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173 of 188 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ALTRUISTIC RELEASE OR MONEY MAKING VENTURE? STILL SOME GOOD HENDRIX
61 minutes (unless you purchased the edition with extra tracks) in length approximately. The sound is good,especially considering these tracks were recorded with,possibly,no immediate thought of release. The disc snaps in inside the fold-out cardboard holder. The additional info (who plays what and when recorded) and color and b&w photos in the enclosed 22 page...
Published on March 9, 2010 by Stuart Jefferson

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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Unfinished Symphony
The other day I stood in a record store and listened as they played the new Hendrix release.

I paid special attention to the title track. There are two main impressions I got from it.

The first is that it is unfinished. If Hendrix lived long enough to release it, and chose to do so,the song would not sound like it does. Consider the period it was...
Published on March 29, 2010 by Dawoud Kringle


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173 of 188 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ALTRUISTIC RELEASE OR MONEY MAKING VENTURE? STILL SOME GOOD HENDRIX, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Valleys Of Neptune (Audio CD)
61 minutes (unless you purchased the edition with extra tracks) in length approximately. The sound is good,especially considering these tracks were recorded with,possibly,no immediate thought of release. The disc snaps in inside the fold-out cardboard holder. The additional info (who plays what and when recorded) and color and b&w photos in the enclosed 22 page booklet are well done and nice to have,especially for the price. The entire background story of all the tracks (except the 2 "bonus" tracks) is laid out pretty well. Speaking of that,there is an edition out there with 2 extra tracks-"Slow Version",and "Trash Man",both instrumentals (more likely unfinished backing tracks) from 1969 available through Target. The tracks are similar to the regular set available everywhere,but for the same money listeners get 12 or so extra minutes of Hendrix,but if you've already purchased the regular edition-don't fret,you're not missing a whole lot. There's information on these two tracks in the "snap-in" portion (behind the CD) of the cardboard holder.

Well,here it is,the "new" Jimi Hendrix album. It consists of tracks,mostly recorded in 1969,put together by the Hendrix family. In that respect it's much like "First Rays of the New Rising Sun",or "South Saturn Delta". And while the tracks are previously unreleased,a number of titles will be familiar to Hendrix listeners. And,while having another look into the musical world of Jimi Hendrix can still be an exciting thing,somehow this release (along with several other re-releases of original period albums-now with a DVD included,and all at a new low price) feels much like a purely money-making venture. Maybe it's to advertise the partnership with Sony Music. Maybe it's to introduce some of his finest albums to a younger generation. Maybe it's both. And I say this from the perspective of someone who's lucky (and old) enough to have first heard Hendrix on vinyl. Who witnessed Hendrix live,both at the Fillmore,and in my home town (parts of "Hendrix In The West" supposedly),and came away astounded. So Hendrix listeners will have to decide whats worth purchasing-again.

This album does contain some good music,even familiar tracks ("Stone Free","Sunshine of Your Love","Red House"-even though the fadeout is irritating) have something to offer the long time (like me) Hendrix listener. And to finally have an officially released version of "Valleys of Neptune" is indeed nice. As for "Mr. Bad Luck", "Lullaby For The Summer",and "Crying Blue Rain",listeners will have to make up their own minds if these tracks (among others) should have been released. And (again like me) long time listeners will have a list of tracks that could have been released in place of some of these tracks. Maybe in the future-we can only hope. But overall,the genius of Hendrix is woven throughout this set,and like most long time listeners,the more Hendrix (up to a point) the better-because we have only a few chances,here and there,to listen to any musical genius at work. And the price (again,low to entice buyers) does make this set attractive.

