Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic

“Crosstown Trafic” was recorded at the Record Plant in 1968. Traffic’s Dave Mason was a guest vocalist on this song. This song includes a famous kazoo riff, which Hendrix originally performed using a comb and a piece of cellophane.

This song peaked at #52 on the Billboard 100 in 1968. The album was Electric Ladyland and it was Jimi’s only number 1 album in Billboard.

Hendrix wanted a Linda Eastman photo for the album cover… A photo of the band and some kids at Central Park on an Alice In Wonderland Statue… he wrote  “Please use color picture with us and the kids on the statue for front or back cover — OUTSIDE COVER,”  but Reprise ignored his request…this is the photo he wanted.

Instead, they used this one

Image result for jimi hendrix electric ladyland

The UK cover was of 19 nude women which again…Jimi didn’t want or ask for… The public opinion was that the cover was tasteless. Hendrix agreed. He distanced himself from the photo in interviews and proclaimed disdain for the photo.

 

From Songfacts

This song is about a girl who is hard to get rid of. Getting through to her that she’s not wanted is like getting through crosstown traffic.

The lyrics are similar to many Blues songs in that they are filled with sexual references in clever metaphors: “I’m not the only soul, who’s accused of hit and run, tire tracks all across your back, I can see you’ve had your fun.”

Dave Mason from the group Traffic sang on this. That’s him singing the high part on the word “Traffic.”

Chas Chandler produced the original tracks, but Hendrix remixed them when he started producing his own music in 1968.

 

Crosstown Traffic

You jump in front of my car when you
you know all the time
Ninety miles an hour, girl, is the speed I drive
You tell me it’s alright, you don’t mind a little pain
You say you just want me to take you for a drive

You’re just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you
Crosstown traffic
I don’t need to run over you
Crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I’m tryin’ to get on the other side of town

I’m not the only soul who’s accused of hit and run
Tire tracks all across your back
I can, I can see you had your fun
But, darlin’ can’t you see my signals turn from green to red
And with you I can see a traffic jam straight up ahead

You’re just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you
Crosstown traffic
I don’t need to run over you
Crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I got better things on the other side of town

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

9 thoughts on “Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic”

  1. interesting how he didn’t have enough clout yet to over-rule the label on the photography and cover images. Guess that’s one of the few ways the industry’s changes of late has helped artists… with more indies and small labels, artist probably has more control over the total package, for better or worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is what I was thinking. I got sidetracked on the album cover but it was interesting…he was Jimi Hendrix after all…and they just ignored him.
      Of course it took The Beatles until Sgt Peppers to make sure their UK and America releases were the same.
      Yes you are right…artists have more say now.

      Like

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