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Jimi Hendrix

In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion. His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship -- he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire -- has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.

When Hendrix became an international superstar in 1967, it seemed as if he'd dropped out of a Martian spaceship, but in fact he'd served his apprenticeship the long, mundane way in numerous R&B acts on the chitlin circuit. During the early and mid-'60s, he worked with such R&B/soul greats as Little Richard, the Isley Brothers, and King Curtis as a backup guitarist. Occasionally he recorded as a session man (the Isley Brothers' 1964 single "Testify" is the only one of these early tracks that offers even a glimpse of his future genius). But the stars didn't appreciate his show-stealing showmanship, and Hendrix was straitjacketed by sideman roles that didn't allow him to develop as a soloist. The logical step was for Hendrix to go out on his own, which he did in New York in the mid-'60s, playing with various musicians in local clubs, and joining white blues-rock singer John Hammond, Jr.'s band for a while.

It was in a New York club that Hendrix was spotted by Animals bassist Chas Chandler. The first lineup of the Animals was about to split, and Chandler, looking to move into management, convinced Hendrix to move to London and record as a solo act in England. There a group was built around Jimi, also featuring Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding on bass, that was dubbed the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The trio became stars with astonishing speed in the U.K., where "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," and "The Wind Cries Mary" all made the Top Ten in the first half of 1967. These tracks were also featured on their debut album, Are You Experienced, a psychedelic meisterwerk that became a huge hit in the U.S. after Hendrix created a sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967.

Are You Experienced was an astonishing debut, particularly from a young R&B veteran who had rarely sung, and apparently never written his own material, before the Experience formed. What caught most people's attention at first was his virtuosic guitar playing, which employed an arsenal of devices, including wah-wah pedals, buzzing feedback solos, crunching distorted riffs, and lightning, liquid runs up and down the scales. But Hendrix was also a first-rate songwriter, melding cosmic imagery with some surprisingly pop-savvy hooks and tender sentiments. He was also an excellent blues interpreter and passionate, engaging singer (although his gruff, throaty vocal pipes were not nearly as great assets as his instrumental skills). Are You Experienced was psychedelia at its most eclectic, synthesizing mod pop, soul, R&B, Dylan, and the electric guitar innovations of British pioneers like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, and Eric Clapton.

Amazingly, Hendrix would only record three fully conceived studio albums in his lifetime. Axis: Bold as Love and the double-LP Electric Ladyland were more diffuse and experimental than Are You Experienced On Electric Ladyland in particular, Hendrix pioneered the use of the studio itself as a recording instrument, manipulating electronics and devising overdub techniques (with the help of engineer Eddie Kramer in particular) to plot uncharted sonic territory. Not that these albums were perfect, as impressive as they were; the instrumental breaks could meander, and Hendrix's songwriting was occasionally half-baked, never matching the consistency of Are You Experienced (although he exercised greater creative control over the later albums).

The final two years of Hendrix's life were turbulent ones musically, financially, and personally. He was embroiled in enough complicated management and record company disputes (some dating from ill-advised contracts he'd signed before the Experience formed) to keep the lawyers busy for years. He disbanded the Experience in 1969, forming the Band of Gypsies with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox to pursue funkier directions. He closed Woodstock with a sprawling, shaky set, redeemed by his famous machine-gun interpretation of "The Star Spangled Banner." The rhythm section of Mitchell and Redding were underrated keys to Jimi's best work, and the Band of Gypsies ultimately couldn't measure up to the same standard, although Hendrix did record an erratic live album with them. In early 1970, the Experience re-formed again -- and disbanded again shortly afterward. At the same time, Hendrix felt torn in many directions by various fellow musicians, record-company expectations, and management pressures, all of whom had their own ideas of what Hendrix should be doing. Coming up on two years after Electric Ladyland, a new studio album had yet to appear, although Hendrix was recording constantly during the period.

While outside parties did contribute to bogging down Hendrix's studio work, it also seems likely that Jimi himself was partly responsible for the stalemate, unable to form a permanent lineup of musicians, unable to decide what musical direction to pursue, unable to bring himself to complete another album despite jamming endlessly. A few months into 1970, Mitchell -- Hendrix's most valuable musical collaborator -- came back into the fold, replacing Miles in the drum chair, although Cox stayed in place. It was this trio that toured the world during Hendrix's final months.

