Tuesday (November 27) marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of Jimi Hendrix. Over the past few weeks, CBS Local has discussed the man’s impact and legacy with a number of different artists, from Robert Lamm of Chicago to Kirk Hammett of Metallica.
Hendrix died in 1970 at age 27 having released only three studio albums in his lifetime. But 1967’s Are You Experienced? and 1968’s Axis: Bold As Love, along with Electric Ladyland, which came out later that same year, all have legendary status and have changed the course of popular music. And, as it turned out, Hendrix recorded a lot more material than what was contained on those three LPs.
From 1971’s The Cry Of Love to 2010’s Valleys Of Neptune, there seems to be a never ending trove of studio sessions that have yet to see commercial release. Happily, for fans, there’s more on the way.
People, Hell & Angels is the next collection of unheard recordings, and will be out on March 5, 2013. The album features Hendrix at the point that he was starting to work outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience (which featured bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell). The sessions included on this record show some of the new elements that Hendrix wanted to incorporate into his music: horns, keyboards, percussion and a second guitar player.
Janie Hendrix, President/CEO of Experience Hendrix and the album’s co-producer told CBS Local about the album’s title.
“People, Hell & Angels was a title that we had found written in Jimi’s own handwriting. We thought that during the time that he wrote that, that it was a possiblie album title or a song title, but we never found lyrics to it. So we leaned towards thinking that it was an album title.”
Some of the highlights of the album include:
- “Hear My Train A Comin'” – taken from Hendrix’s first ever recording session with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, who would later be known as The Band Of Gypsys.
- “Earth Blues” – A different version than the one released on the 1971 Rainbow Bridge collection.
- “Izabella”: A studio version of a song Hendrix introduced at Woodstock. This version features Hendrix’s friend Larry Lee on rhythm guitar. A studio version of this song was released on 45″ in 1970; this is a different version.
- “Inside Out”: An early version that would ultimately become “Ezy Ryder,” Hendrix plays both guitar and bass on this track, and is joined by The Experience’s Mitch Mitchell on drums.
- “Somewhere”: According to a press release, this is a “newly discovered gem” which features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass.
Speaking of Stephen Stills, there has long been talk of sessions that featured a collaboration between Hendrix and Stills. Hendrix guested on “Old Times Good Times” from Stills’ 1970 self-titled debut, but there’s more Stills/Hendrix tape that hasn’t surfaced.
Unfortunately, as Stills recently told CBS Local, the sessions that haven’t been heard yet may not really be worth listening to: “There’s a lot of standing around playing one note waiting for somebody to think of something!”
And releasing the Stills sessions doesn’t quite seem to be on the radar of the Hendrix Estate. Janie Hendrix told CBS Local that the next project will be a live album and documentary of 1968’s Miami Pop Festival.
Though there is no official release date for the Miami Pop Festival project, it will hopefully see a release in 2013.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local