ALBERT HALL 1969 - unofficial releases
This rights to the Albert Hall 69 recordings belonged to the film makers Steve Gold and Jerry Goldstein, who had made the film "Experience". This was in agreement with Michael Jeffrey at the time. Recordings were released officially as "Experience" and "More Experience" on the Ember label in the early seventies. Then, the film maker's accountant (Bernard Solomon) got hold of some copies of the tapes and proceeded to lease them to other labels without permission.
In 2008, Experience Hendrix and The Last Experience Incorporated (the successors of Gold & Goldstein) were still chasing after companies which continue to release Albert Hall materiel illegally. The labels themselves believed they had legal rights to release the recordings.
The official relaese from the Hendrix estate (CD and DVD) is still held up because of rights issues.
Released June 1979 (FRANCE - Vogue)
Opening Jam (Sunshine of your Love), Little Ivey (Little Wing), Room Full of Mirrors, Fire, C Blues (Bleeding Heart), Purple Haze, Wild Thing, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return).
This was the first in a long line of unofficial releases of the Albert Hall 69 tapes which found their way into regular record shops. It's a superb French release which nicely combined the previous Ember Records albums "Experience" and "More Experience". This is really the album that Ember should have put out in the first place. As I said earlier "Room Full Of Mirrors" was the continuation of "Voodoo Child" on the night and in 1997 Charly Records put that right when they re-issued these tracks.
Tracks available today on: "Experience-Soundtrack" (Charly), "Albert Hall Experience" (Charly), "The Last Experience" (Charly)
The sleeve photo from the Albert Hall gig was the wrong way round, showing a right handed Hendrix. Zut alors ! - 1/10
No longer available on CD in this form
"EXPERIENCE"- (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Released 1997 (Charly Records)
Sunshine Of Your Love, Bleeding Heart, Fire, Little Wing, Voodooo Chile ( Slight Return), Room Full Of Mirrors, Purple Haze, Wild Thing, Smashing Of The Amps
Like with the French release on Vogue back in 1979, this is a combination of the old "Experience" and "More Experience" albums, without the stupid remixes that spoilt the latter. This makes a great CD, it's just a shame that other tracks from this landmark gig weren't added. With "Hendrix In The West" deleted, this was a valuable source of the tracks "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "Little Wing". More songs from the Albert Hall would follow from Charly and other labels in the years to come (see end of Live releases 2000 +).
The film is also set to be released on DVD by Experience Hendrix.
Here we see the band at the same photo session that produced the group shot for the back of the US "Electric Ladyland". Slick typo - 8/10
ALBERT HALL EXPERIENCE
Released 2002 (Charly)
CD 1: - Stone Free, Getting My Heart Back Together Again I Don't Live Today, Red House, Foxy Lady, Sunshine Of Your Love, Bleeding Heart
CD 2: Fire, Little Wing, Voodoo Chile (slight Return), Room Full Of Mirrors, Purple Haze, Wild Thing, The Star Spangled Banner & Smashing Of The Amps, The Star Spangled Banner & Smashing Of The Amps (bonus Track), Bleeding Heart (edited Version), Room Full Of Mirrors (edited Version)
Soon after the above CD came this double release. Great new tracks from the 24 th of February Albert Hall concert surfaced here (well they had appeared on another obscure label a little before but it is clearer to introduce them this way). The "Red House" had appeared previously on the rare "Red House - Variations on a theme". Charly could have brought us the complete show here but for some stupid reason, "Lover Man" was left off and some useless bonus and "edited" versions were tagged on at the end ! "Lover Man" was to appear on the following release from Charly. What a mess they made of all this great material. Still, there is some fantastic music here.
To make matters worse:
There are two versions of this double CD out there ! One (the more recent edition I imagine) features the actual Albert Hall tracks but another edition has these versions instead:
"Getting My Heart Back Together Again" (Winterland 10/10/1968) - previously on "Jimi Hendrix Concerts"
"Red House" Randalls Island, New York, (07/17/1970) - previously on "Jimi Hendrix Concerts"
"Foxy Lady (Los Angeles Forum (4/26/1969) - previously on "Jimi Hendrix Concerts" (CD version only)
"I Don't Live Today (San Diego Sports Arena (05/24/1969) - previously on "Stages 69"
The CD with the real Albert Hall tracks carries the serial number SNAF 822 CDX. I was able to verify all this thanks to tracks that people sent me to settle the argument.
(Thanks to Hendrix fans Pauli, Glenn and Bob for information which helped me get to the bottom of this !
The same photo that was used on the 1979 French Vogue release, but the right way round this time ! Not a good cover - 5/10
< The box and three inner sleeves.
THE LAST EXPERIENCE
Released 2002 (Charly)
CD 1: 24 February - Lover Man, Stone Free, Getting My Heart Back Together Again, I Don't Live Today, Red House, Foxy Lady, Sunshine Of Your Love, Bleeding Heart
CD 2 : 24 February + soundchecks - Fire, Little Wing, Voodoo Chile (slight Return), Room Full Of Mirrors, Purple Haze, Wild Thing, The Star-spangled Banner & Smashing Of The Amps, Bleeding Heart (edited Version), Room Full Of Mirrors (edited Version), Hey Joe (soundcheck ), Hound Dog #1 (instrumental - soundcheck), Hound Dog #2 (soundcheck), Hound Dog #3 (instrumental - soundcheck), Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (soundcheck), Getting My Heart Back Together Again (soundcheck)
CD 3 : 18 February : Tax Free, Fire, Getting My Heart Back Together Again #1, Foxy Lady, Red House, Sunshine Of Your Love, Spanish Castle Magic, The Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze, Voodoo Chile (slight Return) - poor recording
A triple CD box which features the complete Albert Hall 1969 tapes (at last !) . This is the real thing, the complete Royal Albert Hall performance. This came just after the above silly 2 CD release ! Just what are Charly up to ? Will the next one be a 4 CD set complete with backstage chat, or "burps and farts", as Noel once jokingly predicted ? Here again unfortunately, the stupid edited versions are included. Is anyone sober while compiling these things ?