It's extremely difficult to separate the facts of Hendrix's life from rumors and speculation. Everyone who knew him well, or claimed to know him well, has different versions of his state of mind in 1970. Critics have variously mused that he was going to go into jazz, that he was going to get deeper into the blues, that he was going to continue doing what he was doing, or that he was too confused to know what he was doing at all. The same confusion holds true for his death: contradictory versions of his final days have been given by his closest acquaintances of the time. He'd been working intermittently on a new album, tentatively titled First Ray of the New Rising Sun, when he died in London on September 18, 1970, from drug-related complications.

Hendrix recorded a massive amount of unreleased studio material during his lifetime. Much of this (as well as entire live concerts) was issued posthumously; several of the live concerts were excellent, but the studio tapes have been the focus of enormous controversy for over 20 years. These initially came out in haphazard drabs and drubs (the first, The Cry of Love, was easily the most outstanding of the lot). In the mid-'70s, producer Alan Douglas took control of these projects, posthumously overdubbing many of Hendrix's tapes with additional parts by studio musicians. In the eyes of many Hendrix fans, this was sacrilege, destroying the integrity of the work of a musician known to exercise meticulous care over the final production of his studio recordings. Even as late as 1995, Douglas was having ex-Knack drummer Bruce Gary record new parts for the typically misbegotten compilation Voodoo Soup. After a lengthy legal dispute, the rights to Hendrix's estate, including all of his recordings, returned to Al Hendrix, the guitarist's father, in July of 1995.

With the help of Jimi's step-sister Janie, Al set up Experience Hendrix to begin to get Jimi's legacy in order. They began by hiring John McDermott and Jimi's original engineer, Eddie Kramer to oversee the remastering process. They were able to find all the original master tapes, which had never been used for previous CD releases, and in April of 1997, Hendrix's first three albums were reissued with drastically improved sound. Accompanying those reissues was a posthumous compilation album (based on Jimi's handwritten track listings) called First Rays of the New Rising Sun, made up of tracks from the Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes.

Later in 1997, another compilation called South Saturn Delta showed up, collecting more tracks from posthumous LPs like Crash Landing, War Heroes, and Rainbow Bridge (without the terrible '70s overdubs), along with a handful of never-before-heard material that Chas Chandler had withheld from Alan Douglas for all those years.

More archival material followed; Radio One was basically expanded to the two-disc BBC Sessions (released in 1998), and 1999 saw the release of the full show from Woodstock as well as additional concert recordings from the Band of Gypsies shows entitled Live at the Fillmore East. 2000 saw the release of the Jimi Hendrix Experience four-disc box set, which compiled remaining tracks from In the West, Crash Landing and Rainbow Bridge along with more rarities and alternates from the Chandler cache.

The family also launched Dagger Records, essentially an authorized bootleg label to supply hardcore Hendrix fans with material that would be of limited commercial appeal. Dagger released several live concerts (of shows in Oakland, Ottawa, Clark University in Massachusetts, Paris, San Francisco, Woburn in Bedfordshire, and Cologne) and a collection of studio jams and demos called Morning Symphony Ideas.

Mainstream Hendrix reissue activity continued during the 2000s and 2010s, spotlighted by major live albums originally recorded at the Isle of Wight (2002), Berkeley (2003), Monterey (2007), Winterland (2011), and the Miami Pop Festival (2013). In 2010, Sony issued a four-disc set titled West Coast Seattle Boy: The Jimi Hendrix Anthology, which offered a full disc of recordings from Hendrix's time as a backing guitarist. ~ Richie Unterberger & Sean Westergaard
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: People, Hell And Angels

1. Earth Blues (Alternate Version)

2. Somewhere

3. Hear My Train A Comin'

4. Bleeding Heart

5. Let Me Move You

6. Izabella

7. Easy Blues

8. Crash Landing

9. Inside Out

10. Hey Gypsy Boy

11. Mojo Man

12. Villanova Junction Blues

x

Track List: Winterland

1. Fire (Live)

2. Foxey Lady (Live)

4. Hey Joe (Live)

5. Hear My Train A Comin' (Live)

10. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live)

