Jimi Hendrix (RIP)

Band members                              Related acts

- Jimi Hendrix (RIP 1971) -- vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass

- Mitch Mitchell -- drums, percussion

- Noel Redding (RIP) -- bass


  posthumous support 1972 (War Hero)

- Billy Cox -- bass

- Mitch Mitchell -- drums

- Noel Redding -- bass


  posthumous support (1975) (Midnight Lightening)

- Bob Babbit -- bass

- Vivian Cherry -- backing vocals

- Buddy Lucas -- harmonica

- Jimmy Maelen -- percussion

- Barbara Massey -- backing vocals

- Jeff Mironov -- guitar 

- Lance Quinn -- guitar 

- Allan Schwartzberg -- drums, percussion

- Maeretha Stewart -- backing vocals


- Noel Redding (solo efforts)



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Get That Feeling

Company: Capitol

Catalog: T-2856

Year: 1967

Country: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: mono pressing

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4853

Price: SOLD $40.00



I'm certainly no Hendrix expert, but as I understand the story during 1964-66 Hendrix was a member of soulster Curtis Knight's touring band.  At the time Knight was managed by Ed Chalpin who subsequently took an interest in Hendrix, signing him to a solo contract.  That contract gave Chalpin rights to a series of demos and jam sessions featuring Knight and Hendrix.  When Hendrix hit the big time, Chalpin wasted no time digging out those tapes, eventually leasing them to Capitol and any other label that was willing to pay his asking price.


Released in the wake of Hendrix's commercial breakthrough, Capitol marketing executives clearly knew what they were doing putting Hendrix image on the cover of 1967's "Get That Feeling".  You have to wonder how many folks bought this album under the impression it was a true Hendrix LP only to discover that they'd really bought a compilation of early Curtis Knight material with little or no Hendrix content.  Like the old adage says, buyer beware ...  In spite of the Hendrix cover photo this 1967 curiosity is really a Curtis Knight effort.  Knight handles all of the vocals with Hendrix's participation limited to sideman though his playing is quite good on a couple of tracks.  Produced by Chalpin, the album doesn't have much in the way of biographical information, but judging by the material, and performances the eight tracks were apparently drawn from a series of 1965-1966 Knight sessions.  The sound quality isn't great (most of the collection has a distant and hollow sound), but it is better than lots of other stuff in Hendrix's extensive catalog.  For his part Knight actually sounds pretty good working his way through a mix of R&B ('No Business'), soul ('Welcome Home') and rock ('Strange Things'). Giving credit where due, a couple of songs like 'How Would You Feel' and 'Hush Now'  actually generate a bit of artistic heat with Hendrix clearly working to perfect some of his breakthrough moves. If the sound quality had been a little better, this would actually be one of Hendrix's better peripheral releases.  Even with the limitations discussed, the set's worth hearing. 


"Get That Feeling" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) How Would You Feel   (Ed Curtis) - 3:11

2.) Simon Says   (Ed Curtis) - 3:14

3.) Get That Feeling   (Ed Curtis - Ed Gregory) - 10:02


(side 2)

1.) Hush Now    (Ed Curtis) - 3:15

2.) Welcome Home   (Ed Curtis) - 3:34

3.) Gotta Have a New Dress   (Ed Curtis) - 3:03

4.) No Business   (Ed Curtis) - 2:27

5.) Strange Things   (Ed Curtis) - 2:56




Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Electric Ladyland

Company: Reprise

Catalog: 2RS 6307

Year: 1968

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: double LP; gatefold sleeve; original inner sleeves

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $1.00


Usually double album sets are disappointing.  While not perfect, 1968's "Electric Ladyland" is one of the notable exceptions ...  


Sprawling over four sides and clocking in at well over an hour, these 16 self-produced tracks found Hendrix pursuing a number of different interests.  Material such as the bizarre instrumental opener "... And the Gods Made Love" and the meltdown closer "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" showcased Hendrix's ongoing interest in cutting edge studio effects - tons of multi-tracking, phasing and various sonic treatments.   While lots of folks don't think much of Hendrix's blues moves, "Voodoo Child" (with support from Jack Cassidy and Stevie Winwood) and "Come On (Part 1)" demonstrated he could play the blues as well as anyone.  Perhaps heresy to some, but while much of his reputation was built on freewheeling jams, we'll be the first to tell you that extended pieces like "Rainy Day, Dream Away" and "1983 ... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" simply didn't do much for us.  At least to our ears, Hendrix's commercial moves provide the album highlights; in this case "Crosstown Traffic", his famous cover of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and "House Burning Down".  It may not have been Hendrix's creative zenith, but it remains an all time classic album !!!  


"Electric Ladyland" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) ... And the Gods Made Love (instrumental)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 1:21

2.) Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

3.) Crosstown Traffic   (Jimi Hendrix)

4.) Voodoo Child   (Jimi Hendrix)


(side 2)

1.) Little Miss Strange   (Noel Redding)

2.) Long Hot Summer Night   (Jimi Hendrix)

3.) Come On (Part 1)   (Earl King)

4.) Gypsy Eyes   (Jimi Hendrix)

5.) Burning of the Midnight Lamp   (Jimi Hendrix)


(side 3)

1.) Rainy Day, Dream Away   (Jimi Hendrix)

2.) 1983 ... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)   (Jimi Hendrix)

3.) Moon, Turn the Tides ... Gently Gently Away   (Jimi Hendrix)


(side 2)

1.) Still Raining   (Jimi Hendrix)

2.) House Burning Down   (Jimi Hendrix)

3.) All Along the Watchtower   (Bob Dylan) - 

4.) Voodoo Child (Slight Return)    (Jimi Hendrix)


Postscript, perhaps because it's focused and sports a great fuzz guitar, Noel Redding's "Little Miss Strange" is great.





