"Hendrix acolytes have been inundated with outtake releases since day one (at last count there were over 160). The boom in CD technology just made it easier to scoop up and digitise any studio reels that could be found. Compare that to the quintet of original vinyl (Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, Smash Hits and Band Of Gypsys) and the mind boggles at how an artist who only recorded for four years could possibly amass so much unreleased material. After his untimely death in September 1970, the floodgates well and truly opened. Posthumous albums such as Rainbow Bridge and Hendrix In The West are still essential, but no one in their right mind would give a passing glance to disgraces the likes of Woke Up This Morning & Found Myself Dead. We've had some fine stabs at compiling the lost Hendrix: Live & Unreleased and the incredible, 56-track, purple-boxed Jimi Hendrix Experience. But nothing has really shown how he developed his music. In The Studio does just that with aplomb. Using original tapes sourced from the Michael Jeffrey Estate (a private contact says a skip in New York!), on Disc 10 you can hear just how enthusiastic and fast Hendrix was recording Are You Experienced. Some of the versions of Can You See Me and Fire contain such succulent psych guitar that you're left begging for more. Disc One covers at the Axis sessions, and Hendrix's focus in Olympic Studios is clear. The best disc has a first proper Castles Made Of Sand outtake and two incredibly psychedelic versions of Little One: a Hendrix sitar-drone jam with Traffic (allegedly including Brian Jones). History states that Chas Chandler couldn't stand the Electric Ladyland sessions once they moved to New York City. Yawning jams with Hendrix gobbling LSD and snorting cocaine drove him back to England. At least half the set is taken up with these: a 36-minute Voodoo Chile, and one disc almost dedicated to Rainy Day Dream Away are for fanatics alone. The sleevenotes, attributed to Jon Kirkman, are full of howlers and should be treated with caution. One track, Closer To The Truth (March 1969) is credited to Hendrix as a ‘sound collage'. A call to Kathy Etchingham confirmed that it's just a stoned Hendrix reciting poetry to a New Animals record. But in terms of sound quality and exhaustiveness, In The Studio is the best Hendrix outtakes set extant."
1. Wait Until Tomorrow
2. Spanish Castle Magic
3. Golden Rose (One Rainy Wish)
4. Ain't No Telling #1
5. South Saturn Delta
6. Little One #1
7. Little One #2
8. Castles Made Of Sand
9. Ain't No Telling #2
10. She's So Fine (Redding)
11. Up From The Skies
12. Bold As Love
13. Little Miss Lover
14. Waterfall (May This Be Love)
15. Have You Ever Heard
1. Valleys Of Neptune
2. Lover Man
3. Machine Gun
4. Trying To Be (Stepping Stone)/Earth Blues
5. Stepping Stone
6. Untitled Guitar Improvisation
7. Keep On Grooving (Midnight Lightning)
8. Come Down Hard On Me Baby
9. Drifters Escape
10. Belly Button Window
1. Drifting (try out)
2. Keep On Groovin' Drifting (try out)
3. Midnight Lightnin' (try out)
4. Freedom (alternate take)
5. Cherokee Mist/In From The Storm
6. Valleys Of Neptune (instrumental)
7. Lil Dog Of Mine/Heaven Has No Sorrow (session)
8. Valleys Of Neptune (session)
9. Improvisation/Drifting(try Out)
10. Had To Cry Today
11. Angel (intro instrumental #1)
12. Angel (complete instrumental)
13. Angel (intro instrumental #2)
14. Drifting (alternate take)
15. Angel (alternate version complete with vocals)
16. Belly Button Window (instrumental)
1. Lover Man
2. Message To Love
3. Izabella (take 2)
4. Bleeding Heart (blues in C sharp)
5. Izabella (take 1)
6. Blue Suede Shoes
7. Power of Soul (takes nos. 1 to 16)
1. Bleeding Heart
2. Rainy Day Dream Away (false start)
3. Rainy Day Dream Away (practice session)
4. Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining, Still Dreaming
5. Send My Love To Linda/Live And Let Live
6. Mannish Boy/I'm A Man (Waters/Diddley)
1. Cherokee Mist
2. Jam H290
3. Voodoo Chile
4. Ships Passing In The Night
5. Calling All Devil's Children Jam
1. Jam including Stepping Stone, Sending My Love To Linda, Freedom,
Here Comes The Sun, Cherokee Mist, All Devils Children
2. Closer To The Truth (Room Full Of Mirrors recital)
3. Jam Back At The House
4. Midnight, Valleys Of Neptune Arising
5. Pride Of Man (Bolero)
6. Pride Of Man (Bolero)
1. Electric Church
2. Hear My Freedom
3. Honey Bed
4. Room Full Of Mirrors
5. All Along The Watchtower
6. Ezy Rider
7. Dolly Dagger
8. South Saturn Delta
9. Shame Shame Shame
10. Gypsy Blood (Crying Blue Rain)
11. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton)
2. 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)
3. Astro Man/Valleys Of Neptune
4. Gypsy Eyes
5. Cherokee Mist
6. Cherokee Mist/Gypsy Eyes
7. Power Of Soul
8. Long Hot Summer
9. Long Hot Summer
10. Hear My Train A Comin'
11. Hear My Train A Comin'
12. Gypsy Eyes (3rd take)
13. Gypsy Eyes (riff)
14. South Saturn Delta
15. 3 Little Bears
16. 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be - instrumental)
17. Acoustic Jam
1. Hey Joe
2. Purple Haze
3. Red House
4. Crosstown Traffic
5. Takin' Care Of No Business
6. I Don't Live Today
7. Wind Cries Mary
8. One Rainy Wish (alternate mix)
9. La Poupee Qui Fait Non (Polnareff/Gerald)
10. 51st Anniversary
11. 51st Anniversary
12. Can You See Me
13. Can You See Me
In The Studio – Volume 1
The recordings featured in the first of the In The Studio series cover the time period May 1967 through to early 1968. Hendrix had blazed a trail across Europe performing at many concerts where his brand of musicianship, allied to a strong sense of showmanship drew acclaim and respect in equally large amounts. More importantly Jimi had played at the Monterey Festival in the summer of 1967 where he was an unqualified success, stealing the show from bigger and more established performers.
