TO SUMMARY OF OFFICIAL LIVE SOURCES
This live section is divided into six decades.
Released 1971 – 1979
Back to the beginning of the seventies now, to follow the evolution of the successive live releases since Jimi left us.
WOODSTOCK TWO – Various artists ♥♥♥
Released March 1971 (Cotillion)
Jam Back At The House (Mitchell), Izabella, Get My Heart Back Together.
A double vinyl of more various artists at the famous festival, and a whole side this time for Jimi with his new band after the implosion of The Experience. Three very interesting numbers cropped up here which made this a worthwhile purchase at the time. “Jam Back At The House” is in fact “Beginning” (edited down) and “Get My Heart Back Together” is Jimi’s usual title for what has become known as “Hear My Train A Comin'” (he also called it “Lonesome Train” or was it “Lonesome Town” ?). This was also the first time the song “Izabella” turned up on a long playing record (only a rough cut studio version by A Band Of Gypsys had been released without Jimi’s approval as a Reprise single in the summer of 1970). Like “Beginning“, the track was edited down here.
Track reissued on: “Live at Woodstock”.
(see also DVD section)
“EXPERIENCE” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack ♥♥♥
Released July 1971 (Ember)
SIDE 1: Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton), Room Full Of Mirrors,
SIDE 2: Bleeding Heart (Jones/Bell), Smashing Of Amps
The very first JHE live album, featuring the band during their last UK performance at the Royal Albert Hall (24/02/69). They had also performed a week earlier on the 18th at the same venue. After seeing that first gig at the venue, Chas Chandler said that if he had been their manager at that time, he would have sacked the rhythm section on the spot! However, bootleg recordings of the concert reveal that the band were playing well and the played even better for this concert which was one of, if not the best Experience performance captured on tape. Monterey of course presents the band at their most spectacular and energetic, but here, in their last months, they rose to the occasion with some breathtaking performances.
It had been announced to the press before Christmas 1968 that The Experience would be splitting up in 1969, though not on a permanent basis. These concerts were obviously of great importance to the band, seeing as London was where they had begun, so it was decided that the event should be filmed. Jimi had wanted the English comic genius Spike Milligan (of The Goon Show fame) to be the compare but nothing came of it.
After the two gigs there, Jimi had mentioned to the press that the recordings would be released at some point in time. The movie was screened once but (according to Jerry Hopkins’ book) Mike Jeffery didn’t think the film was good enough and he convinced Warner Brothers to halt its distribution altogether!
In the early 2000s, after many discussions and legal proceedings, an album was assembled by Experience Hendrix in preparation for release but was shelved due to disagreements with Jerry Goldstein about the accompanying movie’s distribution. However, a rough cut of the film was assembled for a one-off screening at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019. We wait for further news.
So, back to 1971 and this album appeared on the Ember label (the rights to the recording didn’t belong to the Hendrix estate but to the film-makers Gold & Goldstein). Ithad a strange selection of tracks in an effort to present songs that were previously unreleased. “Sunshine Of Your Love” is Jimi’s fast instrumental version of the famous Cream song (1) incorporating the basic riff from “Outside Woman Blues” (also part of Cream’s repertoire) and it soon goes into a heavy Noel Redding bass solo. The embyonic “Room Full Of MIrrors” is an exciting jam featuring Traffic members Chris Wood on flute and Dave Mason on guitar plus percussionist Rocky Dzidournu(2) and on the night it was the continuation of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” towards the end of the set. Jimi’s cover of Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” (sometimes called “Peoples, Peoples, Peoples”or “C-Sharp Blues”) is just fantastic, with his vocals and guitar locking together perfectly. “Smashing Of Amps” is rather pointless on record and on the night, Jimi went wild for the cameras, for old times sake, he had really abandoned this sort of thing by then. In fact I think it was his very last guitar smashing exercise. Goodbye to the “Wild Man”.
It’s interesting note that the “Room Full Of Mirrors” jam with the band expanded to six musicians on stage, was a hint of Jimi’s vision for the furture of his work. Already, during the October 1968 residency at the Winterland, he had welcomed other musicians to the stage – Virgil Gonsalves (flute), Herbie Rich (organ) and Jack Cassidy (bass). Further into 1969 and Jimi revelled in studio jams with a great number of musicians and expressed in interviews his desire to expand the Experience or even create new ensembles. This dream was glimpsed only one other time when he took the stage at Woodstock a few months later with another six piece band (still including Mitch).
