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Winger, 'Purple Haze' Is Pretty Awesome

I never, ever think about Winger's cover of "Purple Haze" but the song came on Hair Nation yesterday and I had to crank the radio!

Some will think I'm crazy and others will scream and holler, but I swear the Winger version of "Purple Haze" is heavier than the original. I love the crunch of the guitar and Kip Winger's voice on the track. I know that when Winger came out in 1988, critics threw a hissy over the cover, deeming a "new" band not good enough to cover Jimi Hendrix. On that I call hogwash. The guys in Winger are and were supreme musicians. Sure, not everyone can pull off Hendrix, but that is not the case with the Winger guys. Let's not forget the Winger cover features Dweezil Zapa on guitar and that is cool, too.

What do you think?

Reader Comments (7)

Even though I enjoy Winger very much, unfortunately, this was a mis-step from the start, I think. Everyone, it seemed, had to do at least one Hendrix cover to show their 'guitar chops' as it were...I vaguely remember Van Halen (David Lee Roth era) doing a version. And I really never have been a Hendrix fan, either. Many in fandom score this lowest of the Winger songs. Nowadays Winger does "Helter Skelter" on tour during the encore.

Just curious: Several bands have made cover albums lately...Stryper, Queensryche, etc. Wonder if Kip would ever put any thought into a cover album--he's done enough of them on compilations.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChessie >^..^<
The musicianship in the cover (and in Winger in general) is great and it's got a couple of cool moments, but in general I find the cover really cheesy. I think the biggest problem is that they picked such an iconic song, which is almost a no-win situation.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
I know the guys in Winger have tons of musician cred, but I don't enjoy this cover version. In an attempt to make the song sound different from the original, the music, with its emphasis on the offbeats of the measure, clashes with the rhythm of the vocals. The whole thing just sounds awkward. for a far superior version of Purple Haze, check out the version that Ozzy did for the Stairway to Heaven Highway to Hell compilation album. although that version is a little over the top, it at least embodies the spirit of the original much better than the winger version does.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I am a HUGE Winger fan but this cover was unnecessary I thought. Who really needs to hear another version of Purple Haze? Even though I like that they put there spin on it, it was not different enough to warrant doing it. Like Bryon said, doing such an iconic song is a very tricky deal.
My guess is that the label asked them to do it. Labels think that a new band covering a classic song will get them some word of mouth buzz.
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterscott whitt
I just realized this post would have been great tomorrow...considering that it's Kip Winger's 50th birthday...(eep!)
June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChessie >^..^<
I like Winger but I hated this version of the song, As Bryon pointed out it is a no win situation not only when you choose to do such an iconic song but also from such an iconic artist who is much more then just a rock star but a cultural icon and legend.
June 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterManny
Hands down the worst cover I have ever heard of a Hendrix song, but then again Glam Metal was what gangsta rap was to the 90's: garbage.
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

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