During this period The Experience recorded two exceptional albums in Are You Experienced and Axis Bold As Love. In early 1968 he would begin work on the monumental double album that would become Electric Ladyland. This album would be the final album from the original Experience but at this point in time Hendrix had also collaborated with many other musicians and Jack Cassidy of Jefferson Airplane, Dave Mason and Steve Winwood of Traffic and Al Kooper were just some of the people who guested on this landmark album.
Wait Until Tomorrow
Recorded 26th October 1967 at Olympic Studios alternate mix using automatic double tracking on the vocal part.
Spanish Castle Magic
Recorded 27th October 1967 at Olympic Studios.
Golden Rose (One Rainy Wish)
Recorded 3rd October 1967 at Olympic Studios with overdubs on 29th October. This is a slightly longer alternate mix.
Ainâ™t No Telling #1
Recorded 26th October 1967 at Olympic Studios this version includes rhythm guitar in a more central mix as opposed to at the side.
South Saturn Delta
Recorded December1967 at Olympic Studios with Dave Mason and an unknown drummer.
Little One #1
Recorded 30th December1967 at Olympic Studios with Brian Jones, Dave Mason and Mitch Mitchell.
Little One #2
Recorded 30th December1967 at Olympic Studios with Brian Jones, Dave Mason and Mitch Mitchell. This version has different bass parts and Dave Mason plays slide guitar on this version.
Castles Made Of Sand
Recorded 29th October 1967 at Olympic Studios this is an alternate mix.
Ainâ™t No Telling #2
The second take of this song, which runs pretty much as the first version although with this take is slightly longer.
Sheâ™s So Fine
Recorded 4th May 1967 at Olympic Studios 1967 with overdubs laid down on 30th October of that year. This is an alternate mix with different vocals by Noel Redding who wrote the song.
Up From The Skies
Recorded 29th October1967 at Olympic Studios, this is an alternate mix with the vocals on one channel.
Bold As Love
Recorded 29th October 1967 at Olympic Studios, this version has a totally different vocal take and an early fade out and does not have the phasing effect at the end.
Little Miss Lover
Recorded 1st October 1967 at Olympic Studios this is an alternate take with a wolf-whistle at the beginning of the track.
Waterfall (May This Be Love)
Recorded 3rd April 1967 at Olympic Studios, this is an alternate mix.
Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
Recorded in January1968 at Olympic studios, this track features Jimi with an unknown musician (rumored to be Dave Mason of Traffic) on bass. Although the song would go on to appear on the Electric Ladyland album this session took place before the real sessions for Electric Ladyland began in New York in early April.
Noel Redding penned track and featuring him on vocals. Recorded 20th December1967 at Olympic Studios, was cut as an acetate with a single in mind but was never issued.
Recorded 20th December1967 at Olympic Studios featuring Mitch Mitchell on vocals.
In The Studio Volume 2
The recordings featured on Volume 2 of the In The Studio series cover the time period April 1969 through to July 1970 less than two months before Jimiâ™s death in September of the same year. During this period The Jimi Hendrix Experience had split at the end of one last tour following the final concert in Denver. Jimi retained Mitch Mitchell but called on former army buddy Billy Cox to play bass. These two musicians along, with guitarist Larry Lee and percussionists Jerry Velez and Juma Sultan played the legendary Woodstock festival in August 1969. Shortly after that Jimi began a new project called The Band Of Gypsys. This band featured Jimi alongside Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. The band made its live debut in December 1969 at the Fillmore East, which resulted in a live self-titled album. The band however would last barely a handful of dates before falling apart in front of a large audience mid gig at Madison Square Garden. As was Jimiâ™s practice however The Band Of Gypsys recorded much material including a track featured on this album Machine Gun. Machine Gun had been a highlight of the live Band Of Gypsysâ™ show and the studio version is no less of a highlight here with its extended solo and “Machine Gun” like drumming from Buddy Miles.
Much of the material featured on this album was recorded in New Yorkâ™s Record Plant or Hit Factory although with his eye on the studio clock and the old adage of “time is money” Jimi began work on his own recording studio where he would not be bound by the constraints of either. Electric Lady Studios opened with much fanfare in August 1970. In fact the party continued until Jimi had to leave America to play what would be his final British concert date at the Isle Of Wight Festival.
One of the key tracks featured on Volume 2 of the In The Studio series is possibly one of the earliest recordings by The Band Of Gypsys. Machine Gun was recorded less than two weeks after Jimiâ™s appearance at the Woodstock Festival. This recording also features Juma Sultan who had played with Hendrix at Woodstock.