The film and complete concert on CD are set to be released by Experience Hendrix in the (near?) future.
This short winter tour of northern Europe was well documented with a few other gigs partially filmed and recorded (Vienna, Berlin and Stockholm). Also, a TV crew filmed the first set of Strasbourg, some of which appeared on the official “Experience” DVD and two set appeared with very good soundboard quality on bootlegs (Purple Haze Records for example).
Bleeding Heart – Jimi Hendrix Concerts
+ tracks spread across the unofficial Charly albums “Experience-Soundtrack” (1 CD), “Albert Hall Experience” (2 CD), “The Last Experience” (3 CD).
> In 2005 the unofficial Purple Haze Records released “An Evening With The Jimi Hendrix Experience” (Purple Haze Records) which was the best presentation yet of the entire concert.
(1) It is said that Cream wrote “Sunshine Of You Love” as a hommage to Jimi just after his arrival in London !
(2) You can see Rocky performing with The Stones in the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus” film, in which Mitch also appears.
This certainly looks like a film soundtrack ! The image of Jimi is from the film. – 7/10
This rights to the material on this album (and “More Experience” which followed) belonged to the film makers Steve Gold and Jerry Goldstein, who had made the film “Experience”. This was in agreement with Michael Jeffrey. When the latter put two Albert Hall tracks on “Hendrix In The West” the following year, he was promptly attacked by Gold & Goldstein for having done this. Soon after, the film maker’s accountant (Bernard Solomon) got hold of some of the tapes and proceeded to lease them to other labels. In 2008, Experience Hendrix and The Last Experience Incorporated (the successors of Gold & Goldstein) are still chasing after companies which continue to release Albert Hall materiel illegally (Charly included). – see Unofficial Releases page.
The official relaese from the Hendrix estate (CD and DVD) is still held up because of legal wranglings.
FIRST GREAT ROCK FESTIVALS OF THE SEVENTIES – Various artists ♥
Released September 1971 (Columbia)
Power To Love (Message To Love)/Midnight Lightning/Foxy Lady
A various artists compilation of performances at The Atlanta and Isle Of Wight pop festivals. This has one star for the Hendrix content only and doesn’t apply to the performances of the other artists featured.
Here, we have three poor tracks from Jimi’s disappointing appearance at the Isle Of Wight Festival (see next paragraph). The same year, Midnight Lightning and Foxy Lady would appear on the all Hendrix “Isle Of Wight” album (see below). For many years, this was the only source for this version of “Message To Love”.
Thanks again to Maurice for the cover shot.
Tracks available today on: “Blue Wild Angel”
Isle of Wight ♥♥
Released November 1971 (Polydor)
SIDE 1: Midnight Lightning, Foxy Lady, Lover Man
SIDE 2: Freedom, All Along The Watchtower (Dylan), In From The Storm.
A sad offering of Jimi’s appearance at this pop festival (30/08/70) at three in the morning. He didn’t want to do this European tour (this was the first date). The band hadn’t played together since the gigs in Hawaii of a month earlier and as Mitch has said, they were rusty. Jimi couldn’t see the audience against the night sky, it was cold and he was ill. His heart just wasn’t in it, and it shows in his playing, particularly on the first three tracks here. The tracks on side two are more interesting, “Freedom” comes across quite well and Jimi’s delivery of “Watchtower“, although a little strained is quite moving, particularly when he shouts out the line “There’s too much confusion !” into the cold night . The last track of the performance, “In From The Storm“, sounds like his last gasp (he threw his guitar down as he left the stage).
Just what were Polydor thinking in putting out this awful album, which at the time did great damage to Jimi’s reputation. The poor souls who made this their first Hendrix purchase certainly didn’t understand why he was so highly regarded. The concert has been seen as the sure sign that Jimi had lost his abilities, which is nonsence. As the short tour continued the group soon found their feet, putting in fine performances at Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, and Fehmarn Island a few days later, with Jimi seemingly recovering from his bout of exhaustion. Unfortunately those concerts were not professionnaly recorded.
