PART 3

POSTHUMOUS STUDIO RELEASES

 

 

THE CRY OF LOVE
Released March 1971 (Track)

Freedom, Drifting, Ezy Rider, Night Bird Flying, My Friend, Straight Ahead, Astro Man, Angel, In From The Storm, Belly Button Window.

Jimi tragically passed away on September 18 1970. He had not released an album (apart from the contractual obligation of the live "Band Of Gypsys") since "Electric Ladyland" of November 1968. The Experience had broken up in June 69, putting an end to a good two and half years solid touring ! It's not surprising that Jimi had taken six months off the road (nothing in todays terms), to build the next stage of his work. The Band Of Gypsys experiment had not been a resounding success, however he had recorded plenty of material with Billy Cox, Buddy Miles and the faithful Mitch Mitchell (after Miles's departure), and by mid 1970, after the relative calm of the previous year, he was putting together what would possibly have been another double album. He reluctantly toured in 1970 (to finance his Electric Lady Studios) during which he presented many new songs to audiences in America and Europe. Jimi had mentioned to the press that his next single release would be "Dolly Dagger". He didn't make it.
With Jimi gone, Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell set about the painful task of collecting together the most finished tracks, which lacked only a few last touches. Mitch finished off one or two drum lines, Buzzy Linhart was brought in to add vibraphone (which Jimi had considered) to "Drifting", etc. Thus, 12 tracks were mastered, virtually as Jimi had left them, but only 10 were put out on this album (the other two "Dolly Dagger" and "Room Full Of Mirrors" came out on the following release).
This was a nicely balanced album, with a more direct R&B feel, and showed quite a departure from Jimi's three precedent works of the heady days of 1967/68 (although the Dylanesque bar room blues "My Friend" in fact dates from The Experience days).
"Angel" was a posthumous single (and was later a fairly successful hit for Rod Stewart when he covered it in the seventies). "Belly Button Window" is an interesting solo blues about reincarnation, which was a poignant epitaph coming as it did just after Jimi's death. "Ezy Ryder" features the Band Of Gypsys along with Traffic members Steve Winwood and Chris Wood (who had also both played on "Electric Ladyland"). Other guests are "Gers" (sic) providing mouth harp on "My Friend", Emeretta Marks on backing vocals for "In From The Storm" and The Ghetto Fighters on backing vocals for "Freedom". Some of the many working titles for the album were "Freedom", "Both Ways", "Shine On", "Gypsy Sun" or "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun" (a title later used on a compilation featuring all the tracks here). On Jimi's last tour (on which he had played many of the songs here) he had called the band The Cry Of Love - hence the name of this album.

> This fantastic album (and "Rainbow Bridge") was re-released recently with mastering by Bernie Grundman. A mastering superior to "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun"
(which contained all these songs).

 


 

RAINBOW BRIDGE (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Released November 1971 (Reprise)

Dolly Dagger, Earth Blues, Pali Gap, Room Full Of Mirrors, Star Spangled Banner (Traditional), Look Over Yonder, Hear My Train A Comin'(Live Berkeley 1970), Hey Baby (New Rising Sun).

These recordings were thrown together as a promotional album for an incoherent mess of a film by Chuck Wein. In the film, Jimi, Mitch, and Billy Cox appear for a fascinating 15 minutes or so at the end, playing live at Maui, Hawaii (30/07/70). The recordings of that gig were unfortunately hampered by technical problems, so the only live track on the album is a magnificent "Hear My Train a Comin" taken from a show at Berkely Community Centre, California on the 30/05/70 (the track was later re-released on the "Blues" collection). The other tracks on the album were pieced together by Kramer from more of the material that Jimi had left unfinished, and a couple of Experience epoch numbers (the brilliant "Look Over Yonder", and a complex studio rendering of "The Star Spangled Banner", which although finely arranged, lacks the essential violence and brutal sarcasm of the live versions).
The music throughout is fantastic and Kramer did a remarkable job putting this album together, considering it required, he said, "a lot of cutting and pasting" (interview in "Guitar World" magazine 1985). On the beautiful ballad "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" one can hear Jimi say "Is the microphone on ?" before he sings. This doesn't take the shine off the brilliance of the song. The Santana-like instrumental "Pali Gap", which developed out of a spontaneous studio jam, is one of Jimi's most beautiful guitar pieces. Like on "The Cry Of Love", Jimi's use of soulful backing vocals is evident on the superbly funky "Dolly Dagger" (with The Ghetto Fighters) and on "Earth Blues" (with the legendary girl group The Ronnettes !). The fantastic "Room Full Of Mirrors" features the Band Of Gypsys and Juma Edwards provides percussion on "Hey Baby".
The concert recordings of the actual gig at Maui came out in 2003 on the unofficial but widely distributed "The Rainbow Bridge Concert".
See also
Film

Re-released on CD in 2015

 


 

WAR HEROES 1/2
Released September 1972 (Polydor)

Bleeding Heart, Highway Chile, Tax Free (Hansen/Karlson), Peter Gunne (Mancini)/Catastrophe, Stepping Stone, Midnight, 3 Little Bears, Beginning(Mitchell), Izabella

The third release of studio material after Jimi's death, and Eddie Kramer confessed later (again in that "Guitar World" interview) that at this stage they were "really scraping the bottom of the barrel". You wouldn't believe it, as most of the material assembled here is of excellent quality, the proof being that several tracks were later included on the slick "First Rays" CD compilation, right up there alongside the polished ex "Cry Of Love" numbers. There are two superb instrumentals by The Experience here: "Midnight", and a cover of a jazz composition by the Sweedish Hansen and Karlsen called "Tax Free" (which the band had often played on their 1968/69 tours). Another instrumental "Beginning" (which had already appeared in a live version on "Woodstock Two" (see live section) as "Jam Back At The House") was written by Mitch Mitchell. "Bleeding heart" uses the lyric of the Elmore james song of that name but is a funky rock track (Jimi would play the Elmore James version often on stage). "Highway Chile" (the original B-Side of "The Wind Cries Mary") was included here as it had not figured on an American release before. "Stepping Stone" and "Izabella" are not the Band of Gypsys versions that had been released as a single in the USA in 1970 (see Original Singles section) and feature Mitch Mitchell on drums. "3 Little Bears" is an amusing little sketch of a song from the Electric Ladyland sessions, and "Peter Gunne/Catastrophe" in fact really does qualify as "scraping the barrel"; a brief moment of Jimi and the band jamming loosely in the studio.
No longer available on CD - all tracks (except for "Peter Gunne/Catastrophe") reappeared on "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun" and "South Saturn Delta".

