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Author: Subject: Jimi Hendrix: Valleys of Neptune...A 4-Star Review

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 11:51 AM
UNRELEASED GEMS SEE LIGHT OF DAY
By Kevin O'Hare
Springfield Republican



Jimi Hendrix- Valleys of Neptune ****(Four Stars)

Sometimes, it's bewildering to think that Jimi Hendrix only recorded four full albums
and a few singles that were released in his lifetime.

Generally considered the most influential rock guitarist of all time, Hendrix nevertheless
left behind a wealth of unreleased material following his death at the age of 27 in
September 1970.

Those archives have at times been plundered, trampeled and torn apart through the
years with posthumous releases that have ranged from abhorrent to electrifying, with
most of those in the latter category culled from his spellbinding concert performances.

Part of the problem has been a seemingly never-ending battle as to who actually owns
the rights to a lot of Hendrix's work. But that's apparently finally settled, with his
family -- under the banner of "Experience Hendrix" -- now working with Sony Music's
Legacy Recordings.

Together, they're not only re-issuing his core catalog albums as deluxe CD/DVD editions,
but they're starting with a splash by issuing "Valleys of Neptune," a 12-song collection
of previously unreleased studio recordings, including the long sought after full version
of the compelling title track, which Hendrix finished recording in May 1970.

The guitar king was in a transformation stage during a lot of what is heard on this set.
It contains the final studio sessions of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, in April
1969, as the trio worked to follow-up 1968's "Electric Ladyland." Some of the most
intriguing moments are culled from February 1969 London sessions while Hendrix and
the Experience were rehearsing for some upcoming live shows with new arrangements
of old material. Included is a searing "Fire," with bassist Noel Redding adding in
backing vocals; a fast instrumental run through Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love";
and what may aguably be the definitive version of "Red House," showcasing a factor
that is too often overlooked in Hendrix's playing -- his subtle, sweet blues guitar styling.

Playing through a Leslie speaker, usually reserved for growling Hammond organs, Hendrix
delivers a sturdy "Ships Passing Through the Night," from the Jimi Hendrix Experience's
final studio recordings on April 14, 1969. Redding continued to play live shows with the
group for a few more months, but he was replaced by the guitarist's old friend Billy Cox.
The latter's bass work can be heard here on selections that include a May 1969 fresh and
urgent "Stone Free," which features some great drum work by Mitch Mitchell; as well as
tracks like the loose Elmore James' cover "Bleeding Heart."

Other highlights include a very strong Hendrix vocal on a full band electric "Hear my Train
a Comin'," which is completely different than the 12-string acoustic version heard in the
film, "Jimi Hendrix," as well as loose, unreleased Jim Hendrix Experience recordings of
"Lullaby for the Summer," and "Crying Blue Rain."

"Valleys of Neptune" hits stores on Tuesday, March 9.

[Edited on 3/8/2010 by woodsdweller]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 12:11 PM
I got a copy last week and have played it a few times, a lot better than the past few things his family has put out. I especially like Lullaby for the Summer and Crying Blue Rain. The version of Stone Free is nice too.

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 12:23 PM
getting it tomorrow
 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 02:24 PM
I also saw a review of this release in the most recent Rolling Stone

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 02:31 PM
enjoying this...
 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 03:44 PM
Awesome. Anything with an electric Hear My Train Coming, is something I can get involved with. Definitely my favorite Jimi song.
 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 05:10 PM
One question - Is this a release of new material never heard before or just material on previously released albums not approved by the family?

I remember in the early 80's there were a lot of hendrix "boot leg" albums floating around.

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 05:18 PM
quote:
One question - Is this a release of new material never heard before or just material on previously released albums not approved by the family?

I remember in the early 80's there were a lot of hendrix "boot leg" albums floating around.


New material never heard before. I read online somewhere that some of the tracks that the
Experience recorded in London had been locked away in a vault for 40 years. None of
it was ever on any of the albums issued during Alan Douglas' reign as Hendrix curator.

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 05:25 PM
http://www.ktrh.com/main.html

go to the bottom of the page...and you hear for free...the whole record...it will take you through a few windows....to get to the right page..???


 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 06:44 PM
quote:
quote:
One question - Is this a release of new material never heard before or just material on previously released albums not approved by the family?

I remember in the early 80's there were a lot of hendrix "boot leg" albums floating around.


New material never heard before. I read online somewhere that some of the tracks that the
Experience recorded in London had been locked away in a vault for 40 years. None of
it was ever on any of the albums issued during Alan Douglas' reign as Hendrix curator.


Some of the songs have been put out before, but these are different versions. So it's not all brand new material.

I think this is the 3rd time his catalog has been released. That whole Hendrix family is a mess. I read an article a few years ago about it in Rolling Stone. His sister is in charge but she was way to young to really even know him. The Hendrix cash cow will continue to be milked.......