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Hendrix In the West

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 2049

Year: 1972

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $9.00


Hendrix's unexpected death saw an explosion in the release of posthumous releases, including a flood of live in-concert sets.  Among the first out the door was 1972's "Hendrix In the West".  While former Hendrix manager Michael Jeffrey was the brainchild behind the project, the real credit for the set belong to engineers/producers Eddie Kramer and John Jansen, who managed to take material spanning the 1968-70 timeframe (including two separate Jimi Hendrix Experience lineups) and cobble it into a decent collection.  Technically the album was somewhat of a misnomer.  While the majority of the eight tracks were recorded in California (separate dates at the Berkley Community Center and the San Diego Sports Arena), a couple of tracks ("The Queen" and "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band") were recorded at Hendrix's 1970 Isle of Wight appearance.  So what's worthwhile here?  Well, to our ears it's a series of three covers - "Johnny B Goode", "Blue Suede Shoes" and The Beatles cover. (The album was originally released with a gatefold cover.)


"Hendrix In the West" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) The Queen (British National Anthem)   (traditional) - 

2.) Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band   (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 4:02

3.) Little Wing   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:13

4.) Red House   (Jimi Hendrix) - 13:12


(side 2)

1.) Johnny B Goode   (Chuck Berry) - 4:45

2.) Lover Man   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:05

3.) Blue Suede Shoes   (Carl Perkins) - 4:31

4.) Voodoo Chile   (Jimi Hendrix) - 7:55





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  War Heroes

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 2103

Year: 1972

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record):VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 289

Price: $15.00


Given the flood of posthumous Hendrix material (much of it abject crap),, 1972's 'War Heroes" was one of the exceptions to the rule, garnering decent accolades from critics and fans.  The third official posthumous Hendrix LP, the collection was compiled by Eddie Kramer and John Jansen with the ten tracks reflected a hodge-podge of material stretching from 1967's 'Highway Chile' up to 1970's '3 Little Bears'.  As you'd expect, the material bounced all over the place in terms of quality.  'Peter Gunn' and 'Catastrophe' were little more than throwaway studio jams never meant to be heard.  At the other end of the spectrum 'Bleeding Heart' and the instrumental 'Midinight' were release ready.  Actually quite a bit of it had previously been released - 'Highway Chile' was a 1967 'B' side, 'Stepping Stone' was released as a 1970 single shortly before Hendrix's death.  I'm certainly not a Hendrix-ologist, but the most interesting tracks were the three songs apparently planned for Hendrix's never completed double album studio set "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" - 'Stepping Stone', 'Izabella', and 'Beginnings'.


- There are a bunch of different versions of 'Bleeding Heart' (it was most recently included on 2010's "Valleys of Neptune"), but this up-tempo take is probably my favorite.  Nowhere near as bluesy as the Elmore James original, or some of the Hendrix live versions, but this one shows off a nice blend of Hendrix pyrotechnics and his more commercial aspirations.  I can understand why Reprise tapped it as a single.   You tube has a goofy video Sony made in support of the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COsVgbAJ8B8    rating: **** stars

- 'Highway Chile' was another nice blend of Hendrix's bluesy moves and his more commercial ambitions.  Hendrix's screaming guitar riff is simply killer - one of my favorites.  Interestingly the song had actually seen daylight earlier, as the flip side to the 19xx single 'The Wind Cries Mary'.  rating: *** stars

- Yeah, it wasn't much more than a focused jam session, but I've always loved the tone Hendrix got out of his guitar on the instrumental 'Tax Free'.   rating: **** stars

- I remember reading somewhere that one of the first songs Hendrix learned on the guitar was the Peter Mancini's 'Peter Gunn' theme which I guess explains why it's ion the album.  While it has the distinctive Hendrix touch, personally, I didn't think this one was all that great.   rating: *** stars

- A brief throwaway jam, 'Catastrophe' was a needless use of space.   Other than to pad the album and show that Hendrix could sing in a flat tone, I have no idea why it was here.   rating: ** stars

- 'Stepping Stone' was an interesting choice.   Credited to Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys, Reprise briefly released the track as a 1970 single:   ('Stepping Stone'' b/w 'Izabella' (Reprise catalog number 0905).  



After Hendrix complained about the mix, Reprise pulled the 45 making it a sought after collectable. Interestingly the 'War Hero' version was modestly different.  Featured on the single, drummer Buddy Miles was replaced by Mitch Mitchell on this version (if you're a drummer you can hear the differences.  Hendrix also seems to have added some additional guitar fills to the "War Hero' version.  Regardess, the song's always struck me as sounded like the band was playing at hyper-speed (it actually sounded like the master tape was being played at the wrong speed).  Not bad, but hardly my favorite Hendrix tune.    rating: **** stars

- I don't know anything about it's history, but the instrumental 'Midnight' was one of the album highlights.  Amazing soloing on this one with the rest of the band simply holding on for their dear livesI don't rate a lot of stuff 5 stars, but this is one of them !     rating: ***** stars