  


 

LOOSE ENDS
Released February 1974 (Polydor)

Come Down Hard on Me Baby, Blue Suede Shoes (Perkins), Jam 292, The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice (remix), Drifter's Escape (Dylan), Burning Desire, l'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon), Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)

Evidently, at this stage, little else had been found in the vaults and this weak selection of studio demos and jams was offered. Even Eddie Kramer declined to participate in this sad effort. "Come Down Hard On Me Baby" seems to be an early demo or an evolution of the "Bleeding Heart" on "War Heroes", but with a different lyric. "Blue Suede Shoes" is just a bit of studio fun where Jimi tries to explain a drum pattern to Buddy Miles, then he does a brief impersonation of Elvis Presley, before the band have a go at the Carl Perkins song, which quickly fades out. The blues workout "Jam 292" is the best track, and differs from the "Jelly 292" that turned up later on the "Blues" album. "Stars That Play" is an interesting remix of the old "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" B-side, with the devastating guitar solo high in the mix. That track was re-released recently on "South Saturn Delta", as was the version of Dylan's "Drifters Escape" (although in a more finished form). The rest is taken up by a rather tedious studio jam by the Band Of Gypsys (featured later on "The Baggys Rehearsal Sessions", and the last track is a brief but touching instrumental of the "Electric Ladyland" title theme.
No longer available on CD - all tracks (except "Jam 292" and "Blue Suede Shoes") appeared later on many releases.

 


 

CRASH LANDING
Released September 1975 (UK-Polydor, US-Reprise)

Message to Love, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Crash Landing, Come Down Hard on Me, Peace in Mississippi, With the Power, Stone Free Again, Captain Coconut

At this point in time, the left over tapes were put in the hands of producer Alan Douglas (who had in fact at one time worked with Hendrix, introducing him to various jazz musicians). Douglas was conscious that what was left in the vaults (apart from the live recordings) was essentially rough demos and exploratory jam sessions. As even "South Saturn Delta" and the MCA box set have since shown, very little remained which met the standards of the first three posthumous studio releases. Back in 1975, when under pressure from Warners and Polydor, who demanded a neat marketable album, Douglas (in desperation?) brought in session musicians to play polished backing tracks behind Jimi's rough demos, wiping off the original rhythm sections, and even adding extra guitar. The results are quite unsettling, a bit like touching up Picasso sketches and then passing them off as finished paintings. To make things worse, this album sold very well !
At least "Loose Ends" had made no pretensions about being other than just that.
No longer available on CD - many tracks appeared in their original form on the MCA Box Set "The Jimi Hendrix Experience".

 


 

MIDNIGHT LIGHTNING
Released December 1975 (UK-Polydor, US-Reprise)

Trash Man, Midnight Lightning, Hear My Train, Gypsy Boy, Blue Suede Shoes (Berry), Machine Gun, Once I Had a Woman, Beginnings

Another set of overdubs by Alan Douglas, and even worse than the previous effort. Like with "Crash Landing" however, the sleeve is superb !
No longer available on CD - "Once I Had a Woman" later appeared in its original form on "Blues".

 


 

 

NINE TO THE UNIVERSE 1/2
Released June 1980 (UK-Polydor, US-Reprise)

Nine To The Universe, Jimi/Jimmy Jam, Young/Hendrix, Easy Blues, Drone Blues.

This was quite a welcome release at the time. There is no after-the-event overdubbing here, but as unofficial releases have revealed, the tracks were heavily edited. That is not necessarily a bad thing. For years, Miles Davis for example, had left hours of jams in the hands of his producer Ted Macero, who edited everything down to make some of the musicians classic albums. Here, Alan Douglas adopted the same technique (although, unlike Miles, Jimi was not around to approve it) to create a fine album and an exciting glimpse at Jimi working out at the Record Plant in New York, in early to mid 1969. Douglas wisely edited out passages where Jimi perhaps toyed with a riff repeatedly without real direction, to create something more uniforme. Interesting to note that Billy Cox plays bass throughout here (except on track two) and this happened while The Experience were still together. The first track, from May 1969, even features Buddy Miles on drums, "A Band Of Gypsys" therefore, and months before the band was to officially exist. The rest of the tracks feature Mitch Mitchell.
All tracks are instrumental and the slant is towards jazz, which had always been running through Jimi's music anyway ("Up From The Skies", Rainy Day", "Tax Free",) and these jam sessions are seen to be a pointer as to where Jimi's music might have been heading for in the future. Around this time, Jimi had in fact met Miles Davis and they planned to work together. Also, just before he died, Jimi was lined up to record with the saxophonist Roland Kirk and arranger Gil Evans (famous for his work with Miles Davis). Evans later put out a big band tribute to Jimi in the seventies.
Producer Alan Douglas had planned to include a jam with the promising young jazz musician John McLaughlin here, but the latter blocked its release (he had played only on an acoustic guitar with a faulty pick-up) so they remain on the shelf. Douglas in fact later put out a McLaughlin album ("Devotion") featuring Buddy Miles and keyboard player Larry Young, who plays with Jimi here on "Young/Hendrix". On the fabulous "Easy Blues", Jimi's friend Larry Lee plays second guitar (he later became part of the "Woodstock" band). "Jimi/Jimmy Jam" has Jim McCartey on second guitar and Roland Robinson on bass. "Drone Blues" features passages that Jimi had previously used in "Drivin' South". The title track begins basically as "Earth Blues" before developing into a long jam with a brief vocal..
At the time of going to web, the present Hendrix estate has not re-released this album and it will be interesting to see what they will do with this series of sessions on an a future release.
No longer available on CD.

