Posts Tagged ‘Jimi Hendrix’

The looming dissolution of the Beatles, after a stirring run of creative genius, signaled that everything would be different in the ’70s. They released their final album in Abbey Road, though the earlier-recorded Let It Be would follow, after some post-session doctoring from Phil Spector. They weren’t the only ones who departed: The original Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon and the Animals and the Jeff Beck Group fell apart, even as Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones died. The warm feelings of Woodstock were quickly forgotten in the bloody aftermath of Altamont.

The death of Brian Jones, July 3rd , Brian Jones had long since relinquished his role as a major contributor to the band he founded, the Rolling Stones, when he drowned in his swimming pool at his home in Cotchford Farm, the estate formerly owned by A.A. Milnes, author of the ever popular children’s book, Winnie the Pooh. He had been fired by the Stones the month before due to drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, leaving Jones more or less out in the cold as far as any further recording ventures were concerned. Initially ruled “death by misadventure,” the verdict was later questioned when rumors spread that a construction worker named Frank Thorogood actually murdered Jones and had made a deathbed confession to a confidante. In 2008, the Sussex police department declared it was no longer investigating the claim. Nevertheless, Jones became the first member of the so-called 27 club, whose membership now includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Whitehouse and a number of other artists whose lives ended at the fateful age of 27. His death also ended a prolific and profound era for the Stones, which many still argue, was the most creative period of their collective career.

At the same time, bands appeared that would dominate the decade to come. Led Zeppelin released their acclaimed first and second albums in ’69, laying a sturdy foundation for superstardom. Zeppelin seemed to arrive as a fully formed new blues-rock variant, harder and louder than anything that had come before. In fact, after touring together extensively, the band arrived in the studio with this material so well rehearsed that they only needed 36 hours spread out over two weeks to complete the album. Its influence, however, has endured – not just as a template for their own career, but also for untold legions of soon-to-be-famous heavy-metal purveyors.

In the summer of 1969, Zeppelin was a band on the rise. Its self-titled first album, released in January of that year, reached Number 10 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., and peaked at Number 6 in the U.K. The band’s pairing of blues, folk and psychedelia eventually would make it the biggest band of the 1970s, “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the previous one,”  Zeppelin would play more than 40 gigs on their Summer of 69 tour of U.S.A.

Chicago issued the first of what will eventually be four straight multi-album projects, A band with a bright horn section and a scalding guitarist, Chicago was really all about dichotomy back then. Four songs from their introductory double album would enter the charts, through to 1972’s Chicago V. 

Mick Taylor joined The Stones, sparking their most heralded period – though one that was marked by a turn toward darker subject matter. Rolling Stones, ‘Let It Bleed’ was aptly titled, the second in a quartet of genius albums by the Stones echoed all of the very real apprehensions surrounding this era – like a gritty yin to the Beatles’ utopian yang on ‘Abbey Road.’ Mick Taylor’s arrival also ushered in a harder-edged sound, which combined to create one of rock’s most visceral triumphs. It’s sexy, foreboding, topical and dangerous, sometimes all at once.

Altamont – December 6th was one of the darkest days in music history, Altamont sealed the lid on the promise of peace and love that was capped by Woodstock, and did so within mere months following that celebratory event itself. The Stones, who headlined the sprawling festival in the California desert, may have had good intentions to offer a free concert, but enlisting the Hell’s Angels as security was a terrible idea. Though the line-up was stellar—CSNY, Santana and Jefferson Airplane reprised their roles from Woodstock, along with the Flying Burrito Brothers providing an excellent add-on—an aura of violence and uncertainty pervaded the proceedings. Both Jagger and Airplane singer Marty Balin were accosted the former as he left his chopper, the latter onstage and the death of concert goer Meredith Hunter by a pack of Angels who claimed they saw him wielding a gun, ensured the fact that an idyllic utopian era of the ’60s was quickly come to an end.

‘Abbey Road’ was always a far more fitting send off for the Beatles than ‘Let It Be’ could have ever been. It’s among Paul McCartney’s brightest, most artistically satisfying, moments. But John Lennon’s punctuations (and, to a quickly emerging degree, George Harrison’s) undoubtably make it so. Moments away from imploding, they arrived for these sessions as distinct individuals, rather than stylized mop-topped group. Yet, for a moment in time and for this one last time, the Beatles’ separate personalities seemed to work again in service of the whole.

The Beatles Final Concert, January 30th, Although the Beatles’ impromptu performance on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London’s central environs was rumored to be a tryout for a return to live concerts, it was in fact part of the band’s final hurrah. The tumultuous sessions for their album Let It Be exposed a group in disarray, and indeed, a mere nine months after this live six song set—all culled from tracks they had been working on at the time The Beatles were officially broken. Filmed to provide a cap on the ill-fated Let It Be film, it’s still an exhilarating experience to watch the four former Fabs giving it a final go for the curious crowds below. “Hope we passed the audition,” John says before vacating the premises on orders from the police. Yes, Mr. Lennon, indeed you did.

Nick Drake, ‘Five Leaves Left’ was an autumnal yearning which surrounds these folk-rock recordings, and that’s likely the reason Drake was overlooked in his time. Even smart assists from Richard Thompson, then of Fairport Convention fame, couldn’t push this delicately conveyed album into the public consciousness back then. Sadly, Drake only had five years left. He died at age 26 in 1974 of an overdose.

This daring debut by prog rock band King Crimson, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ still remains prog’s standard bearer, the best example of a then-emerging movement that sought to combine musical concepts with rock. ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ was also a template for how this seemingly ever-evolving band would operate, as their lineup almost immediately flew apart. The core pair of Robert Fripp and Greg Lake was all that remained by the time King Crimson set about recording a follow-up.

The Kinks ‘Arthur,’ a triumph of rock with a British sensibility subtitled “Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire,” never gets the short-hand praise of contemporary works like the Who’s ‘Tommy.’ That’s likely because it’s less ambitious. But it’s also far more listenable – like a rock musical, rather than a rock opera. Hailed as one of rock’s first great concept albums, ‘Tommy’ – like so many examples in that genre – sometimes suffers creatively at the expense of furthering the plot. But at its best, this represents the Who at their finest. And there’s no questioning how the album opened up new narrative possibilities for pop composers.

The Who Performed Tommy for the First Time, April 22nd Notably, the concert in Devon, England, preceded the album’s official release by a month. Although other offerings can claim to be the first real rock operas—The Pretty Things’ S.F, Sorrow and the Kinks’ Arthur, among them—The Who were the only band to take the unusual step of performing an album in its entirety. They’d later take Tommy to some of the world’s great opera houses, elevating rock in both intellect and intent.