Anyway here it is in all it's spleandor, the February 24th gig, perhaps the greatest Jimi Hendrix Experience concert of all. Jimi is not as exuberant and bubbly as in the early days of course but his awesome playing and the extended set are tremendous. Jimi is there, quite humbly, in London's most prestigeous concert hall and at the summit of his career, only a few months after the release of his greatest album. The band had announced before Christmas that they were to split up in order to persue personnal projects. This was therefore a sort of farewell tour and the band must have felt they owed something to Britain seeing as they had only performed one concert on the islands in all of 1968 (Woburn Abbey). So Jimi rewards the gathering with an incredible performance. He is totally concentrated with an impeccable sound system behind him. Only the finale "Purple Haze"/"Wild Thing"/"Star Spangled Banner" is slightly flawed due to tuning problems which throw Jimi off mark a little. After this, the band would never play in Europe again, hence the title "The Last Experience".
CD2 is padded out with some mono soundcheck rehearsals, which are quite interesting, though some songs are incomplete. "Voodoo Child" falls apart after a minute for example whereas "Getting My Heart Back Together" lasts a good five minutes or so, with some great playing along the way."Hey Joe" is a little raggedy but complete. Interestingly, there are three stabs at the Leiber and Stoller classic "Hound Dog" (which the band had also featured in one of their BBC Radio One sessions in 1967.*). Only one of the takes here has vocals but all three feature some superb rhythm playing and solos from Jimi.
More Albert Hall soundchecks turned up on the unofficial "An Evening With The Jimi Hendrix Experience" (Purple Haze Records 2005)
18th February show
Surprise, surprise, the third CD features the February 18th concert at the same venue ! Unfortunately the sound is appalling. If you ever wondered what this gig sounded like from the Royal Albert Hall toilets, then this is for you. It is pretty unlistenable, so I can't really vouch for the performance (the sparser arrangement of "Red House" comes over fairly well, and it features an untypical rythmic ending). In contrast to the superb second Albert hall date, Chas Chandler described the February 18th performance as one of the worst he had seen the band play, not entirely due to Jimi but to the rhythm section who just weren't together at all. Noel admitted later that he was so fed up with Jimi that he would sometimes deliberately play out of tune to sabotage the gigs ! That would obviously throw Mitch off track aswell. Noel finally quit a few months later after a gig in Denver.
SOUNDBOARD RECORDING: A soundboard recording of the 18 september concert would seem to exist. Recently "Hear My Train A Comin" has been circulating among collectors (and on the bootleg "Happy Birthday Jimi").
There is of course some truly great music on those first two CDs, so the album gets a four star rating like with the two CD release, despite the rip off additions here.
*Also, in the unreleased "Experience" movie, there is a short sequence where Jimi improvises an acoustic "Hound Dog" while sitting on a bed surrounded by friends.
Not much impact here but quite a classy job, with Jimi in outer space above the Royal Albert Hall - 8/10
The cover was changed for the December 2006 re-release of the 3 CD "The Last Experience".
>>> Don't buy this Charly edition, the Albert Hall concert is set to be released on CD and DVD by Experience Hendrix. These were beleived to be set for October 2008 but things ran late and now September 2009 is thought to be the release date.
Many other releases of these tapes have also appeared on the market in recent years and some Albert Hall recordings have even turned up on dodgy labels, mixed with pre-Experience tracks (eg. "Rare As love") or 1968 Scene Club tracks (eg. "The Total Experience") - pictured below. That first one pictured below, featured the same tracks as "Albert Hall Experience" and in fact preceeded it and those last two albums pictured, are identical to Charly's 1997 single CD release. The very last one is a French release titled "Live At The Royal Albert Hall, 24 February 1969". Now that's what I call honest packaging !
"EXPERIENCE" (Nectar), "EXPERIENCE - The Last Experience" (Timeless), HIS GREATEST HITS Vols I & II (Legacy International) 1999, EXPERIENCE PART TWO (Get Back/Abraxas/Night & Day), "PURPLE HAZE" (Flash), "THE GREAT JIMI HENDRIX LIVE", "RARE AS LOVE", THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE", "OSMP EXPERIENCE", "LIVE AT THE ALBERT HALL" (Versailles), ...
Above: the excellent, unofficial and now deleted version by Purple Haze Records "An Evening With The Jimi Hendrix Experience". It featured three superb rehearsal outtakes. Also pictured is the (Mike Jeffrey estate?) copy released in August 2008) - see Unofficial Releases section
This Albert Hall CD turned up free with the Sunday Times !in 2006 ! The newspaper were subsequently attacked by the Hendix estate.
> READ THIS : latest report concerning the outcome of the Sunday Times lawsuit and the rights in general as regards the Albert Hall 69 recordings.
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