Crosstown Traffic

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"Crosstown Trafic" was recorded at the Record Plant in 1968, and, as Jimi Hendrix explained, "I was playing piano on it." In addition, as legend tells it, he also played a homemade kazoo made from paper and a comb on the track. Traffic's Dave Mason was a guest vocalist (cleverly making the most of the word "traffic"), which is to say that "Crosstown Traffic" wasn't necessarily meant to be a  focal point of Electric Ladyland, and yet it was released as the album's third single. "You have the whole planned-out LP, and all of a sudden they'll make 'Crosstown Traffic,' for instance, a single, and that's coming out of a whole other set," Hendrix complained. Despite his protestations, the song hit the U.S. Hot 100 Singles chart in 1969 and hit again in 1990 in the U.K.; the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been doing a punked-up version of it since the 1980s.

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