The debut of supergroup Blind Faith, June 7th, Heralded as the first true “super group”—a term that would resurface continuously in the years that followed Blind Faith was based on an all-star union between guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker of Cream and vocalist/keyboard player Steve Winwood of Traffic, with bassist Ric Grech, formerly of Family, added later on. Although Clapton in particular was wary of the implications involved in such a high profile ensemble and equally concerned about inviting the tempestuous Baker into the fold—he agreed to pursue the possibilities, owing in small part to the fact that he and Winwood had worked together in a short-lived ad hoc outfit called Powerhouse a few years before. The group’s less than spectacular live debut at Hyde Park further exacerbated Clapton’s concerns, and after a single spotty album and tours of Scandinavia and the U.S., the group disbanded later that year.

Dylan Reemerges at the Isle of Wight, August 31st, Dylan had been largely absent from public view since a 1966 motorcycle accident drove him into self-imposed seclusion. Other than his work with the Band at Big Pink, he chose to spend time with his family and record an album, Nashville Skyline, a shocking departure from any album he had offered before. Consequently, the announcement of his appearance at England’s Isle of Wight Festival attracted an extraordinary amount of interest, including the curiosity of various Beatles, a Stone, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and a still gestating Elton John. Rumor had it that Lennon, Harrison and Starr might join Dylan onstage, and although that proved false, Dylan alone was enough to mesmerize the masses. Dressed in a beige suit, his hair cut short, he performed a 17-song set with backing from the Band, a concert that included several classics from his catalog as well as tracks from Nashville Skyline and its immediate predecessor, John Wesley Harding. It’s still considered a landmark performance today.

That was probably to be expected for a generation still reeling from shocking assassinations and an ever-escalating war. So, too, was a move toward nostalgia for the old ways. Bob Dylan Having hinted at his intentions on the more rustic ‘John Wesley Harding,’ Dylan definitively left behind protest music for a head-long dive into deep country for the charming, determinedly happy ‘Nashville Skyline.’ In its own way, this was revolutionary too as he went country, even as his old backing musicians in The Band released a determinedly homespun self-titled masterpiece. The Byrds also splintered, with two members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left to dive deeper into their passion for country and western music. The resulting album, unfortunately, did little on the charts – but it proved to be a well-spring of inspiration for descendent bands like the Eagles. breaking away to form the Americana-focused Flying Burrito Brothers.

Although there had been several gingerly moves to find common ground between the disparate realms of country music and rock ’n’ roll early rock pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson all had claims on country—in the divided America of the late ’60s, followers of the two styles were decidedly distinct. Nevertheless, the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield effectively made efforts to narrow that divide, making it only natural that the two groups they spawned, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco respectively, would, to paraphrase the title of the latter’s debut album, pick up the pieces. As a result of releases like The Flying Burrito Brothers’ debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, in February 1969, country-rock blossomed, spearheaded by the influence of “cosmic cowboy” Gram Parsons (a member of both the Byrds and the Burritos) before later finding a permanent bond with the release of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken, featuring members of both the new guard and the old, two years later.

The Stooges, ‘The Stooges’ This album’s wiry, first-take feel was no put on: Three songs from the Stooges‘ titanic debut were written in a single day, after their label said the album needed more material, then banged them out live. The ferocious results gave the nascent heavy metal genre new fire, presupposed far-off punk, and scared the hell out of parents everywhere.

Creedence Clearwater Revival began to come into their own here, reaching heralded high points with “Born on the Bayou” and “Proud Mary.” The rest of ‘Bayou Country’ doesn’t always reach that level, but the album is nevertheless surrounded by a sense of expectancy. They’re discovering themselves with every revolution of this album, and it’s a fizzy joy to hear. The second of an incredible run of three CCR albums from 1969 codifies every great thing the earlier ‘Bayou Country’ pointed toward. Sharply drawn, ‘Green River’ is just as sharply played – with none of the period-piece noodling that had occasionally seeped into their first two albums. John Fogerty dilated his muse on ageless cuts like “Bad Moon Rising,” the title track and “Lodi,” and Creedence finally found its true voice.

The Allman Brothers Band an accomplished debut as they blended rock, blues, jazz and a distinctly Southern sensibility to came up with something uniquely and forever their own. Taken for granted in today’s multi-cultural melting pot, ‘Santana’ marked the big bang of Latin rock. Within a year, congas and timbales had found their way into the music of the Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, among many others. But it all started here, as ‘Santana’ blended mind-blowing, genre-bending musical explorations with more compact songs like the rambunctious Top 10 hit ‘Evil Ways’.

Jimi Hendrix forms the Band of Gypsies, October and with the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix was at the height of his prowess, but the break-up of the Experience left him without a band and bereft of new recordings. His band at Woodstock, ostensively dubbed “Gypsy Sun and Rainbows,” found him expanding his original trio concept and reuniting with his former army buddy, Billy Cox. The aggregate, which Hendrix referred to as “a band of gypsies” when interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show, fell apart soon after, although Cox continued on bass and joined Hendrix for some informal recording dates with Buddy Miles. It was a natural combination; Miles had subbed for Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell on two tracks used for Electric Ladyland, and the trio went on to record a few demos and rehearse for an upcoming concert at the Fillmore East that would span New Year’s Eve. The self-titled album, released on Capitol Records to satisfy a contractual obligation, became the band’s only official recording, but clearly pointed the way to a more racially charged sound Hendrix was working on for the future.

Woodstock, August 15th-18th, If ever there was a single gathering that served to define the spirit of the ’60s, those three days spent in the muddy fields of Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York takes the prize. It wasn’t always pleasant—despite an amazing array of rock’s most influential artists (Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, CSNY, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, et. al.), the traffic, the mud and the scarcity of supplies (other than the acid of course) tended to test the resolve of all involved. Still, it was that spirit of love, peace and music that pervaded the proceedings over all, assuring a communal embrace while setting the precedent for festival gatherings, a basic blueprint that remains relevant to this day.

Jefferson Airplane, ‘Volunteers’ was the last album to feature both Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden, ‘Volunteers’ blended a few bucolic moments (featuring guest stars Jerry Garcia and members of CSNY) in with the now-expected psychedelic rock – but that’s not this album’s best-remembered legacy. Instead, it’s a series of molten, occasionally profanity-laced rebukes of the American status quo. They left the ’60s with a bang.

Joining together for the first of what would become a string of free-wheeling, muscular successes alongside his band Crazy Horse, Neil Young blows a hole in the comfy folk-rock conventions of ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ in fact, has a lot more in common with the wild eclecticism of his work with Buffalo Springfield, but with a new tone that’s both sharper and looser.

Records in  heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Beatles Abbey Road , The Who’s Tommy, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, The Rolling Stones Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, Neil Young’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zappa’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to Chicago,  Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The Doors Soft Parade, Pink Floyd’s Live Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog.

