Message To Love/Changes – 7″ vinyl single
Released: April 2020 – US only (perhaps)
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the original BAND OF GYPSYS album release, independent records stores throughout the US sold a limited edition, 7″ orange-swirl colored single featuring “Message To Love” and “Changes” as part of Record Store Day on April 18, 2020.
LIVE IN MAUI ♥♥♥
Release date: 20 November 2020 (Sony Legacy) – 3LP or 2CD + 1 Blu-ray disc
CD1 (1st half of the show): Chuck Wein Introduction, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), In From the Storm, Foxy Lady, Hear My Train A-Comin’, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Fire, Purple Haze, Spanish Castle Magic, Lover Man, Message to Love
CD2 (2nd half of the show) : Dolly Dagger, Villanova Junction, Ezy Ryder, Red House, Freedom, Jam Back at the House, Straight Ahead, Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) / Midnight Lightning, Stone Free
Blu-ray: “Music, Money, Madness…” documentary + concert footage in bonus section
The long-awaited offical release of the July 1970 Maui recordings. The concert performance (in two parts) took place on the island of Maui, Hawaii on July 30th 1970, on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano. “Live At Maui” or “Live On Maui” would’ve made more sense as a title but there you go.
The idea of creating an event/movie at the islands of Hawaii had been discussed by Jimi and his manager Mike Jeffrey back in 1968 and the latter visited the islands very often.
Jeffrey met Chuck Wein (who had previously worked with Andy Warhol) who by chance had plans to make a new-age, counter-culture movie on Maui. Jeffrey decided to invest in the project and managed to get funding by selling the idea to Warner Brothers that Jimi would provide the movie soundtrack (not live concert music) for the surfing scenes etc.
Jimi and the band flew to the islands for a gig in Honolulu and an unpublicised open air gig on Maui as a way of contributing to the film project. Tragically, Jimi died seven weeks after the event, so he never got the chance to record the soundtrack music that had been promised to Warner. To remedy this problem, studio recordings dating from 1968 to 1970 and a live track (Hear My Train A Comin’) from Berkeley 1970 were used for the soundtrack album “Rainbow Bridge”.
The actual live recordings from the Maui performances had been considered unusable because of technical problems on the day. The wind had been so strong that miking Jimi and Mitch’s drums posed problems. Foam from the guitar cases had to be tied around the mics, to dampen the wind interference and this resulted in a deadened, muffled sound. For the movie, Mitch overdubbed his drum parts on some songs in the studio in 1971 but nothing was released on record. Bootlegs of the un-retouched tapes soon appeared and much later, in 2002, the near-full concert appeared in high street record shops on the unofficial Purple Haze Records label. That edition featured a mixture of studio and live drums (which are somewhat muffled in the mix). This new official album again features a mixture of studio overdubbed drums and the original drums, so sound quality varies greatly. Some live drums are pretty good stereo but on some songs they are in mono. Perhaps the crew were tackling problems on the fly or we have a mix of multi-track and film crew sound recordings.
Despite the drum problems and the strained nature of Jimi’s vocals, this is an enjoyable performance. Great versions of Hey Baby/In From The Storm and Foxy Lady plus many fine performances of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Hear My Train A Comin’, Purple Haze, Ezy Ryder, Red House, etc.
The second set (after the short intermission on the day where the band retired to a nearby tent for a breather), has a more laid-back feel, with rare performances of Dolly Dagger, Villanova Junction, Jam Back At The House (a.k.a. Beginning), Midnight Lightning and Straight Ahead. Unfortunately, the second set has slightly lesser sound quality and this makes me feel that this material would have been better suited for a Dagger Records release. There are a few glitches here and there (Lover Man, Beginning and the missing intro of Hey Baby) but we can be thankful that more wasn’t lost during the difficult recording procedure on the day. Many great Hendrix moments to discover and some fantastic playing/improvisation.
The Blu-ray disc included here features a very long “documentary” and all the surviving footage in a separate section. See the DVD page for a review of the Blu-ray disc (which has issues).