11. Purple Haze (Live)

x

Track List: Valleys Of Neptune

1. Stone Free (Unreleased Studio Version)

2. Valleys Of Neptune (Unreleased Studio Version)

3. Bleeding Heart (Unreleased Studio Version)

4. Hear My Train A Comin' (Unreleased Studio Version)

5. Mr. Bad Luck (Unreleased Studio Version)

6. Sunshine Of Your Love (Unreleased Studio Version)

7. Lover Man (Unreleased Studio Version)

8. Ships Passing In The Night (Unreleased Studio Version)

9. Fire (Unreleased Studio Version)

10. Red House (Unreleased Studio Version)

11. Lullaby For The Summer (Unreleased Studio Version)

12. Crying Blue Rain (Unreleased Studio Version)

x

Track List: Live At Monterey

1. Intro (Live)

2. Killing Floor (Live)

3. Foxey Lady (Live)

4. Like A Rolling Stone (Live)

5. Rock Me Baby (Live)

6. Hey Joe (Live)

7. Can You See Me (Live)

8. The Wind Cries Mary (Live)

9. Purple Haze (Live)

10. Wild Thing (Live)

x

Track List: The L.A. Forum Concert

x

Track List: Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live At The Isle Of Wight

Disc 1

1. God Save The Queen (Live)

2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live)

3. Spanish Castle Magic (Live)

4. All Along The Watchtower (Live)

5. Machine Gun (Live)

6. Lover Man (Live)

7. Freedom (Live)

8. Red House (Live)

9. Dolly Dagger (Live)

10. Midnight Lightning (Live)

Disc 2

1. Foxey Lady (Live)

2. Message To Love (Live)

3. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) (Live)

4. Ezy Ryder (Live)

5. Hey Joe (Live)

6. Purple Haze (Live)

7. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live)

8. In From The Storm (Live)

x

Track List: Voodoo Child

Disc 1

1. Purple Haze

2. Hey Joe

3. The Wind Cries Mary

4. Fire

6. Are You Experienced?

8. Little Wing

9. All Along The Watchtower

11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

12. Spanish Castle Magic

13. Stone Free

14. Izabella

15. Stepping Stone

16. Angel

17. Dolly Dagger

Disc 2

1. Fire (Live)

2. Hey Joe (Live)

4. Hear My Train A Comin' (Live)

5. Foxey Lady (Live)

6. Machine Gun (Live)

8. Red House (Live)

9. Freedom (Live)

10. Purple Haze (Live)

11. Star Spangled Banner (Live)

12. Wild Thing (Live)

x

Track List: Live At Woodstock

Disc 1

1. Introduction (Live At Woodstock)

2. Message To Love (Live At Woodstock)

3. Hear My Train A Comin (Live At Woodstock)

4. Spanish Castle Magic (Live At Woodstock)

5. Red House (Live At Woodstock)

6. Lover Man (Live At Woodstock)

7. Foxey Lady (Live At Woodstock)

8. Jam Back At The House (Live At Woodstock)

Disc 2

1. Izabella (Live At Woodstock)

2. Fire (Live At Woodstock)

3. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live At Woodstock)

4. Star Spangled Banner (Live At Woodstock)

5. Purple Haze (Live At Woodstock)

6. Woodstock Improvisation (Live At Woodstock)

7. Villanova Junction (Live At Woodstock)

8. Hey Joe (Live At Woodstock)

x

Track List: Experience Hendrix - The Best Of Jimi Hendrix

1. Purple Haze

2. Fire

3. The Wind Cries Mary

4. Hey Joe

5. All Along The Watchtower

6. Stone Free

9. Little Wing

11. Foxey Lady

14. Red House

15. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

16. Freedom

17. Night Bird Flying

18. Angel

19. Dolly Dagger

20. Star Spangled Banner

x

Track List: Blues

1. Hear My Train Comin' (Acoustic)

2. Born Under A Bad Sign

3. Red House

4. Catfish Blues

5. Voodoo Chile Blues

6. Mannish Boy

7. Once I Had A Woman

8. Bleeding Heart

9. Jelly 292

10. Electric Church Red House

11. Hear My Train Comin' (Electric)

x

Track List: Hendrix In The West

2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live)

4. Fire (Live)

6. Spanish Castle Magic (Live)

7. Red House (Live)

9. Lover Man (Live)

11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live)

x

Track List: Rainbow Bridge

1. Dolly Dagger

2. Earth Blues

3. Pali Gap

5. Star Spangled Banner (Record Plant, New York, NY, March 18, 1969)

6. Look Over Yonder

8. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)

x

Track List: The Cry Of Love

1. Freedom

2. Drifting

3. Ezy Ryder

4. Night Bird Flying

5. My Friend

6. Straight Ahead

7. Astro Man

8. Angel

9. In From The Storm

10. Belly Button Window

x

Track List: Band Of Gypsys (Live)

1. Who Knows (Live)

2. Machine Gun (Live)

3. Changes (Live)

4. Power Of Soul (Live)

5. Message To Love (Live)

6. We Gotta Live Together (Live)

x

Track List: Are You Experienced!