Before long, more extracts from the Isle Of Wight performance would find their way onto various compilations (“A Film About Jimi Hendrix” movie soundtrack and Polydor’s budget Rare Tracks – see below).
> At the time, though he had mixed the tapes, Eddie Kramer didn’t think that the Isle Of Wight performances were up to standard and he didn’t want his name to be associated with the final product (he didn’t seem to mind putting together Blue Wild Angel in 2002!). Mike Jeffrey – opting for a European-only release – handed the tapes over to Polydor engineer Carlos Ohlms who put this shoddy offering together.
Available today on: “Blue Wild Angel” (the whole gruelling show).
(see also DVD section)
The superb sleeve photo is not from the Isle Of Wight but from the Berlin concert five days later (which wasn’t too bad). – 7/10
HENDRIX IN THE WEST ♥♥♥♥
Released February 1972 (Polydor)
SIDE 1: Johnny B. Goode (Berry), Lover Man, Blue Suede Shoes (Perkins), Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
SIDE 2: The Queen (Traditional)/Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Lennon/McCartney), Little Wing , Red House.
At last came a satisfying live album, comprising tracks from The Royal Albert Hall again (stunning versions of “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Chile”), San Diego Sports Arena 24/05/69 (“Red House”), and Berkeley Community Centre 30/05/70 (“Johnny B.Goode”, “Lover Man”, “Blue Suede Shoes”) and a novelty “God Save The Queen/Sgt. Peppers” , Jimi’s opening gag from the Isle Of Wight concert.
It’s amusing to hear as the disc opens, that at Berkeley, Jimi tears into the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B. Goode” the moment somebody in the audience requests it, saying “Johnny B. Goode. What the hell !” Another fifties classic gets the Hendrix treatment on the loose jam around Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” , which was in fact recorded during the sound checks for the Berkeley concerts. The superb version of “Red House”(probably the best ever recording of the song) illustrates just how far The Experience had taken the song since the first version presented on “Are You Experienced”. “Lover Man” also is the simply best recorded version there is (it re-appeared more recently on the 2003 release “Live At Berkeley”).
The original edition had deliberately erroneous sleeve notes, attributing “Voodoo Child” and “Little Wing” to San Diego, in an effort to dodge legal wrangles with film directors Gold and Goldstein who owned the “Experience” soundtrack rights ! The dodge didn’t work and Mike Jeffrey was sued for it (things have since been sorted out as the Hendrix Estate has acquired the rights).
This one time favourite of all Hendrix live albums is now deleted but most of it turned up in 2000 on the “Jimi Hendrix Experience” box set and in a 2011 “re-issue” of “In The West”.
They don’t make albums like this anymore.
Johnny B. Goode, Blue Suede Shoes, Red House – “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” purple box set, “In The West” reissue*
Voodoo Chile, Little Wing – MCA box set, “Experience-Soundtrack” (Charly), “Albert Hall Experience” (Charly), “The Last Experience” (Charly) plus “An Evening With The Jimi Hendrix Experience” (Purple Haze Records – Unofficial).
Lover Man – “Live At Berkeley” (MCA), “In The West” reissue
The Queen/Sgt. Pepper’s – “Blue Wild Angel” (MCA), “In The West” reissue
* Note that for the 2011 re-issue of this album, the fabulous Royal Albert Hall tracks were not used! Instead, tracks from other concerts were substituted for some reason. As said above, theRAH versions are in the purple box set.
Also, the sound of the San Diego “Red House” is inferior on the re-release of this album but is fine in the purple box! Go figure.
Great photos across this gatefold sleeve by top rock photographer Jim Marshall (see Alternate Sleeves – page 5). – 10/10
Another blue shirt photo was used recently for MCA’s “Voodoo Chile” compilation and an advertising campaign by Hewlett Packard !
MORE EXPERIENCE ♥♥♥
Released March 1972 (Ember)
Little Ivey (Little Wing), Voodoo Chile (Slight Return), Room Full of Mirrors (remix), Fire, Purple Haze, Wild Thing (Taylor), Bleeding Heart (remix) (Jones/Bell)
More recordings from the superb Albert Hall 1969 show and evidently Ember mustn’t have had rights to enough tracks for a substantial second album, so two tracks from “Experience” reappear in a clumsy collage mix. In trying to squeeze two albums out of the tapes, Ember missed the chance to issue a killer of an album. The fantastic versions of “Little Wing” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” are identical to those on “In The West”. Fire” is just perfect.
