Here are the other albums that were in the shops while Jimi walked the Earth.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED (US compilation) ♥♥♥♥♥
Released USA September 1967 (Reprise)
SIDE 1: Purple Haze, Manic Depression, Hey Joe (Roberts), Love or Confusion, May This Be Love, l Don’t Live Today
SIDE 2: The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, 3rd Stone From The Sun, Foxy Lady, Are You Experienced
Once The Experience began to make a name for themselves in the States (after the Monterey Pop Festival, a residency at the San Francisco Fillmore West, and many New York and Washington dates) this new version of “Are You Experienced” was assembled by Reprise for the American market. With a more psychedelic cover than the European edition, it omitted “Red House”, “Remember” and “Can You See Me” in favour of the three British hit singles “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze” and “The Wind Cries Mary” making it certainly a stronger commercial album and already a greatest hits! “Red House” had been put aside because Reprise considered that blues was not popular enough in the US at that time. Jimi was disappointed by this decision and would promise to US audiences that “Red House” would be put out eventually. An alternate version (recorded a week or so after the version that appeared on the European Are You Experienced) would appear in the USA in 1969 on the American version of “Smash Hits” (see below).
Trivia: the US version of “Are You Experienced” lists “Foxey Lady” with an “e”, an error often repeated.
> From 1997 onwards, the re-releases on CD (and occasional double vinyl) included the first three UK single B-sides plus the three songs from the original UK album that were omitted for the US version: Stone Free, 51st Anniversary, Highway Chile, Can You See Me, Red House (the U.S. Smash Hits versions were used for the last two songs there).
> An Analogue Productions SACD of this album – release date December 27th, 2019 – A Bernie Grundman remaster in mono and stereo! Axis Bold As Love has already appeared form the label. Here is Gord’s review of the SACD hybrid
Mono and Stereo mixes
Best vinyl version?
In an effort to correct drabness of the UK sleeve, this version opted for a bright yellow, some fashionable psychedelic lettering and a nice fish eye shot of the band in a park taken by Karl Ferris in Kew Gardens, London. Good overall colour harmony but nothing really original – 8/10
SMASH HITS (UK version) ♥♥♥♥½
Released April 1968 (Track)
SIDE 1: Purple Haze, The Wind Cries Mary, CanYou See Me, 51st Anniversary, Hey Joe
SIDE 2: Stone Free, Fire,The Stars That Play With Laughin’ Sams Dice, Manic Depression, Highway Chile, The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp, Foxy Lady.
This was released just 11 months after the Experience’s debut album, making it the first ever Hendrix compilation (apart from the US “AYE” that is). The album featured the band’s first 4 singles (A and B sides) plus a few up-beat tracks from “Are You Experienced” but nothing from “Axis” ! This was an essential buy for those who didn’t have all the singles and this album was the perfect accompaniement to “Are You Experienced”. Before the CD age, “Smash Hits” was the only source of those precious B-sides (apart from the later released “Singles Album”).
A very Pop orientated album cover, with garish lettering and a multiple, transparent Jimi who moves in all directions (which he certainly did) – 8/10
ELECTRIC JIMI HENDRIX
Released 1968 (Track) – Mail order only
SIDE 1: Still Raining, Still Dreaming, House Burning Down, All Along The Watchtower (Dylan), Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
SIDE 2: Little Miss Strange (Redding), Long Hot Summer Night, Come On (Part One) (King), Gypsy Eyes, Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
This album was put out as a teaser just before the release of “Electric Ladyland”! However, Jimi was displeased with the idea (and the cover), so he took action to suspend it. It’s made up of sides B and D of “Electric Ladyland” and was made available by Polydor (on the Track label) as part of their mail order series called “The Audio Club Of Great Britain”. A clean copy is now worth alot of money!
Thanks to Maurice for the cover shot.
The photo on the cover was later used as a standard Polydor press handout (I got one in 80s – see my Acknowledgements) and more recently it turned up on “Live At Berkeley”. Here however, the cosmic vapour coming from Jimi’s head looks pretty silly – 2/10
THE HOUSE THAT TRACK BUILT – Various artists
Released April 1969 (Track)
The Who – Magic Bus – Young Man Blues – A Quick One While He’s Away / The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower – Purple Haze / The Sand Pebbles – Love Power / Precisions – This is Love / John’s Children – Desdemona / Fairport Convention – If I had A Ribbon Bow / Thunderclap Newman – Wilhelmina / The Parliaments – I Wanna Testify / The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown – Fire – Devil’s Grip
A rare Track compilation from 1969! In 1970, Track released many more compilation albums like this featuring their stable of artists – see Compilations section.
SMASH HITS (US version) ♥♥♥♥½
Released July 1969 (Reprise)
Released July 1969 (US-Reprise)
SIDE 1: Purple Haze, Fire,The Wind Cries Mary, Can You See Me (version 2), Hey Joe
SIDE 2: Stone Free, Manic Depression, Foxy Lady, Crosstown Traffic, All Along The Watchtower (Dylan), Red House (version 2)*, Remember.
The US version of “Smash Hits”, released as late as July 1969, had not only a different track listing than the UK version of 1968, but also featured a superb alternate take of “Red House” (called Version 2 on this site) recorded a week or so after the version that had appeared on the European Are You Experienced and finalised in early April 1967). Jimi had thus kept his promise to the American public that they would hear the song on record one day. This version has a crisper sound, with extra overdubs and a little reverb. The version of “Can You See Me” here, has a slightly different mix and additional vocal overdubs compared to the original one on the UK “AYE” (the US version is recognisable by Jimi saying “…You can’t see me” over the closing drum roll).
