10 Best Hard Rock Ballads

8. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix

No one had heard anything like Jimi Hendrix when he blew up on the London club circuit in the 1960's. Here was a rock star with a gypsy attitude that created guitar masterclasses across rock classics like "Purple Haze" and "Voodoo Chile." Aside from the 3-minute guitar innovations, Hendrix still knew the importance of being a songwriter.

In the midst of the blues-soaked brilliance of his debut album, Hendrix also wrote a delicate song in the form of "The Wind Cries Mary" after a fight with his girlfriend. Hendrix's describing of his lover's other-worldly aura sounded like Bob Dylan combined with psychedelia. That doesn't mean the song's guitar parts suffered though, with Hendrix pulling off hammer-ons and pull-offs to keep the track from sounding lethargic.

Each note that comes from Hendrix's clean electric guitar has a comforting sound, almost like a warm blanket wrapping up the melody. The solo on the track is one of Hendrix's best, as it dances around the chord changes while being restrained just enough to not overshadow the other instrumentation. There was a lot of factors put into Hendrix's presentation that could be considered gimmicks, but it didn't matter when he wrote songs that were this transcendent.


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