Few events in American history caused as much upheaval as the war in Vietnam. Young people took to streets and college campuses, protesting a conflict that they viewed as little more than an excuse for a murder machine entangling thousands of young draftees. Not surprisingly, musicians supplied the soundtrack against which protest was pursued. With the sound and imagery flashing across television screens night after night, it was only natural that people would find respite in an array of anthems—“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Street Fighting Man from the Rolling Stones,” “For What It’s Worth (written about the riots on Sunset Strip) by Buffalo Springfield, “Machine Gun” from Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish’s “Vietnam Song” and “Volunteers” which came courtesy of Jefferson Airplane. All served to remind the youth of the country that they weren’t alone in their determination to sway some sentiment and avoid the bloodshed overseas.

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Originally included as part of the 1990 Lifelines box set, an intriguing if ultimately frustrating collection of interviews and previously unreleased live/studio recordings first broadcast on radio in 1989 (many tracks either fade out too quickly or are marred by voice overs), The L.A. Forum Concert remains the most complete, official release yet of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s performance on 26th April, 1969 to date.

The show was professionally recorded by Wally Heider, and put aside for a potential live album Jimi’s manager Mike Jeffrey was considering. Despite some early mixes prepared by Eddie Kramer, the project was abandoned and the tapes shelved for future posterity.

In the ensuing months, Jimi’s music continued to rapidly evolve, meaning that any possibility of a definitive live document appeared increasingly unlikely. However if some of what was recorded that night had of found its way into the hands of Jimi’s millions of fans, one wonders what they might have thought, considering that Hendrix was no longer interested in replicating his usual stage act, one made famous thanks to his blistering set at The Monterey Pop Festival some two years earlier.

Hendrix was maturing, and his show, as superbly captured here, is testament to his growth as a musician and composer. After a brief introduction, Hendrix, Noel Redding (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums), kick things off with a heavily extended (and largely improvised) rendition of Hansson & Carlsson’s “Tax Free,” something which few in the audience would have expected .

Unlike the studio version first heard on 1972’s War Heroes LP, here Hendrix goes on to explore just about every psychedelic nook and cranny he can find, going for bust in the process. Remember, Woodstock was but a mere four months away, and while Hendrix had improvised on stage before, “Tax Free” clearly offered him the opportunity to stretch out with the kind of instrumental freedom he was no doubt already striving for.

“Red House” is another exploratory performance, and one which has oft been described as one of his best. Here he takes what is essentially a 12 bar blues, and transforms it into an exciting, instrumental extravaganza. At this point Hendrix had already been jamming with the likes of John McLaughlin and Dave Holland, two musicians who would play an important role in the proto-jazz-fusion movement that was about to occur later that same year, so it should therefore come as no surprise that Hendrix was keen on pushing a few boundaries of his own.

A powerful, Flamenco-inspired “Spanish Castle Magic” hints at some of the improvised majesty Jimi would later display at the Woodstock Festival in August, while “Star Spangled Banner” and “Purple Haze” manage to whip the audience into a frenzy (based on the response of the crowd as preserved on the original multi-track tapes). In spite of all the tension between himself and Redding (the bassist would quit the group at the end of their American tour in June), the band were still capable of putting on an impressive show.

“I Don’t Live Today” is given a muscular workout, followed by a raucous “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” (Hendrix included a version of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” in between just for good measure), played while the crowd attempted to storm the front of the stage, forcing police to form a barricade between the musicians and audience members.

Live At The L.A. Forum, like many similar releases, provides the modern day listener with a unique opportunity to at least hear, and hopefully get close to some idea as to the reasons why Hendrix was so important to so many people. In the late ‘60s, a rock concert was more than just about the music; it was an event, and an important one at that.

thanks moonunderwater

Jimi Hendrix released only three studio albums and one live LP before he died on September. 18th, 1970, at the age of 27. His legacy is built on that classic trio of records, but it’s grown over the past four decades thanks to dozens of album releases that have been released since his death.

Jimi Hendrix was despite being so enigmatic and galvanizing in front of a live audience, he actually hated being out on the road. In his defense, “the road” in the 1960s was an unforgiving and punishing place to be, especially when plotted out in advance by Hendrix’s manager, Michael Jeffery. One night he and his band, The Experience, would be playing a gym in Santa Barbara, California, and the next night they’d find themselves in an arena in Seattle, Washington. Patently brutal. Then there was the added anxiety of being far away from the recording studio — the place where he felt most at home. To Hendrix, touring was more stress than it was worth. It was just something he had to do to keep the black lights at Electric Lady Studios on.

Jimi Hendrix was only on the scene for about four years of his life, but he absolutely made the most of that time. Amid a vast number of classic, immortal live recordings, he toured incessantly and performed an incredible number of live shows that still have the ability to shock and surprise nearly 50 years on. From the Fillmore East to the Fillmore West, from Woodstock and Monterey to Paris, and London, and everywhere else that he and whatever group was backing him went, the possibility that real magic might present itself .

THE OLYMPIA THEATRE  Paris– OCTOBER 18th, 1966

Some concerts on this list are bound to get a little more shine due to their historic nature, like this gig at the Olympia Theatre in Paris from 1966. This was the first time that The Jimi Hendrix Experience, with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on bass, played together as a group in front of a paying audience — opening for the “French Elvis Presley”, Johnny Hallyday, no less. I suppose we could have put Hendrix’s last known gig at the Isle of Fehmarn on September 6, 1970, or maybe his performance at the Isle of Wight a few weeks earlier, but both of those are kind of shambolic and more than a little morbid. Even though this show was only 15 minutes long, you get a real sense of the kind of fire Hendrix was playing with around the time he first hit the scene. The band’s first single, “Hey Joe”, sounds great, but it’s the Howlin’ Wolf cover “Killing Floor” that will leave your jaw on the floor. (The above video shows Hendrix at the venue one year later.

THE CAFÉ AU GO-GO – MARCH 17th, 1968

One of the great things about going to a live show is the feeling that anything can happen. The patrons of the small Café Au Go-Go Club in New York City couldn’t have known when they ordered their drinks that they were about to witness one of the great, public rock and roll jam sessions of all time that spring night. To be sure, Hendrix was known to play around town while in New York City, but this gig with Elvin Bishop on rhythm guitar, Paul Butterfield on harmonica and vocals, and Buddy Miles on the drums is some next-level stuff. It’s clear from the recording that the guys were just interested in messing around, but there are some real spine-tingling moments to be gleaned here like the pickup group’s all-instrumental rendition of “Little Wing” or the cover of T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday.”