Valleys Of Neptune
23rd September 1969 at the Record Plant which was recorded while The Band Of Gypsys were rehearsing and putting material together. This take is without any noticeable bass.
Recorded 6th September 1969. This is another recording to feature the Band of Gypsys. This version was recorded at the Hit Factory and was an instrumental take with Jimiâ™s intro.
29th August 1969 Hit Factory. Another Band Of Gypsysâ™ recording. This is the first take of one of the most famous Jimi Hendrix songs which was seen as a comment on the situation taking place in Vietnam.
Trying To Be (Stepping Stone)/Earth Blues
15th September 1969 at the Record Plant. Once again another recording with the Band of Gypsys This take also includes Juma Sultan on percussion. The end of this recording segues into Earth Blues.
The basic track was laid down 3rd -7th January 1970 at the Record Plant and after much overdubbing and mixing was completed 15th February although Jimi was not satisfied and further work was undertaken right up to August 20th. This version has wah wah guitar effect coming through one speaker as opposed to the panning effect.
Untitled Guitar Improvisation
Hendrix recorded many pieces like this improvisation perhaps for work on at a later date perhaps merely for the joy of playing. The exact date of this improvisation is unknown although it is thought to have been recorded in 1970 at the Electric Lady studios, which places it sometime in late summer.
Keep On Grooving (Midnight Lightning)
17th April 1969 at the Record Plant this is a rough play through with Paul Caruso adding harmonica and Devon Wilson, Jimiâ™s sometime girlfriend, on backing vocals. The relaxed nature of this recording would suggest that it was never considered as a final take.
Come Down Hard On Me Baby
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios in July 1970 with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox and subsequently remixed by Alan Douglas after Hendrixâ™s death.
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios on 17th June 1970 with overdubbing done 22nd August with Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. This version has only one lead guitar part rather than the layered effect Jimi sometimes favored in the recording studio.
Belly Button Window
Recorded on 23rd July 1970 at Electric Ladyland Studio with Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, this is an unused alternate instrumental version of the song that would eventually form part of the first posthumous Hendrix release, The Cry Of Love.
Recorded 1st July 1970 with Billy Cox, Mitch Mitchell and Juma Sultan at Electric Lady Studios. This track was also known as Here Comes The Sun.
In The Studio Volume 3
All the tracks contained in this volume of the In The Studio series were recorded at the new Electric Lady studio complex Hendrix had built in New York. Part of the money used to finance the building of the studio had been advanced by Warners on condition that the guitarist would appear in a film entitled Rainbow Bridge which was the brainchild of Jimiâ™s manager Mike Jeffery. This he agreed to do and Warners no doubt expected to receive a soundtrack album featuring Jimiâ™s performance captured on film in Hawaii (to date no official release of the two sets Jimi that the band played has appeared).The Electric Lady studios were intended as a solid business proposition, as, although the studios would hired out for other recording sessions, it would in theory cut down on the considerable expenses Jimi was chalking up at his favourite New York studio, The Record Plant. It was also thought that in his own studio there would be no time constraints and this would ultimately make Jimi more relaxed and creative. Whilst still not officially opened for business Jimi was regularly using the studio as soon as the equipment was installed, thus much of the studio material recorded in the final months of his life comes from sessions recorded there.
Of the many sessions that took place at Electric Lady in the summer of 1970 some of the tracks featured here such as Belly Button Window, Freedom, Angel and Drifting would eventually become key tracks on The Cry Of Love , instantly familiar to the many people who own the album. The versions presented here are of course works in progress, but the evolution of the songs (particularly Angel) can be heard in detail over the course of the three versions featured in this volume.
The session that took place on the 26th of June is interesting as Valleys Of Neptune was certainly a song Jimi wanted to include on the First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. The work that took place on this night in common with the night before, featured just Mitch Mitchell on drums and Jimi on guitar and later overdubbing bass. Subsequently however the song did not appear on any of the three albums (The Cry of Love, Voodoo Soup and The First Rays Of The New Rising Sun) that purported to represent the album Jimi was working on at the time of his death.
During the time that these sessions were recorded Jimi, Mitch and Billy were also performing regularly and while the studio didnâ™t receive an official opening until the 26 August, Electric Lady almost became a second home for Jimi and his creative needs with sessions usually lasting well into the night. As befits the original idea of a double album, a great deal of material was recorded and some of it would undoubtedly have been included in the final running order of the First Rays Of The New Rising Sun although it is safe to assume that some of it would simply have been discarded or reworked later for other projects. We will of course never know for sure. What is fascinating is the glimpse we do get of Jimiâ™s recording methods on this album of sessions which in addition to the music also includes chat between and during the various takes between Jimi and the engineers and other musicians.
In The Studio Volume 4
The music contained on this, the fourth volume of the In The Studio series comes from the period 7th November 1969 through to May 1970. During this period Jimi became involved in what would turn out to be the short-lived Band Of Gypsies project that featured drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox. Billy had been playing with Jimi since the break up of the original Experience following a concert in Denver in June 1969. Many people have since claimed that The Band Of Gypsies were never meant to be a long term project but merely an opportunity to fulfill a contractual obligation. Whatever the reason halfway through an appearance at Madison Square garden in early 1970 the Band Of Gypsies broke up rather spectacularly and Jimi once again began working with Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell.
Some of the key tracks recorded during this period would go on to appear in different forms on albums released following Jimiâ™s death in September 1970 such as Rainbow Bridge, The Cry Of Love and Loose Ends.
