Crosstown Traffic (song)

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"Crosstown Traffic"
German single picture sleeve
Single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience
from the album Electric Ladyland
B-side "Gypsy Eyes"
Released November 18, 1968 (1968-11-18) (US)
Format Seven-inch 45 rpm record
Recorded Olympic Studios, London, December 20–21, 1967
Genre Blues rock, acid rock, hard rock
Length 2:18
Label Reprise (no. 0792)
Writer(s) Jimi Hendrix
Producer(s) Jimi Hendrix
Experience American singles chronology
"All Along the Watchtower"
"Crosstown Traffic"
"Stone Free"

"Crosstown Traffic" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix recorded in 1967 and released in 1968. It was the second single released from the album Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It peaked at #52 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #37 on the pop singles chart in the United Kingdom.[1]

Unlike many of the tracks on the album, this recording features the full line-up of the Experience with Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell. Hendrix also plays a makeshift kazoo made with a comb and tissue paper in tandem at points with his lead guitar, and backing vocals are performed by Redding along with Dave Mason. The song refers to Manhattan's traffic between the East and West sides infamously known for its thick congestion. With its hard rock riff, the song is an example and mixture of blues and acid rock.[2][3]

Cover versions of the song are numerous, having been recorded by Gil Evans, Charlie Daniels, Hed P.E. the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour, the Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra and played in concert by countless others. In 1991, it was recorded by Emily Symons and the Channel 7 Australia ensemble Farmhouse. The 1972 David Bowie song "Starman" guitar part before the chorus, has a similarity to the before chorus guitar parts of the Jimi Hendrix "Crosstown Traffic" 1968 originally recorded version.

The master version of the song is featured in the video game Rock Band 3.


  1. ^ The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the UK Charts, The Official Charts.
  2. ^ The Album. ABC-CLIO. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-313-37906-2. 
  3. ^ Patricia Romanowski Bashe; Patricia Romanowski; Holly George-Warren; Jon Pareles (1995). The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Fireside. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-684-81044-7.