Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Jimi Hendrix Album - Valleys of Neptune

Listen to Jimi:

Buy it if you like it; but in the meantime - stream the hell out of it! It's awesome.


The Ottawa Citizen
A Must-Hear For Hendrix Fans
March 13, 2010

Valleys of Neptune ****

Jimi Hendrix
(Experience Hendrix/Sony)

Any new Jimi Hendrix material is cause for celebration.

September will mark 40 years since he died, yet his family is still finding unreleased recordings from the legendary guitarist who had a wealth of material in the vaults when he died on Sept. 18, 1970.

Valleys of Neptune collects some of the final recordings by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience along with three tracks featuring Billy Cox on bass in place of Noel Redding. Most of the 12 songs were recorded in 1969 following the release of Electric Ladyland, but prior to the sessions that would produce the posthumous First Rays of the New Rising Sun.

The material finds Hendrix moving away from psychedelia into heavier blues and funk territory. Collectors will have many of the songs on Valleys in different versions on numerous collections that have been released over the years. A reworked Stone Free is here, along with a rehearsal of Fire, an eight-minute version of Red House and Mr. Bad Luck, the set's oldest song, which evolved into Look Over Yonder. Fans may also recognize Lullaby for the Summer, which eventually became Ezy Ryder.

Among the highlights of the unearthed material is a seven-and-a-half-minute studio version of the live staple Hear My Train a Comin', a fuzzed out take of Lover Man and an instrumental run-through of the Cream classic Sunshine of Your Love. Considering Hendrix recorded an entire new collection of tunes after these, you wonder if he was happy with these songs, which would be highlights for many other artists, but are merely good for him.

Valleys of Neptune is the first in a series of new releases from Experience Hendrix, which also put out deluxe reissues of the three original Hendrix albums (Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland) earlier this week. Hendrix newbies should start there before moving on to Valleys, which is essential listening for fans, but not the place to start.

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