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For Avid Fans,
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This review is from: West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (Collectors Edition) (Audio CD)
If the bootleggers had released a set of this quality, fans would be raving about it, but as a mainstream commercial product, it's getting mixed reviews. Let's take this set in the spirit in which it was intended: as an official bootleg for completist Hendrix fans. This is not a place to start discovering Hendrix. If you're a young person new to Hendrix's music, start with the 4 albums released during his lifetime("Are You Experienced", "Axis:Bold As Love", "Electric Ladyland" & "Band of Gypsies"), then check out some of his live albums("Woodstock", "Monterey", "Winterland", "Berkeley"). Here's a rundown of what you get. I won't extensively analyze the "Disc One" of Hendrix's early recordings as a sessionman, since it's not my area of expertise. They're of variable sound & musical quality, some featuring Hendrix more prominently than others. The best tracks are "Testify" by The Isley Brothers and "My Diary" & "Utee", both by Rosa Lee Brooks.
Here's what you get on the remaining CD's:
1.Fire(a new remix of the released recording. Longer and with a cold ending)
2.Are You Experienced?(an alternate backing track attempt. For fans only)
3.May This Be Love(new remix of the released recording, with a double-tracked vocal throughout)
4.Can You See Me?(an unreleased mono mix of the released recording. For all you Mono-maniacs)
5.The Wind Cries Mary(live in Stockholm 1967.Previously released on the 4-CD set "Stages")
6.Love or Confusion(new mix with alternate vocals)
7.Little One(original instrumental version by Hendrix[guitar & bass] Dave Mason(sitar) & Mitch Mitchell(drums). In 1987, Noel Redding created a modified version of this track, inserting his own bass playing and writing and recording a lyric, and the song became "There Ain't Nothing Wrong With That", released on "Noel Redding-The Experience Sessions". Fans will aprreciate hearing the original, undoctored instrumental, which had no Noel Redding involvement)
8.Mr Bad Luck(the first-ever stereo mix with the original 1967 bass & drums. The recent "Valleys of Neptune" Cd contained a stereo mix, but with 1987 re-recorded bass & drums)
9.Cat Talking to Me(the original instrumental version. Intended to be a vocal number for drummer Mitch Mitchell. In 1987, Mitchell wrote a lyric and sang it and re-recorded the drumming(for release as a vinyl B-side & download track in 2009), but here you get the undoctored instrumental)
10.Castles Made of Sand(an alternate backing track. For fans only)
11-16. Previously unreleased home recordings of "Tears of Rage","Hear My Train a-Comin', "1983(A Merman I Shall Turn to Be)", "Long Hot Summer Night", "My Friend" and "Angel"(experience Hendrix is seriously bending the truth to refer to this version of "Angel" as "previously unreleased", since it has long been available on the CD "Jimi By Himself:The Home Recordings",included with a book called "Voodoo Child:Jimi Hendrix The Illustrated Legend"
17.Calling All The Devil's Children(a popular bootleg track recorded at TTG Studios, but here running approximately 25 seconds shorter than bootleg releases)
18. New Rising Sun( a superb instrumental with Hendrix playing all instruments. Here it is presented at its' complete 7:24, versus the 3:21 edit heard on the deleted "Voodoo Soup" CD)
1.Hear My Freedom(a track long offered by bootleggers, but here, for unknown reasons edited down from 7:25 to 5:23)
2.Room Full of Mirrors
3.Shame Shame Shame
(Tracks two and three, still with the 1987 re-recorded bass & drums, as on the bootleg "Studio Haze", but now presented as one continuous piece, and not separated into two separate tracks[via fade ups and fade-outs] as they had been on bootleg releases)
4.Messenger(a highly polished backing track recorded at TTG Studios, which had everything, except a lyric and vocal, which Hendrix never added)
5.Houng Dog Blues(a jam on the Elvis Presley hit, similar to, but longer than, the BBC attempt)
6.Untitled Basic Track(the title says it all)
7.Star Spangled Banner(Live at The L.A. Forum 1969. Original 1960's mix)
8.Purple Haze(Live at The L.A. Forum 1969. Original 1960's mix)
(the mixes for tracks 7 & 8 were created for an unreleased 1960's live abum. Otherwise, the same performances as on "Disc Four" of "Lifelines")
9.Hendrix/Young(the jam with organist Larry Young, now presented at 20:56 length, versus the 10"32 edit on "Nine to The Universe" or the 14:26 edit heard on bootleg releases. The liner notes stop short of claiming that this 20:56 version is complete.)
10.Mastermind(written and sung by rhythm guitarist Larry Lee, at studio sessions by the 6-piece "woodstock" line-up a few weeks after the Festival)
11.Message to Love(a 1970 Hendrix/Eddie Kramer mix with the song at its' full length. All later mixes(even ones by Eddie Kramer, such as on the "Purple Box" 4-CD set) are missing part of the second verse, thanks to producer Alan Douglas, who chopped out(and threw out) a section of the 16-track tape in 1975)
12.Fire(Band of Gypsies Fillmore East Dec.31,1969, 2nd Show)
13.Foxy Lady(Band of Gypsies,Fillmore East Dec.31,1969,2nd show)
(tracks 12 & 13 have incendiary soloing by Hendrix!)