- Featuring the original Jimi Hendrix Experience line-up,  '3 Little Bears' was apparently recorded durng the "Electric Ladyland" sessions.  In truth it wasn't much more than Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell nad Nowl Redding goofing around in the studio, but 'song was simply a blast to hear.  How anyone could toss off such classic riffs with so little effort is just a mystery ...   rating: **** stars

- Penned by drummer Mitchell,  the instrumental 'Beginnings' was the album's lone non-original.  Musically it sounded like a couple of discrete tunes stitched together.  Certainly not a bad effort (Mitchell got considerably more spotlight than he was normally accorded), but not a definitive Hendrix performance.  rating: ***  stars

- 'Izabella' was another track that caught Hendrix at his best; mixing hard rock moves with a catchy and commercial sound that also included a subtle anti-war lyric.  Yeah he's a guitar hero, but damn the man could sing !   rating: **** stars


No, it wasn't the perfect posthumous collection, but to my ears well over half of the tracks were simply great - you didn't need to be a hardcore fan to enjoy material like 'Bleeding Heart', 'Midnight' and the blazing 'Izabella'.   Without a great deal of promotion, the album sold pretty well in the States, hitting # 48 on the pop charts.


"War Heroes" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Bleeding Heart   (Elmore James) - 3:12

2.) Highway Chile   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:34

3.) Tax Free (instrumental)    (Bo Hansson - Janne Karlsson) - 4:58

4.) Peter Gunn (instrumental)   (Henry Mancini) - 2:20

5.) Catastrophe   (JImi Hendrix) 

6.) Stepping Stone   (JImi Hendrix) - 4:11


(side 2)

1.) Midnight (instrumental)   (Jimi Hendrix)  - 5:35

2.) 3 Little Bears   (Jimi Hendrix) - 4:16

3.) Beginnings   (MItch Mitchelll) - 4:13

4.) Izabella   (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:51



Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Loose Ends ...

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 3801 129

Year: 1973

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG/ VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 6050

Price: SOLD $20.00


Every now and then the music business abides by the truth-in-advertising laws and 1973's "Loose Ends ..." stands as a perfect example.  Compiled by former Hendrix manager Michael Jeffery, musically these eight tracks were a true hodgepodge of studio odds and ends with the oldest stretching back to July 1967 ('The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice'), the most recent effort being the leadoff track  'Coming Down Hard on Me Baby' which had been recorded in July 1970.  Whereas up to this point Reprise Records management had shown no concern with the Jeffrey's four earlier posthumous Hendrix releases, citing concern for the poor quality of the material, this time around they refused to release the album in the States or Canada, though that didn't stop Polydor Records from acquiring rights and releasing it throughout the rest of the world.  Having heard those earlier releases, I can tell you this one really wasn't that much worse.  In fact, by my count four of the eight tracks were worth spinning more than once,  That's a pretty high winning ratio even for a studio set !


- Due in large measure to the fact it was one of the more complete and finished performances, 'Coming Down Hard on Me Baby' was one of the standout performances.  That wasn't to say it was anywhere near a classic Hendrix performance.  Falling somewhere between studio jam and standard blues-rocker, on one of his studio albums it wouldn't made much of an impression, but surrounded by the rest of these outtakes and castoffs, it was okay.   rating: *** stars

- While it was billed as a cover of 'Blue Suede Shoes', the fact of the matter is this one was nothing but stoned in-studio gibberish with Hendrix going on and on trying to get Buddy Miles to come up with the backbeat pattern he had in his mind.  The first half of the track was a total waste of time unless you really felt the need to hear a stoned Hendrix mumbling on and on.  When he actually started jamming the results were at least worth a spin.   rating: ** stars

- 'Jam 292' was a faceless, bluesy instrumental jam.  Even with the Hendrix solo, you've heard far better at your local redneck bar.   rating: ** stars

- The earliest performance on the album (1967), 'The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice' was the most psychedelic and enjoyable song on the set.  This one would have slotted nicely on one of the first three studio albums.  In fact my only complaint about this one had to do with the voices that popped up on the backing tracks - they simply served to distract from the rest of the song.   rating: **** stars

- I'm not sure why, but like The Byrds, Hendrix seemed to have an affinity for Bob Dylan covers and while 'The Drifter's Escape' may not have been as impressive as 'All Along the Watchtower' it came pretty darn close.  Another album highlight.  Only complaint here was the abrupt fade out.   rating: **** stars

- Even though it initially recalled 'Dolly Dagger', I'll admit to liking the first part of the slinky rocker 'Burning Desire'.  The song also featured a standout Hendrix solo,  My big problem with this one was it degenerated into a formless bluesy jam that seemed to go on forever, before returning to the main melody at the end, and the sound quality was abysmal.  The song sounded like it had been recorded over a long distance phone line.  Shame.   rating: *** stars

- Sounding like a throwaway studio jam, 'I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man' was at least fun to hear.  Keeping it fairly simple and straightforward, Hendrix and company sounded like they were simply having a good time on this one.   rating: *** stars

- Just Hendrix and his guitar, the brief instrumental 'Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)' served as another album highlight.  To my ears this song fragment was all the more enjoyable and powerful for its pure simplicity.  rating: **** stars



Sad to say, but even Hendrix looked tired (or thoroughly stoned) on this one ...  check out the back cover photo of the guitarist.  A couple of others folks have already said it - unless you're a Hendrix fanatic you don't need this one.  


