Purple Haze

Purple Haze

Single infobox |
Name = Purple Haze

Caption = A 1988 CD titled after the song
Artist = The Jimi Hendrix Experience
B-side = "51st Anniversary"
Released = March 17, 1967
Format = 7"
Recorded = January 11 and February 3, 1967 at De Lane Lea and Olympic Studios in London, England
Genre = Rock
Length = 2:50
Label = Track
Producer = Chas Chandler
Writer = Jimi Hendrix
Last single ="Hey Joe"
This single ="Purple Haze"
Next single ="The Wind Cries Mary"

Purple Haze is a song recorded in 1966 by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, released as a single in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It also appeared on the US release of their 1967 album "Are You Experienced". 'Purple Haze' is often cited as one of Jimi Hendrix's greatest songs. For many, it is his signature song. [ [http://www.retroland.com/retrotalk/viewtopic.php?t=8379 Retrotalk] .] Purple Haze became Hendrix's second single after his manager Chas Chandler heard him playing the riff backstage and suggested that he write lyrics to go with it.

The single peaked at number three in the UK but only number 65 in the US, where it was released on June 19, a month after the UK LP "Are You Experienced" and three months after the UK single. [Electric Gypsy, Harry Shapiro & C. Glebeek, p. 526–528.] In March 2005, "Q" magazine ranked "Purple Haze" at number one in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The Rolling Stone magazine placed the song at No. 17 in their "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." [cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs|title=The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time|accessdate=2008-04-21|work=Rolling Stone Magazine] A pop version by Dion even reached #72 in Canada in February 1969.Australian music TV channel MAX placed 'Purple Haze' at #17 on their 2008 countdown 'Rock Songs: Top 100'.


Hendrix said he was inspired by a dream where he was walking under the sea. In the dream, he said a purple haze surrounded him, engulfed him and got him lost. It was a traumatic experience, but in his dream his faith in Jesus saved him. An early song manuscript has the title "Purple Haze, Jesus Saves". He also mentioned that the song's colorful imagery came to him in the dream. "I dream a lot and I put a lot of my dreams down as songs" in a 1969 interview.

The line "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" is a famous example of the mondegreen, often misheard as "Excuse me while I kiss this guy." Eventually, Hendrix started singing "Excuse me while I kiss this pie" when playing the song live.


The song is known for the Hendrix chord as well as its prominent use of the distinctive tritone interval which appears in the intro. The guitar plays a Bb octave while the bass plays a E octave. [Rooksby, Rikky (2002). "Riffs: How to Create and Play Great Guitar Riffs", p.24. ISBN 0879307102.] Such a "dissonant" interval was unusual in popular music of the time. The guitar solo is played through an "octavia", an effects pedal that increases notes by one octave. [ [http://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/octavia.htm Guitar Effects Pedals by Roger Mayer - Octavia] .] A dubbed guitar part can also be heard using it during the outro. Fact|date=March 2008

Purple Haze in Pop Culture

* Purple Haze has been referenced on The Simpsons, once on "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes" when Homer Simpson said "Now excuse, while I kiss the sky" while he was riding a vibrating chair, and in another episode titled, "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky".

* In Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams, when the protagonists are in a mental institution, a black patient dressed like Jimi Hendrix sings a parody version of Purple Haze.

* In Apollo 13 (film), Jim Lovell's oldest daughter was playing Purple Haze before watching Apollo 13's live broadcast from space.

* A version of Purple Haze by Tangerine Dream is on the group's concert album 220 Volt Live.

* The song (a live version) will appear along side The Wind Cries Mary in the music video game Guitar Hero World Tour.


Wolfmother used the lyrics "Purple Haze is in the Sky" for their track Dimension on their 2006 self-titled album.

External links

* [http://video.aol.com/video/jimi-hendrixpurple-haze/1799316 Live performance of "Purple Haze" at the Berkeley (Calif.) Community Theatre in 1970.]
* [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=33:tn7uak3ksmhx All Music Guide] review

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Look at other dictionaries:

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