1.Stone Free(Band of Gypsies,Fillmore East,Dec.31,1969,2nd Show. another superb performances)
(incidentally, Experience Hendrix now have quality tapes for these Band of Gypsies tracks and they are newly mixed)
2.Burning Desire(a backing track attempt, different from, but similar to, the attempt heard on the mail-order "Burning Desire" CD)
3.Lonely Avenue(Hendrix & Buddy Miles & a percussionist, but no bassist, in a track which has appeared on bootlegs)
4.The Everlasting First(By the group "Love", with Hendrix playing as a sessionman. a new mix, presenting the song at a longer length than what was previously heard)
5.Freedom(an alternate backing track. For Fans only.)
6.Peter Gunn/Catastrophe(a filler track when it was released on 1972's "War Heroes" album. It still is filler, now presented in a newly remixed unedited version. Hendrix would have been appalled at the idea of this being released)
7. In From The Storm(an early mix made while Hendrix was still alive. It differs significantly from the posthumous mix released on "The Cry of Love" & "The First Rays of The New Rising Sun")
8.All God's Children(a rough and rambling backing track attempt. No doubt, Hendrix would have started all over again, and not built on this take if he had lived longer)
9.Red House(Live at Berkeley, 1st Show. Why dish up the first set one track at a time? Why not a release of the whole first show?)
11.Hey Baby(New Rising Sun)
(When "Hey Baby" was presented on the posthumous "Rainbow Bridge" album, we were hearing only the second half of the recording. The widely bootlegged, but never officially released "Bolero" was the first half of the recording. Now the two tracks are presented, newly remixed, as a continuous piece)
12.Suddenly November Morning(from a home songwriting tape commonly refered to as "Black Gold". This is a very roughly performed acoustic songwriting tape and the song has some ideas later incorporated into "Drifting")
I hope that this info helps you to make a decision. I'm a Hendrix fan(having seen him play in 1967 when I was 11). I can't get enough Hendrix, and if you feel the same way, then this box set is for you
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Showing 1-10 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 18, 2010 8:08:37 PM PST
John Doe says:
First of all, I enjoyed your review.I've been a Hendrix fan since I was 15years old I'm much older now, but you explained things very well. I knew most of what you were saying, but there were a few things I didn't know, and I appreciate the information. I too wonder why they trickle little bits of his recordings instead of making them available to the public.The LA show from 1969, the 1st Berkley show from 1970, the complete 4 shows from the Band Of Gypsys on New-Years Eve and more.I've had to pick up some of his live performances from unofficial recordings simply because the family won't release them.Anyways thanks again for your review.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2010 9:24:29 PM PST
Good review of the 2, 3 & 4 disc. Maybe I was too harsh, i do like a lot of cuts. However, it could have been so much more - or they could be doing so much more with the material that they do have.
Posted on Nov 19, 2010 9:49:08 AM PST
Dave Fever Tree Sigmon says:
Philip - a fine and thorough review. I'm still pleased that I didn't spring for the box set. I haven't been a Hendrix completist for over 10 years. I surprised myself at being curious to hear what I did hear. Though his catalog is now with its rightful owners, their releases since 1997 have been quite hit-or-miss. However, maybe I'll trek it over to my local record dealer so I can listen to "1983 (A Merman I Shall Turn To Be)" and "New Rising Sun" in its completed form rather than "Voodoo Soup's" abbreviated version. Now those two have me really curious. Thanks for a good read.
Posted on Nov 19, 2010 11:04:03 AM PST
Thank you for such a detailed description of what's actually on the discs.
Posted on Nov 25, 2010 10:41:46 AM PST
Patrick B. Shirley says:
Thank you so much. This is extremely helpful for people. I love Hendrix but I don't trust his family to do right. I have a real problem with these backing tracks not being labeled as such on the packaging. As you said, for fans only, but actually it's for hard core fans. Definitely wish they would focus on live recordings more. There is sooo much out there in great quality. They've done the studio stuff as far as they can with this set. Let's move on. And no more re-releases of the studio albums!
Posted on Nov 30, 2010 10:49:44 AM PST
Alex Pym says:
Thanks for a very thorough and detailed break down of this new release. Your review answered a lot of my questions. I will definitely buy it now. I would pay the full price just to hear the epic jam "Hendrix/Young and the instrumental all Jimi version of New Rising Sun. Thanks.
Posted on Dec 15, 2010 9:36:06 AM PST
Justin V. Richey says:
Thank you so much for such an in-depth, detailed review. I have so many old bootleg Hendrix recordings and I'm always wary of new releases that claim to have previously unreleased material when in fact they're just not considering the material that has been leaked over the years as "releases". I'll buy this set based on the info you've provided. You deserve some commission from the Hendrix estate!
Posted on Dec 16, 2010 5:20:57 PM PST
Thanks for the the detailed review. It definitely convinced me to buy the album.
Posted on Dec 22, 2010 11:03:52 AM PST
Wow! I appreciate your comment "a young person new to Hendrix..." and your in depth review. My grandson is only 14 but likes current heavy metal guitar. Unfortunatly it is difficult to get him to listen to "old people's music" since his friends don't. They do not know what they are missing. He will get the first 4 of his albums from his secret Santa with a note from Santa asking "are you experienced?"
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2010 11:16:11 AM PST
Philip A.Cohen says:
Actually, I was very young when I first "experienced" Hendrix's music. When I was 11 years old, I saw him play as an opening act at a Monkees concert(July 1967) at Miami Beach Convention Hall.