Manic Depression (song)

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"Manic Depression"
Song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from the album Are You Experienced
Released May 12, 1967
Recorded March 29, 1967
Genre Blues rock, acid rock[1]
Length 3:30
Label Track Records (UK)
MCA (reissues)
Writer Jimi Hendrix
Producer Chas Chandler
Are You Experienced track listing

(UK) Side 1

  1. "Foxy Lady"
  2. "Manic Depression"
  3. "Red House"
  4. "Can You See Me"
  5. "Love or Confusion"
  6. "I Don't Live Today"

(UK) Side 2

  1. "May This Be Love"
  2. "Fire"
  3. "3rd Stone from the Sun"
  4. "Remember"
  5. "Are You Experienced"

"Manic Depression" is a song written and recorded by Jimi Hendrix and first released in 1967 on the Are You Experienced album.


The song's name is an old name for bipolar disorder, a mental health disorder. There is no evidence that Hendrix ever suffered from (or did not suffer from) bipolar disorder himself,[citation needed] but when he was doing a press conference in London during the period when Bryan "Chas" Chandler, former bassist of the Animals, was his manager, Chandler told him that he sounded like a manic depressive.[citation needed] This statement inspired Hendrix to write and compose the song the following day.[citation needed] One interesting aspect to the song is that it is in 3/4 or 9/8 time signature.

At Winterland in 1968, Jimi explains to the crowd:
"I'd like to do a frustrating type of song for you, it's called 'Manic Depression,' a story about a cat wishing he could make love to music, instead of the same old everyday woman."


"Manic Depression" has been covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Ben Harper; Styx; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Tanya Donelly; Carnivore; Nomeansno; David Ryan Harris; Jeff Beck and Seal; Clawfinger; Jan Hammer; Katharina Franck; King's X; Stevie Ray Vaughan;Eric Johnson; Yngwie J. Malmsteen; Type O Negative; Bonerama and others.

Progressive Hungarian band Syrius often played the song in their concerts between 1970 and 1973. The studio version of the song has been recorded in 1971 in Australia, but it has been released more than twenty years later in 1994 on album Most, Mult, Lesz.

The Hungarian Gypsy band Besh O Drom have a selection titled "Mániás Depresszió" on their album Gyi! This selection uses Hendrix's music.

Rozz Williams and Gitane Demone released a very different version of "Manic Depression" on their album Dream Home Heartache.

Singer/comedian Sandra Bernhard combined the song with the song "Everything's Alright" from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar to create the song "Manic Superstar" on her album Excuses For Bad Behavior (Part One).

In 2006, jazz fusion guitarist Larry Coryell covered the song on his album Traffic.[2][3]