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The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2013)

Jimi Hendrix review

The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set
Experience Hendrix, 2013
4 discs, 4 hours, 46 minutes

One of the most intriguing guitarists in the history of rock is Jimi Hendrix. The studio recordings released during his lifetime are staples on classic rock stations and will always be revered by those who play the guitar. The left-hander’s name is inevitably mentioned in any discussion of the greatest guitarists; his legacy is secure in the annals of music.

Since his death in 1970, the albums released with Hendrix’s name on them far exceed the output during his lifetime. Some concert recordings and a wealth of unreleased recordings, whether full songs, snippets, or different mixes, make up the majority of these albums. In recent years, Experience Hendrix has reigned in many of the unofficial releases and has made efforts to improve on those worth preserving. The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set, originally released in 2000, has just received the re-issue treatment by Experience Hendrix.

This four-disc box set features a number of live recordings and alternate versions, including some of Hendrix’s most well-known songs. “Purple Haze,” “Little Wing,” and “Hey Joe” are all here, in both the concert and studio setting. Also included are a couple of Bob Dylan covers that made their way into Jimi’s repertoire, “Like A Rolling Stone” and “All Along The Watchtower,” and select performances from some of the world’s most famous venues, including Monterey, Winterland, and Royal Albert Hall. One of my favorite cuts here is the live version of “Purple Haze” from the San Diego Sports Arena in 1969, showing that the guitarist had a great sense of humor as he sings the oft-misheard lyric, “Excuse me while I kiss that guy.”

As with any box set full of previously unreleased materials, there is sure to be some filler. The studio version of the National Anthem should have never seen the light of day, especially after the electrifying rendition at Woodstock. The alternate take of “Hey Joe” begins with Hendrix talking to the engineer as the music plays, and was obviously never meant for public consumption. It and a few other cuts are more of a behind-the-scenes look at what eventually became great songs, a concept that may make a great single disc but feels out of place on a box set like this.

Overall, The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set is a fantastic look at the all-too-short musical career of one of the most influential instrumentalists of the twentieth century. Fans of classic rock and Hendrix in particular should absolutely own this set, but be prepared to make your own playlist that skips the filler once you have ripped it onto your computer.

Disc One:
1. Purple Haze
2. Killing Floor (live)
3. Hey Joe (live)
4. Foxey Lady
5. Highway Chile
6. Hey Joe
7. Title #3
8. 3rd Stone From The Sun
9. Taking Care Of No Business
10. Here He Comes (Lover Man)
11. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
12. If 6 Was 9
13. Rock Me Baby (live)
14. Like A Rolling Stone (live)
15. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (live)
16. The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice

Disc Two:
1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (live)
2. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (live)
3. Little Wing
4. Little Miss Lover
5. The Wind Cries Mary (live)
6. Catfish Blues (live)
7. Bold As Love
8. Sweet Angel
9. Fire
10. Somewhere
11. (Have You Ever Been To) Electric Ladyland
12. Gypsy Eyes
13. Room Full Of Mirrors
14. Gloria
15. Peace In Mississippi
16. It’s Too Bad
17. Star Spangled Banner

Disc Three:
1. Stone Free
2. Like A Rolling Stone (live)
3. Spanish Castle Magic
4. Hear My Train A Comin’
5. Room Full Of Mirrors
6. I Don’t Live Today (live)
7. Little Wing (live)
8. Red House (live)
9. Purple Haze (live)
10. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (live)
11. Izabella

Disc Four:
1. Message To Love
2. Earth Blues
3. Astro Man
4. Country Blues
5. Freedom
6. Johnny B. Goode (live)
7. Lover Man
8. Blue Suede Shoes (live)
9. Cherokee Mist
10. Come Down Hard On Me
11. Hey Baby/In From The Storm (live)
12. Ezy Ryder
13. Night Bird Flying
14. All Along The Watchtower (live)
15. In From The Storm (live)
16. Slow Blues

Learn more about Experience Hendrix.

Purchase The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set.

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Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell and Angels (2013)

Jimi Hendrix review

Jimi Hendrix
People, Hell and Angels
Experience Hendrix, 2013
42 minutes

More than four decades after his death, Jimi Hendrix is still relevant in the world of rock and roll. The number of albums that have been released posthumously featuring the innovative guitarist’s work continues to grow, but not all posthumous records measure up. People, Hell and Angels is an interesting mix of little-known Hendrix songs, and while these particular recordings are not available on other collections, the songs do appear in other forms elsewhere.

The highlights on this record are “Earth Blues,” “Hear My Train A Comin’,” and “Hey Gypsy Boy.” Conversely, the producers would have been wise to omit the noodling of “Easy Blues” from the final release. “Let Me Move You” is interesting as it features saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood on vocals rather than Hendrix; “Mojo Man” also sees the guitarist focus on his instrument while Albert Allen handles the microphone. Since this is a compilation, the other musicians featured on the album vary, including Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, and Mitch Mitchell. Even Stephen Stills makes an appearance as a bassist on “Somewhere.”

Is this a good Jimi Hendrix album? Nearly everything Hendrix recorded was good, so the answer is yes. Is it an essential Hendrix album? Sadly, the answer is no.

Listen to “Earth Blues” below:

Tracklist:
1. Earth Blues
2. Somewhere
3. Hear My Train A Comin’
4. Bleeding Heart
5. Let Me Move You
6. Izabella
7. Easy Blues
8. Crash Landing
9. Inside Out
10. Hey Gypsy Boy
11. Mojo Man
12. Villanova Junction Blues

Learn more about Jimi Hendrix.

Purchase Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell and Angels.

Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix In The West (2011)

The greatest guitarist of all time

Jimi Hendrix
Hendrix In The West
Experience Hendrix, 2011
65 minutes

An expanded reissue of the 1972 release with additional and alternate tracks, Hendrix In The West captures the essence of the concert experience. Several performances are brought together to make this more of a “best of,” as opposed to a single concert, but the tracks chosen are fantastic examples of Hendrix’s brilliance on the guitar.

New to this version are “Fire,” “I Don’t Live Today,” and “Spanish Castle Magic,” all recorded in 1969 at the San Diego Sports Arena. Two other tracks — “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Child” — are replaced by performances from San Francisco and San Diego, repsectively, while the original featured renditions from Royal Albert Hall in London.

Hendrix’s interpretation of “Blue Suede Shoes,” which was actually not a concert performance but an afternoon sound check, is of particular interest. It is a bluesy masterpiece that shows a true genius working the frets. Other highlights include a heartfelt performance of “Little Wing,” a rambunctious “Fire,” and the underrated “Spanish Castle Magic.” The 22-page booklet that comes with the CD showcases a handful of wonderful photographs and a write-up about the album by co-producer John McDermott.

Tracklist:
1. The Queen
2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. Little Wing
4. Fire
5. I Don’t Live Today
6. Spanish Castle Magic
7. Red House
8. Johnny B. Goode
9. Lover Man
10. Blue Suede Shoes
11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

The Band:
Jimi Hendrix (guitars, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Billy Cox (bass on 1, 2, 8, 9, 10)
Noel Redding (bass on 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11)

Learn more about Jimi Hendrix.

Purchase Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix in the West.

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