Inferior Versions Of Already Released Songs -Avoid
Posted by: mccflo99 from: Corpus Christi, TX on
Inferior Versions Of Already Released Songs - Amatuer Copy & Paste Work - For Completists Only.
This is a very disappointing release that is FAR from “12 new studio recordings” as being advertised by Experience Hendrix. Almost all of these songs have been released in far superior versions on readily available retail releases. They have duplicated multiple songs from the Valleys Of Neptune album they put out just a couple of years ago also, including the second single from that album!
To Casual Fans – Avoid this release completely. If you are a casual fan of Jimi Hendrix, this release is going to be sorely disappointing to you as almost all of theses songs have been released in superior versions on other retail releases. Additionally, this collection is not a fair representation as to the quality of Jimi’s studio material. Go with Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, or First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.
To Completists – Obviously a must-have, but be prepared to be disappointed in order to add this “new studio album,” to your collections when hearing some of the amateur cut and paste jobs on Jimi’s vocals, leaving them off beat in some songs (Somewhere, Crash Landing, etc.). Experience Hendrix created a sub-label called Dagger Records many years ago, which they use to release albums of alternate versions of songs, demos, and songs that didn’t have a place on mainstream studio albums. People, Hell and Angels belongs on that label as a release for Jimi Hendrix completists only.
This is a pretty low cash-grab on the part of Experience Hendrix. In fact, Eddie Kramer, head producer on the project was interviewed on video by Harmony Central after mixing this album down and said “this is the, HOPEFULLY [emphasis added by Kramer], the last of all the studio albums,” which seems to imply he is being coerced in some capacity by Janie Hendrix to arrange inferior albums like this in order to fulfill contractual obligations to Sony. Pretty clear he didn’t want to publicize a collection like this as a studio album, because it’s not. They are duplicating songs that were on the “new studio” album they released just a couple of years ago (Valleys of Neptune), including that album's second single (Bleeding Heart)! And inferior versions of these songs at that.
I was critical of their last release Valleys of Neptune, but still have it 3 stars out of 5 because it did contain some new music. However, this release is just shameful. This is a collection of nearly all alternate (and inferior) versions of songs that have already been released. There is so much duplication against their recent releases and songs that pale in contrast to their already released versions, that it’s clear what’s going on here: Experience Hendrix (Janie Hendrix) is doing everything they can to fulfill the 10 album deal they inked with Sony a few years back and it appears they are trying to slip by far inferior quality material and advertise it as “new studio recordings” to do so. That’s right; they are now contractually obligated to release 10 albums of “new material.” They have released Valleys of Neptune, Live In Cologne, the West Coast Seattle Boy box-set, the Winterland box-set, and now this release. That means they’re only half way to fulfilling this 10 album deal, so this is probably only the beginning of a string of horrid releases like this.
Additionally, it’s important to note that there is still some good music contained on this album, but it’s not a studio album as advertised, not even close. This is a disjointed collection of demos, alternate takes, jam sessions & rehearsals, already released songs, instrumentals, and tracks that weren’t even Hendrix songs, but rather tracks he guest appeared on only playing guitar – All inferior to their already released counterparts. If released as an “alternate versions” collection or as a disc in a rarities box set, this would be a real gem and Hendrix completists like me would be happy to purchase an accurately billed release, aside from the few tracks that have horrible timing issues due to amateurish “cut & paste” jobs on Jimi’s vocals. However, the advertising of this being a “new studio album,” is going to do nothing but alienate many would be Jimi fans when they hear the inferior quality of these recordings and think that’s how Jimi’s “studio” material sounds.
I’m being very generous in giving this album two stars despite of the inferior versions of already released songs included on People, Hell and Angels, and the amateurish (and off beat) pasting of Jimi’s vocals into many of the songs.
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