Recordings previously released:
Hey Baby / In From The Storm – purple box (2000)
Foxy Lady – Voodoo Child compilation (2001)
The cover very nicely conveys the spirit of the day. – 9/10
WINTERLAND – Single vinyl version (Target exclusive) ♥♥♥♥
Release date: November 2020 (Sony Legacy)
Side A – Fire, Foxy Lady, Like A Rolling Stone
Side B – Hey Joe, Little Wing, Are You Experienced?, Purple Haze
A selection of tracks from the previous Winterland album to cash in on the vinyl (fetishism) trend and this is a damn good Jimi Hendrix Experience L.P.!
I don’t know which versions were used here.
PARIS 67 – Record Store Day exclusive vinyl ♥♥♥♥
Released: November 26 2021 (Dagger Records) – mail order only?
Side A – Stone Free, Hey Joe Fire, Catfish Blues, The Wind Cries Mary
Side B – Rock Me Baby, Red House, Purple Haze, Wild Thing
Live At The Olympia Theater, Paris, France, October 9, 1967
A (Record Store Day) re-release of the Paris Olympia tracks (that were previously on the Dagger Records CD Paris 67/San Francisco 68) but this time augmented with the two tracks from the performance that were initially released on the 2000 purple box set. These recordings had already appeared on vinyl (without Catfish Blues and The Wind Cries Mary) in a limited edition Geffen Records box set, along with the Dagger CD Live 68 – Paris/Ottawa CD , T-shirt, badges, picks,…
> For my review of the peformance, see Posthumous Live Albums 2000s section or my Dagger Records page.
A bootleg-like look to this one. A rather glum shot of the band… in Munich! Oh what a silly mistake. – 5/10
FREEDOM: Atlanta Pop Festival – single vinyl version (Walmart exclusive) ♥♥♥
Released: 2021 (Sony)
All Along The Watchtower (Dylan), Freedom, Foxy Lady, Purple Haze, Hey Joe, Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Stone Free/Star Spangled Banner/Straight Ahead
A single LP edition of the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival performance (only the second half). Something of a pointless cash-in on the vinyl trend.
Quite a nice multiple snapshot montage – 7/10
LOS ANGELES FORUM – April 26, 1969 ♥♥♥♥
Release: November 18, 2022 (Sony)
Tax Free, Foxy Lady, Red House, Spanish Castle Magic, Star Spangled Banner, Purple Haze, I Don’t Live Today, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Sunshine Of Your Love / Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
At loooong last the complete L.A. Forum ’69 show sees an official release. This concert (and San Diego a month later) had been recorded in the hope of making a follow-up album to Electric Ladyland and as a possible settlement for Ed Chalpin (PPX Enterprises). In the end, Reprise Records rejected the idea and relased the U.S. version of Smash Hits in its place and Capitol eventually got Band Of Gypsys.
An edited version of this show had appeared as a bonus disc in the Lifelines box set in 1990 (as Lifelines IV). That disc omitted “Foxy Lady”, “Tax Free” was edited down and a Jimi rap during “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” was lost in the mix. Also, Alan Douglas messed up the production for the Lifelines disc with stark over-separation of the instruments, leaving Noel’s bass buzzing away on the right. Also, the full show had been circulating for decades among collectors and in the shops as bootlegs (the most high profile releases being on the Mike Jeffrey Estate labels Burning Airlines/Alchemy, Radioactive, etc….).
So here we have a new Eddie Kramer mix (from the original tapes) and a top class Bernie Grundman mastering (CD and vinyl), so the sound is excellent and a big improvement over the Lifelines box version and that the vinyl pressings are said to be excellent.
It’s time for a little reappraisal of this concert. The sixth date of the final original Experience tour, with a quite jovial Hendrix (in contrast to his rather solomn mood at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of months earlier). Interesting to note that the following night they played Oakland Coliseum, an audience recording of which was released on Dagger Records back in 1999. One month later came the San Diego concert (featured in the Stages box set and on the updated Hendrix In The West).
