What is the ‘Slight Return’ In Voodoo Child referring to?

The Significance of “Slight Return” in “Voodoo Child”

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is a renowned song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968. It holds a significant place in rock music history and continues to captivate audiences with its powerful guitar work and mesmerizing vocals. This article delves into the meaning behind the term “Slight Return” in the context of this iconic song.

Background and Recording

The song appears as the final track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third studio album, “Electric Ladyland.” Known for its experimental and innovative sound, the album showcased Hendrix’s exceptional talent as a guitarist and songwriter. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” stands out as one of the album’s highlights.

The recording features Jimi Hendrix on guitar and vocals, accompanied by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The trio’s tight musical chemistry is evident in the song’s dynamic and energetic performance.

Distinguishing “Slight Return” from “Voodoo Chile”

The term “Slight Return” is used to differentiate this particular version of the song from an earlier studio jam titled “Voodoo Chile.” While “Voodoo Chile” was a lengthy and improvisational piece, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” is a more concise and structured composition.

Hendrix’s decision to distinguish between the two versions highlights his intention to create a distinct musical entity with “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” This version showcases his refined vision and serves as a testament to his artistry and ability to craft memorable songs.

Lyrics and Musical Impact

The lyrics of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” differ from the earlier version, “Voodoo Chile,” with the exception of the chorus. The song’s poetic and enigmatic lyrics, combined with Hendrix’s soulful delivery, contribute to its enduring appeal.

Critics and musicians alike have praised the song for its exceptional guitar work and Hendrix’s virtuosic performance. His innovative use of techniques such as feedback, distortion, and string bending pushed the boundaries of what could be achieved on the instrument.

Legacy and Covers

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” has cemented its place as one of Jimi Hendrix’s most iconic compositions. It has become synonymous with his musical legacy and remains a staple in his discography. The song’s popularity extended beyond its initial release and became a regular feature in Hendrix’s live performances.

Furthermore, many artists have paid homage to “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by covering the song both in studio recordings and during their own live shows. The song’s enduring appeal and influence continue to inspire new generations of musicians.

In conclusion, “Slight Return” in “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” signifies a deliberate departure from the earlier studio jam “Voodoo Chile” and represents Jimi Hendrix’s creative evolution as an artist. Through this iconic song, Hendrix pushed the boundaries of guitar playing and left an indelible mark on rock music history.


  1. Wikipedia – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
  2. Songfacts Forums – Meaning of the Song Voodoo Child
  3. SongMeanings – The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Lyrics


What does “Slight Return” mean in the context of “Voodoo Child”?

“Slight Return” in “Voodoo Child” refers to a specific version of the song that is distinct from an earlier studio jam called “Voodoo Chile.” It signifies a departure from the improvisational nature of “Voodoo Chile” and represents a more structured and concise composition.

How does “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” differ from “Voodoo Chile”?

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” differs from “Voodoo Chile” in terms of its lyrics and overall structure. While the chorus remains the same, the verses and musical arrangement of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” are different from the earlier version.

Why did Jimi Hendrix choose to use the term “Slight Return”?

Jimi Hendrix used the term “Slight Return” to distinguish this particular version of the song. It highlights his intention to create a separate and unique musical entity that stands on its own, separate from the earlier studio jam.

What is the significance of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” in Jimi Hendrix’s discography?

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” holds significant importance in Jimi Hendrix’s discography. It is one of his best-known songs and showcases his exceptional guitar skills and powerful vocals. The song has become synonymous with Hendrix’s musical legacy and continues to be celebrated by critics and fans.

Has “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” been covered by other artists?

Yes, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” has been covered by numerous artists. Its iconic status and musical impact have inspired many musicians to pay homage to the song through their own interpretations in studio recordings and live performances.

How has “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” been received by critics and musicians?

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” has received widespread acclaim from both critics and musicians. It is highly regarded for its exceptional guitar work, innovative techniques, and Jimi Hendrix’s delivery. The song’s influence on rock music and its enduring popularity are testaments to its musical impact.

What album does “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” appear on?

“Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” appears as the final track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third studio album, “Electric Ladyland.” The album, released in 1968, is known for its experimental sound and is considered a landmark in rock music.

Is there any significance to the lyrics of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”?

The lyrics of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” are enigmatic and open to interpretation. While the verses differ from the earlier version, the song’s poetic and mysterious lyrics, combined with Hendrix’s passionate delivery, contribute to its overall impact and appeal.