THE ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL – JULY 4th, 1970

Many of Hendrix’s greatest live shows came in outdoor spaces, like this one at the Atlanta Pop Festival on Independence Day in 1970. In many ways, this Georgia gathering was the spiritual sequel to Woodstock that the fiasco in Altamont failed to be. Like Woodstock, it was billed as “three days of peace, love and music,” and you needed a ticket to enter. And just like in upstate New York, the deluge of 300,000-500,000 people crying out slogans like “music belongs to the people” forced the organizers to open the gates and let everyone in completely free of charge. For his part, Hendrix actually delivered a set that was far more cohesive and tight than he had given the summer before, albeit without any of the iconic highlights. A rare performance of “Room Full of Mirrors” is a real gem from this show as is the extended “Red House” jam.

BERKELEY COMMUNITY THEATRE – MAY 30th, 1970

Loose is the operative word when it comes to describing this concert, which took place just outside the confines of the University of California. In the context in which it was performed, it’s actually an interesting contrast to the mania of the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that were taking place right outside the venue. In his own way, Hendrix addresses the tension permeating the atmosphere in his intro to “The Star-Spangled Banner” when he asks the crowd to get on their feet and stand for the national anthem, reminding them that “we’re all Americans.” For their troubles, he then proceeds to knock them down back on their asses with seismic versions of “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)”. For real music nerds, it should be noted that this show was one of the very few instances in his career when Hendrix didn’t tune his guitar down a half step and instead played this entire gig in standard tuning.

THE FILLMORE EAST – JANUARY 1st, 1970

The one and only performance of the short-lived Band of Gypsys came at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. The only reason this project came to fruition in the first place was due to a legal settlement between Hendrix and Ed Chalpin of PPX Recordings, whereby the latter would receive total rights to one release by the former. It was a messy situation all around and one that Hendrix wasn’t about to resolve by giving Chalpin the tapes that would make up Electric Ladyland, so instead he enlisted his old Army buddy Billy Cox to play bass and Buddy Miles of Electric Flag to play drums for a special live album project. It’s hard to say that Band of Gypsys was superior to the Experience, but this show isn’t without its merits. “Them Changes” with Miles on lead vocals is funky and fun in a way that Hendrix rarely was while performing live, but it’s the song “Machine Gun” that takes the cake. At a runtime of 12:40, it’s by no means succinct, but with that signature, simulated-gunfire riff and wandering, adventurous solos, it’s one of the most thrilling tracks in Hendrix’s canon.

THE L.A. FORUM – APRIL 25th, 1970

There’s something about the sunny confines of the Forum in Inglewood, California, that brought out the best in a myriad of ‘60s and ‘70s rock bands, and Hendrix was no exception. This was the first live show that Hendrix played after his foray with the Band of Gypsys and the first in seven months with Mitch Mitchell back on the skins. Hendrix sounds completely re-energized and hits the SoCal crowd with a number of heavy-hitting tracks, including one of the first performances of “Ezy Rider” and “Freedom”, which both sound incredible. The cherry of this gig, however, is the sultry and bombastic “Foxey Lady”, which, per usual, was dedicated to one of the finer specimens of the opposite sex that the guitarist spotted in the crowd.

WOODSTOCK – AUGUST 18th, 1969

You probably assumed that this show would top this list or maybe place second, but one transcendent moment does not a complete concert make. Hendrix’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock will forever stand as one of the defining moments of the ‘60s, but the rest of the show around that singular – and notably solo – rendition of the American national anthem is somewhat shambolic. For this gig, Hendrix brought together his regular drummer, Mitch Mitchell, and his Army buddy and Band of Gypsys bassist, Buddy Cox, but also an overstuffed array of world musicians who clearly weren’t ready to tackle this material. That this was also the longest performance of Hendrix’s career actually doesn’t help its case as one might assume either. It’s not a complete disaster, however, as both “Woodstock Improvisation” and “Hey Joe” are undeniably fantastic.

THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL – FEBRUARY 24th, 1969

It was one of Hendrix manager Michael Jeffrey’s more canny moves that this gig was even booked in the first place. Originally, he and the Experience were only supposed to perform at the Royal Albert Hall for one night on February 18th, which was due to be recorded for a potential live album, but Jeffrey was worried that the band wouldn’t make the grade. His concern proved correct as both Redding and Mitchell sounded utterly lethargic at that show. The band only had one more shot to make up for their lackluster performance, thus this gig a week later where they absolutely killed. Hendrix clearly knew that he and the band were on fire and actually went back on at the end of the night for a positively rare encore of the exceedingly rarely played “Room Full of Mirrors”. This ended up being the last show that the Experience would ever play together in Europe.

THE MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL – JUNE 18th, 1967

When Jimi Hendrix left New York City for the UK in 1966, hardly anyone in his home country even noticed. When he came back on June 18, 1967, for the Monterey Pop Festival in northern California, they could hardly tear their eyes away. As opposed to Woodstock where one song transcended the rest of the Hendrix’s set, at Monterey, the guitarist’s violent, sexually charged rendition of The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” was a culmination. Seemingly intent on topping The Who’s explosive performance of “My Generation” that preceded him, when it came to ending his own showing, Hendrix pulled out all the stops. Even watching now, the display of him grinding his custom-painted Stratocaster against the stack of Marshall amps before throwing it down to the ground and riding it like a familiar love is shocking to behold. Then comes the lighter fluid; and then the match and then the flames. At Monterey, Hendrix threw down the gauntlet to his generation of fellow artists: Either become daring, or remain irrelevant.

THE WINTERLAND BALLROOM – OCTOBER 11th, 1968

Burning guitars and rockets red-glaring aside, this show, the second in a run of three dates in San Francisco, was the absolute peak of Jimi Hendrix’s live performance career. Throughout its history, the Winterland Ballroom was a venue that brought the best out of those who performed there, whether it was Led Zeppelin in 1969, The Band in 1976, or Bruce Springsteen and the Sex Pistols in 1978. Hendrix, already one of the best live acts on the scene at the time, with a tremendously loyal and dedicated following in the Bay Area, brought his pure A-game to the Bill Graham-promoted concert hall.

It’s actually a pretty tall order to pick from which of the three nights from the 10th through the 12th was the best of the bunch. On the first evening, you have a tremendous, electrified version of “Hear My Train a Comin’” to go along with a twisted, psychedelic rendition of “Tax Free”. On the last night, there’s that great cover of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and an explosive “Spanish Castle Magic”. But then you have the second night, and Hendrix gives you perhaps the best version of “Purple Haze” that he ever performed live to go along with a mind-blowing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”. You can’t go wrong with any of these gigs to be perfectly honest, and taken together, they really are the iconic guitarist at the very top of his game.

jimi hendrix stockholm 1969

The Jimi Hendrix Experience Live In This RARE Close Up Full Concert Filmed In Sweden 1969. Featuring all the songs we All know and love! One of Jimi’s Best Full Concerts Before His Tragic Death. This Hard To Find Live Performance of One of the true still Guitar Heroes Of our time.