1. Purple Haze

3. Hey Joe

4. Love Or Confusion

5. May This Be Love

6. I Don't Live Today

7. The Wind Cries Mary

8. Fire

9. Third Stone From The Sun

10. Foxey Lady

11. Are You Experienced?

12. Stone Free

15. Can You See Me

17. Red House

x

Track List: Studio Out-Takes Volume 3 (1969-70)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I have yet to find the Jimi Hendrix song that I don't like, even the songs released after his death are completely awesome.
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Miss this man!
Report as inappropriate
jonathan.sad o w s k y
pandora, what do u mean brief four year reign as a superstar??? ? WHEN DID HE STOP BEING A SUPERSTAR?!? ! ? ! ? He's literally the only rock musician most people at my school have ever heard of...
Report as inappropriate
❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
sazresp
LOVE, Love, love this track performed perfectly by thee one and only, completely and utterly astounding artist known to many: JIMI HENDRIX!!! Need I say more??!! I think not!!! You got it? If you don't, you need to find it, get it, and NEVER let it go!!! Enjoy most if not ALL his tunes til you can no longer hear them!! Past that turn it up so that you can FEEL that which is liken to a wizards magic- his ability to transport listeners to places deep somewhere, peaceful and dream-like!! !
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Let's Ride!
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The pop festival is a must see if you are a Jimi fan
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Love old rock with heavy metal
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Jim will rule infinitely
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Looks like Lando Calarissian. Does he play at Bespin?
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤
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Guitar nobody compares!!!

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Like this artist? NO,I LOVE HIM! (as a musician, not the anal penetration kind)
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Hendrix on my Ghost B.C. station? Hell yeah!
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Rocked my world!
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JIMI HENDRIX.
He changed the electric guitar for generations to come!!!
One of the greatest that ever lived he changed music forever he's one that we have to thank for what he did...... live on where you are
Report as inappropriate
One of the last things I said to my old buddy the day before he died from cancer was 'If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll meet you in the next one. Don't be late'. He smiled under his oxygen tube.
Report as inappropriate
One of the last things I said to my old buddy the day before he died from cancer was If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll meet you in the next one. Don't be late. He smiled under his oxygen tube.
Report as inappropriate
Enjoy...Jimi Hendrix!!~~
Drink-up.
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first LP Are u experienced I'm now Astral Traveler: TG&Y Parklane thanx
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Come by my david...radi o
sometime.
david...
Report as inappropriate
Man Jimi Hendrix,that ' s what got me into the electric guitar, Hendrix was a guitar God from heaven, people were like memorized by his playing,nobo d y could play like Hendrix,and I loved his message of peace and love,we don't have enough of that these days!!!
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If 6 Was 9 ! An Awesome Song you normally don't here !✌
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Little Miss Lover!!!!
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kenknopp1984
Dean of the Guitar College and nobody's graduated yet...
Report as inappropriate
just another one of his songs...unbe l i e v a b l e guitar, writer, and person
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can you imagine music like this now?...it's hard brothers and sisters...it ' s the time for the season of ...who's yer daddy?
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The ultimate guitarist.
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Keep rocking Jimi wherever you are!
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I've loved Hendrixs music since I was nine
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This guys is the president of the planet lets show slme respact
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Cause I am a Voodoo Chile! Lord knows I'm a Voodoo Chile
Report as inappropriate
alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Love this burning desire!!
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It`s such a shame that JIMI was taken from us!!!
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Gone too soon !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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I'm j
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Acording to the RRHOF and Other Music Inst, Jimi was and is the GREATEST Guitar player of all time, bar none.
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Bluesy Mr. Jimi Bluesy
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You really are a Lover Man!!!
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Where're my ear-goggles! ?
Somebody get me my ear-goggles! !
..........& let me turn 'em up! Allda way up!!
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,,,hey joe that ain't cooll
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Live free
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Who likes drek
Report as inappropriate
Such a awesome Jam Jimi Hendrix. Red House totally rocks a**, Hendrix at his finest! Rest in peace Jimi, your music will live on in the hearts of your fans around the world. And the annals of rock and roll forever! Awesome guitarist! One of the best ever in Rock and Roll history! Rock on!
Report as inappropriate
I'm back ✌️️���������
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Thank you
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partygirls12 0
❤❤❤❤❤
Show more

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