This is 1969 and Jimi was long since tired of putting on his “Wild Man” show and the band made an effort to really explore their music on stage, with almost every number becoming a long jam. Jimi’s playing was impeccable throughout this concert but tuning problems at the end of the gig threw him a little off mark on the final “Purple Haze” /”Wild Thing”.
Little Wing, Voodoo Chile – “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” purple box set
+ tracks spread across the unofficial Charly albums “Experience-Soundtrack” (1 CD), “Albert Hall Experience” (2 CD), “The Last Experience” (3 CD).
Same photo source and typo code as “Experience” – 7/10
JIMI HENDRIX (Film Soundtrack) ♥♥♥♥
Released 1973 (Reprise)
SIDE 1: Rock Me Baby (Monterey 67), Wild Thing (Monterey 67) (Taylor), Machine Gun I (Isle Of Wight 70), Interviews I
SIDE 2: Johnny B. Goode (Berkeley 70) (Berry), Hey Joe (Roberts) (Monterey 67), Purple Haze (1st show Berkeley 70), Like a Rolling Stone (Dylan), (Monterey 67) , Interviews II
SIDE 3: Star Spangled Banner (Woodstock 69), Machine Gun II (Fillmore East 70), Hear My Train A-Comin’ (London film studio 67), Interviews III
SIDE 4: Red House (Isle Of Wight 70), ln From the Storm (Isle Of Wight 70), Interviews IV
A handsomely packaged “Best Of” live, to accompany Joe Boyd’s cinema released film (no DVD, no video in those days kids!). This was the first time we got the acoustic “Hear My Train A Comin’” on record (later the opener on the “Jimi Hendrix: Blues” CD) and an illustration of Jimi performing it graced the white gatefold cover. At the time, some tracks were previously unreleased: “Machine Gun 1″ ,”Hey Joe” , “Red House” and a killer “Purple Haze” (which has never reappeared since, apart from the Video/DVD of this and the “Jimi Plays Berkeley” film ). Each vinyl side closes with a few snatches of interviews (Jimi, Little Richard, Alan Douglas, Ghetto Fighters …), some of which are featured in the film – See Film section.
Available today on: various releases (except the interviews and “Purple Haze“, only on DVD/Blue-ray).
Neat design and a nice illustration by Nigel Weymouth, which puts over well the fact that this album is a portrait. – 10/10
> The film was re-released in 2005 on DVD with over an hour of bonus interviews – see DVD section. Strangely, the soundtrack didn’t get a re-release.
“JIMI PLAYS BERKELEY” ♥♥♥♥
Released 1973 (Barclay – France)
Johnny B. Goode (Berry), Purple Haze, Star Spangled Banner (Traditional), Little Wing, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Machine Gun, I Don’t Live Today, Lover Man
A bizarre French compilation album with a totally misleading title because there are only two tracks from the Berkekey concerts are included (“Johnny B. Goode” and “Lover Man”)! This is almost a “Best of live Hendrix” album with “Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock, “Machine Gun” from Band Of Gypsys, plus “Voodoo Chile” and “Little Wing” from Albert Hall 69! Then for some reason, it is filled out with the studio versions of “Purple Haze” and “I Don’t Live Today”. It is packed with absolutely fantastic music but what were Barclay thinking ?
Tracks available today on: various releases.
That looks like Jimi circa 1967 so it doesn’t fit here, and that lettering ! – 4/10
RARE TRACKS (Various artists) ♥
Released 1975 (Polydor)
Dolly Dagger (Isle Of Wight 1970)
This 1975 special priced Polydor compilation presented a new live song from the Isle Of Wight performance: “Dolly Dagger”. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty lacklustre and hesitant performance of the song, which Jimi had already planned as his next single.
This brought the total of Isle Of Wight songs released in the 70s to twelve! This particilar extract of the gig was to appear five years later on the dutch compilation Jimi Hendrix Live (see next page).
> Thanks to Nigel for information about this compilation!
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