“We’re gonna play nothing but oldies-but-baddies tonight, we haven’t played together in about six weeks, so we’re going to jam tonight and see what happens. Hope you don’t mind.”.. and as he steps away from the microphone we can vaguely hear him mumbling something like:  “You wouldn’t know the difference, anyway.”
Jimi Hendrix (intro to the concert)

On the whole, I can’t understand how anyone who saw us on this tour could have liked us. There was a lot of filming for Swedish TV and compared to similar films in 1967, we were a different group. Jimi was sullen and removed and actually slagged off the audience during the first set. He rarely bothered to sing. I paced grimly in my corner and turned my back on him. The sparkle was gone, very gone, replaced by exhaustion and boredom which showed in the sloppy repeats of the hits as we stared at the crowd with dead eyes. We hated playing Sweden. Always the same problem–no drugs. We were forced to drink the killer Schnapps, and it brought on Jimi’s mood for the first set.

Noel Redding (Are You Experienced?: The Inside Story Of The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Jimi Hendrix – Guitar Noel Redding – Bass Mitch Mitchell – Drums

Setlist: 01 Killing Floor 02 Spanish Castle Magic 03 Fire 04 Hey Joe 05 Voodoo Child (Slight Return) 06 Red House 07 Sunshine Of Your Love

Live At The Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden, January 9th, 1969

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Consistently named the greatest guitar player of all time by pretty much every publication that has ever compiled such a list, Jimi Hendrix combined untouchable virtuosity, an improvisational spirit and poignant soul every time he picked up the instrument. But Hendrix was more than just a guitar slinger. He combined undeniable songwriting talent, a great ear for melody and a love of music rooted in tradition but with a definite slant towards experimentation and desire to break new ground in the studio.
On the surface, it’s very easy to look at Jimi Hendrix’s recorded output, After all, he only had a four-year recording career, with as many albums. With the Jimi Hendrix Experience, he recorded Are You Experienced (1967), Axis: Bold As Love (1967), Electric Ladyland (1968) and then the self-titled Band Of Gypsys, with the Band Of Gypsys in 1970. Each album is a killer in its own way but things start to get tricky when you delve into the myriad of releases that have appeared since the guitarist’s untimely death.

Cry Of Love  ( 1971 )

 ‘The Cry of Love’ is a posthumous fourth studio album by Hendrix. Originally part of an ambitious double album project ‘The Cry Of Love’ is a 10 track album compiled and mixed by Eddie Kramer and drummer Mitch Mitchell at Electric Lady Studios.

Inspired by the movie Easy Rider, this tune initially appeared on Cry of Love – the first posthumous release of Hendrix studio recordings and a collection of basically what was intended to be his next album. It seems to point in the direction that Jimi’s music was headed at the time: less sprawling and trippy, more straightforward and funky. It appeared on two more attempts to complete Hendrix’s fourth studio album: 1995’s Voodoo Soup and 1997’s First Rays of the New Rising Sun.

Blues ( 1994 )

Blues was among the early posthumous release that collected 13 tracks of you guessed it – blues-styled numbers, although for the most part they’re studio outtakes that probably were never intended for release. That said, “Hear My Train a Comin'” is featured twice, the closing number being a recording of an electric version he frequently played live. On the opening number, the keeper, Hendrix lets loose on the 12-string acoustic, showing off his skill as an unplugged player with a song that sounds very much like a timeless blues standard but is in fact an Hendrix original.

First Rays of the New Sun (1997)

When he died, Hendrix was working on a followup to Electric Ladyland that promised to be even more ambitious than that 1968 classic. First Rays of the New Sun is the best attempt to reconstruct the record that most likely would have been Hendrix’s fourth studio album. Most of the 17 songs here had shown up on other posthumous records (many of them are now out of print), but they make much more sense within this context. Other songs from the sessions appeared on South Saturn Delta . Highlights: “Freedom,” “Angel,” “Ezy Rider,” “My Friend” and “Stepping Stone.”
Finally, after years of finagling, this set was released with the blessing of the Jimi Hendrix estate. If anything, this is an approximation of what would have been the next Jimi Hendrix album, a sequel of sorts to Electric Ladyland. Where this album succeeds, when many posthumous (and unofficial) releases had failed, was that the Hendrix Estate involved Eddie KramerHendrix’s longtime recording engineer to assist in its assembly. While we’ll never know what Hendrix’s next album would have sounded like, this is as close as we’ll ever get ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’, the stunning ballad ‘Angel’, the dreamy ‘Drifting’ with its deft guitar work, ‘EZY Rider’ – featuring a guest appearance from Traffic’s Stevie Winwood – and the blistering funk rock of ‘Room Full Of Mirrors’, they all feature here and continue to indicate Hendrix’s brilliance as player, songwriter and singer. This is an album worthy of the Hendrix name, and worthy of your cash.
“If you give deeper thoughts in your music, then the masses will buy them,” Hendrix said, and if he’d finished this double LP his dreams might have come true. But as reimagined by longtime engineer-collaborator Eddie Kramer, it’s less startling musically than Electric Ladyland and not too profound lyrically. It’s also a powerful collection by a genius whose songwriting kept growing and whose solos rarely disappoint.
Alternative: Polydor Russia’s The Cry of Love/War Heroes combines two early-’70s posthumous releases.

South Saturn Delta (1997)

This 1997 album gathers a bunch of leftovers that had shown up on other posthumous albums over the years, like the out-of-print Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes. It’s mostly a collection of demos, alternate takes and sketches of songs recorded between 1967 and the time of Hendrix’s death, but it’s an essential piece for collectors.
The unreleased “Here He Comes (Lover Man)” and the 1967 B-side “The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice.” Released the same year as First Rays Of The Rising Sun, South Saturn Delta is a hotchpotch of demo takes, alternative and unfinished versions. Now, that usually spells disaster, but in this case the Hendrix Estate came up with another winning release. The alternate version of ‘All Along The Watchtower’, his take on ‘Drifter’s Escape’ – another Bob Dylan song – and the beautiful instrumental ‘Pali Gap’ (originally featured on the Rainbow Bridge LP) are worth the price of admission alone. The completely new ‘Look Over Yonder’ is an interesting (and particularly strong) addition and it makes you wonder why Hendrix omitted to include it on any of his records released in his lifetime, while this is one of the few places you’ll find a genuinely acoustic Hendrix track  ‘Midnight Lightning’ may only be a demo take, but Jimi’s swampy delta blues-style song is a definite winner. Notably, the title track is probably the most unusual and unlikely Hendrix song – it’s almost jazz rock in nature and unlike anything you ordinarily associate with him – there’s even a horn section. It makes you wonder just what direction Jimi would have pursued if he was still alive.

