Long-time Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer says the guitar icon’s upcoming posthumous album People, Hell and Angels is a “fantastic window into his mind.” Check out a preview of the track Somewhere below.
The posthumous release, the follow-up to 2010′s Valleys of Neptune, contains 12 tracks which have never been heard as they appear on the record. Details were announced yesterday, on what would have been Hendrix’s 70th birthday. Classic Rock revealed the album plans in September.
Kramer says: “Jimi was in the studio constantly. If he wasn’t on the road he was in the studio. He’d come up with these great song ideas. He’d be at the Record Plant or the Hit Factory, whatever city he’d get into.
“He was trying different musicians, stretching out his boundaries, and it yielded some fantastic songs which are included in this album.”
The engineer cites Somewhere as a prime example of the album’s experimental nature, saying: “It’s him, Steven Stills and Buddy Miles. He hadn’t worked with them before, but here he is establishing his independence by doing this without Chas Chandler.”
People, Hell and Angels is due for release on March 4, 2013. Experience Hendrix LLC, run by the guitarist’s sister Janie, has released the following track-by-track breakdown.
Earth Blues: Totally unlike the version first issued as part of Rainbow Bridge in 1971, this December 19, 1969 master take features just Hendrix, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles – stripped down funk at its very origin.
Somewhere: This newly-discovered gem was recorded in March 1968 and features Buddy Miles on drums and Stephen Stills on bass. Entirely different from any previous version fans have ever heard.
Hear My Train A Comin’: This superb recording was drawn from Jimi’s first ever-recording session with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles – the powerhouse rhythm section with whom he would later record the groundbreaking album Band Of Gypsys. Both musicians understood Jimi’s desire to create what he described as a ‘new type of blues’. Jimi’s menacing lead guitar is the centrepiece of this dramatic addition to his remarkable legacy.
Bleeding Heart: This Elmore James masterwork had long been a favourite of Jimi’s. He had performed the song earlier that year with the Experience in concert at the Royal Albert Hall and had attempted to capture the song in New York studio sessions during the weeks that followed. Before they began, Jimi instructed Cox and Miles that he wanted to establish a totally different beat than the standard arrangement. He then kicked off this amazing rendition that was nothing like any other he had ever attempted.
Let Me Move You: In March 1969, Jimi reached back to another old friend, saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood. Before he was discovered by Chas Chandler in the summer of 1966, Jimi had contributed guitar as a nondescript studio sideman for Youngblood. This session features Hendrix and Youngblood trading licks throughout this never before heard, high velocity rock and soul classic.
Izabella: In the aftermath of the Woodstock festival, Jimi gathered his new ensemble, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, at the Hit Factory in August 1969 with Eddie Kramer. Izabella had been one of the new songs the guitarist introduced at Woodstock and Jimi was eager to perfect a studio version. This is markedly different from the Band Of Gypsys single issued in 1970 and features Larry Lee, Jimi’s old friend from the famed rhythm and blues “chitin’ circuit,” on rhythm guitar.
Easy Blues: An edited extract of this gorgeous, free flowing instrumental was briefly issued as part of the long-out-of-print 1981 album Nine To The Universe. Now nearly twice as long, the track offers fans the opportunity to enjoy the dramatic interplay between Jimi, second guitarist Larry Lee, Billy Cox and drummer Mitch Mitchell.
Crash Landing: Perhaps known as the title song for the controversial 1975 album that featured Hendrix master recordings posthumously overdubbed by session musicians, this April 1969 original recording has never been heard before. Jimi is joined by Billy Cox and drummer Rocky Isaac to record this thinly veiled warning to his girlfriend Devon Wilson.
Inside Out: Jimi was fascinated by the rhythm pattern that would ultimately take form as Ezy Ryder. Joined here by Mitch Mitchell, Jimi recorded all of the bass and guitar parts for this fascinating song, including a dramatic lead guitar part amplified through a Leslie organ speaker.
Hey Gypsy Boy: The roots of Jimi’s majestic Hey Baby (New Rising Sun) trace themselves to this March 1969 recording. Unlike the posthumously overdubbed version briefly issued as part of Midnight Lightning in 1975, this is the original recording that features Jimi and Buddy Miles.
Mojo Man: Jimi would lend a hand to Albert and Arthur Allen, the vocalists known as the Ghetto Fighters, whom he had befriended in Harlem long before he achieved fame with the Experience. When the two recorded this inspired, previously unreleased master at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, they took it to Jimi at Electric Lady Studios. He knew just what to do to elevate the recording beyond contemporary R&B to the new hybrid of rock, rhythm and blues he was celebrated for.
Villanova Junction Blues: Long before his famous performance of this song at Woodstock, Jimi recorded this studio version with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles at the same May 1969 session which yielded Hear My Train A Comin’ and Bleeding Heart. Never fully finished, the song stands as an example of the fertile ideas he hoped to harness and bring to fruition.