So,is this album worth purchasing? Absolutely. The "finished"/unfinished tracks all have their strengths and weaknesses. In that respect it's similar to other posthumously released studio tracks-an aural insight into the music of Jimi Hendrix. It's a working snapshot of songs,over a period of time,that Hendrix might have released sometime in the future. But it's not the album to reach for when you want to hear the real-deal musical statements of a genius. For the real Jimi Hendrix "experience",the albums he released in his lifetime are still the best.
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lullaby For Jimi, March 10, 2010
This review is from: Valleys Of Neptune (Audio CD)
Well here we have another Jimi Hendrix album of unreleased material from later in his career. This is literally what?The fifth,sixth time this has happened following his death? Yet at the same time there's a big difference between discussing the music on this album and merely having an opinion on it. This album comes from a very awkward period in Jimi's sadly short musical career. Most of these songs feature Noel Redding but here you also see the transition to Billy Cox (the liner notes explain what happened during that time) and interestingly enough,as the bassists change you also notice a difference in in the way Hendrix's rhythmic patterns work. By the way the versions of "Stone Free" and "Fire" here are not the heavily psychedelic versions as presented previously but rather very different,more concetrated versions of the song that have a more live in the studio type of flavor to them. In speaking of Hendrix's music Miles Davis often referred to what he called "hillbilly/country music" influences in the sound Jimi had when he was with the Experience and on the album closer you can definately here that country-blues style of playing in the bridge. Now if this album had come out in it's day it would've been the Experience's follow up to Electric Ladyland and therefore followed a somewhat harder groove centered sound on "Bleeding Heart","Mr.Bad Luck" and a great and largely instrumental take on "Sunshine Of Your Love" and these also make another point for the album. Aside from the very radio friendly title song none of the songs on this album really focus as much on songwriting as the development of Hendrix's guitar work and his rhythm section. So there's more musically said here than in the composition necessarily. So if you like Jimi's music as I do and want to hear some things you never heard from him before,this is a good place to go to get it. If you are just getting into him this would'nt be the place to start either. It is,as with any pothumous Hendrix volume designed for the fan and serious collector and that should be taken duely into note before you buy this.
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Unfinished Symphony, March 29, 2010
This review is from: Valleys Of Neptune (Audio CD)
The other day I stood in a record store and listened as they played the new Hendrix release.

I paid special attention to the title track. There are two main impressions I got from it.

The first is that it is unfinished. If Hendrix lived long enough to release it, and chose to do so,the song would not sound like it does. Consider the period it was done: 1969. The influence of "Axis: Bold as Love" was still strong in his music. "Axis" was an important work in that Hendrix mastered the art of using the recording studio itself as a musical instrument. With "Valleys" he'd laid down a foundation; like a background in a painting. What was needed was the subject. The lyrics / singing formed only a part of this. What was needed were the melodic ornaments, the sonic arabesques Hendrix was so brilliant at. A good example would be "Castles Made of Sand" from "Axis". We have the rhythmic foundation (listen to the bass drum part: pure hip hop!), the lyrics / poetry, and then the guitar parts weaving in and around the other elements of the song. This later is what's missing from "Valleys" - and as it stands now, nobody can finish it. The only man capable of doing so is gone forever.

The second is the lyric. The first two verses are pure psychedelia. It may be interesting to dissect whatever symbolism can be cross referenced with arcane systems of knowledge. But as the song progresses, Hendrix starts speaking about what may be described as near-prophetic visions. Massive changes in the earth and in human society that are troublesome. What is really fascinating is that now, almost 40 years after Hendrix' death, these things are starting to happen in the world. It's rather like in another track from "Axis": "Up From the Skies." In that song, he spoke of being here "before the days of ice" - the ice age? - and returning to "find the stars misplaced and the smell of a world that had burned. Well maybe it's just a change of climate." And of course, now this is happening in the world. Could it be Hendrix was "tuned in" to something?

The saddest part of all this, the new releases, contemplation of Hendrix' biography, and the world we live in, is that few realize Hendrix' true historical significance. I often wonder who is / will pick up the gauntlet that Hendrix threw down when he died. Who will continue where he left off. Now, I don't mean the usual assortment of "Jimi Clones." I mean that all inclusive, transcendental approach to music. Hendrix showed us what could be done - and like the Buddhist admonishment, the finger pointed toward the moon, and most people stare at the finger.

The posthumous release "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" was probably among the best that came out. It was produced and engineered by Eddie Kramer; who was there with Hendrix when he recorded the tracks. And much of it was music Hendrix himself had approved. There were some others: Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge were marvelous. War Heros had a few moments. But most of it is just us picking through the scraps, trying to find hidden gems.