"Loose Ends ..." track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Coming Down Hard on Me Baby   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

2.) Blue Suede Shoes  (Carl Perkins) - 

3.) Jam 292 (instrumental)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

4.) The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam's Dice   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

5.) The Drifter's Escape   (Bob Dylan) - 


(side 2)

1.) Burning Desire   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

2.) I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man   (Willie Dixon) - 

3.) Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

 Barclay catalog 80 491            UK pressing             Contour catalog CN 2067


The album was released with a bunch of different covers, including the wild French and original UK  versions seen above.  The material has also been repackaged a couple of times, including a 1983 UK package on the Contour label with the clever title "The Jimi Hendrix Album".   



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival: 

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 2029

Year: 1970

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2287

Price: $15.00


From a marketing perspective "Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival" was a real curiosity.  Other than the fact both Hendrix and Redding had passed on, it was hard to see why Reprise decided to release a split album.  Musically they were about as far apart from one another as possible.  The story is that by 1970 Reprise management was getting increasingly desperate for new Jimi Hendrix material, latching on to the then three year old Monterey performances as sort of a stopgap marketing measure to keep the Hendrix brand alive. The label's timing proved remarkable given Hendrix would be dead a couple of weeks after the album was released.   The album was also interesting for having brought together two artists with difference audiences, but different labels - Hendrix being on Reprise, while Redding was signed to Stax/Atlantic.   


While The Jimi Hendrix Experience had generated plenty of buzz among the American music community, when they appeared at June,1967's Monterey Pop Festival, the group remained all but unknown to most American audiences.  Nevertheless The Experience's reputation saw them scheduled to play on the climatic fourth night of the Festival.  The Grateful Dead preceded Hendrix, while The Who were initially scheduled to follow The Experience.  Aware of the Experience's live power, Pete Townshend and company balked at following Hendrix and after flipping a coin, were given the slot ahead of the Grateful Dead.  That left The Mamas and the Papas with the unenviable job of following The Experience and closing out the Festival.


Curiously, at the Monterey Festival Hendrix and company performed a nine song set (basically capturing their standard live show and what would appear on their forthcoming studio debut), but  the album only captured four of the tunes - missing in action were 'Killing Floor', 'Foxy Lady', 'Hey Joe', 'The Wind Cries Mary' and 'Purple Haze.'  I've always wondered why Reprise didn't go with an all live Hendrix set.   Speculation on my part, but perhaps they weren't sure how well a single artist live set would do in the marketplace.  As for these four performances; about all I can say is devastating.   The in-between chatter was even cooler.

"Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival Otis Redding / The Jimi Hendrix Experience" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Like a Rolling Stone   (Bob Dylan) - 6:23   rating: **** stars

There seem to be dozens of version of this one out there, but I've got to admit a fondness for the live Monterey Pop Festival version.  Reflecting Hendrix's American debut, it's easy to understand his apparently nervousness, and  It takes him about a minute to get through the intro comments, but when Hendrix and company get going ...  wow !!!
2.) Rock Me Baby   (B,B. King - Joe Josea) - 3:00  
rating: **** stars

It's funny how many people have never heard the classic B.B. King original.  Of course, the Hendrix cover totally retooled the song and his solo is ...  well beyond description.    
3.) Can You See Me   (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:30  
rating: **** stars

The blazing 'Can You See Me' was a perfect example of why The Who didn't want to follow Hendrix and company onstage.  Two and a half minutes encapsulating everything that made Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell,  Noel Redding stars.   
4.) Wild Thing   (Chip Taylor) - 7:30  
rating: **** stars

Opening up Hendrix promising to sacrifice something he loves for the crowd (if they only knew what was to come), and a blazing feedback segment, this may be one of the most famous versions of this rock classic ever recorded.  It's certainly one of the slinkiest ever recorded with the freak-out ending, culminating with Hendrix setting his Strat on fire and establishing his reputation as a megastar.  


Introduced by Tommy Smothers, following a set by Booker T. and the MGs, Otis Redding closed out the third day of the Festival, running through a brief five song set (captured in its entirety on the album).  Unlike Hendrix who went through most of his live repertoire, Redding found himself forced to play an abbreviated set when the earlier acts ran long and Festival organizers were forced to end the performance before they violated their performance permit.   You can hear Redding referring to the situation  at the end of 'Try A Little Tenderness'.


With backing from Booker T. and the MGs, the collection basically served as an abbreviated "best of" collection.  Having just finished a European tour (all five of these songs appear on his "Live In Europe" LP), Redding and the MGs were in fine form, effortlessly roaring through performances at what sounded like a hyper-speed.  There wasn't a bad performance across the five songs.  Redding seemingly knew he was being given a wonderful opportunity to market his brand, literally exploding onstage and never looking back.