‘BBC Sessions’ (1998)

Everybody who is anybody in British music has performed for the BBC — the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, among countless others, have recorded live sessions for British radio. In 1967 and 1969, Hendrix and the Experience laid down more than three dozen tracks. This two-disc set gathers almost all of them. There’s plenty of familiar Hendrix songs here (“Fire,” “Hey Joe,” etc.), but the great covers — including Bob Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” and the Beatles’ “Day Tripper” — make it one of the Top 10 Posthumous Jimi Hendrix Albums.
Given that the Jimi Hendrix Experience were a primarily British band, it’s hardly surprising that they managed to rack up several performances for the BBC. Packaged together here as the BBC Sessions, we’re treated to everything they ever recorded for the Beeb, whether for TV or radio, including the candidly aborted ‘Hey Joe’ morphing into ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ from the Lulu show the day after Cream split up.
It’s the cover songs that really hold the most interest – Jimi takes on The Beatles’ ‘Day Tripper’, Willie Dixon’s ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ (featuring Alexis Korner on slide guitar), Leiber & Stoller’s ‘Hound Dog’ and somewhat bizarrely Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Was Made To Love Her’ with none other than the song’s composer on drums.
Of the 32 tracks on this record, we’re given no less than three versions of both ‘Foxy Lady’ and ‘Hey Joe’ but it matters little since Jimi opted to extend and jam every time he played them, so on each recording you’re treated to something a little different. Another bonus point for this collection is the simple fact that the quality is astounding. It isn’t a half-arsed bootleg, these are studio masters lovingly taken care of by Eddie Kramer before release
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The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ (2000)

This four-disc box set includes some previously released material — mostly the songs you’d expect on an anthology like this. But it’s also stuffed with lots of alternate versions, live cuts and other rare tracks making their first appearances. This is one of the best primers for fans who want to dive a little deeper into Hendrix’s surprisingly vast catalog.

Valleys of Neptune (2010)

Remarkably, the dozen studio tracks on this 2010 album had never been released before. Mostly recorded with the original Experience after the release of Electric Ladyland in 1968, Valleys of Neptune includes reworked versions of Jimi Hendrix classics like “Stone Free” and “Fire” as well as instrumental cover of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” and a few bluesy originals. Highlights: the title tune and a cover of Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart.”

West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology (2010)

Like The Jimi Hendrix Experience box the four-disc West Coast Seattle Boy tells Hendrix’s story through his music. But this terrific set plays out like a biography, starting with his session work for R&B stars like the Isley Brothers and Little Richard, and ending with some of the final recordings he made just months before his death. In between are tons of previously unreleased studio jams, concert performances and cover songs (like an acoustic cover of Dylan and the Band’s “Tears of Rage”) that confirm Hendrix’s legacy as one of the all-time greats.

People Hell And Angels

People, Hell & Angels is an album of twelve previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix studio recordings. The 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.

Both Sides Of The Sky (2017 )

Legacy Recordings present this dynamic new album of 13 previously unreleased studio recordings, made between January 1968 and February 1970. Notable collaborators include Stephen Stills. This is the third and final volume in a trilogy of previously unreleased material

The previously unissued version of “Lover Man,” which UNCUT deemed “a weaponised piece of funk, with Buddy Miles in particularly thunderous form,” was recorded at the Record Plant in New York on December 15th, 1969 by Hendrix’s then recently assembled new band: Billy Cox on bass, Buddy Miles on drums and, of course, Hendrix on guitar and vocals. The session took place two weeks before the trio introduced itself to the world via four triumphant New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts at the Fillmore East, which would ultimately yield the live album Band of Gypsys (1970) as well as its, critically acclaimed follow up, 2016’s Machine Gun.

Heralded by Relix as “both a historically valuable document . . . and a treat musically,” Both Sides of the Sky, the album home of “Lover Man,” is the third volume in a trilogy of albums intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in Jimi Hendrix’s archive. It follows Valleys of Neptune (2010) and People, Hell and Angels (2013), which both achieved top 5 chart ranking on Billboard’s Top 100 album chart. Recorded between January 1968 and February 1970, and featuring guest appearances by Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter and Lonnie Youngblood, Both Sides of the Sky contains 10 unreleased tracks. The project was co-produced by Eddie Kramer, Jimi Hendrix’s recording engineer on all of his albums made during his life,

Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” was reworked by the trio that would come to be known as Band of Gypsys (Jimi Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox, drummer Buddy Miles) during their first ever recording session on April 22nd, 1969 at the Record Plant in New York.

Legacy Recordings Announces Eclectic Assortment Of Collectible 7″, 12″ Vinyl and Cassette Titles For Record Store Day 2018

Legacy Recordings, the catalog arm of Sony Music, has announced the titles its releasing for this year’s Record Store Day, which will take place on April 21st 2018.

A press release notes that it’s the most number of albums the label has issued in the 11 years that Record Store Day has taken place. Among this year’s offerings are limited-edition releases by such artists as AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen.

Pink Floyd are reissuing their debut, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, on mono vinyl for the first time in 50 years. Bruce Springsteen will see his 1995 Greatest Hits compilation issued on individually numbered red vinyl, while AC/DC’s Back in Black will be sold on cassette. The document of the 1987 tour by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, Dylan & the Dead, will be sold on red and blue tie-dye vinyl.

Legacy Recordings also revealed that the Allman Brothers Band’s Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3 & 5, 1970, one of their most famous concerts prior to their At Fillmore East breakthrough, will be available for the first time on vinyl, with four discs housed in a box set with eight pages of notes and photos. A similar treatment has been given to Jeff Buckley’s Live at Sin-é: Legacy Edition.

Johnny Cash’s legendary At Folsom Prison is coming out in a special five-LP collection that combines the entirety of both sets Cash performed that day, as well as performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers. Included in the package is a 12″ single of rehearsals the band ran through at a Sacramento, Calif., hotel the night before the shows and an eight-page 12″ x 12″ booklet.

Live sets by Living Colour (Live at CBGB’s, 12.19.89), Rage Against the Machine (Democratic National Convention 2000), Elvis Presley (The King in the Ring — the acoustic sets of his 1968 comeback special), Soul Asylum (Live From Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX, December 3, 1992), Hot Tuna (Live at the New Orleans House) and Big Audio Dynamite II(On the Road Live ’92) will also receive their premiere vinyl release.

Legacy is also putting out a pair of 7″ singles for Record Store Day: Jimi Hendrix’s “Mannish Boy” b/w “Trash Man,” both of which come from April 1969 sessions, and a collaboration between Van Morrison and jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco on “Close Enough for Jazz” and “The Things I Used to Do.”