Of course, since Hendrix is now an historical figure, analysis of his music is useful. And he should be remembered. But sometimes I wonder if a better way to honor Hendrix would be to cultivate those musicians and artists (and whoever else may have been influenced by him: his impact cannot be confined to music alone) who will pick up where he left off, and take their work to the realms Hendrix pointed us toward. Once that is done, Hendrix may rest peacefully, knowing his life's work made a useful impact on humanity - even more so than we already enjoy.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Experienced, March 19, 2010
This is pressed on beautiful thick high quality audiophile vinyl. The sound quality is excellent. This is the way Hendrix should be heard. There's nothing like listening to a musician as good as Jimi Hendrix through a 100 watt amp and floor standing speakers. If all you do is listen to music on an Ipod or on your computer than your missing out on a world of quality audio. The only shortcoming here is that there's two excellent bonus tracks on the digital version that aren't included on the vinyl. I downloaded the digital version for my Ipod and listen to the vinyl at home. This is a welcome addition to the Hendrix catalog. Whatever version you choose this release is not to be missed.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Really Great Tracks, others not so much, March 9, 2010
By 
S. Johnson (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Valleys Of Neptune (Audio CD)
The sound quality on these newly mixed 40 year old tapes is great. And Jimi absolutely RIPS on some of the tracks, which is one thing I never get tired of hearing. "Mr. Bad Luck" sounds very out of place on this CD and should've been given a miss. Also on other tracks some heavy editing has taken place, including dropping in background vocals and guitar solos from other Hendrix recordings (Stone Free). However this was probably largely unavoidable in order to bring us this much 'new' Hendrix which overall sounds fantastic both in terms of the band's performances and the audio fidelity. It's not hard to second-guess some of the choices made on this release but it's still an exciting and enjoyable release...
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUM! (But not for the novice fan), March 17, 2010
There are so many posthumous Hendrix recordings out there it borderlines on blasphemy. The novice Hendrix listener might not "experience" Jimi Hendrix for what he really was...one, if not the greatest, rock guitarists of all time. For those who are just getting into what Hendrix was about, this album is NOT for you. Grab "Are You Experienced", "Axis Bold As Love" and
Electric Ladyland". Trust me, those albums will BLOW YOUR MIND! "Valleys Of Neptune" however, is an album for the truly devoted Hendrix fan. What I like most about this album is it's rawness. It's like being in the studio with Hendrix while he's just having fun and jamming. And who wouldn't want to buy THAT ticket? The sound quality is superb, and the basic tracks haven't been ruined like some other posthumous releases, like on "Crash Landing" and "Midnight Lightning", where random studio musicians actually OVERDUBBED over the original tracks. (Alan Douglas...you should be ashamed of yourself.) On this album however, I'm glad this has been released, and I do not feel like it's a rip-off to make money. There is quality stuff here.

Track By Track:
1.) Stone Free - Basicly an alternate version of the original. I prefer the original, but this is a fun and interesting listen.

2.) Valleys Of Neptune - I'm not a fan of this song, and I doubt it would ever have been released on an actual Hendrix approved album. If so, it would have been MUCH more orchestrated, perhaps like 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) from Electric Ladyland. Still, it's great hearing Hendrix' in his writing process.

3.) Bleeding Heart - I LOVE THIS VERSION. It's the best studio version I've heard. The version from "War Heroes" just didn't have the bite and rawness that this classic blues tune deserves. Hendrix kicks into this version hard and heavy from the start. Fantastic guitar work here, and a great variation on the original vocal approach.

4.) Hear My Train A Comin' - Most Hendrix fans will tell you Hendrix' 12 string acoustic version is the best, and they would be correct...but this electric version is really nice also. I have a version from a live LP called "The Jimi Hendrix Concerts" that I feel is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but this is a great listen as well, and once again the guitar playing is other-worldly.

5.) Mr. Bad Luck - There was another version of this song called "Look Over Yonder". I'm not a fan of this song or either version. This is not Hendrix' best song writing by a long shot, but still...it's Jimi Hendrix on guitar.

6.) Sunshine Of Your Love - Hendrix was a major Clapton fan and he did this song instrumentally with The Experience many times live, and it was a staple of his live shows. It's finally nice to hear a studio jam of this song. It has become my favorite version, and the guitar playing is VERY NICE!

7.) Lover Man - Again, a song Hendrix performed live many times. This studio take is nothing short of amazing, and is a fresh approach to the song. Again, it has become my favorite version.

8.) Ships Passing In The Night - This is actually a slowed down bluesy version of "Night Bird Flying", but only a true Hendrix head would hear that. Again...this has become my favorite version of "Night Bird Flying". Why it's called "Ships Passing In The Night" on the album is beyond me. I'm hoping they didn't change the name to make it seem like a new song. It isn't, but it IS a totally different approach to the way "Night Bird Flying" was eventually released.

