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Song Stories

“Voodoo Chile”

The Jimi Hendrix Experience | 1968

"Voodoo Chile" took the funky blues of greats like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker into the psychedelic age, the 15-minute track putting Jimi Hendrix's guitar improvisations into a loose jam-like setting. Backing him were Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell, Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady (subbing for usual Experience bassist Noel Redding) and Traffic's Stevie Winwood on organ, with guitarist Larry Coryell declining an invitation to join them. "Jimi asked me to play," Coryell recalled, "but for the first time in my life, I said, 'No. There is nothing I can add to this.'"

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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