 


 

RADIO ONE
Released 1988 (Rykodisk)

Stone Free, Radio One (You're The One For Me), Day Tripper(Lennon/McCartney), Killing Floor(Burnett), Love Or Confusion, Catfish Blues (Robert Petway), Drivin' South (Curtis Mcnear), Wait Until Tomorrow, Gettin' My Heart Back Together, Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller), Fire, Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon), Purple Haze, Spanish Castle Magic, Hey Joe (Roberts), Foxy Lady

That's BBC Radio One of course, and this is a stunning collection of the Experience's many studio recordings for radio transmission. Despite the live feel of many of these tracks, the band in fact made an effort to do overdubs (a tradition at the BBC) creating excellent versions of their songs, some of which even rival the original album versions. We are also treated to many rarer songs from their repertoire. There is a nicely finished studio version of "Killing Floor" for example. Then there are "Day Tripper", "Love Or Confusion", "Catfish Blues", "Drivin' South", "Wait Until Tomorrow", "Hound Dog", "Hoochie Coochie Man", an amazing selection of tracks. The sessions were recorded during a number of visits to the BBC studios from February to December 1967.
The legendary British bluesman Alexis Korner, who welcomed the band on his own radio show, accompanies them on slide guitar for "Hoochie Coochie Man" (on that track Noel plays an eight string bass of all things). When John Peel introduced "Catfish Blues" during a seventies retransmission of these recordings he called it "Experiencing The Blues", perhaps the title Jimi had given it on the day (he also called it "Muddy Water Blues"). Older Brits will recognize the old Radio One DJ Alan Freeman talking over the intro to "Fire".
This wonderful record was originally a (three sided) double vinyl. The tracks here were later re-released with twelve extra tracks as "BBC Sessions, a double CD, in 1998 on MCA (see below). No longer available on CD in this form.


The Peel Sessions
Radio One Theme, Day Tripper, Wait Until Tomorrow, Hear My Train A Comin, Spanish Castle Magic

Some tracks also appeared as part of the series of CDs "The Peel Sessions" (recordings broadcast by the famous BBC presenter John Peel).


LIVE & UNRELEASED- THE RADIO SHOW
Released November 1989 (Castle Communications)

A curious boxed set of 3 CDs featuring a Hendrix tribute in 1988 by an American radio station. Note that these are not recordings especially laid down for a radio station (as with the BBC sessions) but familiar songs from Jimi's albums plus many unissued or alternate studio (and a few live) takes from the vaults, some of which found their way onto future CD releases. Amongst all the narration and interviews (many with Jimi), there are some interesting moments. For hard core fans only.
Track listing is practically identical to the following release which is more widely available.
No longer available on CD.

 


 

LIFELINES - THE JIMI HENDRIX STORY
Released 1990 (Reprise)

CD 1:
Testify Part 1 (incomplete)(Isley Bros. & Jimi 5-21-64), Lawdy Miss Clawdy (part)(no Jimi), I'm A Man (incomplete) Curtis Knight & The Squires (George's Club; Hackensack, NJ) 12-26-65),
Like A Rolling Stone (incomplete) (4-68), Red House (L'Olympia; Paris) 10-9-67), Hey Joe (10-23-66), Hoochie Koochie Man (part) (BBC 10-17-67), Purple Haze (1-11-67), The Wind Cries Mary (1-11-67), Foxy Lady (BBC 2-13-67)

CD 2:
Third Stone From The Sun (part) (12-13-66), Rock Me Baby (Monterey 6-18-67),
Look Over Yonder Mister Bad Luck (5-4-67), Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (7-20-67), Spanish Castle Magic (10-27-67 and 10-28-67), Bold As Love (10-29-67), One Rainy Wish (10-29-67), Little Wing (10-25-67), Drivin' South (BBC 10-6-67), Things That I Used To Do (incomplete) (Jimi, Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills, Dallas Taylor (Record Plant, NY) 5-15-69), All Along The Watchtower (incomplete)(1-21?-68), Drifter's Escape (1970), Cherokee Mist (incomplete) (5-2-68), Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (take 4) (5-3-68), 1983...A Merman Should I Turn To Be (alternate take) (incomplete) (4-23-68)

CD 3:
Voodoo Chile (part) 5-1-68 or 5-2-68), Come On (Part 1) (alternate take 9) (8-27-68), Manic Depression (Winterland10-12-68, second show), Machine Gun (incomplete) (Fillmore East)12-31-69, second show), Room Full Of Mirrors - alternate mix (11-17-69), Angel (demo) (Solo (Jimi's apartment NY) early 1968), Rainy Day Shuffle (incomplete)(6-10-68), Valleys Of Neptune (incomplete) (8 or 9-69), Send My Love To Linda (Solo), South Saturn Delta (6-14-68), Dolly Dagger (Isle Of Wight 70), Night Bird Flying (6-16-70)

CD 4:
Tax Free / Red House / Spanish Castle Magic / The Star-Spangled Banner / Purple Haze / I Don't Live Today / Voodoo Chile / Sunshine Of Your Love
The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded live at the L.A. Forum; Los Angeles, CA 4-26-69.