In addition, records by Eurythmics (the 1984 soundtrack), Kenny Loggins (purple vinyl of Return to Pooh Corner) and Uncle Tupelo (No Depression – Demos) will be released.

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The Allman Brothers BandLive At The Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3th & 5th, 1970 (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

The Allman Brothers Band was one of Georgia’s top live acts still looking for a national break when they were hired to open the three-day Atlanta International Pop Festival. The band’s Southern blues style, bolstered by jams that stretched to epic lengths, won over audiences—and two days later, after legends like Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and B.B. King took the stage, the Allmans were invited back for a second set. Recorded nearly a year before At Fillmore East established them as one of America’s hottest bands, fans can now discover these landmark nights in Allman Brothers Band history with this individually numbered, limited edition box set, available on vinyl for the first time and packaged in an oversize slipcase with an eight-page booklet of photos and liner notes.

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Big Audio Dynamite II, On The Road Live ’92 (12” Single – First Time on Vinyl)

The Clash’s Mick Jones resurrected Big Audio Dynamite with a new lineup in the early 1990s, releasing The Globe, the band’s best-selling album in America, in 1991. This five-track EP, available for the first time on vinyl, features performances from live dates in Chicago and New York—including a rendition of the band’s U.K. No. 1 single, “Rush.”

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Jeff Buckley, Live At Sin-é: Legacy Edition (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

In a cramped club on the lower east side of Manhattan, armed with only an electric guitar, Jeff Buckley stunned audiences with his mysterious, emotionally uncompromising live sets, packed with eclectic covers and his own originals. The four-track Live At Sin-é EP, released in 1993, was his debut release for Columbia Records; here, it’s expanded as a numbered, limited edition in a deluxe hard shell slipcase housing four individually designed LP jackets and an eight-page, full-color booklet of photos and liner notes. Live versions of favorites like “Grace,” “Last Goodbye” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” appear here on vinyl for the first time.

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Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition (5LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)

“Hello…I’m Johnny Cash.” With those four words, The Man in Black solidified his legend as outlaw country pioneer with two spirited sets recorded at Folsom State Prison in 1968 and released as At Folsom Prison, one of the most acclaimed live albums of all time. This special box set includes both full concerts available for the first time on vinyl, including performances by June Carter, Carl Perkins and The Statler Brothers. This numbered deluxe package, featuring individually designed LP jackets packaged in a deluxe hard shell slipcase with an eight-page, 12” x 12” booklet, also includes a bonus 12” single featuring previously unreleased audio of Cash and friends rehearsing at the El Rancho Motel in Sacramento, California, the night before the concerts took place.

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Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead, Dylan & The Dead (LP – Red and Blue Tie-Die Vinyl)

In 1987, two legends joined forces for an unforgettable tour. Now, Dylan & The Dead, featuring The Grateful Dead backing up Bob Dylan on seven of his classic songs, including “All Along The Watchtower,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” and “Gotta Serve Somebody,” is available on red and blue tie-dye vinyl for a trip unlike any other.

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Jimi Hendrix, Mannish Boy b/w Trash Man (7” Single)

Recorded at New York City’s Record Plant on April 22nd, 1969, this uptempo reworking of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” marks Jimi Hendrix’s first recording session with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles—the trio who became known as Band of Gypsys, whose work with Hendrix had a significant impact on his remarkable legacy. First released on Both Sides Of The Sky, a new studio album of rare and unissued Hendrix recordings, “Mannish Boy” is issued here as a 45 RPM single backed with “Trash Man,” an April 3, 1969 studio recording made by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. “Trash Man” is drawn from Hear My Music, a Dagger Records “official bootleg” album not sold in stores and otherwise only available to fans via jimihendrix.com.

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Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco, Close Enough for Jazz b/w The Things I Used to Do (7” Single)

This limited edition 7” single is a collaboration between legendary vocalist Van Morrison and jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, featuring a new version of Morrison’s “Close Enough for Jazz” and a stunning rendition of Guitar Slim’s “The Things I Used to Do.”

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Pink Floyd, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (Mono) (LP)

The psychedelic debut album by Pink Floyd was their sole album completed with original vocalist/guitarist Syd Barrett and featured the early classic “Interstellar Overdrive.” The original mono version of Pink Floyd’s first LP, named one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, is available on vinyl for the first time in more than 50 years.

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Soul Asylum, Live From Liberty Lunch, Austin, TX, December 3, 1992 (2LP – Previously Unreleased – First Time on Vinyl)

Legacy Recordings’ Live From The Vaults series uncovers rare and unreleased concerts on vinyl, featuring classic bootleg-inspired jacket design with unique, artist-specific outer wraps (OBIs)! This never-before-heard set features Soul Asylum’s hard-driving performance at the legendary Austin venue Liberty Lunch, just months after the release of their breakthrough album Grave Dancers Union.

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Bruce Springsteen, Greatest Hits (2LP – Individually Numbered – Red Vinyl)

Originally released in 1995, Greatest Hits was the first collection of powerful hit singles from the first two decades of Bruce Springsteen’s career—and kicked off an exciting new chapter in his story with three brand-new songs recorded with The E Street Band after nearly a decade apart. Long unavailable on the vinyl format, this individually numbered 2LP set, pressed on red vinyl, is assembled from the brilliant remasters of Springsteen’s discography by Bob Ludwig.

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Uncle Tupelo, No Depression – Demos (LP – First Time on Vinyl)

Released in 1990, Uncle Tupelo’s debut album No Depression was a genuine milestone in American rock and roll, a striking fusion of traditional folk and country with post-punk innovation and hardcore ferocity. For the first time on vinyl, fans can hear Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn’s legendary demo tape Not Forever, Just For Now, recorded in 1989, plus a demo of “No Depression” recorded a year prior.

For full details, visit Record Store Day’s website.

Both Sides Of The Sky is the final volume in a trilogy of albums (with 2010’s Valleys of Neptune and 2013’s People, Hell and Angels) intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in the Jimi Hendrix’s archive. The album features appearances by Stephen Stills, Johnny Winter, and Lonnie Youngblood and includes 10 studio tracks that have never seen release. available on CD, digital, and as a numbered 180-gram audiophile vinyl 2LP.

Experience Jimi Hendrix like you never have before: A new John Vondracek-directed music video was unveiled on Friday, featuring a previously unreleased song from the late artist, titled “Lover Man” The music video features archival footage of the legendary guitarist performing the song on his iconic “Flying V” guitar, cut between montages of home movies and photographs from Hendrix’s studio sessions. All of this is seen through a trippy, kaleidoscope-like filter.

