Yes I did, I shot her :: Under the Covers :: Cover of the Week

Hey Joe :: Charlotte Gainsbourg


Hey Joe,
where you goin’ with that gun in your hand?”

Hey Joe is an American popular song from the 1960’s that has become a rock standard and as such has been performed in many musical styles by hundreds of different artists since it was first written.

Charlotte’s take does not gender-swap lyrically, which is always an intriguing choice to me. Her vocals and style of this song make it feel sensual, dark, and dangerous, almost alluring, if murder and infidelity can be described as such.

Diverse credits and claims have led to confusion as to the song’s true authorship and genesis. The earliest known commercial recording of the song is the late-1965 single by the Los Angeles garage band The Leaves; the band then re-recorded the track and released it in 1966 as a follow-up single which became a hit. Currently, the best-known version is The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1966 recording, their debut single.


Hey Joe :: The Leaves

Hey Joe tells the story of a man who is on the run and planning to head to Mexico after shooting his wife.

In an early demo version of Jimi Hendrix’s version, Hendrix is caught off guard by the sound of his voice in the headphones, and can be heard on the recording saying, “Oh, Goddamn!” Then telling Chas Chandler in the booth, “Hey, make the voice a little lower and the band a little louder.”

Hey Joe :: The Jimi Hendrix Experience


So, which do you prefer? Do you know of another cover of Hey Joe that you enjoy? If so, please share in the comments.

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