From the same source as "Live And Unreleased -The Radio Show", but with a few differences, this set has a rare fourth CD (without all the DJ chat and interviews that is all over the other three) featuring The Experience at the LA Forum 26/04/69, which earns it an extra star here.
Many previously unreleased tracks appeared on this box set, though not always in their complete form. "Things That I Used To Do" is a jam with Johnny Winter and Steve Stills. "Cherokee Mist" and "Rainy Day Shuffle "are instrumental jams. "Valleys Of Neptune" and "Send My Love To Linda are early sketches of songs and "South Saturn Delta" is an extraordinary experiment of Jimi's, with a small brass section (he had been impressed with the work of Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago in this direction).

No longer available on CD

 


ARE YOU EXPERIENCED - Remaster 1
Hey Joe, Stone Free, Purple Haze, 51st Anniversary, The Wind Cries Mary, Highway Chile, Foxy Lady, Manic Depression, Red House (Version 2), Can You See Me (Version 2), Love Or Confusion, I Don't Live Today, May This Be Love, Fire, 3rd Stone From The Sun, Remember, Are You Experienced.

AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE - Remaster 1

ELECTRIC LADYLAND - Remaster 1

Re-released 1993 (Polydor/Reprise)

A special mention here for the Alan Douglas remastered holy trinity of Hendrix albums : "Are You Experienced", "Axis: Bold As Love" and "Electric Ladyland". These had flashy new covers (the original covers were on the back of the booklets) and although not achieving the greatness of the original American vinyl pressing, they really did freshen up things compared to the first generation of CD releases. As a bonus, "Are You Experienced" opened with the first three British singles (A & B sides) but made the mistake of using the American "Smash Hits" version of "Red House", presumably because of its more polished sound quality . Douglas in fact put the UK version of "Red House" on the following "Blues" compilation where it remains to this day. A compilation titled "The Ultimate Experience" was released at the same time.

  

 

BLUES 1/2
Released 1994 (Polydor/MCA)

Hear My Train A Comin',
Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell), Red House (version 1), Catfish Blues, Voodoo Chile Blues, Manish Boy (Morganfield), Once I Had A Woman, Bleeding Heart (James/Sehorn), Jelly 292, Electric Church Red House, Hear My Train A Comin'

At long last (after 14 years !!) came a more creative and well researched studio release from Alan Douglas, made up of some old and unreleased tracks centering on Jimi's blues influences. "Here My Train Comin'" (acoustic) had been available before on the "A film about Jimi Hendrix" soundtrack album (see Live section), and the electric version is the definitive live version from Berkeley 1970, previously seen on "Rainbow Bridge". The original UK released "Red House" is included here because Douglas had stupidly put the American "Smash Hits" version on the otherwise UK track listed "Are You Experienced" re-master (confused ? You will be !). In 1997, MCA corrected that error, so the US version of "Red House" should really be put here on an eventual re-release.
"Electric Church Red House" had appeared previously on the "Red House - Variations On A Theme" CD. The rest is an interesting selection of studio jams from 1967 to 1970. "Bleeding Heart" here is Jimi's straight Elmore James interpretation and not his own version like on "War Heroes", and "Jelly 292" is a different take than "Jam 292" found on "Loose Ends". "Once I Had A Woman" is the basic track that had been stripped down and overdubbed on the awful "Midnight Lightning" album. "Voodoo Chile Blues" is outtake from the "Electric Ladyland" session with Stevie Winwood of Traffic on organ and Jack Cassidy of The Jefferson Airplane on bass. Superb cover art and booklet for this very good record.

 


 

VOODOO SOUP - ???
Released 1995 (MCA)

The New Rising Sun, Belly Button Window, Stepping Stone, Freedom, Angel, Room Full Of Mirrors, Midnight, Night Bird Flying, Drifting, Ezy Ryder, Pali Gap, Message To Love, Peace In Mississippi, In From The Storm

I don't know how to rate this one. By this time Alan Douglas got round to 20-bit re-mastering the Hendrix catalogue, he put out Jimi's first three studio albums (with new-look covers) and then instead of re-releasing "The Cry Of Love", this new compilation of latter day Hendrix material was offered. However the shuffling together of rough mixes, previously used to complete "Crash Landing" for example, with the more finished tracks from "The Cry Of Love", is rather awkward compiling. The album does contain many great tracks but the 20-Bit remastering seemed to have stripped away some of the magic of the original mixes (this reviewer promptly ran out to buy the CD of "The Cry Of Love" before it disappeared from circulation !).
A new instrumental track was included titled "New Rising Sun", but proved to be of little interest, simply an exploratory demo. Douglas also edited out the slow intro to "Pali Gap" for some reason.
The best thing about the album was the superb cover (taken from an old French sleeve for an "Are You Experienced"/"Axis: Bold As Love" double package -see
Alternate Sleeves) by comic book artist Jean Giraud alias Mobius (he in fact later teamed up with the journalist who had photographed Jimi eating, Jean-Noel Coghe, to publish a lavishly illustrated book about Jimi in the nineties (see my Bibliography).
No longer available on CD - Most tracks reappeared on "First Rays Of The New Rising Sun" and "South Saturn Delta".


 

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED - Remaster 2
Foxy Lady, Manic Depression, Red House (Version 1), Can You See Me (Version 1), Love Or Confusion, I Don't Live Today, May This Be Love, Fire, 3rd Stone From The Sun, Remember, Are You Experienced, Hey Joe, Stone Free, Purple Haze, 51st Anniversary, The Wind Cries Mary, Highway Chile

AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE - Remaster 2

ELECTRIC LADYLAND - Remaster 2

Re-released 1997 (MCA)

After "Voodoo Soup" the handling of the Hendrix estate came into the hands of Jimi's family, and they thankfully brought in Eddie Kramer to manage all new projects on the MCA label. In 1997, the first three albums were again re-mastered, and the original covers were reintroduced. This time on "Are You Experienced" the first three singles (A & B sides) are tagged on at the end, and the original "Red House" is back where it belongs. The compilation "Experience Hendrix" was released at the same time.


