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People, Hell & Angels

4.5 out of 5 stars 506 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

People, Hell & Angels is a new album of twelve never before released Jimi Hendrix studio recordings.   This special album showcases the legendary guitarist working outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio.   Beginning in 1968, Jimi Hendrix grew restless, eager to develop new material with old friends and new ensembles.   Outside the view of a massive audience that had established the Experience as rock’s largest grossing concert act and simultaneously placed two of his albums together in the US Top 10 sales chart, Jimi was busy working behind the scenes to craft his next musical statement.

Earth Blues: Totally unlike the version first issued as part of Rainbow Bridge in 1971, this December 19, 1969 master take features just Hendrix, Cox and Miles—stripped down funk at its very origin.

Somewhere: This newly discovered gem was recorded in March 1968 and features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass.    Entirely different from any previous version fans have heard.

Hear My Train A Comin’: This superb recording was drawn from Jimi’s first ever recording session with Billy Cox & Buddy Miles—the rhythm section with whom he would later record the groundbreaking album Band Of Gypsys. 

Bleeding Heart: This Elmore James masterwork had long been a favorite of Jimi’s.   Recorded at the same May 1969 session as “Hear My Train A Coming,” Jimi had a firm understanding of the arrangement and tempo he desired. Before they began, Jimi instructed Cox and Miles that he wanted to establish a totally different beat than the standard arrangement.  He then kicked off this amazing rendition unlike any other he had ever attempted. 

Let Me Move You: In March 1969, Jimi reached back to another old friend, saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood.   Before he was discovered by Chas Chandler in the summer of 1966, Jimi had contributed guitar for Youngblood and such infectious rhythm and blues styled singles such as “Soul Food”.

This March 1969 session features Hendrix and Youngblood trading licks on this never before heard, high velocity rock and soul classic.

Izabella: In the aftermath of the Woodstock festival, Jimi gathered his new ensemble, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows at the Hit Factory in August 1969 with engineer Eddie Kramer.  “Izabella” had been one of the new songs the guitarist introduced at the Woodstock festival and Jimi was eager to perfect a studio version.    This new version is markedly different from the Band Of Gypsys 45 rpm single master issued by Reprise Records in 1970 and features Larry Lee, Jimi’s old friend on rhythm guitar.

Easy Blues: An edited extract of this gorgeous, free flowing instrumental was briefly issued as part of the long out of print, 1981 album Nine To The Universe.  Now nearly twice as long, fans can enjoy the dramatic interplay between Jimi, second guitarist Larry Lee, Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell.

Crash Landing: Perhaps known as the title song for the controversial 1975 album that featured Hendrix master recordings posthumously overdubbed by session musicians, this April 1969 original recording has never been heard before.   Jimi is joined here by Billy Cox and drummer Rocky Isaac of the Cherry People to record this thinly veiled warning to his girlfriend Devon Wilson.

Inside Out: Jimi was fascinated by the rhythm pattern which would ultimately take form as “Ezy Ryder”.  Joined here by Mitch Mitchell, Jimi recorded all of the bass and guitar parts for this fascinating song--including a dramatic lead guitar part amplified through a Leslie organ speaker.

Hey Gypsy Boy: The roots of Jimi’s majestic “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” trace themselves to this March 1969 recording.  Unlike the posthumously overdubbed version briefly issued as part of Midnight Lightning in 1975, this is original recording that features Jimi joined by Buddy Miles.

Mojo Man: Jimi lends a hand to Albert & Arthur Allen, the vocalists known as the Ghetto Fighters, whom he had befriended in Harlem long before he achieved fame with the Experience.  When the two recorded this inspired, previously unreleased master at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama they took it back to Hendrix at Electric Lady Studios.  Jimi knew just what to do to elevate the recording beyond contemporary R & B to the new hybrid of rock, rhythm and blues he was celebrated for.

Villanova Junction Blues: Long before his famous performance of this song at Woodstock, Jimi recorded this studio version with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles at the same May 1969 session which yielded “Hear My Train A Comin’” and “Bleeding Heart” also featured on this album.   Never fully finished, the song stands as an example of the fertile ideas he hoped to harness.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B00AA0TZTW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (506 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Elliott on March 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
People, Hell and Angels is for Jimi Hendrix completists only.

This is a very disappointing release that is FAR from “12 new studio recordings” as being advertised by Experience Hendrix. Almost all of these songs have been released in far superior versions on readily available retail releases. They have duplicated multiple songs from the Valleys Of Neptune album they put out just a couple of years ago also, including the second single from that album!