Recorded on the15th May 1970 this recording features Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The engineer was Eddie Kramer assisted by Tom Flye.
Message To Love
Recorded on the 19th December 1969. The band was Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums The engineer was Bob Cotto and the 2nd engineer R. Beekman. This song was originally entitled Message To The Universe.
Izabella (reel 4 take 2)
Recorded on the 7th November 1969 and engineered by Jack Adams and Dave Ragno. With no bass player, Hendrix and Buddy Miles ran through many takes of this track which ended with technical problems. A young Tony Bongiovi was ultimately sent for to sort out the problems
Bleeding Heart (blues in C sharp)
This alternate mix comes from the session that too place on 24th March 1970. The band, which was the one to remain in place until Jimiâ™s death in September of 1970, consisted of Billy Cox on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The engineer was Jack Adams and the 2nd Engineer Dave Ragno. Only four versions of this song were ever recorded with the 4th take appearing on the Rainbow Bridge album. Originally recorded with an unknown drummer and no bassist, Billy Cox later joined the session but Mitch Mitchellâ™s drums were recorded later at Electric Lady studios.
Izabella (take 1)
Another take from the session listed above and featuring the same line up which lends the song a different feel from the version recorded with the Band Of Gypsies some four months previously.
Blue Suede Shoes
This is the most complete version of the old Carl Perkins song. Another, shorter version of this song would eventually surface on the Loose Ends album. This version was recorded during the final days of the Band Of Gypsies on the 23rd January 1970 under the stewardship of engineer Bob Hughes and 2nd engineer Dave Ragno. The band here is Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on Drums
Power of Soul (takes 1 - 16)
This work I progress was recorded on the 21st November 1969. The Band Of Gypsies were deep into recordings and rehearsals for what would turn out to be their only major appearance at the Fillmore East at the end of the year Billy Cox. The engineer was Tony Bongiovi assisted by Tom Erdelyi. The song was originally called Paper Airplanes and has appeared listed on some bootlegs under this title. Interestingly, both Tommy Erdelyi and Tony Bongiovi would work together in the ‘70s when Tony produced the Ramones with Tommy, now known as Tommy Ramone, the Ramones drummer.
In The Studio Volume 5
The only place Jimi seemed to be able to relax was in the recording studio and his studio of choice certainly in New York was The Record Plant. It was at this particular studio that Jimi jammed with many artists including Stephen Stills, John McLaughlin and many others. McLaughlinâ™s Devotion album was also recorded at The Record Plant by producer Alan Douglas a character destined to feature prominently in the guitaristâ™s posthumous musical legacy.
The sessions featured on this particular volume of the In The Studio series are drawn from recordings made at The Record Plant. It was here that Jimi would spend not merely hours but sometimes days just playing and finding out just what the recording studio offered, and it could be said that Jimi regarded the studio as somewhat of a sound laboratory. The recordings contained in this volume cover the period between June 1968 when Jimi was recording material that would eventually be heard on the double album Electric Ladyland and April 1970 which was post Band Of Gypsys. Throughout the performances you can hear a musician who is relaxed and enjoying the creation of music for the sake of it although, the burgeoning cost of studio time was certainly one of the considerations when Hendrix decided he wanted a studio of his own. No doubt manager Mike Jeffrey would have drawn attention pointed out the fiscal need for his own studio and also a place where he could record and play day and night of he so desired.
Starting with the opening track Bleeding Heart. This Elmore James song would eventually see a release almost two years after Jimiâ™s death on the War Heroes album although certainly recorded at around the same time that material was being recorded for his next studio album a popular live song for the Experience who performed it live at The Albert Hall in 1969. This take was recorded on the 24th of March 1970 by Hendrix, supported by Cox, Mitchell and Juma Sultan on percussion, this version is a different mix from the master with the wah wah and vocals mixed low at the start and at the end. There is a small drum break and some snippets of Jimi just messing around on guitar
The next three tracks on this disc are versions of Rainy Day Dream Away and Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining Still Dreaming. All three come from an earlier session recorded on the 10th of June 1968 and eventually appeared on the Electric Ladyland album. Here we have the original run through with a false start and then the practice session. On the original Electric Ladyland album both the tracks Rainy Day Dream Away and Still Raining Still Dreaming were separate tracks but here the two tunes run together to make an extended version. A dry alternate mix of Rainy Day Dream Away/Still Raining Still Dreaming recorded 10th June 68 featuring Jimi on guitar, Mike Finnegan on organ, Buddy Miles on drums, Freddie Smith on sax and Larry Faucette on percussion.
Stephen Stills and Hendrix crossed paths on a regular basis and Stills has subsequently expressed his love for both the man and his music. There was also the story that Jimi wanted Stephen Stills to play bass in his band following his return from Germany in the autumn of 1970. Although unfortunately it wasnâ™t to be, this jam session is a small glimpse into what they could have achieved together. Recorded around mid May 1969 we have takes 4 and 5 of Send My Love To Linda/ Live And Let Live Here Jimi is joined by Stills and Dallas Taylor who had both played on the soon to be massively popular debut from Crosby Stills and Nash. Both acts would subsequently make history when they appeared at the legendary Woodstock festival some three months later
The final track featured of this volume finds Jimi going back to his blues roots and covering Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. Both artists held a massive influence over rock music in the late sixties and early seventies and Jimi Hendrix was equipped better than most to put a new spin on an old standard. Mannish Boy/ I ‘m A Man was recorded on the 22nd April 1970 with Billy Cox on bass and Devon Wilson and unknown guests on percussion and drums. This is a peculiar session as three sections of the tape have been found but the whole session is still incomplete, this has been deduced by some composites that have been discovered that include parts that are missing from the original tapes.