 

FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN
Released 1997 (MCA)

Freedom, Izabella, Night Bird Flying, Angel, Room Full of Mirrors, Dolly Dagger, Ezy Rider, Drifting, Beginning (Mitchell), Stepping Stone, My Friend, Straight Ahead, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), Earth Blues, Astro Man, In From the Storm, Belly Button Window

As if "Voodoo Soup" had never existed, this album was an ambitious idea to finally gather together the best of the post Experience material, coming as close as possible to the supposed double vinyl album that Jimi was working on just before he passed on. It is a sort of expanded "Cry Of Love", with all of its tracks included (beginning and ending in the same way also), as well as some essential numbers from "Rainbow Bridge" and "War Heroes". However, there are a few too many straight rock songs, which makes for a rather unbalanced "album". Also, the beautiful instrumental "Pali Gap" was left off, which is a great shame (the track had fitted in nicely as an extension of the dreamy "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" theme on "Rainbow Bridge"). A calmer moment on the album would have benefitted it.
Despite this albums merits, the grouping together of Jimi's near finished tracks (accurately compiled on "Cry Of Love") with so many of Eddie Kramer's salvaged songs (which completed "Rainbow Bridge" and "War Heroes") can be put into question. That is of course the problem in this CD age, record companies feel that to give value for money, they must fill up all the 70 minutes, regardless of the logic. On vinyl for example, "Straight Ahead" took on more importance as it opened side two. Here, it is just another rock track among many others. The same goes for the "Rainbow Bridge" opener "Dolly Dagger". I might just add that I prefer the original mixes of "Cry of Love" (on headphones anyway), everything seemed to gel together better. Hell, I'll stop bickering - this is a superb CD !
A nice touch was the release at the same time of a two track CD of "Dolly Dagger"/"Night Bird Flying" which Jimi had planned for a single release just before he died.


 

SOUTH SATURN DELTA 1/2
Released 1998 (MCA)

Look Over Yonder,
Little Wing, Here He Comes (Lover Man), South Saturn Delta, Power Of Soul, Message To The Universe (Message To Love), Tax Free, All Along The Watchtower (Olympic mix) (Dylan), The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice (remix), Midnight, Sweet Angel, Bleeding Heart, Pali Gap, Drifter's Escape (original mix) (Dylan), Midnight Lightning

A good collection of more old favourites here from Rainbow Bridge ("Look Over Yonder","Pali Gap"), War Heroes ("Bleeding Heart", "Tax Free", "Midnight"), and Loose Ends ("Drifters Escape", "The Stars That Play "- remix). The rest are unissued versions, mixes and demos of numbers which, like on "Voodoo Soup", are a bit out of place next to the more polished re-released tracks. For the veteran fan there are some fascinating moments however ; the version of "Angel" for example (later issued in a more complete form on the MCA box set), and a live-in-studio rendering of the stage favourite "Lover Man". "Power Of Soul" is the original Hendrix/Miles/Cox mix of the track that Alan Douglas had cut up for "Crash Landing". "Message To The Universe" is a early live-in-studio run through of "Message To Love" featuring Jimi's Woodstock band (they had played the song at the famous festival). The title track is Jimi's jazzy brass experiment and had already appeared in a less finished form on "Lifelines". Little Wing" in fact turns out to be an early instrumental version of "Angel". The alternate mix of "Watchtower" is really a bit too close to the original to merit inclusion on this set. Jimi's cover of Dylan's "Drifter's Escape" appears in a more finished form here than the version previously released on "Loose Ends". "Midnight Lightning" is Jimi alone on guitar and sounding like an old blues master.

- CONCLUSION -

In retrospect, the post "Electric Ladyland" material has again been rather unsatisfactorily compiled. In my humble opinion the re-releasing should have featured a straight "Cry Of Love" re-master, representing Jimi's own final works (a short disc one might say, but then so is "Axis"!) followed more logically by another high quality CD of these tracks :

Dolly Dagger, Earth Blues, Pali Gap, Room Full of Mirrors, Look Over Yonder, Hey Baby, Bleeding Heart, Tax Free, Stepping Stone, Midnight, Beginning, Izabella, Drifters Escape.

A more complete collection of Experience "rarities" could then have been built around The Stars That Play(remix)/Red House(version 2)/Star Spangled Banner(studio version)/All Along The Watchtower (Olympic mix)/Here He Comes(Lover Man) etc. This would have still left the opportunity to put out a more honest collection of demos and unfinished ideas, which treated as such, would have also made an interesting album.

So it now remains to be seen what the Hendrix estate and Eddie Kramer will put out next in terms of unreleased studio material. Before he died, Chas Chandler said he had in his possession an album's worth of unreleased Experience tracks (including for example a studio version of "Like A Rolling Stone").
All we can really expect for now are more alternate takes and demos. Then there are all those "Nine to the Universe" jams !

 


 

BBC SESSIONS
Released 1998 (MCA)

CD 1: Foxy Lady,
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? (Dylan) , (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon), Driving South (Curtis Mcnear), Fire, Little Miss Lover, The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, Catfish Blues (Robert Petway), Stone Free, Love Or Confusion, Hey Joe (Roberts), Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller), Driving South, Hear My Train A Comin'

CD 2: Purple Haze, Killing Floor (Burnett), Radio One (You're The One For Me), Wait Until Tomorrow, Day Tripper (Lennon/McCartney), Spanish Castle Magic, Jammin', I Was Made To Love Her (Cosby/Hardaway/Moy/Wonder), Foxy Lady, Hey Joe, Manic Depression, Driving South, Hear My Train A Comin' , Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Hey Joe, Sunshine Of Your Love

In fact a re-release of "Radio One" with a dozen (!) extra tracks, including a superb jam with Stevie Wonder on drums, and the famous 1969 Lulu TV show performance where Jimi aborts "Hey Joe" only to rip into a tribute to Cream with "Sunshine Of Your Love". Also included from the BBC vaults are "Little Miss Lover", "Manic depression" (TV appearance) and "Voodoo Chile" (Lulu Show again) and some alternate takes which are very interesting for the improvisations on "Drivin South" and "Hear My Train", less so for "Hey Joe" (2nd version incomplete) and "Foxy Lady" (2nd falls apart). The real scoop is yet another Hendrix cover of a Dylan song "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window ?" bringing the total of Jimi's Dylan covers to four (with "Like A Rolling Stone", "All Along The Watchtower", and "Drifters Escape"). Needless to say, he was a big Zimmerman fan, even his revolutionary afro hair style was inspired by Dylan's 1966 hairdo (see "Blonde On Blonde"). This album includes lots of rare studio versions of songs from the band's rich repertoire. All this makes for a superb double CD.