To affirm his intention to stretch out, Jimi kicks off with a monster jam on Tax Free (which had been in their live repertoire for over a year). It’s a bit of a raggedy version with tuning and sound problems here and there but there’s a lot of great soloing to enjoy. It features a drum solo from Mitch which is a bit tedious in an opening song.
A strong Foxy Lady follows and it totally ignites the concert. Then comes a superb rendition of Red House (with Jimi shushing the crowd during the soft intro). Jimi is in great voice and his guitar playing off the scale.
Things must have become a little agitated in the audience as Jimi dedicates the extraordinay version of Spanish Castle Magic to “…the plain-clothes police out there and other goofballs”. It’s a great version, with Jimi’s explorations taking it in all directions – he even slips in a little section/riff from Drivin’ South at one point and another part is similar to the Woodstock improvisation. Within that section there is 30 seconds of previously unheard soloing from Jimi, as he quietens things down and evokes the melody and tempo of Villanova Junction Blues (which followed the rhythmic improvisation at Woodstock). As the song winds up, Jimi takes it very gently and a little awkwardly into The Star Spangled Banner saying “Here’s a song that we was all brainwashed with!” (and a quick “…bullshit” at the appropriate moment), before revving it up for the transition into a terrific Purple Haze.
The audience goes beserk and as the police and officials take the stage to wrestle with them, Jimi sings “Scuse me while I kiss this policeman” and “Whatever it is, that – headache – put a spell on me.” Jimi gives the crowd their money’s worth with a spectacular drawn-out climax and as the song ends we can hear all hell break loose and Noel appeals to everyone to sit down. Jimi also pleas for calm before he introduces I Don’t Live Today. A terrific rendition with strong backing vocals from Noel.
More mayhem follows as Jimi again urges the audience to calm down, while conversing with either the police or the security personnel (to whom he hilariously makes his guitar say “Fuck you motherfucker!”).
The band conclude with a mammouth jam on Voodoo Child (Slight Return). Jimi vocally impovises around the last verse (of the first part) telling everyone to thank God for their blessings when they feel down. This part was silenced on Lifelines IV but is audible here, though a drop in audio quality is noticible (possibly picked up on another microphone). Halfway through Voodoo Child, the band go into a decent Sunshine Of Your Love/Outside Woman Blues then Jimi rather clumsily reboots Voodoo Child but takes things to a lavish conclusion, complete with a speedy Race With The Devil riff. The whole thing comes to a crunching feedback drenched finale, winding up an extraordinary, tumultuous show.
Previous official releases:
Lifelines box set – which omitted Foxy Lady (Reprise 1990)
Foxy Lady – on the CD edition of The Jimi Hendrix Concerts (CBS 1989)
Red House – on Red House: Variations On A Theme (Hal Leaonard 1989)
I Don’t Live Today – on the compilations Experience Hendrix (limited edition CD2 re-release MCA 2000), The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (MCA 2000), Voodoo Child (MCA 2001)
Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze, – West Coast Seattle Boy box set (Sony 2010)
Not a great 1969 photo of the band and it’s too big in the frame (it’ll look awful on the vinyl edition). Looks like it was done like that to satisfy the Mitchell/Redding families after the recent rights dispute. – 4/10
HOLLYWOOD BOWL – August 18, 1967 ♥♥♥ – NEW RELEASE!
Release: 10 November 2023 (Sony)
Sergent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Killing Floor, The Wind Cries Mary, Foxy Lady, Catfish Blues, Fire, Like A Rolling Stone, Purple Haze, Wild Thing
Yet another live album and this time it’s a never-before-heard performance (not even on bootlegs) from August 1967 at The Hollywood Bowl, when the band were the support act for The Mamas & The Papas. Before this live album, the only 1967 concerts released had been Paris Olympia, Monterey and Radiothuset, Stockholm, so it’s great to hear another regular tour gig from the band’s first US tour.