(side 2)

1.) Shake   (Sam Cooke) - 2:37   rating: **** stars

If you've never heard an act take over a stage in ten seconds, then I suggest you listen to 'Shake'.   Redding sounds almost demonic in his performance, pushing the band to churn the song out at what almost sounds like hyper-speed.   Stunning.     everybody say it ...  "Shake".
2.) Respect   (Otis Redding) - 3:22   
rating: **** stars

I still smile every time I hear Redding intoning how Aretha Franklin (her name never mentioned), took 'Respect' away from him.    If you thought 'Shake' was quick, you need to hear this one.   The band literally sound like they're amped up on speed.    Not my favorite version, but still amazing.
3.) I've Been Loving You Too Long  (Otis Redding - Jerry Butler) - 3:32  
rating: **** stars

"This is the love crowd ..."  Again, how can you not smile.   Beautiful version of this Redding classic with Cropper turning in some of his instantly recognizable guitar.   
4.) I Can't Get No) Satisfaction   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) -  3:21 
rating: **** stars

You had to wonder what the white, hippy, Monterey audience was thinking about around this point in time - Not only could this guy kill a soul song, but he could literally decimate a rock and roll classic.  One of the album highlights.   
5.) Try A Little Tenderness  (Harry Woods - Jimmy Campbell - Reg Connelly) - 4:40   
rating: **** stars

There aren't many songs that can make me stop in my tracks and listen ...   Redding's performance on' 'Try A Little Tenderness' is one of them.  Kudos to Donald Duck Dunn and the rest of the back band for keeping it straight and simple.


I've always found it curious that today critics tend to diss the set, pointing to it as being more a historical document than a slice of classic music.   About all I can suggest is they're full of crap.  Play this album for someone who doesn't know Hendrix, or Redding (admittedly that may be hard to do), and sit back and watch their reactions.  Or, play if for someone who hasn't heard either act in years.  It's a wonderful collection, deserving to be recognized as one of the best concert releases out there.




Genre: rock

Rating: * (1 star)

Title:  Jimi Hendrix At His Best

Company: Sagapan

Catalog: 6313

Year: 1972

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $10.00




This one's a real piece of work ...Mike Ephron was a New York-based keyboard player who'd made a minor reputation for himself in avant garde/jazz circles.  The late-1960s found him becoming friendly with Jimi Hendrix, resulting in a series of jam sessions at Ephron's New York City apartment.  Eprhon conveniently had access to a small Sony recorded (though judging by the sound quality, he didn't have a clue how to effectively use the equipment).  Released by the small Sagapan label in the wake of Hendrix's death, "Jimi Hendrix at His Best" is hardly essentially listening.  First off, the set's liner notes are incredibly self-serving, leaving the impression that Hendrix wanted Ephron to release the material (doubtful).  Equally appalling, all five tracks are credited to Ephron who claims they were recorded in 1964.  There's absolutely no way these were recorded in 1964!.  So what's here?  Well what you get is a series if five extended jams.  Only one ("She Went To Bed with My Guitar") has a vocal, leaving the other four pieces to lurch between pseudo-raga jams and mind-numbing boredom.  Be warned, this is for Hendrix completists only.  Also note there are at least three volumes of this stuff.


"Jimi Hendrix At His Best" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) She Went To Bed with My Guitar   (Mike Ephron) - 

2.) Free Thunder (instrumental)   (Mike Ephron) - 

3.) Cave Man Bells (instrumental)   (Mike Ephron) - 


(side 2) 

1.) Strokin' a Baby On Each Hip (instrumental)   (Mike Ephron) - 

3.) Baby Chicken Strut (instrumental)   (Mike Ephron) - 




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience"  Volume Two

Company: Ember

Catalog: NR 5061

Year: 1973

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6214

Price: $10.00



So, I'm simply not a big enough Hendrix fan to care whether these tracks were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on February 18th, 1969, or February 24th, 1969 (the liner notes claim the former, the latter is the date attributed to the performances by Hendrix scholars).  Regardless of which date you subscribe to, these were among the final performances played by Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding an The Experience.  Anyhow, if you can get over the hideous artwork and the bizarre title (officially "More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience"  Volume Two")  these seven tracks proved surprisingly impressive.  Yeah, the sound quality wasn't particularly inspiring, but Hendrix sounded good throughout, turning in some dynamic performances on 'Fire' and 'Purple'.  The two 'new' tracks Room Full of Mirrors'' and 'Bleeding Heart' were mildly interesting, but hardly essential to the casual fan.  I will say that seeing the film clips for some of these performances (I've provided YouTube links below), make them even more impressive.


- I've always thought 'Little Ivey' was one of Hendrix's prettiest compositions and on this version he keeps it fairly simply and focused.  A wonderful example of how commercial Hendrix and company could be.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3YBf8Lo4E4    rating: **** stars

- I don't know how much post production work went into these tapes (I suspect little, or none), but this live version of 'Voodoo Chile' was simply killer.  Hendrix the singer seldom sounded as good and you'd be hard pressed to find a better blues-tribute song.  To my ears it was almost as good as the studio jam version found on the "Electric Ladyland" album.  Only complaint was that the song faded out just as it really started cooking.  rating: **** stars

- The first real disappointment, to my ears  'Room Full of Mirrors' sounded like a throwaway jam, more than a full fledged song.  It certainly wasn't very long, fading out just as Hendrix was starting to solo ...  Charles Cross borrowed the song title for a Hendrix biography he penned.   There are actually a couple of far superior versions including this one with a darker and fuller arrangement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX7MuhDS2ns   rating: ** stars

- Sped up a bit and stripped of the famous harmony vocals, this version of 'Fire' took a little while to get use to, but ultimately acquitted itself with honors.  You could hear Mitchell and Redding doing everything in their power to keep up with Hendrix.   rating: **** stars

- In spite of some bursts of unintended feedback, the live take on 'Purple Haze' came off as another winner, though the transition into Chip Taylor's 'Wild Thing' was a bit abrupt and clumsy.   Another nice YouTube clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4xgunddKWM   rating: *** stars

- Stripped down to their garage rock core, The Experience seldom sounded as good as on the bruising 'Wild Thing'.  That left you to wonder why the song faded out almost before it began.  What the hell ...    rating: *** stars

- I've always been puzzled by Hendrix-philes who rant and rave about Hendrix's blues roots.  To my ears, much of his blues work was fairly dull, though this cover of Elmore James 'Bleeding Heart" (erroneously credited as a Hendrix original), was a bit better due in large part to the amazing sounds Hendrix managed to coax out of his Strat.  Here's another YouTube clip from the concert:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFiZzmFN5Mc   rating: *** stars 


Given Ember's reputation as a throwaway budget label, this was far better than I expected.