 


 

MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Released 1999 (MCA)

Little Drummer Boy (Traditional)/ Silent Night Auld Lang Syne (Traditional) / Three Little Bears / Little Drummer Boy / Silent Night Auld Lang Syne (Extended Version)

These novelty tracks featuring The Band Of Gypsys in rehearsal for their New Years concerts were originally pressed in the seventies as a 7" single titled "..and a Happy New Year", as a music business to business gift (see "Alternate Sleeves"). Here, there is also an "extended version" and a bonus,"Three Little Bears" , a long lost fun track from the Ladyland sessions which had previously appeared on "War Heroes".


MORNING SYMPHONY IDEAS
Released 2000 (Dagger Records)
- Mail order only

Keep On Grooving/Jungle/Room Full Of Mirrors/Strato Strut/Scorpio Woman/Acoustic Demo

The Hendrix estate took the bold decision to distribute a series of CDs (available only on the official site: www.jimi-hendrix.com) which enable them issue material which doesn't meet the usual industry standards. The live or studio recordings are generally re-mastered under the supervision of Eddie Kramer for release.
On this release we hear mainly Jimi and Buddy Miles, at the end of 1969, exploring ideas in the studio. Billy Cox joins them for "Strato Strut". The track "Scorpio Woman" is Jimi alone at Maui (though not from the gigs there) and the last track is Jimi at home in early 1970.

 


 


Released 2000 (MCA)

CD1:
Purple Haze / Killing Floor (Live-Paris 1966) (Burnett)/ Hey Joe (Live Paris 1966 ) (Roberts)/ Foxy Lady (Alternate) / Highway Chile / Hey Joe / Title #3 / Third Stone From the Sun / Taking Care of No Business / Here He Comes (Lover Man) / Burning Of The Midnight Lamp / Rock Me Baby (Live Monterey 1967) / Like A Rolling Stone (Live Monterey 1967 ) (Dylan)

CD 2: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live Stockholm 1967) (Lennon/McCartney) / Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Live Stockholm 1967 ) / Little Wing / Little Miss Lover / The Wind Cries Mary (Live Paris 1967) / Catfish Blues (Live Paris 1967 ) / Bold As Love / Sweet Angel / Fire(Live Clark University 1968) / Somewhere / (Have You Ever Been To) Electric Ladyland / Gypsy Eyes / Room Full Of Mirrors / Gloria (Morrison)/ It's Too Bad / Star Spangled Banner (Traditional)

CD 3: Stone Free / Spanish Castle Magic / Hear My Train A Comin' / Room Full of Mirrors / I Don't Live Today (Live LA 1969) / Little Wing (Live Albert Hall 1969) )/ Red House (Live San Diego 1969 ) / Purple Haze (Live San Diego 1969) / Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live Albert Hall 1969 ) / Izabella

CD 4: Message To Love / Earth Blues / Astro Man / Country Blues / Freedom / Johnny B. Goode (Live Berkeley 1970) (Berry)/ Lover Man / Blue Suede Shoes(Live Berkeley 1970 ) (Perkins) / Cherokee Mist / Come Down Hard On Me / Hey Baby-In From The Storm (Live Maui 1970) / Ezy Ryder / Night Flying Bird / All Along The Watchtower(Live Isle Of Wight 1970) (Dylan)/ In From The Storm(Live Isle Of Wight 1970 ) / Slow Blues

South Saturn Delta was evidently just the taster for this luxury package released in the year 2000. The purple velvet-look packaging is superb (even though it looks like Noel has his hand in Jimi's trousers !) and the 80 page (long box CD) booklet is very well documented (not surprising seeing that Eddie Kramer and John McDermott are behind it). The vinyl box set is also pictured.
Like with the successful Beatles Anthology series, the idea here is to project a history of Jimi's music using alternate versions of his songs (demos, outtakes, alternate mixes, rehearsals, and live versions). However not all the tracks are previously unreleased. It does feature some very interesting moments though, which merit close attention.

 

Previously unreleased studio tracks:

"Taking Care Of No Business"
A May '67 recording, this track is the real surprise in the box. It's a sort of humorous bar-room blues, which is similar to "My Friend" (from "Cry Of Love" and "First Rays") in feel.

"Title #3"
No real title for this april '67 instrumental blast of the Experience jamming at full tilt. Similar to "Lover Man", "Can You see Me" or "You Got Me Floating" in atmosphere.

"Sweet Angel"
This is practically identical to the version on "South Saturn Delta" and is complete here. (A home demo of "Angel" had appeared on "Lifelines")

"Highway Chile"
In stereo for the first time ! Chas had preferred the mono mix for the B-side of "The Wind Cries Mary".

"It's Too Bad"
February '69 for this lyrically interesting spontaneous blues jam, featuring Cox and Miles already, plus Larry Young on keyboards.

"Country Blues"
Another interesting instrumental jam from the Band Of Gypsys this time in Feb '70.

"Cherokee Mist"
A promising June '70 exploration with Cox and Mitchell, an extract of which had appeared on "Lifelines".

