"Anger, he smiles, towering in shiny metallic armour.
Queen Jelousy, Envy, waits behind him. Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground"
THE UNIVIBES CDS
Noted Hendrix archivist and biographer Caesar Glebbeek published a series of CDs available only to subscribers to his "Univibes" magazine. Despite their bootleg-like quality, they were approved for release by Alan Douglas, so for that, they merit inclusion here.
Profits donated to the Chernobyl Children's Trust - Respect !
CALLING LONG DISTANCE
Released 1992 (UniVibes)
The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Tivoli Garden, Stockholm 1967), Little Miss Lover (alternate), Foxy Lady (Vittus TV Studios 11-10-67 ), Catfish Blues (Vittus TV Studios 11-10-67 ), Interview, Purple Haze (live Ottawa 19/03/68), Fire (Miami Pop Festival 18/05/68 /Getting My Heart Back Together Again (Miami Pop Festival 18/05/68, Spanish Castle Magic (Winterland,11/10/68), Slow Walkin' Talk (Robert Wyatt with Jimi), Instrumental Improvisation (studio), Hey Baby (The Land Of The New Rising Sun) K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen 03/09/70, Red House (K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen 03/09/70).
A very interesting collection of rarities with varying sound quality. The rarely performed "Midnight Lamp" is great but vocals and drums are rather faint. "Little Miss Lover" sounds like an early acetate mix (all crackles and hiss) and it features a different vocal and guitar track to the "Axis" version. The superb "Catfish Blues" was recorded at the Vittus TV studios in Holland. Caesar Glebbeek later supplied the master tape to Alan Douglas for inclusion on the album "Jimi Hendrix: Blues".
"Foxy Lady" (Vittus TV again) ) and "Purple Haze" (Ottawa 68) are total Experience freak outs. Great stuff. The two Miami Pop Festival numbers are good quality recordings and "Fire" breaks the routine with some great soloing from Jimi over the usual rhythm passages. In introducing "Getting My Heart Back Together Again", Jimi says that it is only their second performance of the song (two more songs from the Miami show can be found on the bootleg "1968 A.D.").
"Spanish Castle Magic" is taken from the gigs of the night before the version that had appeared on "Live At Winterland" and is equally good. "Slow Walkin' Talk" features Jimi on bass with Soft Machine member Robert Wyatt (on vocals, drums and keyboards). Rather than a spontaneous jam it is an actual song which later became Wyatt's "Soup Song").
The studio "Instrumental Improvisation" is a brief and meandering riff with just guitar and bass (Cox ?).
There is a sort and chaotic interview in there, done in a TV or radio studio just after the release of "Axis", where all concerned seem giddy with excitement.
Like on the opening track, Mitch's drums are again rather faint for the two Copenhagen tracks which were recorded four days after the awful Isle Of Wight gig. In his book, Eddie Kramer said that Jimi gave a strong performance here, but Mitch said in his book that it was worst he had ever heard him play ! Whatever, Univibes chose two fairly good performances for this disc: "Hey Baby" (which fades out as it goes clumsily into "Watchtower") and a "Red House" which is a little shakey but with a strong vocal from Jimi.
"Catfish Blues" - later released on "Blues"
"Spanish Castle Magic" - Later released on "Winterland" (box set)
"Fire" and "Hear My Train A Comin" - Later released on "Miami Pop Festival"
I love this shot of Jimi having fun during a backstage photo session at the Isle Of Fehmarn festival, his last ever live show. He seems in good spirits at a moment in his life when he is reputed to have been very distressed.
Weak typo on all Univibes releases Caesar ! Who cares, you do great things for Jimi. - 8/10
EXP OVER SWEDEN
Released 1994 (Univibes)
Can You See Me (Tivoli Gardens, Stockholm 24/05/67), Killing Floor, Foxy Lady, Catfish Blues, Hey Joe, Fire, The Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze (Tivoli Gardens, Stockholm 04/09/67), EXP, Up From The Skies, Little Wing (Konserthuset, Stockholm 08/01/68), I Don't Live Today (Lorensburgs Cirkus, Gothenburg 08/01/69).
A nice idea to gather together some rare recordings of some of The Experience's performances in Sweden, featuring mostly a superb Tivoli Gardens gig in September 67. I would give this album four stars if it wasn't for the slightly fuzzy sound quality (compared to a regular industry release). It captures well the excitement of The Experience burning with energy and enthusiasm in their early days (well, almost a year old).
The opening "Can You see Me" has relatively good sound and interesting as it's the only other live recording released "officially", apart from the Monterey version of a month later.
Next there is the band's second set at the same venue just over three months later and just the night before the Radiohuset radio show that was released on "Stages - 67". As I said, it's a great, highly charged performance and comes across well despite the low-fi sound quality. The climax of "Purple Haze" is sheer feedback carnage.
Three fascinating tracks follow, from the Stora Salen Konserthuset in January 68. Incredibly, Jimi and Mitch do "EXP" on stage just like on "Axis" before the band go into an immaculately sung "Up from The Skies" (the only known live performances of the two numbers). Very poor sound on the latter however. "Little Wing" is the first known live recording of the song. Then things get wild again as "I Don't Live Today" recorded exactly one year later at Gothenburg, closes the disc in a torrent of improvisation.
A close up photo from The Saville Theatre in 1967 - 6/10
JIMI IN DENMARK
Released 1995 (Univibes)
Catfish Blues (Tivolis Koncertsal, 07/01/68), Tax Free/Interview/Fire/Voodoo Child (Slight Return)/Foxy Lady/Spanish Castle Magic (Falkoner Centret, 10/01/69), Freedom (K.B. Hallen,03/09/70).
Sound quality isn't too bad here, the vocals are rather faint but Jimi's guitar comes over well and you can hear Mitch's cymbols. The CD opens with a nice "Catfish Blues" from a 1968 performance in Denmark but he bulk of the content here is from a performance at the Falkoner Centret in early 1969. Jimi was evidently on top form here. That "Tax Free" is excellent even if at the end he seems to loose a little direction. "Spanish Castle Magic" is terrific and we hear Jimi going into a totally wild improvisation with some screeching feedback sustain.
The last track, "Freedom", is from the K.B. Hallen in 1970 (two other songs fom the gig were on "Calling Long Distance"). It was one of the better concerts of the last tour but this particular song is pretty rough.
The interview with The Experience is a load of fun as Jimi tries to help along an interviewer who is more like an awestruck fan than a journalist. At this stage, they had already decided that they would separate after the European and US tours. Relations were strained but here they seem in great spirits and as brotherly as in the early days. Noel's humourous interludes have everyone in stitches and he keeps yelling out that there is no beer to drink.
A photo from one of Jimi's Denmark appearences I beleive. - 7/10
This disc is still available for Univibes Magazine subscribers (see my Links). The concert tracks were put out recently on Radioactive Records as "Live In Copenhagen" (see "Unofficial "section).
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"No sun coming through my
window. Feel like I'm sitting at the bottom of a grave"