The later appearance of this compilation permitted it to include two hits from “Electric Ladyland” (but still nothing from “Axis” !). The album also had a different back cover, with the band dressed up as Mexican bandits. A front cover was also prepared using photos from that shoot but was abandoned at the time but it was revived in 2016 for a Record Day Special and eventually retained for further vinyl releases.
This “Smash Hits” was put out instead of an Experience live album that Eddie Kramer had prepared ! Tracks that we know he had mixed include “Star Spangled Banner”, “Purple Haze” (San Diego 5/24/69), “Little Wing”, “Hear My Train A Comin'” (Royal Albert Hall 2/24/69). “I Don’t Live Today” (Los Angeles Forum 4/26/69)
< The abandoned cover which reappeared on vinyl in 2016 for Record Store Day and on later vinyl editions.
* Version 2 of “Red House” appeared shortly earlier than on the US Smash Hits on an American various artists compilation titled “The 1969 Warner Reprise Songbook”.
“Red House” Version 2 is available today on albums “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues” and the “Experience Hendrix” compilation. It had also cropped up in the nineties on the Alan Douglas CD remaster of the otherwise UK running order “Are You Experienced” and later as a bonus on the US versions of that album.
WOODSTOCK (motion picture soundtrack) ♥♥♥
Released June 1970 (Cotillion)
Various artists including Hendrix with:
Star Spangled Banner (Traditional)/Purple Haze/lmprovisation/Villonova Junction
The festival took place in August 1969 (so before The Band Of Gypsys experiment) and this was a triple vinyl (and now a double CD) “soundtrack” for the famous “Woodstock” movie. The album features various artists of course, with a few excerpts of Jimi’s historic performance. So this is just after Noel Redding had left The Experience (last concert at Denver Mile High Stadium, Colorado 29/06/69) and Jimi takes the stage with his new band called Gypsy Sun and Rainbows (“…or just A Band Of Gypsys, anything you like…” he said on stage that day). Billy Cox, Jimi’s pre-Experience touring partner plays bass, Mitch Mitchell is still there, and extra musicians are Larry Lee on rhythm guitar (and occasional lead guitar and lead vocal on the day), Jerry Velez (congas) and Juma Sultan (percussion).
Thanks to the film and this album, this is the most famous recording of Jimi’s powerful and poignant anti-war interpretation of “The Star Spangled Banner” which he had begun to put together in 1968 when he had included it as part of a suite that he had called “This Is America” (which had also incorporated the “Bonanza” TV series theme tune !*). After the great “Purple Haze” the “Improvisation” is edited down and soon cuts into the final and moving “Villanova Junction”.
Jimi said of this release: “I don’t know why they used those tracks of mine, I really don’t.”
More numbers from this gig later appeared on “Woodstock Two” and more complete recordings of the gig have since been released on the Hendrix-only “Jimi Hendrix: Woodstock” and “Live at Woodstock”. (see Live section)
See also DVD
* Later released on the “Winterland” box set.
Tracks available today on: “Live at Woodstock” (MCA).
Historic Performances Recorded at the Monterey International Pop Festival ♥♥♥♥
Released August 1970 (UK-Atlantic, US-Reprise)
Like a Rolling Stone (Dylan)/Rock Me, Baby (King)/Can You See Me/Wild Thing (Taylor)
This legendary concert was recorded back in June 1967 but these extracts were released over three years later, only just before Jimi died. There was only one vinyl side of highlights from the Experience’s American debut proper (the other side of the album featured excerpts from Otis Redding’s excellent set*). Jimi brought the house down of course (and nearly set fire to it as it happens), and the atmosphere of the event is well captured here. The band’s label mates The Who were also on the bill that day and Pete Townsend refused to follow Jimi. The Who put on a characteristic explosive performance which only galvanized Jimi into going even further. After The Grateful Dead played their set, Jimi came on and he pulled all the stops, using every one of his attention grabbing tricks that had brought him so much success across Europe. His final guitar sacrifice is the stuff of legend.
Not all of the concert was on this album of course but it was a great selection, mostly avoiding songs that had already appeared on the bands albums. With “Rock Me Baby”, Jimi sang B.B. King’s lyrics to his own music (he eventually wrote his own lyrics and the song became “Lover Man”). The band play their legendary interpretations of Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” and The Trogg’s “Wild Thing” for the climax.
The video does more justice to the performance as Jimi concentrated more on putting on a highly visual show than actually really playing. Still, this is high energy rock ‘n’ roll its best.
This once precious album has since been overshadowed by the full set, released on record (and video) first as “Jimi Plays Monterey” (see Live section-80s) and now as “Live At Monterey (see Live section-2000+).
* On Side 2, Otis Redding is backed as usual by Booker T And The MGs, and their guitarist Steve Cropper was an old aquaintance of Jimis. It has been said that the two had even cut an acetate together in the mid sixties but Cropper has denied this. The group would later issue an instrumental cover of “Foxy Lady” on one of their albums and much later Booker T. Jones recorded a version of “Red House” with John Lee Hooker (issued on the album “Red House: Variations On A Theme” – see Posthumous Live Releases >8Os).
Deleted in this form.
The European release featured simply an adaptation of the festival poster with Hendrix and Redding incrusted below – 6/10
The American version had a nicely structured montage with more festival action shots – 7/10
The Curtis Knight albums
Much to Jimi’s frustration to stop them, these albums were also in the shops in the late sixties. They were mostly made up of recordings that Jimi had made in 1966 before he was discovered by Chas Chandler. Some other tracks are assembled from two June 1967 reunion sessions, when Jimi had dropped in to see his old friend in New York. It must be stressed that this is all pretty lousy materiel but it is interesting because Jimi is on there.
> For details about the pre-Experience recordings, see the Before Fame section
> For details about the 1967 sessions see Curtis Knight recordings released in Jimi’s Lifetime
What else was going on at the same time as Jimi’s success?
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