9.) Fire - Nice alternate version, and GREAT drumming, but the original is much better.

10.) Red House - I have a plethora of "Red House" live versions, and they all bring something unique to the table. This alternate studio version is very nice also, with some great blues licks of course, but with no real new surprises. The major problem with this version is that the final verse is faded out, without any "I know her sister will!" lyric at all. Highly anti-climatic to say the least.

11.) Lullaby For Summer - Once again I am baffled why this song is named "Lullaby For Summer" on this album. It's basicly a jam based off the opening riff to "Ezy Rider", with some very cool hook riffs thrown in the middle section. The thing is...IT ABSOLUTELY ROCKS! "Ezy Rider" was never one of my favorite Hendrix songs, but I am BLOWN AWAY by this instrumental jam version! I can't praise it enough.

12.) Crying Blue Rain - A VERY nice bluesy jam. I love the guitar tone. The only drawback with this track is that I believe it loses it's "blues mood" when the band speeds it up towards the end. But still...just wonderful guitar playing.

Bonus Tracks:

13.) Trash Man - This is actually the instrumental "Midnight" sped up just a bit. Great licks and a nice version...but the original has much more feel in my opinion.

14.) Slower Version - A nice instrumental jam. However, the sound quality doesn't seem to match the rest of the album, and the guitar tone seems very overdriven. Still, Hendrix' guitar playing shines brightly on this track.

There will probably be more posthumous releases to follow, but who knows if there will EVER be another Jimi Hendrix CD release of unreleased material as strong as this one. So to me, it's like Christmas came early. I hope this review helps in your decision to purchase this CD. If you already own the Hendrix classics, and you are like me and CRAVE to hear more, then I HIGHLY recommend you buy this album TODAY!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only 3 Truly *New* Songs On This *New* Album Chips Away 3 Stars..., March 26, 2010
By 
Christopher Elliott (Corpus Christi, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Let me first say that I really enjoy listening to this CD. It IS good stuff but the major problem I found was the major false advertising on the part of Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy. They put a big sticker right on the front of the packaging that says "Over 60 Minutes Of Unheard Jimi Hendrix" when that's far from the truth.

What you *actually* get is 1 new track and 2 new instrumental tracks for a total of 3 tracks that are truly *new.* The other 11 tracks are songs that have appeared on another main Hendrix release in the form of another version. Technically you could say that "Crying Blue Rain" is a new song because Jimi says "Yeah" a handful of times on the song but besides that one word, there are no lyrics.

Astonishingly, Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy took the liberty of actually re-titling some of the songs just to make them appear *new* but anyone who knows many Hendrix tunes will pick up on these.

Below I've listed the track list with two sets of parentheses. The first set of parentheses tells if the song is an alternate version of a released song as well as clarifies if it was re-tilted and which song it actually is. The second set of parentheses tells which Hendrix album the song appeared on.

1 - Stone Free (Alternate Version Of Song)(Are You Experienced?)
2 - Valleys Of Neptune (New Song)
3 - Bleeding Heart (Alternate Version)(South Saturn Delta)&(Blues)
4 - Hear My Train A Comin' (Alternate Version)(Blues)
5 - Mr. Bad Luck (Alternate Version Of Look Over Yonder Just Re-titled)(South Saturn Delta)
6 - Sunshine Of Your Love (New Instrumental)
7 - Lover Man (Alternate Version)(South Saturn Delta)
8 - Ships Passing In The Night (Alternate Version Of Night Bird Flying Just Re-titled)(First Rays Of The New Rising Sun)
9 - Fire (Alternate Version)(Are You Experienced?)
10 - Red House (Alternate Version)(Blues)
11 - Lullaby For Summer (Alternate Instrumental Version Of Ezy Ryder Just Re-titled)(First Rays Of The New Rising Sun)
12 - Crying Blue Rain (New Instrumental)
13 - Slow Version (Available On Hear My Music From Experience Hendrix/Dagger Records)
14 - Trash Man (Available On Hear My Music From Experience Hendrix/Dagger Records)

Now, I can hear the die hards already saying "This is new Hendrix man, these are studio recordings." I agree with that to an extent. However, regardless if this is "Jimi" stuff or not, false advertising is false advertising.