"More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience"  Volume Two" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Little Ivey

2.) Voodoo Chile   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

3.) Room Full of Mirrors   (Jimi Hendrix) - 


(side 2)

1.) Fire   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

2.) Purple Haze   (Jimi Hendrix) - 

3.) Wild Thing   (Taylor) - 

4.) Bleeding Heart   (Jimi Hendrix) - 


Genre: rock

Rating: * (1 star)

Title:  In the Beginning

Company: Ember

Catalog: NR 5068

Year: 1973

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: UK pressing; gatefold sleeve; textured sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6051

Price: $20.00


Jimi Hendrix's catalog is a mess, made even worse by the fact he had stuff released all over the world and bootlegs and gray market releases have become a cottage industry.  Released by the English Ember label, 1973's "In the Beginning" (not to be confused with a US set with the same name), supposedly featured a 1967 live set recorded in London's Flamingo Club (which was better known as a jazz forum).  Ironically in introducing Joe Tex's 'You Got What It Takes' you'll hear someone say 'You're being recorded live. We're making a record hear at the fabulous [George's] Club 20 in Hackensack New Jersey."  Given that comment, I'd assume that's where the set was really recorded.  That also means that while this set was billed as a Hendrix album, it was actually a Curtis Knight and the Squires effort with Hendrix's participation largely limited to lead guitar and backing vocals.  Listening to the vocals on tracks like 'You Got Me Running' and 'Money' and the spoken word song introductions, the bulk of vocals showcased on the set were clearly Curtis Knight.   Hendrix seems to have handled lead vocals on the cover of Joe Tex's 'Walking the Dog'.  The audience sounds also appear to have been added in post-production.  


Curtis Knight (center) and the Squires December 1965 (Hendrix on the left)


- Even though the opener 'You Got Me Running' was listed as a Curtis Mayfield composition, I'm pretty sure the song was actually a cover of Jimmy Reed's 'Baby What You Want Me to Do'.  Regardless, if was a decent, if somewhat standard blues number.  Whoever handled the lead vocals, it sure wasn't Hendrix, though the stinging guitar solo sure sounded like Hendrix.   rating: ** stars

- The cover of the rock chestnut 'Money' was professional and probably sounded even better in a small club through it was hardly the most dynamic version you've ever encountered.  Again, the vocal sure wasn't a Hendrix performances.   rating: ** stars

- Another decent cover 'Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go' was notable for hideous sound quality.  The performance literally sounded like it had been recorded on someone's small cassette recorder   rating: ** stars

- Kicked along by a nice Hendrix guitar solo, their cover of Joe Tex's 'You Got What It Takes' was probably the side one highpoint.   rating: *** stars

- 'Sweet Little Angel" featured the band on a hardcore electric blues number. Hendrix guitar was nice enough, but the frenetic drumming provided the song's true heartbeat.   rating: *** stars

- Another track suffering from horrendous sound quality, the band's cover of  Joe Tex's 'Walk the Dog' was distinguished by Hendrix's instantly recognizable vocal.   rating: *** stars

- Kicked along by a hideous sax solo, the '50s-styled blues ballad 'There Is Something On Your Mind' was barely listenable.  Crappy blues song with super band recording quality.    rating: * star

- Showcasing Hendrix's screeching guitar, the instrumental 'Hard Night' sound like a classic slice of early 1960s surf music.  Probably my favorite performance.   rating: *** stars


Again, I'm no Hendrix expert, but his work with Curtis Knight has been repackaged countless times and unless you're a hardcore Hendrix fan you can probably live without it.


"In the Beginning." track listing:

(side 1)

1.) You Got Me Running   (Curtis Mayfield) - 

2.) Money   (Berry Gordy Jr. - J Bradford)

3.) Let's Go Let's Go Let's Go   (Hank Ballard)
4.) You Got What It Takes   (Joe Tex)


(side 2)

1.) Sweet Little Angel   (B.B. King - Taub) 

2.) Walkin' the Dog   (Rufus Thomas) 

3.) There Is Something On Your Mind   (unknown)

4.) Hard Night (instrumental)   (Ed Dantes)




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 star)

Title:  Midnight Lightning

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 

Year: 1975

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6227

Price: $15.00



I remember "Midnight Lightning" coming out while I was in high school (showing my age here) and being amused by the furious media debate that accompanied it over whether it was appropriate to 'soup up' posthumous Hendrix albums with extensive post-production work (to some extent the debate had actually been raging since the release of 1972 "War Heroes").  As I recall hardcore Hendrix fans were furious with producers Alan Douglas and Tony Bongiovi for deleting some of the original backing tracks and bringing in a slew of sessions players to record backing tracks.  Personally I never could understand the furor over the album since, other than the occasionally lame drumming and the glaring female backing singers (check out 'Gypsy Boy'), most of the post-production work sounded pretty modest and inconsequential to my untrained ears. That said, I'm apparently in the minority here.  Still, given the mini-industry that's grown up in releasing posthumous Hendrix material, this one's really not that bad.  With Douglas having culled material from across the breadth of Hendrix's recording career, by my count at least two thirds of the songs were worth hearing with the title track, 'Trash Man' and his cover of Carl Perkins' 'Blue Suede Shoes' deserving special notice.