This latest volume of the In The Studio series finds Jimi relaxed and in good form which is slightly surprising as during this period he was in high demand and the pressure on him, both in terms of what the public wanted but also his own personal creative aspirations, must have been a difficult road to walk.
In The Studio Volume 6
The sessions featured on Volume 6 of the In The Studio series are drawn from recordings made at The Record Plant in New York and were made between April 1968 when Jimi was recording material that would eventually be heard on the double album Electric Ladyland and May 1969 which was around the time of the break up of the original Experience and prior to Jimiâ™s landmark appearance at the legendary Woodstock Festival in August 1969 Throughout the performances here you can hear a musician who is relaxed and enjoying the creation of music for the sheer sake of it.
The opening track on this album comes from the sessions that spawned the Electric Ladyland album although Cherokee Mist had first surfaced during sessions for the previous album Axis Bold As Love.
Recorded on 2nd May 1968 with Jimi playing the Sitar as well as guitar and featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums. This version is a different take and almost a minute longer than the version contained on the box set.
The next track entitled Jam H290 comes from the same session that produced Send My Love to Linda/Live And Let Live which features on Volume V of the In The Studio series. This rare jam was recorded in mid May 1969 with Stephen Stills on bass and Dallas Taylor on Drums.
Another song from the Electric Ladyland sessions was Voodoo Chile. The official version released on Electric Ladyland in 1968 ran to just over fifteen minutes. Here is a version in which, although more than double the length of the original, do the musicians become complacent or the energy dips The session started in the evening of 2nd May 1968 and features Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady on bass Mitch Mitchell on drums and Trafficâ™s Steve Winwood on keyboards
The following two tracks have been drawn from sessions that have received scant appreciation from musicologists and Hendrix experts alike which is surprising when you consider the amount of recordings Jimi Hendrix made and how well these sessions were usually documented.
The first of these is Ships Passing In The Night. This was recorded on the 14th April 1969 Jimi with unknown musicians although the track is often accredited to the Band of Gypsys augmented by an a trumpeter and a pianist. The version featured here is an alternate mix. Whilst many believe this to be a Band of Gypsys number by this time the band had split following a disastrous performance at Madison Square Garden and the drummer is possibly Mitch Mitchell rather than Buddy Miles although this cannot be confirmed.
The final track featured in this volume of the In The Studio series is Calling all Devilâ™s Children Jam Almost no information concerning this track exists save for the brief that Jimi Hendrix plays bass on this track and that it was more than probably recorded at The Record Plant at some point in 1968, possibly the same time as Look Over Yonder. As Noel Redding receives a co-credit it would seem natural to assume that he also took part in the recording although this cannot be confirmed.
In The Studio Volume 7
Between March 1969 and June 1970 Jimi Hendrixâ™s life was frenetic on every level. During this period the original line up of The Experience split up following a concert in Denver in June 1969, a new band (Band Of Gypsys) was formed and disbanded and split the same band all within a few months (Band Of Gypsys). He was involved in a film (Rainbow Bridge) building his own studio (Electric Lady Studios), and as if all that wasnâ™t enough, was trying to record a new studio album. The recordings featured on this album are all drawn from one of the busiest and perhaps most stressful periods of Hendrixâ™s life.
Jam including: Stepping Stone, Sending My Love To Linda, Freedom, Here Comes The Sun, Cherokee Mist, Call All The Devilâ™s Children.
This recording was made at Jimiâ™s apartment at West 12th Street in Greenwich Village on 1st February 1970. In truth home recording sessions like this were common place with Jimi working out alternative arrangements and ideas for new songs. This session is an acoustic one, although both Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox would drop in to add their contributions to the recordings. On this occasion it is Mitch Mitchell who underpins Jimiâ™s acoustic jamming and can be heard clapping along and providing percussion throughout. The jam is a light-hearted affair with Jimi and Mitch singing a snatch of Be Bop A Lula at the start of the tape when they are setting up the echo for Mitchâ™s clapping and percussive effects.
Closer To The Truth (Room Full Of Mirrors recital)
This is another home recording although this time recorded at his British base in Brook Street, London on 10th March 1969. Earlier in the day Jimi had given an interview to the magazine International Times. The recording is a basic overdubbed recording hence Jimiâ™s recital is panned over to the right hand side of the stereo divide. Whilst some of the words seem scripted, parts are obviously off the cuff bringing an air of spontaneity. The musical backing also drops out and comes back in again around the twelve minute mark giving the whole recording an experimental sound collage feel.
Jam Back At the House
Recorded at Electric Lady studios on the 16th of June 1970. This was Jimiâ™s first opportunity to record at his own studio Electric Lady studios. During a 3-day session, Hendrix laid down tracks (including this song) which had originally be rehearsed in the weeks leading up to the Woodstock performance in August 1969. Other musicians that had dropped by in the previous days were Trafficâ™s Chris Wood and Steve Winwood although they donâ™t appear on this session alongside Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox.
Midnight, Valleys Of Neptune Arising
Recorded at Olmstead studios New York on the 3rd of April 1969 This session features the song Midnight which had started life in Olympic Studios on the 14th of February under the title Midnight Lightning. The shortened version entitled just Midnight would eventually appear on the South Saturn Delta album.
