Monday, December 26, 2011

Jimi Hendrix - Hendrix in the West

This record was initially a posthumous live release attempting to capitalize of the then-recent departure of this amazing talent. Luckily, long-time Hendrix engineer Eddit Kramer was involved in the project and it was a quality record.

Oddly, though titled Hendrix in the West, the original vinyl included two songs from England's Royal Albert Hall, which led to lawsuits from the company that was working on a film from that concert. The two tracks in question, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" and "Little Wing", have been replaced on this CD release with other live versions of the same songs. Also included on this release that were not on the original record are takes of "Fire", "I Don't Live Today" (both of which I am sure were released on other live records since) as well as an extended "Spanish Castle Magic", with a nod to "Sunshine of Your Love" in the solo section (which the Experience used to occasionally cover, due to Jimi's great respect for Clapton).

Among the other titles here is an interesting pairing of the British anthem (here simply called "The Queen") with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Red House", a super-charged "Johnny B. Goode", "Lover Man" and an oddly slowed down and subdued "Blue Suede Shoes", taken from a sound check.

Of course my love for Hendrix makes almost every release essential to me, but more casual fans should always start with the official releases. This, though, is a fine example of the beauty and insane noise that this man could conjure up in a live setting. It's very reasonable price tag makes it something that every fan should own.