The psychedelic music video came along with the release of the new Hendrix album titled Both Sides of the Sky, announced last year. This Eddie Kramer-produced album .

Hendrix apparently inserted the theme of the ‘60s-era TV series Batman into this particular recording. This segment can be heard starting at 1:43. The musician would reportedly add these guitar licks to his music to keep things interesting during long recording sessions. “He’d do something really silly and stupid and everybody would be cracking up,” Hendrix’s producer Eddie Kramer “He wanted to keep it light. He’d also do it to change it up a bit and inevitably those lines would work themselves into songs, and that’s Jimi’s sly humor.”

At this point, some 47 years after Jimi Hendrix’s death, it’s probably unrealistic to expect that a set of deep-vault studio tracks can expand the guitarist’s legacy in any meaningful way. This no doubt dismays the Hendrix obsessives, who pine for the long-whispered-about radical experiments they believe Hendrix squirreled away in some Electric Ladyland broom closet. Both Sides of the Sky is the third and purportedly final instalment in a trilogy of albums (starting with 2010’s Valleys of Neptune and 2013’s People, Hell & Angels dedicated to highlighting Jimi’s creative development throughout the last two years of what was an incredibly short albeit spectacular career.

For the rest of us, the arrival of any sort of Hendrix material, especially if it’s captured in the studio, is a chance to be awed, all over again and in surprising ways, by this human’s freakish powers of musical persuasion. No rock figure before or since could breathe fire like Hendrix does, on his beloved well-known albums and on the assortment that is Both Sides Of The Sky. Even when he’s playing the well-worn heard-it-a-zillion-times blues like the opening track “Mannish Boy.” Even when he’s dropping an over-the-top theatrical solo on his original “Hear My Train A-Comin'” that alternately celebrates and shatters blues tropes.

Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides of the Sky
Both Sides of the Sky comes out March 9th via Experience Hendrix LLC.

Both Sides Of The Sky culls music from sessions Hendrix began in 1968 as the follow-up to Electric Ladyland – but never completed as a cogent single album. Though its track list includes a tune with original Jimi Hendrix Experience members Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, the bulk of the set features the lineup that became Band of Gypsies – bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. Given the high-elevation stratospheres the second great Hendrix trio visited later on, it’s interesting to hear the group attend to rhythm in more foundational ways – check out the way they lock into and maintain the blazing breakneck pace of “Stepping Stone.” The steady backing allows Hendrix to tear into the massive contorted fistfuls of notes that define his solo.

Starting with “Mannish Boy,” a bluesy funky rocker that finds Hendrix exploring his inner Muddy Waters, the cut is also the first known recording he made with Buddy Miles (drums) and Billy Cox (Bass) in April 1969, several months before the trio officially named themselves the Band of Gypsys. “Lover Man,” also recorded with Cox and Miles in December 1969, is another up-tempo tune Jimi had been tinkering with since 1967’s Are You Experienced but never quite managed to perfect to his satisfaction.

Hendrix was open to all kinds of ideas during this period, and some of the most interesting moments involve studio visitors. Stephen Stills sings and plays on two tracks (his original “$20 Fine” and a new Joni Mitchell tune called “Woodstock,” which features Hendrix on bass). Johnny Winter appears as a Hendrix jousting partner on “Things I Used To Do,” and a figure from Hendrix‘ pre-stardom days, the singer and saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood, steps in for “Georgia Blues.”

He lets rip on a scorching “Hear My Train A Comin’,” backed by Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Noel Redding (bass), followed by a country-tinged rendition of “Stepping Stone,” the last single released during his lifetime.

On other tracks Jimi burns the midnight amp via “Jungle,” a previously unreleased instrumental, along with an embryonic take of “Sweet Angel” (recorded in January 1968), a song inspired by a dream Jimi had of his late mother, and continued to work on until his death.

Fans of Crosby, Stills & Nash may be fascinated to hear a nascent reading of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” with Stephen Stills singing and Hendrix filling in the role on bass. On other tracks Jimi branches out, exploring new musical territory on the medium-tempo ballad “Send My Love To Linda,” 

All these performances – along with the searching guitar/sitar/drums instrumental “Cherokee Mist” that closes the album – overflow with the single salient trait that made Hendrix unstoppable: his spirit. No matter what he’s playing, whether it’s a workman’s blues or some high-concept improvisation, he conveys, just through the way he sings and the way he shapes the notes, that what he’s doing matters. And will not be stopped. There’s always something deep and existential on the line, and it is that emotional intensity – not the songs, not the flashy solo playing – that defines every Hendrix encounter. This one just doesn’t disappoint.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Poster

Jimi Hendrix and the Flying Eyeball are images indelibly linked in the psychedelic poster art of the late Rick Griffin. Griffin discovered The Eyeball, in a much more benign form, in the 1950s auto detailing art of California pinstriper Von Dutch and reworked it over time to become the winged, bloodshot figure parting a ring of fire with serpent-like tentacles. The highlighted lettering, vivid color, and complicated imagery reflect Griffin’s attention to precise details and the influence of Indian lore on his work.

Without doubt, 2017 has been a year that, though yielding some phenomenal music, also put some serious effort into killing off too many of our rock ‘n roll heroes.
The wonderful thing about records is that, no matter how many musicians we lose, when they go, or how their work changed over time, we’ll always have those vital, tangible slabs of wax cut deep with the songs that have defined and soundtracked our lives.
As we head into the final few weeks of December, do us (and yourself) a favor and revisit some of your favorite records, whether from this year or three decades past.
Those records brought you here, they keep us here, and we’re pretty sure they’ll still be here when we’re long gone.

Limited Edition Electric Ladyland [Redux] 4 Panel 2 Disc DigiPak.

DISC 1
1. AND THE GODS MADE LOVE – ELEPHANT TREE
2. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN (TO ELECTRIC LADYLAND) – OPEN HAND
3. CROSSTOWN TRAFFIC – SUPERCHIEF
4. VOODOO CHILE – ALL THEM WITCHES
5. LITTLE MISS STRANGE – ORIGAMI HORSES
6. LONG HOT SUMMER NIGHT – THE HEAVY EYES
7. COME ON (LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL) – EARTHLESS
8. GYPSY EYES – WO FAT
9. BURNING OF THE MIDNIGHT LAMP – MOS GENERATOR

DISC 2
1. RAINY DAY, DREAM AWAY – GOZU
2. 1983…(A MERMAN I SHOULD TURN TO BE) – SUMMONER
3. MOON, TURN THE TIDES… GENTLY GENTLY AWAY – CLAYMATION
4. STILL RAINING, STILL DREAMING – MOTHERSHIP
5. HOUSE BURNING DOWN – KING BUFFALO
6. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER – TUNGA MOLN
7. VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) – ELDER 

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