The last two recordings on this album are short takes of Pride Of Man (Bolero) with the second take being almost one minute longer than this first. Having moved back to New York from Woodstock Jimi was recording at the Record Plant with the Gypsy Sons and Rainbows band. Feeling the band was played out despite only two gigs (Woodstock on the 18th of August and a benefit gig in Harlem on the 5th of September) he disbanded the group following a series of sessions including the one that produced this track recorded on the 24th September 1969. A projected tour was also cancelled as Jimi felt unable physically and mentally to perform. Shortly after, however, Jimi would start to play with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles in what would become the Band Of Gypsys.
Pride of Man (Bolero)
Recorded 24th September 1969
Second slightly longer version of the above song recorded at the same session featuring Juma Sultan on percussion who featured on both takes alongside Jimi and Billy Cox.
Despite being drawn from the busiest period of Jimiâ™s life bearing in mind that Jimi was also beginning to have doubts concerning his managerial contract with Mike Jeffery, the recordings here prove that artistically at least Jimi was still able to create music. In fact it is probably is desire and his ability to do this that kept Jimi on a (somewhat) even keel during this turbulent period of his life.
In The Studio Volume 8
The sessions featured in this volume date from between January 1968 and the sessions for what would turn out to be Electric Ladyland, the groundbreaking double album released in October ‘68 through to some of the last recordings Jimi would make in the summer of 1970 in his own Electric Lady studios.
Jimi spent much of October 1968 in Los Angeles in the midst of a hectic touring schedule, recording or producing the Eire Apparent album and invariably playing one-off gigs. This song was recorded at TTG Hollywood studios 29th October 1968 with Buddy Miles & Lee Michaels on keyboards alongside Jimi, Noel and Mitch. The track is basically a jam although the Red House dies put in an appearance.
Hear My Freedom
Recorded at TTG studios Hollywood 21st October 1968 with Buddy Miles & Lee Michaels on keyboards. Jimi had hooked up with Lee Michaels earlier in the month when he dropped in to catch a Michaelsâ™ performance at the Whiskey A Go Go. This track was cut during a session which was also taken up with twenty seven versions of another song, Call All The Devilâ™s Children
Recorded at the Record Plant on 23rd December 1969 with Billy Cox & Buddy Miles for possible inclusion on the proposed Band Of Gypsys studio album which ultimately failed to materialize. The song was a full attempt at recording and features elements of another song, Bleeding Heart.
Room Full Of Mirrors Recorded at Olympic studios 26th February 1969. This is an early version of the song featuring Mitch Mitchell & Noel Redding. Further attempts were made to nail this track in April and November of the same year. The released version was recorded in Nov ‘69 with the Band of Gypsies and the Ghetto Fighters line-ups at the Record Plant.
All Along The Watchtower
Recorded at Olympic studios on 21 January 1968, this song would go on to be a huge worldwide hit and even Bob Dylan approved of the cover of one of his most successful songs. This is a basic early mix by Chas Chandler and includes contributions from Rolling Stone Brian Jones on percussion. Jimi plays bass and guitar with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Dave Mason of Traffic playing twelve string acoustic.
This is an alternative mix of a song that would eventually find release on Jimiâ™s first posthumous release, The Cry Of Love, with this recording dating from December the 18th 1969. This particular version however features the Band Of Gypsys line up of Jimi alongside Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Recorded at The Record Plant this take features an alternative mix with different lyrics and extra guitar although extra guitar overdubs and vocals were recorded at Electric Lady studios during the summer of 1970
Another alternate mix. The basic track was recorded on the 1st of July 1970 at Electric Lady studios. The track was then overdubbed in mid July and again in mid August in what was possibly one of Jimiâ™s last studio sessions before he died in September. The session featured Jimi Mitch and Billy with the Ghetto Fighters (Albert & Arthur Allen) on backing vocals. Juma Sultan also features on percussion.
South Saturn Delta
Recorded Olympic Studios January 1968 during the Axis Bold As Love sessions. The horns were added by Larry Fallon at the Record Plant in June 1969
Shame Shame Shame
Recorded 16th February 1969 at Olympic studios where a number of other songs were recorded including a prototype version of Ezy Ryder which was at the time entitled Slow. Overdubs were possibly added by Mitch and Noel in the ‘80s
Gypsy Blood (Crying Blue Rain)
Recorded on the 16th of February 1969 at Olympic studios with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding making this one of the last sessions to feature the original line up of The Experience. The session also featured an unknown percussionist although it may well have been Rocky Dijon who had guested with the band at the Royal Albert Hall the previous month. This song was recorded during the same session that Shame Shame Shame and Sunshine Of Your Love were recorded.
Sunshine Of Your Love
A long-time favourite of Jimiâ™s who had also been a great admirer of Cream. Jimi decided to dedicate a spontaneous rendition of this song to Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton on a live version of the Lulu television show in January following Creamâ™s disbanding the previous November. Perhaps it was this version of the song that made him decide to tape his own studio version of the song recording this version at Olympic Studios on the 16th February 1969.
This album once again proves that the recording studio really was the place where Jimi felt at ease and capable of creating music. The majority of the music featured here will be new to some more recent fans of the music of Jimi Hendrix but there is plenty here for the long time fan and the newcomer to savour and appreciate.