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 07:27 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
One question - Is this a release of new material never heard before or just material on previously released albums not approved by the family?

I remember in the early 80's there were a lot of hendrix "boot leg" albums floating around.


New material never heard before. I read online somewhere that some of the tracks that the
Experience recorded in London had been locked away in a vault for 40 years. None of
it was ever on any of the albums issued during Alan Douglas' reign as Hendrix curator.


Some of the songs have been put out before, but these are different versions. So it's not all brand new material.

I think this is the 3rd time his catalog has been released. That whole Hendrix family is a mess. I read an article a few years ago about it in Rolling Stone. His sister is in charge but she was way to young to really even know him. The Hendrix cash cow will continue to be milked.......



Alll too true unfortunately.

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 08:16 PM
quote:
I also saw a review of this release in the most recent Rolling Stone


Yep. Rolling Stone gave a nice review of the album.

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/32441305/review/32510154/valleys_ of_neptune

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 08:20 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
One question - Is this a release of new material never heard before or just material on previously released albums not approved by the family?

I remember in the early 80's there were a lot of hendrix "boot leg" albums floating around.


New material never heard before. I read online somewhere that some of the tracks that the
Experience recorded in London had been locked away in a vault for 40 years. None of
it was ever on any of the albums issued during Alan Douglas' reign as Hendrix curator.


Some of the songs have been put out before, but these are different versions. So it's not all brand new material.

I think this is the 3rd time his catalog has been released. That whole Hendrix family is a mess. I read an article a few years ago about it in Rolling Stone. His sister is in charge but she was way to young to really even know him. The Hendrix cash cow will continue to be milked.......



Can you explain to me the whole idea of being pissed off at people releasing tons of music? Even if it's a crappy demo, it's never going to do ANYTHING to diminish Jimi's (or any other artist's) legacy. So, what's the problem? They make some money (and it's not a zero sum game, it's not like them making money off of releases is taking money (or anything - unless you think hurts his legacy, which I don't, b/c only real hardcore fans buy this stuff, the others stay with greatest hits, Electric Ladyland, etc.) from someone else), AND we get some more music, and we, the fans, can decide whether we like it or not. If we don't like the songs, don't spin the album.

And, I'm not trying to instigate here . . . but why do people find a problem with continual releases of stuff?

[Edited on 3/9/2010 by cmgst34]

[Edited on 3/9/2010 by cmgst34]

 

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  posted on 3/8/2010 at 10:16 PM
i heard the title track on fuv today and it sounded good
 

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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:02 PM
Target has the new cd for $9.98, plus 4 other Jimi releases including " First Rays Of The New Rising Sun " with a 36 page booklet for $ 9.98.

buy two and get a five dollar gift card.

also, the new cd has 2 extra tracks on it, only available at Target.

going to give my old copies to a good friend.

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:09 PM
Good questions, cmgst34 - I think people who buy things that are mid-advertised (even if the mis-advertising is done by rumor) get upset; people who feel they are being ripped off because the quality is bad or the material is shoddy get upset; certainly people get upset if instruments are added to tracks after the artist dies, etc.

However, no one makes us buy anything. Free choice. Buyer beware.

 

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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:15 PM
VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE
Release date: March 2010 (Sony)

Stone Free, Valleys Of Neptune, Bleeding Heart, Hear My Train A Comin', Mr. Bad Luck, Sunshine Of Your Love, Lover Man, Ships Passing Through The Night, Fire, Red House, Lullaby For The Summer, Crying Blue Rain

At last! Apart from the excellent studio material release on Dagger Records, it has been a long wait to see a new Hendrix studio album actually in the shops. 10 years in fact, since the MCA 2000 box set and 12 years since "South Saturn Delta"! This puts an end to the MCA/Universal era, as Experience Hendrix have signed a deal with Sony for a multitude of new releases.

I haven't heard this new album yet but a lot of information about it is circulating. It is already apparent that the album certainly does not feature "fully realised" recordings as the 2009 promotional talk stated. This is along the same lines as "South Saturn Delta" and the 2000 box set in that it brings together more outtakes, demos and rehearsals, but this time concentrating on the early 1969 period as 9 of the 12 tracks date from that period."Mr. Bad Luck" is of course the 1967 proto version of"Look Over Yonder" which had appeared in its original mono form on the "Lifelines" radio show album back in 1990 (but here it unfortunately features 1987 stereo overdubs by Mich and Noel)*."Valleys Of Neptune" was also on "Lifelines" though this version is more "finished" as it is a recent skillful combination of separate takes put together by Eddie Kramer and it works very well (though it still sounds like a rough demo and is not strong enough as a title track or single relaese in my opinion).

