendrix was a novice songwriter when he made Are You Experienced. It’s amazing how well he did on his first try!
    Vic_1957 likes this.
  16. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    the lyrics for Axis bold as love are excellent, Little wing also
    warpig, Geordiepete and Lownote30 like this.
  17. Wright

    Wright Forum Resident

    Really? I'd be hard-pressed to think of anyone who wrote more consistently groovy lyrics than Hendrix. His only competitor in that regard might have been Donovan.

    Purple haze all in my eyes,
    Don't know if it's day or night
    You got me blowin', blowin' my mind
    Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

    Is that the stars in the sky or is it rainbow down?
    Will it burn me if I touch the sun?

    Strange beautiful grass of green,
    With your majestic silver seas
    Your mysterious mountains I wish to see closer
    May I land my kinky machine?

    My red is so confident that he flashes trophies of war
    And ribbons of euphoria
    Orange is young, full of daring,
    But very unsteady for the first go round
    My yellow in this case is not so mellow
    In fact I'm trying to say it's frightened like me
    And all these emotions of mine keep holding me from, eh
    Giving my life to a rainbow like you
    But, I'm bold as love, yeah, I'm bold as love
  18. ExHead

    ExHead Forum Resident

    New York
    I like Burning of the Midnight Lamp lyrics.
  19. donstemple

    donstemple Forum Resident

    Maplewood, NJ
    The Wind Cries Mary and Castles Made of Sand are probably my favorite Jimi lyrics. The former being more poetic, and the latter being great storytelling. Crosstown Traffic showed he could take a good metaphor and run with it.

    He had it all.
    RAZORMADE, DTK and lemontrees like this.
  20. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Purple Haze was inspired by sci-fi, same goes for 3rd Stone From The Sun.
    Bold As Love is about synesthesia, possibly inspired by LSD.

    Colorful and cosmic for sure, but those lyrics could be written today, there's nothing that date them unlike Donovan or Sgt. Pepper. The planets and stars are still there and they haven't changed in appearances. Colors are still colors.

    Well, except for "kinky".
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022 at 9:22 AM
    MoonPool likes this.
  21. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Jimi did too, one of his favorites.
  22. Crimson Witch

    Crimson Witch ۫۫☮

    Outer Óríon
    Down the decades since the man's passing from this Earth, Jimi's fans certainly know just how good his lyrics are. Those whose only exposure was when they tapped an icon on their phone's touchscreen because they'd seen a kid at school wearing a Jimi Hendrix T, and listened to a 2O-second soundbite of screeching feedback from Woodstock's Star Spangled Banner, might not.

    Axis Bold as Love was the record that first introduce me to Jimi 's impressionist lyrics
    CaptainFeedback1, MoonPool and DTK like this.
  23. Maurice

    Maurice Senior Member

    North Yarmouth, ME
    Whether referred to as "hippy dippy-ish" or "groovy", there certainly was a style to Hendrix's lyrics that was in vogue in the late 60s. Whatever one thinks of that particular style or not, I think his songwriting was still head and shoulders above most of his contemporaries in the rock & pop world.
  24. John Harchar

    John Harchar Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    At his best, you can certainly see a picture in your mind of what he's describing. The two Voodoo Chile(d)s are a perfect example.
    Vic_1957 likes this.
  25. Doomster

    Doomster Forum Resident

    1. Great songwriter.
    2. God-like guitarist.
    3. Very good lyricist.
    That’s the order of importance to me. Oh, and I like his voice - distinctively husky and laid back - the perfect foil to the guitar histrionics.

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