In The Studio Volume 9
It has often been said that Jimi Hendrix used to sleep with his guitar and although it is well known that he often enjoyed the company of more nubile bedfellows, it is fair to say that Hendrix was one of the most prolific artists of his generation. Many home recordings have come to light in the thirty five-plus years since his death in September 1970. Most of the recordings featured in this volume come from early 1968 when Jimi was in the process of working on the follow up to Axis Bold As Love. The third album, which was released in October 1968, was the massively successful Electric Ladyland.
The double album was packed with Jimiâ™s best material at the time and almost half the tracks included in this volume of In The Studio would go on to be more fully realised on what is now considered one of the best rock records of the era and an album that is often cited as being Hendrixâ™s best work.
Whilst in New York Jimi would sometimes stay at the Drake hotel and of course would occasionally write material while staying there. Generally however he used his own apartment and the majority of the material featured here comes from recordings made at that location.
The first track here is an early run through of Angel. Despite being written in late 1967 and demoed here at the beginning of the following year in Jimiâ™s New York apartment the song would not form part of the Electric Ladyland line up. Instead it would feature on Jimiâ™s posthumous album The Cry Of Love. This version is a straight run through on electric guitar and Jimiâ™s solo vocal. The performance here finds the song already arranged and whilst missing the multi tracking that it would obviously benefit from in the studio the song is complete and is considered one of his best although quite why it was not considered for inclusion on Electric Ladyland is not clear.
The next track, 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) eventually found its way on to the Electric Ladyland album. This is the first of two versions featured here and another song originally recorded as a demo at the Drake Hotel in New York. This take was possibly recorded in the days before the second version (recorded on the 1st of February 1968) and while clocking in at around five minutes shorter than the version on Electric Ladyland the arrangements are all in place. The start of the songs finds Hendrix strumming the chords on an un-amplified electric guitar although as the song progresses the guitar switches to an amplified guitar although still being played softly.
Astro Man/Valleys Of Neptune were recorded at Jimiâ™s apartment in late August and early September ‘69 although neither song would be released in Jimiâ™s lifetime. Astro Man would be recorded in spring of 1970 and eventually see the light on the posthumous The Cry Of Love album released in early 1971. The version Valleys Of Neptune here is just a short instrumental snippet although a more fully realised version would be recorded in May 1970. However even then Jimi was to admit at the end of that particular recording that the song wasnâ™t finished. This version then would appear to be the first attempt at the basic structure of the song.
Gypsy Eyes was another song that would go on to be included in the running order of Electric Ladyland. This volume features three versions of the song and four if you count a medley of it alongside Cherokee Mist. The versions collected here are the very rough home demos of the song although in the first version it is merely an instrumental take in order no doubt to get down the basic structure of the song.
Cherokee Mist is another previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix song although there is a version included in the Jimi Hendrix box which was captured at the Electric Lady studios in 1970 in between takes for Astro Man. The version featured here is the rough sketch of the song which is more of a rhythmic run through than the more finished song that was recorded more than two years later. It is from some of these rough sketches that Hendrix used to build other complete songs. Cherokee Mist/Gypsy Eyes would be a case in point building on the previous version this version recorded in April is a more complete version complete with lyrics that would form part of the song Voodoo Chile. The song segues into Gypsy Eyes now complete with rough vocal lines towards the end of the song.
Power Of Soul was included in rehearsals for the Band Of Gypsys only full concert appearances at the Fillmore East over the New Year 1969-70 suggesting the song must have been written and demoed in late 1969. The song is very much in the style of the material the Band Of Gypsys would perform live and may have been considered a contender for a hoped for but never realised Band Of Gypsys studio album. Whilst an instrumental version this version musically has all the elements and arrangement in place of the familiar live version performed by the Band Of Gypsys.
The next two tracks are versions of the song Long Hot Summer. The song which formed a part of the Electric Ladyland album is featured here played on an acoustic twelve string with the song literally being written while Jimi plays it and works out the guitar parts and sings the occasional lyric. The second version stops abruptly after just under two minutes.
Hear My Train A Cominâ™ was a song that Hendrix returned to time and again. He can be seen in the Experience movie performing the song on an acoustic guitar. The Experience also worked up an extended version of the song in Olympic Studios in early 1969. The two versions featured here date from April 1968 and are but short snippets of the song with both versions reaching just over one minute in length. The lyrics in the second version are the ones that would eventually feature on the song Voodoo Chile.
The next two tracks are two further versions of Gypsy Eyes and whilst the versions are similar Jimi was obviously working on something and was not happy to rest until he achieved what he heard in his head with the second version being a refinement of the riff that would feature in the finished song
South Saturn Delta was another song written and recorded in early ‘68 although a more polished version does exist with a full band and brass arrangement, this try out is the basic song structure.
Three Little Bears was considered a throw-away track although surfacing on many bootlegs as part of various jams and also the B side of the Christmas single Little Drummer Boy.
The second version of 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) is half the length of the first version featured on this volume. Like the earlier version this was taped at the Drake Hotel in early 1968.This version suffers a false start before beginning again with more focus, featuring just Hendrix and his electric guitar.
The final piece of music featured in this volume is an Acoustic Jam taped by Jimi at his apartment in Greenwich Village on 1st February 1970. The jam features Jimi on an acoustic guitar and he is accompanied by Mitch Mitchell who is adding percussion by what seems to be slapping his thighs in accompaniment to Jimiâ™s acoustic playing. The tape cuts out abruptly as Jimi stops playing for whatever reason.