"Lover Man"
At last a good studio rendering (complete with overdubs) of this often live performed favourite, recorded in July '70. This song had started life with the lyrics from B.B.King's "Rock Me Baby" (see "Jimi Plays Monterey"). It would have been better placed on "South Saturn Delta" really, instead of the looser live-in-studio version on that album, but it was discovered too late).

"Somewhere" - "Stone Free" - "Message To Love"
Three tracks that had previously appeared, although with Alan Douglas's commissioned overdubs, on his "Crash Landing" project of 1975. This time we hear the tracks more or less the way Jimi had left them. "Somewhere" is a sort of early "Earth Blues" (lyrically) with a superb vocal. "Stone Free" is The Experience's re-recording (in '68) of the famous "Hey Joe" B-side, for possible inclusion on the American "Smash Hits". It is a cleaner sounding, more funky arrangement, but doesn't match the magic of the original. "Message To Love" is just great and reveals that it was evidently the least tampered with during the Alan Douglas overdubbing exercise (this also would have been better placed on "South Saturn Delta" instead of the less focused version which figures there).

"Slow Blues"
The tape runs out after just 90 seconds of this tantalising August 1970 instrumental jam.

The rest of the studio tracks are demos, work-in-progess, alternate versions/mixes, rehearsals etc. of songs that we already know, and are at times fascinating. A special mention for the versions of "Hear My Train", "Little Wing", "Gypsy Eyes", "Little Miss lover" and "Bold As love".

 

Previously unreleased live tracks:

"Killing Floor"/"Hey Joe"
Unbelievable ! The Experience on their first ever tour, supporting French star Johnny Halliday* at the famous Olympia Theatre Paris in Octobre 1966 (just a few weeks after the band's creation)! These tapes must have slept in the vaults of French radio station Europe 1 for more than thirty years before being discovered. Now we wait impatiently for a release featuring the complete 15 minute show (if it exists). Other songs in the band's repertoire at this early stage were "Have Mercy", "In The Midnight Hour" and "Land Of A Thousand Dances".

"Catfish Blues"/"Wind Cries Mary"
The Experience at the Paris Olympia again, this time in 1967. More tracks from this gig were released in 2003 by Dagger Records (see Posthumous Live Albums).

"Hey Baby/In From The Storm"
Recorded at the gig for The Rainbow Bridge Meditation Centre, Maui, Hawaii '70. Due to sound problems on the day, Mitch Mitchell had to later overdubbed the drum parts in the studio for the film soundtrack, and it shows.

* Halliday (who is still an enormous star in France) had seen the unknown Jimi in a London club, before The Experience were properly formed, jamming with Brian Auger. He was so knocked out by him that he asked him to come on his autumn tour of France and Belgium. In 1967 he also released his own version of "Hey Joe" (Halliday claims that Jimi was "present" at the recording session) and it was even rumoured that Jimi had performed on a Halliday song called "Psychedelic", although an authoritative source (Univibes) informs me that these claims are not true.

 

Previously released tracks:

Note that just about all of the great seventies live album "Hendrix In The West" turns up here (the tracks from Berkeley and San Diego really merit a more economical access). The other more familiar material offer new mixes.

"Rock Me Baby", "Like A Rolling Stone" - previously on "Monterey", "Jimi Plays Monterey", "Jimi Hendrix" (Film Soundtrack).
"Fire" - "Live At Clark University"
"(Have You ever been To) Electric Ladyland" -from "Loose Ends"
"Gloria" - "The Essential Jimi hendrix", "The Singles Album", "Live ".
"Star Spangled Banner" - the complex studio version previously issued on the "Rainbow Bridge" soundtrack album and "Cornerstones".
"I Don't Live Today", "Purple Haze" - (LA Forum 69) "Lifelines"
"Little Wing", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" - (Royal Albert Hall 69) "Hendrix In The West" and all the Albert Hall records,
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp", - (Stockholm 67) "Stages".
"Johnny B. Goode" (Berkeley 70) - "Hendrix In The West", "Jimi Hendrix" Film Soundtrack, "Johnny B. Goode" (Video Soundtrack), "The Singles Album" ...
"Blue Suede Shoes" - (Berkeley 70) Hendrix In The West
"Red House"- (San Diego 69) "Hendrix In The West", "Stages"
"All Along The Watchtower" - Isle Of Wight albums
"In from The Storm" - Isle Of Wight albums, "Jimi Hendrix"(Film Soundtrack).


.

MARTIN SCORCESE PRESENTS THE BLUES: JIMI HENDRIX
Released 2003 (MCA)

Red House (Version 2), Voodoo Chile, Come On (Let The Good Times Roll),
Georgia Blues, Country Blues, Hear My Train A Comin, It's Too Bad, My Friend, Blue Window, Midnight Lightning

This new compilation in the "Martin Scorsese presents .." series has an interesting selection of tracks and features two previously unreleased tracks: "Georgia Blues" recorded on March 19, 1969 at New York's Record Plant studios (with Jimi's old friend Lonnie Youngblood on vocals), and "Blue Window'" recorded in March 1969 at Mercury Studios in New York (featuring Buddy Miles on drums, Duane Hitchings (organ), Bill Rich (bass) and brass players Tobie Wynn, James Tatum, Bobby Rock, Tom Hall, and Pete Carter).
Three numbers are taken from the 2000 Box Set ("Country Blues","Hear MyTrain", "It's Too Bad"). From "Ladyland" we have "Come On" and "Voodoo Chile" (the long version with Stevie Winwood on keyboards). "My Friend" is from "First rays" and "Midnight Lightning" from "South Saturn Delta".
Not much new here, but a nice companion to "Jimi Hendrix: Blues" released in 1994.


NEW RELEASE !!