- As mentioned, the scorching opening instrumental 'Trash Man' was one of the album highlights.  Great tune and to my ears the post production work really didn't detract.  Even drummer Allan Schwartzberg managed to acquit himself with dignity on this one.   rating: *** stars

- Even though it had some major shortcomings, I've always liked the title track.  Probably the most straightforward commercial can mainstream song on the album, the big problem on this one was Hendrix's vocals came off as being distant and poorly mixed.  The shrill female backing singers didn't exactly help things.   Still, a fun song and I smile every time I hear the "Rover took over ..." lyric.   rating: *** stars

- A pedestrian blues number, initially 'Hear My Train' didn't do a great deal for me and while it still isn't among my favorites, it has grown on me over the years.  It's also the only track to feature Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell.  rating: *** stars

- While this version had kind of an incomplete feel (the female backing singers seem to have been plugged in to fill in dead space), 'Gypsy Boy (New Rising Sun)' (the complete title was found on the inner label0, was one of Hendrix' prettier songs and his guitar work on this one (assuming it was Hendrix) was stellar. rating: **** stars

- I know it was just a throwaway studio jam, but Hendrix's cover of Carl Perkin's chestnut 'Blue Suede Shoes' was probably the album's biggest surprise.  I'm still not sure how he managed to do it, but in Hendrix-fying the track he actually managed to make this one interesting.  Way better than he version found on the "War Heroes" album. rating: **** stars

- Gawd only knows how many live versions of 'Machine Gun' are out there, but in spite of the extensive posthumous tinkering, I think this studio version may be my favorite.  This was simply a blazing performance ...   rating: **** stars

- A slow, plodding, and predictable blues number, most of 'Once I Had a Woman' was pretty forgettable, though the end-of-song guitar pyrotechnics were worth an extra star.   rating: ** stars

- Another repeat lifted from the "War Heroes" album, the Mitch Mitchell penned closing instrumental 'Beginnings' was actually one of the album's more interesting numbers.  Again, I'm not sure if this was Hendrix or one of the hired guns, but the track was quite melodic with what was almost a jazz-rock vibe.  rating: **** stars


For what it's worth, I'd pick this one over the Alan Douglas-produced "Crash Landing" any day of he week and this one's becoming increasingly difficult to locate.


"Midnight Lightning." track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Trash Man (instrumental)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:16

2.) Midnight Lightening   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:52

3.) Hear My Train   (Jimi Hendrix) - 5:16

4.) Gypsy Boy (New Rising Sun)   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:51


(side 2)

1.) Blue Suede Shoes   (Carl Perkins) - 3:28
2.) Machine Gun   (Jimi Hendrix) - 7:27
3.) Once I Had a Woman   (Jimi Hendrix) - 5:44
4.) Beginnings (instrumental)  (Mitch Mitchell) - 3:02



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Jimi Hendrix - La Grande Storia del Rock

Company: Armadno Curcio Editore

Catalog: GSR 80

Year: 19??

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Italian pressing; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4459

Price: $8.00


Apparently part of an extensive Italian series (the back cover lists 100 other albums in the series, with this being # 31), I don't read Italian so I can't tell you anything about this oddity.  Not that it matters since this is another in the seemingly endless series of poorly documented albums that seek to capitalize on the late guitarist's name and reputation.  


I'll be real honest and tell you these eight odds and ends are of marginal interest to anyone other than hardcore Hendrix fans.  I'm not a Hendrix expert, but judging by the titles, these appear to be mid-1960s tracks recorded by Lonnie Youngblood with Hendrix (then known as Jimmy James) serving as little more than a hired gun.  I believe these are the same tracks where there's even debate as to whether Hendrix played on them all.  It's widely believed that many of the solos were dubbed in by a Hendrix imitator after Hendrix had gained notoriety.   Assuming it's actually Hendrix, the man's guitar shines on the leadoff track 'Something You Got' and 'Let the God Sing' (though Youngblood's vocals are another story).  Elsewhere, much of this is needless and mindless jamming ('F.H.I.T.A.' - supposedly featuring a drunk out of his mind Jim Morrison yelling a lyric that he must have been real proud of ...). Also worth mentioning, the sound quality is surprisingly good.  Still, most of you can live without this one.


"Jimi Hendrix - La Grande Storia del Rock" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Something You Got   (Jimi Hendrix) - 4:50

2.) Let the God Sing   (Jimi Hendrix) - 11:17

3.) Goodbye Bessie Mae   (Lonnie Youngblood - Brantley) - 2:25


(side 2)

1.) F.H.I.T.A.    (Brantley) - 8:05

2.) In the Morning   (Brantley) - 2:29

3.) From This Day On   (Farmer - J. Lewis - E. Lewis) - 2:27

4.) Gonna Take Alot   (Farmer - J. Lewis - E. Lewis) -  - 2:28

5.) She's a Fox   (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:38


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Jimi Plays Monterey Original Motion Picture Sound Track

Company: Reprise

Catalog: 1-25358

Year: 1986

Country/State: Seattle, Washington

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6219

Price: $10.00



1986 saw the commercial release of D.A. Pennebaker's film footage of The Jimi Hendrix Experience's performance at the famous June, 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival.   The film entitled "Jimi Plays Monterey" was accompanied by the release of the sound track album "Jimi Plays Monterey Original Motion Picture Sound Track".   Yeah, the air-brushed cover was pathetic and the thought of yet more Hendrix archival material certainly didn't excite me.  But here's the strange thing.  This set serves to remind you how good Hendrix was.


