Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune (stream)

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So I’m basically stealing this whole post outright from Spinner because frankly it’s too good not to. This is a stream of Valleys of Neptune, a first look at what to expect from an upcoming compilation of the same name featuring previously unavailable-ish Hendrix material to be released on March 9th. I threw that ‘-ish’ in there because this particular song and possibly some of the others in this collection have appeared in bootleg form before, however I’m assuming the sound quality offered here will vastly trump the previously existing versions.

Stream the song below, and read on for more information.

Write-up from Spinner:

Though there have been many posthumous releases from Jimi Hendrix’s archives since his tragic death, the recently-announced ‘Valleys of Neptune’ isn’t meant to be a “lost” album. Rather, it’s a look at the creative period in Hendrix’s life between the 1968 release of ‘Electric Ladyland’ and his legendary appearance at Woodstock the following summer.

“In the aftermath of ‘Electric Ladyland,’ he made a series of recordings with the original Experience,” co-producer, author and Experience Hendrix catalog director John McDermott tells Spinner. “When they effectively stopped working as a three-man recording unit, he brought in [bassist] Billy Cox — this album captures that transition. We don’t want to over-dramatize it. This is that missing period of time.”

The dozen tracks on ‘Valleys of Neptune’ reflect a time where Hendrix, finding his way with a new band while fighting contractual problems, was blossoming creatively. Featuring reworked hits like ‘Fire’ and ‘Red House’ as well as fully-realized songs that have never officially been released, the album shows that Hendrix was embarking in a new direction, one that would later be heard on ‘Band of Gypsys.’ While the album is due out on March 9, check out Spinner’s exclusive premiere of the title track below to hear what McDermott refers to as a “snapshot” into a part of Jimi’s life that’s rarely been heard.

Write up from The Guardian:

This year will see a spate of new – sorry, old – Jimi Hendrix material, according to his estate, honouring the 40th anniversary of the guitarist’s death. Valleys of Neptune, the first compilation of unreleased music, will be issued in March.

“It’s wonderfully fresh material,” Eddie Kramer, a former Hendrix engineer, told USA Today. “You hear the pure essence of the band, an in-your-face vibrancy. There were only four tracks and no overdubs, with Jimi singing as if he’s in concert. He’s at the top of his game.” Valleys of Neptune’s 12 songs were taken mostly from sessions at London’s Olympic Studios and New York’s Record Plant in 1969. Intended for the follow-up album to Electric Ladyland, they feature Hendrix’s first work with bassist Billy Cox and his final recordings with the original Jimi Hendrix Experience lineup. Kramer, who recorded the tracks, was brought back for new digital mixes.

Besides the title track, a favourite of Hendrix collectors, Valley of Neptune’s highlights include the only Jimi Hendrix Experience studio recording of Hear My Train a Comin’, an instrumental rendition of Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love, new versions of Fire and Red House, and the early original Mr Bad Luck. According to Hendrix’s sister Janie, who now oversees his estate, the guitarist’s “brilliance shines through on every one of these precious tracks”.

The compilation will be released on 9 March, together with deluxe reissues of Are You Experienced, Axis, Electric Ladyland and First Rays of the New Rising Sun, each with a bonus documentary directed by Beatles Anthology creator Bob Smeaton. More re-releases are planned for later in the year, including the 1968 best-of Smash Hits, a Blu-Ray edition of Live at Woodstock. As for the rest of the unreleased music, Kramer claims there’s loads to sort through. “[It’s] a strong vault,” he said, “a lot of live stuff, that we have yet to tap into.” The estate made similar promises last year, announcing a DVD with backstage footage of Hendrix, which has yet to be released.

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