This is a good quality radio station soundboard tape (not a professional multi-track recording) capturing all instruments very well and even Mitch’s cymbals. The original tape was a two-track recording apparently but it has a central mono-like mix here. Jimi’s (excellent) vocals are quite up-front. So it’s not top-notch in terms of sound quality. Think of it like a fantastic bootleg!
The Mamas & The Papas had of course also played at the Monterey Pop Festival only two months earlier but here at the Bowl, the atmosphere isn’t the same and The Experience find themselves in front of a rather disinterested folk audience and they don’t go down very well (Scott McKenzie was also on the bill). At this stage in the U.S.A., Jimi was still practically unknown and the crowd here doesn’t know what to make of him, even laughing at the band’s appearance as they take the stage, to which Jimi replies “I don’t mind if you laugh, as long as you laugh in key” (a phrase he would repeat at Fehmarn Island three years later but in reply to the booing of hecklers – “…as long as you boo in key… you mothers”).
All this doesn’t stop the band launching into a spirited performance of Sgt. Peppers and a brilliant Killing Floor. During The Wind Cries Mary there are a couple of vocal drop-outs (or Jimi just stops singing for some reason) but otherwise it’s a neat rendition. A standard and excellent Foxy Lady follows and then we’re into an early performance of Catfish Blues which has a little sound trouble at the outset, not a great lead-in to Mitch’s drum solo but some superb guitar playing. Fire is full-on and fun, leading us into a regular Like A Rolling Stone. Jimi then announces to the sluggish crowd that they have “…two more…to do, thank God” and they rip into a fast paced Purple Haze, then close with a classic bash of Wild Thing.
So this is a nice addition to the collection for those who already own a number of the more renowned Hendrix live albums. Because of the relatively inferior sound quality (in relation to a multi-track recording), one would normally have expected this to be a mail-order-only Dagger Records release but due to the vinyl craze and the fact that the well is now running dry for the Hendrix estate, here it is everywhere on Sony Legacy.
> Here is a short official interview film about the performance, where you can hear some other extracts.
> A show from a year later at the same venue appeared in the Electric Ladyland 50th Anniversary box set.
A funky 60s approach which looks better on a CD than an LP. – 6/10
Sergent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Killing Floor – Limited edition free 7″ single
Release: November 2023 (Sony)
In the November issue of Musikexpress, lucky German fans can get their hands on this single with two songs from the Hollywood Bowl 1967 performance.
PARIS 1968 – re-release (Amazon USA exclusive vinyl edition) ♥♥♥♥
Release: 13 November 2023 (Dagger Records/Legacy)
L’OLYMPIA THEATRE IN PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 29, 1968
Killing Floor, Catfish Blues, Foxy Lady, Red House, Drivin’ South, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, Little Wing, Purple Haze
It’s very bizarre that this is coming out at the same time as the above Hollywood Bowl release. It’s the first vinyl release of this album that appeared initially on CD titled “Live 1968: Paris/Ottawa” back in 2008 as a mail order only release on Dagger.
That CD reappeared in 2009 in a bundle with the Paris ’67 show (on vinyl) plus a T-shirt, poster, badges, guitar picks, a poster, ticket reproductions and stickers.
> Previously released in the Stages box set (1991 – with a different mix/mastering) and Live 1968- Paris/Ottawa (2008). See the appropriate sections for my reviews of this excellent concert.
A similar approach to the Hollywood Bowl 68 cover. Quite striking but again, the photo is too big for a vinyl cover. The photo isn’t from the Paris show either. – 7/10
LIVE IN MAUI ♥♥♥♥
Release date: 3 November 2023 (Sony Legacy) – 1LP Limited Edition
Side 1: Hey Baby (New Rising Sun), In From The Storm, Foxey Lady, Ezy Rider
Side 2: Hear My Train A Comin’, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Purple Haze
A limited single (clear) vinyl edition which makes for an excellent live album.
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