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First Rays of the New Rising Sun CD/DVD

4.5 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 9, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Deluxe digitally remastered CD/DVD edition of this classic 1997 album from the Rock guitar legend. This edition is housed in a lavish six-panel digipak with 36 page booklet including detailed session info, liner notes, photos and memorabilia. The DVDs contain an exclusive "making of" mini documentary.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Freedom
  2. Izabella
  3. Night Bird Flying
  4. Angel
  5. Room Full of Mirrors
  6. Dolly Dagger
  7. Ezy Ryder
  8. Drifting
  9. Beginnings
  10. Stepping Stone
  11. My Friend
  12. Straight Ahead
  13. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
  14. Earth Blues
  15. Astro Man
  16. In From the Storm
  17. Belly Button Window

Disc: 2

  1. Menu
  2. Angel
  3. Dolly Dagger
  4. Night Bird Flying
  5. Freedom

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • ASIN: B003162R7E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,286 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"In 1994, Hendrix's own handwritten track selection for First Ray surfaced and was reprinted in the french magazine Folk & Rock (November 1994). Surprisingly it was never used when attempts were made to complete the unfinished project in the years that followed. Hendrix only completed a song list for three sides of the double LP, and wasn't sure where to place the track "Night Bird Flying". With a darker-colored pen, he seemed to indicate that it should be the second song on side A. Hendrix's track selection for First Ray of the New Rising Sun was:

Side A: Dolly Dagger, Night Bird Flying, Room Full of Mirrors, Belly Button Window, Freedom.

Side B: Easy Rider, Astro Man, Drifting, Straight Ahead.

Side C: Drifter's Escape, Comin' Down Hard On Me, Beginnings, Cherokee Mist, Angel."

The above and any other quotes in this post are taken from the book, "Black Gold the Lost Archives of Jimi Hendrix" by Steven Roby.

The album is refered to above as First Ray instead of First Rays because Jimi at first was going to call it First Ray of the New Rising Sun. Another quote from Black Gold:

"Billy Cox worked on the unfinished album, and recalled the time when Hendrix asked him about the correct wording: "He asked me, 'Is it the first ray, or the rays?' I said, 'I don't know. He said, 'What do you see when you get up in the morning? When you look over the horizon do you see one ray or rays?' I said, 'I'd have to check that out.'

Hendrix would seem to have had a cover for the album in mind too...another quote:

"There is also evidence that Hendrix may have had a cover in mind for the release. On September 17th, 1970, he sketched out various faces to form the shape of a cross, with his own face in the middle.
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Format: Audio CD
*First the Album is awesome, a true 10! This review is on the cheap advertising attempt to get the general public to buy a new CD. This album first came out in 1997, it was REMASTERED using EDDIE KRAMER and working with the Original mix down tracks (one step deeper than just using the Orignal Master tracks, but going one step beyond those and getting the original mix down tracks. I don't think technology has advaced to such a degree that warrants a brand new rematering. You wont notice any difference. You will get a small mini-documentary DVD, but is it worth the price of buying this all over again? NO. If you dont own this CD, then certainly buy this edition.
THE ALBUM REVIEW............This was supposed to be the next studio album after Electric Ladyland. Jimi worked on this project for 2 years, recording, remixing, over dubbing, recording again, you name it! He at a few times wanted his next album to be a 3 album set. He died before this album was finished, infact Drummer Mitch Mitchell came back in the studio and layed down some final over-dubs for a few songs ("Angel" for one) and also co-produced the final product. Buzzy Linhart was brought in the record vibes and "Drifting" after Jimi's death. The album was originally released in Jan 1971 in a shortened 1 album set called "The Cry of Love" where it reached #7 on the Billboard top 200 album charts and "Freedom" was released as a single but failed to chart. It became out of print in 1995 when then owner of Hendrix estate (Alan Douglas) released the re-packaged CD as "Voodoo Soup" in which he HEAVILY RE-MIXED the songs (which angered many of Jimi's fans). The songs selections were different.
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Format: Audio CD
The 5 stars I've given to this disc must be understood in context. These are not the same kind of 5 stars I gave to Are You Experienced. Then again, Jimi was alive and involved in the mixing and production of AYE and he wasn't for First Rays. As a long time Hendrix devotee, I knew he'd considered naming his next LP with this disc's title. I knew all about what was going on in his life at the time he died and how he wanted his music to evolve. The reason this disc warrants 5 stars is because the people involved in bringing this project to completion did the best they could to make Jimi's vision a reality. This is love, pure and simple.
A stripped-down, analytical view of this disc, song by song may not arrive at the conclusion above. Clearly, the studio work was not finished on many of these songs. The story of the making of these songs is a tragic tale. Jimi's last album of original studio recordings had been released in 1968 on Electric Ladyland. Since that LP, a compilation entitled Smash Hits had been released, as had Band of Gypsys, a live recording of new tunes as part of a legal settlement with one of Jimi's former business partners. Band of Gypsys, although excellent music in my opinion, was not what the majority of the record-buying public wanted to hear from Jimi. They wanted Purple Haze II, or something similarly familiar and comfortably psychedelically rocking. But Jimi had been around that block too many times and was in need of change. First Rays was to be the answer as he saw it.
Now, don't get me wrong here - I love this music. But not all of it was finished to Jimi's normal standard. He certainly planned to get it done and was considering a change of management and producers as solutions to get past the barriers he saw in his way.
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