Musically these nine tracks offered up a mixture of material off The Experience's debut album and staples from their live show.  From a discography standpoint, much of this material had already been released.  Four of the nine tracks ('Like a Rolling Stone'. 'Rock Me Baby', 'Can You See Me', and 'Wild Thing') appeared on both 1967's "Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix Love At the Monterey International Pop Festival" and 1970's "Historic Performances Recorded Live at Monterey" while the rest was scattered throughout Hendrix's chaotic posthumous catalog.  Still, hearing the original material together in a unified set including stage patter and an introduction from Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones was inspiring.  That said, you really needed to see the accompanying film to get the full effect.  And what an effect - almost five decades later these performances remain amazing.  


The Jimi Hendrix Experience were a late addition to the festival line-up.  Depending which reference work you rely on, The Beatles (who were on the Monterey Festival Board of Directors), or The Rolling Stones were responsible for convincing festival sponsor John Phillips (of The Mamas and the Papas fame), to add Hendrix to the festival's performance roster.  In spite of massive European successes, in mid-1967 Hendrix was still an unknown to most Americans.  As such adding him to the performance list was a risk for Phillips, while the pressure on Hendrix and company to make a good impression must have been immense.  Adding to the tension was a backstage fight with The Who over which act would open for the other.  Having seen each other perform in England, neither act wanted to go on after the other.  The performance order was finally decided with a coin toss - The Who winning and going on first where their performance culminated with the band trashing their instruments on-stage.  I usually run from hype, but this album is one of those rare exceptions.  Mean and lean, Hendrix, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell were captured in prime form, literally wiping out a laidback audience that had no idea what to expect (they also wiped out Pete Townshend and the Who who had turned in an amazing set right before Hendrix).


- Opening up with a snippet of the band tuning up and Jones to-the-point introduction, Hendrix started of with a blazing cover of Chester Burnette's Killing Floor'.  This was blues, though the hyper-charged rock variant was hardly a format American audiences had ever heard before.  Amazing way to start an album.    rating: **** stars

- As impressive as the introduction was, 'Foxey Lady' was even more hard core.  The focus was clearly on Hendrix, but on this one the trio's secret weapon cam in the form of Mitchell's frenetic drumming.   rating: **** stars 

- "I'd like to bore you for six or seven minutes ..."  Hendrix's cover of Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' may simply be the best Dylan cover ever performed.  Dumbfounding !!!   rating: ***** stars 

- Returning to the blues, to my ears the band's cover of Joe Jesse's 'Rock Me Baby' was the sole side one disappointment.  Not that the performance didn't rock, rather Hendrix seemed to get lost in the song, literally just repeating the title over and over towards the end of the performance.   rating: *** stars

- As Hendrix said in his stage patter, if anyone in the audience had heard of the Jimi Hendrix Experience it was as a result of the single 'Hey Joe'.  Here they pulled out all the stops; Hendrix and company opening up with everything they had.  Tight and focused, the live version simply slays the studio version.  Rock and roll 101 !!!   rating: ***** stars 

- One of the songs featured off of the band's 'Are You Experienced" album, the live version of 'Can You See Me' speeded up the basic track, but otherwise remained true to the studio version.  Another great rocker.  rating: *** stars

- Introduced as the band's next single, 'The Wind Cries Mary' all you need to say is that this was a classic performance.   rating: **** stars

- For anyone who thinks Hendrix is nothing but hype, I suggest checking out 'Purple Haze'.  This may be the 'heaviest' live performance I own.  This one will stand up to virtually any other live performance you can name.  A creative zenith for Hendrix.    rating: **** stars

- Before launching into a cover of The Troggs' 'Wild Thing', Hendrix's brief career overview provided simultaneously poignant and funny and his decision to "sacrifice something I love ..." set the stage for a classic rock moment ...   To be honest, this is the one track that loses impact without the accompanying visuals.  The song started out gangbusters, but the mid-section feedback freak out segment's simply lost without the sight of Hendrix dosing his '65 Strat with lighter fluid and setting it on fire.  If you haven't seen it, here's a YouTube clip of the performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVT8O7mXiIU (the sacrifice starts at 6:15 on the clip - by the way, I wouldn't suggest squirting lighter fluid on a live fire).    rating: ***** stars


Whenever I feel Hendrix overload, this is the set I go back to.  Amazing.


"Jimi Plays Monterey Original Motion Picture Sound Track" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Killing Floor   (Howlin' Wolf) - 3:35

2.) Foxey Lady   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:34

3.) Like a Rolling Stone   (Bob Dylan) - 6:51

4.) Rock Me Baby   (Joe Jesse - B.B. King) - 3:29

5.) Hey Joe   (Billy Roberts) - 4:10


(side 2)

1.) Can You See Me   (Jimi Hendrix) - 2:42

2.) The Wind Cries Mary   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:24

3.) Purple Haze   (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:18

4.) Wild Thing   (Chip Taylor) - 9:10