Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Record label: Sony Legacy
Jimi Hendrix made three historic studio albums in 1967 and '68. He spent the rest of his life laboring and failing to finish a fourth. But it was a rich if chaotic time, and we're not done with it. These studio jams and early stabs at evolving songs mostly come from 1969 as Hendrix worked with shifting lineups, indecisive about his post-Experience path.
People, Hell and Angels isn’t a jumble of Jimi Hendrix B-sides, nor does it feature half-formed songs given the ProTools treatment. And there isn’t a single “live” track to be found on the album. (Robert Christgau wrote in 1986 that “after years of repackaging, only suckers and acolytes get hot for another live Hendrix album.” Christgau was not an acolyte.) In fact, People, Hell and Angels delivers crisper delights than 2010’s Valleys of Neptune, interpolating less obvious (and far less accessible) material while also standing as a well-crafted, deftly paced album in its own right.
Given he died 43 years ago at the age of 27, a ‘new’ album from Jimi Hendrix might, at first glance, seem an impossible dream. But that’s not quite the full picture, as ‘People, Hell & Angels’ is no lost gem. Each of these 12 songs will already be known to fans, even though they’re all previously unheard versions from sessions that took place between early 1968 and late 1969.Had everything gone smoothly, what’s here might have ended up on the follow-up to ‘Electric Ladyland’, tentatively titled ‘First Rays Of The New Rising Sun’.
With almost four times as many posthumous collections as studio albums released during his lifetime, James Marshall Hendrix really may be worth more dead than alive. Most of the dozen songs here have been released before in other forms, and 1997's First Ray of the New Rising Sun remains the definitive set of "building blocks" for what would have been Hendrix's fifth album. However, these 1968-9 recordings (mostly with Billy Cox and Buddy Miles) are free of overdubs, and the playing is incendiary.
Review Summary: "If I don't meet you no more in this world, then I'll meet you on the next one, so don't be late." The release of 1997's First Rays of the New Rising Sun, was an attempt at finally constructing the album that Jimi Hendrix never got a chance to complete. It consisted of unreleased studio recordings that Jimi worked on after the demise of the 'The Experience' in 1969, following the departure of bassist Noel Redding. Though Mitch Mitchell is still present in a few of the tracks, a lot of the music was actually recorded with future bandmates; bassist Billy Cox and his newest drummer, Buddy Miles, both of whom would go on to perform in his second power trio, Band Of Gypsys.
Do we, at this point, require further evidence that Jimi Hendrix was the most prodigiously gifted guitarist to ever play the instrument? We do not. Then again, we don’t need additional proof that stars glow at night, but it’s still nice to see them light up the sky. Not so long ago, Hendrix’s compact but concentrated recording career was measured by the official albums released before his death.
People, Hell and Angels certainly isn't the place to start your Hendrix collection, but collectors will surely want to hear this and it provides an interesting perspective on where Jimi's music was headed post-Experience..
Jimi HendrixPeople, Hell, and Angels(Legacy Recordings)Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)Listen here It’s only natural that the posthumous releases of the music of Jimi Hendrix keep on coming. Since Hendrix left such a finite amount of studio music behind (only three albums worth) before he died in 1970, the desire by music fans to uncover every nook and cranny of the evidence of his majestic talent is perfectly understandable. The newest of these releases is People, Hell, And Angels, and it concentrates on recordings from 1968 on, when Hendrix was in the process of moving on from The Experience, the band that joined him on those three studio albums, and forming the Band Of Gypsys, a trio with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums.
When Jimi Hendrix died, he became a god. This is an undisputed fact. It’s all been said before, regurgitated by rock writers for decades: Hendrix revolutionized the art of guitar playing. He viewed the instrument as a sonic anomaly, his playing an ongoing experiment conducted during every jam session and live show.
This dynamic compilation of previously unreleased tracks focuses on Jimi Hendrix’s last few years. Most historians assume his best work was with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but this new album with his later Band of Gypsys and Gypsy Sun & Rainbows (the group with whom he played Woodstock) shows him expanding his sound without sacrificing his guitar ferocity. He adds a second guitarist, a saxophonist, and two percussionists at times.
A tantalising glimpse of how Hendrix's genius might have progressed. Patrick Humphries 2013 The battle for the soul and spirit of Jimi Hendrix continues undiminished. The problem with Jimi is that he never stopped making music – he left behind an estimated 1,500 hours of material when he died in September 1970. The irony is, of course, that Hendrix died so young – he didn't even make it to 30 – that his legacy was built upon just four albums that he released in his lifetime.