"Lullaby For The Summer" has already appeared on bootlegs with inferior sound. It's an interesting instrumental that the band developped as"Dance" before Jimi adapted the basic riff into"Ezy Ryder". The song"Ships Passing Through The Night" is another Kramer composite of rough studio outtakes of The Experience going through an embryonic"Nightbird Flying" (and not the jam of Jimi with unknown musicians that is circulating on bootlegs with a trumpet accompanyment).
"Crying Blue Rain" is also known from an excerpt on bootlegs (also sometimes called"Gypsy Blood") and it is a slow blues theme where Jimi simply mouths"Yeaaah, yeaah," over the top. Great to have a much longer version here.

Now for the more familiar songs."Fire" and "Red House" are from the band's rehearsals for the February 1969 Royal Albert Hall concerts (two other songs from these rehearsals were on the MCA box, namely"Hear My Tran A Comin" and "Spanish Castle Magic").
The best track is said to be"Hear My Train A Comin". This is the original recording that Alan Douglas had fiddled with for his controversial "Midnight Lightning" album of 1975.
Yet another studio tryout of "Lover Man" here. There was already a version on "South Saturn Delta" and two on the box set! This one comes from the Chandler tapes again*. It's a good track but surely another song would have added more variety to the successive studio releases.
Billy Cox is on bass for"Bleeding Heart" (this was while Noel was still part of The Experience!) and it is Jimi's funkier adaptation of the Elmore James song (like the much more finished version of "War Heroes "/"South Saturn Delta") and it features Rocky Isaac on drums plus two percussionnists).
Finally Stone Free" is not exactly the same as the version that appeared on the MCA 2000 box set. It dates from May 17, 1969 with Billy Cox on bass this time, but the backing vocals (Andy Fairweather Low and Roger Chapman) are in fact from the version that was on the box set.

This album could almost have been titled "The 1969 sessions" and it should really have deen put out on Dagger Records for experienced collectors (no pun intended). Still, younger fans will perhaps find this interesting and realise that even in more relaxed situations, Jimi could really put some hot music down on tape. I thought that by this stage Experience hendrix would have got round to releasing some of the long overdue tracks such as "Easy Blues","Calling All Devil's Children", or "Peace In Mississippi" (that song is being used as single "b-side" but I would have preferred to see it on this album, in place of "Lover Man" for example).

*Some of these tracks ("Sunshine Of Your Love", "Lover Man", "Crying Blue Rain" and "Mr Bad Luck") are known to collectors from "The Chandler Tapes" and they circulated on the bootleg "Studio Haze" among others. Chas had called up Mitch and Noel in 1987 to add new rhythm tracks to the tapes that had been found at Olympic Studios. The original unretouched tapes have never been heard (apart from "Mr Bad Luck" which was on "Lifelines").



Here are the tracks in their chronolgical order:

Mr. Bad Luck - May 5, 1967 + 1987 overdubs.

Sunshine Of Your Love - February 16, 1969 + 1987 overdubs.
Lover Man - February 16, 1969 + 1987 overdubs.
Crying Blue Rain - February 16, 1969 + 1987 overdubs.
Fire - February 17, 1969
Red House - February 17, 1969

Lullaby For The Summer - April 7, 1969
Hear My Train A Comin' - April 7, 1969
Stone Free - April 7, 9, 14, May 17,1969
Ships Passing Through The Night - April 14, 1969 - 2009 composite
Bleeding Heart - April 24, 1969

Valleys Of Neptune - September 23, 1969 (+May 15, 1970) - 2009 composite



> An MP3 "Deluxe" version of the album is announced on iTunes with two bonus tracks : "Trashman" and "Slow Version" (both previously on Dagger's "Hear My Music").

THE COVER
Quite a nice dreamy montage of Jimi over his own illustration of a Neptune landscape.. - 7/10

 

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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:17 PM
quote:
Target has the new cd for $9.98, plus 4 other Jimi releases including " First Rays Of The New Rising Sun " with a 36 page booklet for $ 9.98.

buy two and get a five dollar gift card.

also, the new cd has 2 extra tracks on it, only available at Target.
___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________

oh, and " First Rays " comes with a Bonus DVD, making of - mini documentary. nice for $ 9.98


 

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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 01:44 PM
Actually $8.99. what a deal! hope they got some left...

http://www.target.com/gp/search/187-2768697-3339818?field-keywords=Jimi+Hen drix-+Valleys+of+Neptune+&url=index%3Dtarget%26search-alias%3Dtgt-index &ref=sr_bx_1_1&x=14&y=9

guess this is the online price, they were $9.98 at the store, which was fine with me!

[Edited on 3/10/2010 by patrickcrenshaw]

 
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  posted on 3/9/2010 at 04:01 PM
yeah go to best buy and get the 2 extra tracks
 
 


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