I’ll break down the technical details of each song so you can see what you’re truly getting here.

1. Earth Blues - Several years ago, John McDermott, one of the producers of this album and Hendrix catalog manager said in his book Ultimate Hendrix that this song was “loose” and non-cohesive with it being ultimately abandoned due to tuning and tempo issues. Now he’s changed his opinion to calling it “stripped-down funk.” Interesting change of heart when it comes time to put together a “new Hendrix album.” Additionally, the final studio version mixed by Jimi was released on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, and then re-released in a deluxe version just a few of years ago. This version on People, Hell and Angels is far inferior and simply a demo that lacks many of the overdubs and embellishments that Jimi himself later added to the version released on First Rays of the New Rising Sun. Confusing as to why they would include this inferior track and call it a “new studio recording.”

2. Somewhere - Firstly, Jimi’s guitar work shreds on this song. However, this song has a lot of technical issues. Listening to the song carefully, especially the last half, it’s easy to notice the amateurish “cut and paste” job Eddie Kramer did on this track, and it’s disconcerting to say the least.
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Format: Audio CD
To those complaining about this, lighten up. Did you expect to hear something recorded just last week by a man who's been dead for almost 43 years? Did you expect to hear Hendrix's take on a U2 song or a duet with Joe Bonamassa?

Any devoted Hendrix fan kind of knew we'd hear songs we've heard a thousand times before. Different mixes. Different takes. I mean, considering his short life, the work still out there is amazing. To me, a lifelong Hendrix admirer and one who has heard everything (and I mean everything, I have bootlegs and other Hendrix stuff that if I hit "play" on iTunes would go for months) I like it. I like it a lot.

This album sounds very fresh like it's Jimi in a room, live with 2 other guys. Period. Not some 45 tracks mixed together. Intimate. That's the word, intimate. "Somewhere" sounds very much like Jimi with his Strat and a Vox wah-wah plugged into a Marshall and that's about it! That's where you admire Hendrix the most IMO. Yeah, I've heard way too many versions of all these songs but, to me, these versions are up there with the best.

Let's not forget the mix either. I have a pretty decent audio setup with DAC's and tube amps, old school speakers along with new ones. I go back and forth with them. Face it, some of Hendrix's recordings were dreadful as to quality. They weren't meant to be released. West Coast Seattle Boy's recordings sound very good to me. I love the mono versions of Axis and Are You Experienced. If I had to choose Hendrix's most explosive playing it'd be Band of Gypsies. Gives me goosebumps to this day.

But I hate saying that because I always have to add in Axis, AYE, EL.....etc; etc; I mean, how can you just pick ONE? But, getting back to PH and A's, it's quality mix allows me to push it.
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Format: Audio CD
Tell me of another poor self taught guitarist who effortlessly rolled down and through (previously unheard of in rock) 3rds, 5ths, 7ths, and 9ths of a key to land spot on the target in perfect timing--, or who intuitively understood "call and response," who would introduce a sensitive 16 bars in the bridge, expand on its theme in the next 16, then, bend, pervert, and twist it into a punching augmented jazz fury before returning home to the blues? He did all this and more in just One song: "Somewhere." (and filled in the rhythm guitar pieces with an innovation that never played the same riff twice).
Clapton said: "I only played with the man once for about seven minutes. But my life was changed from that moment on."
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Format: Audio CD
Although I'm always grateful to hear ANY "new" Jimi Hendrix material, the recordings on "People, Hell and Angels" really stretch the definition of "new" considering that this is simply a collection of variations on and alternate takes of songs we've all heard before.

Most of the tracks on PHAA sound like casual jams that Jimi would never have wanted released, giving the whole thing a patched-together vibe that never really seems like a cohesive album.

After listening to the entire disc, I was left feeling slightly sad because the album definitely produces a sense of the Hendrix estate "scraping the bottom of the barrel" with this release. Indeed, Jimi's longtime producer Eddie Kramer reportedly said recently that PHAA "is probably the last of the good studio material." So Jimi's 42-year posthumous studio discography now seemingly comes to an end. It was a glorious run that allowed fans to enjoy a lot of excellent music -- much, much more than we could ever have expected from such a brief career. Thank God that Jimi always liked to have tape recorders running! I just wish that PHAA could've been a better coda for his studio work.

One piece of advice, though. If you're going to purchase PHAA, get it from your local Target store. They're selling an exclusive version of the album with a 20-minute(!) bonus track, "Ezy Ryder / MLK Jam (Captain Coconut)" which is actually more musically interesting than most of the other tracks!
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