Whilst Jimi would spend hours in the recording studio jamming and recording or refining ideas it would seem that he was just as active as a home taper and many of his best material started off from basic home recordings some of which are featured here. What they do show is that Jimi Hendrix was an extremely prolific artist and also an artist one capable of turning even the most basic idea or riff into something rather special.
In The Studio Volume 10
As far as Jimi Hendrix was concerned England was his oyster in 1967. Transplanted from New York where he had been playing club dates to make ends meet in late 1966 Jimi was discovered by Chas Chandler and brought over to the UK in order to develop his career. What many probably didnâ™t realise (including Hendrix himself) was that Jimiâ™s career would become one of the most influential careers of almost anyone in the rock business. Starting with the single Hey Joe in the previous year, 1967 looked like being the year that Jimi Hendrix became a huge star the world over. Hard as it is to believe these days but Jimi Hendrix would record a string of singles and two massively selling studio albums in 1967 as well as playing countless concerts throughout the year including his career-altering appearance at the Monterey Festival.
The music featured on this album consists of previously unreleased and in some cases unheard of alternate takes of some of Jimiâ™s music recorded and released in England during 1967
Hey Joe was of course the debut single recorded at De Lane Lea studios in late ‘66 although, it would appear on the American version of Jimiâ™s debut album Are You Experienced in 1967. This version is obviously a vocal tracking take with Jimi ad-libbing throughout and asking early on for more of his voice to be put into his headphones and the band lowered. A different take from the single musically the intro being a little hesitant and the backing vocals by the Breakaways well to the fore on this mix.
Purple Haze was another hit single and the follow up to Hey Joe. Released early in 1967 the version we have here is an alternate take with Jimi laying down the vocals and the musical backing dropping in and out isolating his vocals which are again ad-libbed at times and somewhat more forceful during this session. Towards the end of the song you can hear a vocal overdub of Jimi repeating the phrase Purple Haze which was dropped from the eventual single release.
Red House was a popular blues song from the Are You Experienced album. This extended and relaxed version was more like the lengthy workout the Experience performed during live concerts rather than the three minutes plus version included on Are You Experienced. The song breaks down twice and Jimi can be heard talking back to Chas Chandler in the control room. Despite this breakdown of the song the band still manage to lengthen this particular take to almost twice the length of the version that originally appeared on Are You Experienced.
Crosstown Traffic featured on Electric Ladyland and the B side of the single drawn from that album All Along The Watchtower. This version is a different mix with the vocals more to the fore than on the final released mix. The backing vocals feature Mitch and Noel.
Takinâ™ Care Of Business is decidedly old time and quite at odds with the material Hendrix and the Experience were recording at the time and they certainly do seem to be enjoying themselves. Recorded at Olympic Studios on 4 May 1967 with Mitch Mitchell & Noel Redding. The sax was recorded at the same session and although not confirmed could even be Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. The tuba, however, was added in the ‘80s for no apparent reason.
I Donâ™t Live Today was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios 20th February 1967. These are three takes, two instrumental and one with two lead vocal tracks with the versions here being longer than the released version on Are You Experienced. With Jimi, Mitch Mitchell & Noel Redding having recorded the basic track it was decided to add more to the finished master and overdubs were done at Olympic studios.
Wind Cries Mary was the third single to come from The Experience. This was again recorded at the studio the band favoured in the early days, De Lane Lea, in January 1967 and featured the now established line up of Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell who were well on the way to rock stardom after just their second single and a series of high profile club performances. This is an instrumental backing track although not the final single version.
One Rainy Wish featured on the bands second album Axis Bold As Love. Recorded by The Experience at Olympic on 3 October ‘67, this version is an alternate mix from the released album and features wider stereo panning which is particularly noticeable on the guitar overdubs.
La Poupee Qui Fait Non is a cover of a song written by French song writer and performer Michel Polnareff. Jimi and the Experience had supported French Rock star Johnny Halliday as one of their first live jaunts in October 1966. This cover was recorded in March 1967 possibly at De Lane Lea and was presumably earmarked for inclusion on Are You Experienced. This instrumental was as far as it went however and subsequently this recording has never been officially released. As an aside, Ronnie Woodâ™s ‘60s band The Birds did manage to cover the tune before The Experience.
51st Anniversary came from the sessions that produced the Are You Experienced album. The two versions here feature an almost finished take but different from the released version. The second take is an instrumental version that breaks down a number of times while the band is trying to refine the arrangement.
Can You See Me is another track from Are You Experienced. However the first version featured here is an almost nine minute instrumental version. The original version is a mere two minutes thirty three seconds. The second version is a different take and whilst it sounds like a finished take is again just slightly longer than the released version. The vocal take, however, sounds like a finished take despite Jimiâ™s request to do it one more time.
The final tracks featured in this volume are more out-takes from Are You Experienced sessions. In this instance the first alternate instrumental take of Fire remains true to the original released version. The second take however is an extended instrumental version which suffers a number of breakdowns before the band kick back in and Jimi lets fly with some literally incendiary soloing.
Jimi Hendrix exploded onto the scene in 1967 and through sheer hard work and an amazing run of singles and two breakthrough albums not to mention a serious amount of live work ensured that his career sped off on an elevation that was to prove both exciting and full of highs and lows. This trajectory would ultimately end with Jimiâ™s premature death in September 1970 but 1967 in England was where the journey really began.