By Scott Vanderpool

Voodoo Child (Slight Return) to be specific, on account of Jimi Hendrix also had a song called Voodoo Chile on the same album, the third and final from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland. Where Voodoo Chile is a slow rambling electric blues piece, The Voodoo Child (Slight Return) at the end of the album is a snarling, wah-filled beast of a hard rock riff.

Utterly useless Voodoo Child factoids:

  • Both songs (Chile before Child) came out of a jam session with Steve Winwood of Traffic playing organ. Traffic and the Jimi Hendrix Experience had played many shows together.
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) became a staple of Jimi’s live shows, ranging from 7 to 18 minutes long.
  • Jimi raised eyebrows among political conservatives when he played it with the Band of Gypsies at the Fillmore East in New York, introducing it as “The National Anthem of the Black Panthers“.
  • Hendrix desciple Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cover of this song on 1984’s Couldn’t Stand The Weather became almost as popular as the origianl, SRV played it live throughout his career.
  • Though country guitarist Chet Atkins had built one himself in the ’50’s,  Voodoo Child, along with Cream’s White Room and Issac Haye’s Theme From Shaft are the songs that sold thousands of Vox wah-wah pedals (and similar devices subsequently made by others) to aspiring electric guitarists worldwide.


102.5 KZOK’s Classic Rock A to Z is presented by:
applebeeslogo V Is For: Voodoo Child


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