When you buy "Over 60 Minutes Of Unheard Jimi Hendrix" music, and you've *heard* 11 of the 14 songs on various other Hendrix albums, that's an issue. Experience Hendrix knows much better than doing what they've done with this "new" album, which is demonstrated by their release of the albums South Saturn Delta and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun which really DID include new tracks.

It appeared when they released South Saturn Delta and First Rays Of The New Rising Sun that they were attempting to clean up the scattering of releases that chopped up all of Jimi's work after his passing which I applaud.

Instead of being billed as a new *album*, Valleys Of Neptune should have been accurately billed as *studio sessions & alternate takes* with a couple of bonus tracks to account for the 2-3 new songs. Another accurate way to think of this disc is as if it were one of the discs from the 4 disc, Jimi Hendrix Experience Boxed set which had alternate versions of songs with a couple of new tracks sprinkled on each disc.

Again, I do love this CD. If properly advertised, I would have had no problem giving this release 4 solid stars, possibly 5. I am keeping it and playing the heck out of it...this is great music and is a great disc.

Hopefully Experience Hendrix has a quality control team that reads market reactions such as these reviews on Amazon and will take this information to heart and properly advertise their releases from now on and hopefully we'll get a real album of new material because it does exist.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing, April 28, 2010
By 
Michael L. Knapp (Placerville, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
While I love the music on the album, my main objection is the way it was marketed. It was made to look like this was a concerted effort for Jimi to record a new album as a follow up to Electric Ladyland. That isn't exactly true. Also,if you have some of the live albums the remakes of previously released songs is a bit redundant because as good as these are they pale next to the live versions. As for the rest of the songs. They have all been available on bootlegs for many years. What is great is finally being able to hear fully mixed & mastered versions in, with the vinyl version at least, stunning fidelity. These songs literally jump out from your speakers! In conclusion: this album is more than worth having as long as you aren't looking for any major revelation. It fills in some blanks but doesn't make you reimagine Jimi's catalogue
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars FLOGGING A DEAD HENDRIX, March 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Valleys Of Neptune (Audio CD)
This is lame. I'm a Hendrix fanatic and was looking forward to this release. Not only was I disappointed by the second or third listen, I was actually angry. The lack of quality control is disturbing enough to make me question the motives of the people putting it out.

The version of 'Stone Free' is the gold. The mythical 'Valleys Of Neptune' track is pretty great, but it does sound like it needed more work. 'Lover Man' is pretty cool. But the rest of the music meanders on too long, with solos collapsing in on themselves.

And you'll find-- if you listen from beginning to end--the quality deteriorates. The last few tracks on this release should not have been made available at all. This, at best, should've been a 45 minute disc. Sometimes less IS more.

It'll be interesting to see if those who wrote some of the more ecstatic reviews on this website will go back and change them after a few serious listens.

Yes, Hendrix's rehearsals ARE better than a lot of material released by other artists over the past 40 years-- but that's a false comparison. We're talking about someone who reinvented rock guitar. His output should not be treated lightly...

If EVERY note Hendrix played is to be released, it will tarnish the great man's massive legacy, and unfairly diminish him.

There's heaps of stuff that hasn't been legally released. What small parts of it I have heard has stunned me. I hope the people behind this latest reissue program manage to get some of that out next time 'round.

Then again, the next release just could be 'Hendrix Tunes Up'.

And a warning to buyers-- you may find yourself with a sticker on the cover (telling you it's a Hendrix album). I nearly ruined the cover trying to get the dumb thing off. If I were a true completist, I'd go buy another one. Is this a sneaky way to get someone to buy the album twice...?
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Essential, But a Nice Bonus, March 13, 2010
This is a Target exclusive. Get 'em while they last! Here's the info on the two bonus tracks:

"Slow Version" (instrumental) 4:59, Recorded at Olympic Studios, London, February 14, 1969; Jimi Hendrix, guitar; Noel Redding, bass; Mitch Mitchell, drums; produced by Jimi Hendrix, engineered by George Chkiantz

"Trash Man" (instrumental) 7:24, Recorded at Olmstead Studios, New York, April 3, 1969; Jimi Hendrix, guitar; Noel Redding, 8-string bass; Mitch Mitchell, drums; produced by Jimi Hendrix, engineered by Eddie Kramer

Not essential, but a nice bonus. (And as James said, Target was offering a $5 gift card with any two Hendrix albums purchased.)
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Valleys Of Neptune
Valleys Of Neptune by Jimi Hendrix (Audio CD - 2010)
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