|Song by The Jimi Hendrix Experience from the album Axis: Bold as Love|
|Released||1 December 1967 (UK)
15 January 1968 (UK)
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, acid rock, blues rock|
|Axis: Bold as Love track listing|
"Little Wing" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix. It was first recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience on their 1967 album Axis: Bold as Love. It is ranked #366 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Hendrix spoke to a Swedish journalist about the song in January 1968, saying "Well, that was one song on there we did a lot of sound on, you know. We put the guitar through the Leslie speaker of an organ, and it sounds like jelly bread, you know….It’s based on a very, very simple American Indian style, you know, very simple. I got the idea like, when we was in Monterey, and I just happened to…just looking at everything around. So I figured that I take everything I see around and put it maybe in the form of a girl maybe, something like that, you know, and call it 'Little Wing', in other words, just fly away. Everybody really flying and they’s really in a nice mood, like the police and everybody was really great out there. So I just took all these things an put them in one very, very small little matchbox, you know, into a girl and then do it. It was very simple, you know. That’s one of the very few ones I like."
Author Harry Shapiro examined the song, saying musically it is "structured to lay a gossamer touch across the whole song from the arresting opening statement and the haunting glockenspiel to the use of a Leslie speaker cabinet for the guitar. The speaker baffle rotates, creating a Doppler effect of rising and falling waves of sound. Jimi plays the song almost like a pianist with the thumb fretting the bass notes like the pianist's left hand, while the fingers of the fretting hand correspond to the right. The song fades on a magical solo after only two minutes and twenty-five seconds. Even live, 'Little Wing' was hardly any longer – he said what he wanted to say and stopped."
While on the initial studio track Hendrix played his guitar through a Leslie speaker, which was normally used with Hammond organs, the simultaneous use of a distortion effect gave the guitar a unique sound. During live shows and on later recordings, Hendrix "used the 'Univibe' effect pedal to get a simulated Leslie sound, instead of using a real speaker."
Besides appearing on Axis: Bold as Love, Hendrix's studio version can also be found on numerous compilation albums, including The Ultimate Experience (1993). He also performed the song in concert, and some of those recordings are available on CD, including The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Winterland.
Downloadable content for Rock Band
The original version of the song was made available to download on December 20, 2011 for use in the Rock Band music video games in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which takes advantage of the use of a real guitar, along with standard MIDI-compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.
|Song by Derek and the Dominos from the album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs|
"Little Wing" has been covered by numerous artists:
- Steve Lukather and Steve Morse covered it for the Ernie Ball Guitar Center Session.
- G3: Live in Denver, a live DVD of G3, the touring band in which Joe Satriani and Steve Vai invite another player to come tour with them. In 2003, Yngwie Malmsteen was the chosen one.
- Eric Clapton has recorded the song on many occasions, including:
- with Derek and the Dominos on the 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, with Pete Townshend and Ronnie Wood on the 1973 live album Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert and on the live recording Live At The Fillmore
- on tour with Steve Winwood in 2008, on the CD/DVD Live from Madison Square Garden
- Gil Evans on the 1975 album There Comes a Time.
- Sting on the 1987 album ...Nothing Like the Sun.
- Stevie Ray Vaughan, in a Grammy-winning instrumental version on 1991's The Sky Is Crying and a live cover with another song, "Third Stone from the Sun" on the compilation cover album, Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
- Chaka Khan & Kenny Olson also on the compilation cover album, Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
- Skid Row on the album B-Side Ourselves (1992).
- Toto on the live VHS/DVD Live (1992).
- Pappo on the album Blues Local (in Spanish) (1992).
- Concrete Blonde on the 1994 album, Still in Hollywood.
- The Corrs on the album Talk on Corners (1997).
- Snowy White on the album Little Wing (titled Melting in the United State) (1998).
- Nigel Kennedy, the English violinist and violist, on the album, The Kennedy Experience (1999).
- Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra XL on the album Little Wing (2001).
- Popa Chubby on the live/studio album Electric Chubbyland: Popa Chubby Plays Jimi Hendrix (2006).
- Def Leppard on the Deluxe Edition of Adrenalize (2009).
- Santana (led by Carlos Santana) featuring Joe Cocker on the album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time (2010).
- Josh Charles on the 2010 album Trippin' The Keys: Music Of Jimi Hendrix.
- Corinne Bailey Rae on her album The Sea (2010).
- Tuck & Patti medleyed "Castles Made of Sand" / "Little Wing" on their 1989 album Love Warriors.
- The Gun Club on the album Ahmed's Wild Dream (1993).
- Monte Montgomery on the album "Monte Montgomery".
- Jimi Hendrix, Tony Brown (1994). Jimi Hendrix "talking". Omnibus Press.
- Harry Shapiro, Caesar Glebbeek (1990). Jimi Hendrix, electric gypsy. New York, NY: St. Marin’s Press.
- Rotimi Ogunjobi (2008). The Essential Jimi Hendrix. London, UK: Tee Publishing.
- Sliwinski, Alexander (2011-12-16). "Rock Band Weekly - Jimi Hendrix". DualShockers. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Snider, Mike (2010-06-10). "Rock Band 3: What's New, What's Notable". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-11-08.