AXIS OUTTAKES 1/2
Released 2003 (Purple Haze)
- UNOFFICIAL

DISC ONE - Spanish Castle Magic,Little Wing, You've Got Me Floating, She's So Fine (Redding), Little Miss Lover, Bold As Love, Takin' Care Of No Business, South Saturn Delta, Cat Talkin' To Me, The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice, Takin' Care Of No Business

DISC TWO - Dream (Redding), Dance (Redding/Mitchell), Little One (Take 1), Little One (Take 2), Driving South (Robert Petway), Jazz Jimi Jazz, Tax Free (Hanson/Karlsson), Somewhere, Cherokee Mist (Improvisation/God Save The Queen), Three Little Bears

Like with "The Rainbow Bridge Concert" this is from Purple Haze Records and it too has a high profile release. As the title attests, these are "outtakes" so don't expect highly finished productions here. This is audio archeology for the hardened fan as we get the chance to here work-in-progress, around the time "Axis" was being put together. Sound quality is poor in parts but here are some fascinating moments in there, so here is a run down.
"Spanish Castle Magic" was perhaps a bad choice as the opener as the sound quality is very muffled. "Little Wing" seems identical to the version presented on the MCA box set. The drums on "You Got Me Floating" are practically inexistant and the track doesn't differ much from the master apart from the inferior sound quality. On "She's So Fine" we hear a different vocal track from Noel and it is without the falsetto backing vocals. On "Little Miss Lover" we hear a different vocal and guitar from Jimi, before the song fades out quickly. "Bold As Love" also has a nice alternate vocal but a more rudimentary arrangement. The first "Takin' Care Of No Business" is identical to the box set version (apart from some opening chat which has been flown in). The second version features Chas Chandler's 1988 brass overdubs, which one can presume were intended at the recording stage. They work perfectly. Nice work Chas. "South Saturn Delta" is an interesting early take with good sound but without the brass section that Jimi later added (see the album of the same name). "Cat Talkin' To Me" (which also has good sound quality) is a sketch of a song and Mitch's one and only jab at lead vocals for The Experience ! "Stars That Play..." differs little from the master except that it's a muffled mix.
The second CD is really made up of bonus material, the tracks being recorded after the completion of "Axis". Noel's brief "Dream" is pure sixties psychedelia (very Beatles inspired) and the short Redding/Mitchell composition "Dance" has a basic riff that Jimi would later incorporate into "Ezy Ryder" ! The tracks "Little One (Takes 1&2)" are said to be from a jam with Brian Jones of the Stones on sitar. In his book, Mitch mentioned that Jones, who was a close friend of Jimi's, would often drop in to jam, so it's possible that it really is him. Jimi plays bottleneck on those tracks. On "Driving South" Jimi unfortunately seems to have guitar trouble and drops out for most of the track ! When he comes back in, the band go into "Sgt. Peppers" briefly, before grinding to a halt. On "Jazz Jimi Jazz" we eavesdrop on the band in an interesting twelve minute free form jam. "Tax Free" and "Somewhere" are a rough mixes of the familiar masters with minor differences. "Cherokee Mist" isn't that at all ! It turns out to be another extraordinary instrumental track. I am no bootleg expert, so I can't beleive this thing exists. I even doubted that it really is Jimi. It begins with flurrys of electric and acoustic guitars before going into ... "God Save The Queen" of all things ! This was probably Jimi's first try at interpreting a national anthem. Finally, "Three Little Bears" is surprising as, after the part we all know from "War Heroes" (and more recently the "Merry Xmas" maxi) it goes into a long relaxed jam improvisation, incorporating a little of "South Saturn Delta" and a coda similar to "Little Wing".
This release is certainly not for the casual buyer but there is plenty here to amuse hardcore Hendrix fans. It's more fun than sitting through the remastered torture of "Blue Wild Angel" for exemple.

 


NEW RELEASE !!

NOEL REDDING - The Experience Sessions
Released 2003

There Ain't Nothing Wrong  3:43 Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, December 28, 1967 - Previously Unreleased Recording
Little Miss Strange
2:50 - Recorded: Record Plant, New York, April 20 & 24, 1968 - Originally issued as part of Electric Ladyland
Walking Through The Garden 4:43 - Recorded: Record Plant, New York, May 5, 1968 - Previously Unreleased Recording
She's So Fine 2:38 - Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, May 4, 1967 - Previously Unreleased Alternate Recording
Little, Little Girl 3:01 - Recorded: Record Plant, New York, May 4, 1968 - Previously Unreleased Recording
How Can I Live? 4:38 - Recorded: Record Plant, New York, August 27, 1968 - Previously Unreleased Recording
Noel's Tune [Take 1] 4:00 - Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, February 1969 - Previously Unreleased Recording
Noel's Tune [Take 2] 4:00 - Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, February 1969 - Previously Unreleased Recording
Little Miss Strange 2:52 - Recorded: Record Plant, New York, April 20 & 21, 1968 - Previously Unreleased Alternate Recording
She's So Fine
2:37 - Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, May 4, 1967 - Originally issued as part of Axis: Bold As Love
Dream 2:19 - Recorded: Olympic Studios, London, December 20, 1967 - Previously Unreleased Recording
Red House
5:39 - Recorded Live: L'Olympia Theatre, Paris, France, January 29, 1968 - Originally issued as part of Stages.

What a surprise ! I have just found this on www.authentichendrix.com. Unreleased tracks by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, playing Noel Redding songs! If like me you don't particularly like Noel's voice, then the instrumentals "Noel's Tune"(Takes One & Two) seem the most interesting tracks along with that "Red House" from Olympia 68 (previously on "Stages 68", on which Jimi sings of course and where Noel plays his bass parts on a normal six string guitar. "There Ain't Nothing Wrong" reveals that "Little One" on "Axis Outtakes" was an instrumental jam around the same basic riff. "Dream" has already appeared on the unnofficial "Axis Outtakes" but is perhaps cleaner here. A fitting tribute to Noel. Oh, and that's Jimi Hendrix on guitar !

 

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