Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Similarly Requested CDs
In all fairness...
Joe Kenney | Dallas, TX USA | 08/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...this is a really good CD. It's been forgotten, pushed to the side, by the 1997-released, Hendrix-family approved "First Rays of the New Rising Sun." Due to this, Voodoo Soup has basically disappeared from stores; I remember when it was released, in 1995, the CD was everywhere. They even had this large, stand-up promotional display in my local record store, a blown up image of the funky cover drawing by Moebius. I always wondered what the deal was with that pic, Jimi spooning some soup into his mouth, but beneath the cd holder inside the jewel case is the original photo - a pic of Jimi eating in a restaurant. Moebius just "psychedlicized" the photo for the cover drawing. Anyway, most people these days dismiss Voodoo Soup, because the often-lambasted producer Alan Douglas was behind it. Douglas is the guy who was in charge of releasing Hendrix records from the '70s to mid-'90s, until the rights went over to Hendrix's family. Douglas didn't have any trouble with overdubbing Jimi's unfinished compositions - to make them sound more complete - whereas the Hendrix family are determined to let us know that these songs - reportedly what Jimi had in mind for his 4th album - were never finished, and thus should be seen as works in progress. So the difference between Voodoo Soup and First Rays (other than a few, glaring song omissions from VS) is basic; Voodoo Soup is presented as a completed album, and First Rays is presented as one that has a few completed songs, and a few more that were barely past the demo stage (ie "Hey Baby.") And though the two cds share many of the same songs, the mixes for each are very different. How about a track by track run-down?1. "The New Rising Sun" - not at all like the song "Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)" on First Rays. This track is a sound experiment, comparable to "EXP" and "And the Gods Made Love." A little longer than either of those songs, and mostly just a bunch of white noise, backwards guitars, and drums (played by Jimi), this is still a great opening track, and right off the bat makes Voodoo Soup sound like an "official" Hendrix cd. Jimi had grown fond of what he called "sound paintings," and I think, had he lived to complete his First Rays, he would've started the album with something like this, instead of "Freedom," which is how the Hendrix-family "First Rays" cd begins. This track flows smoothly into the next:2. "Belly Button Window" - crazily enough, a pro-abortion song. Not the sort of song that would go over well, these days. Or any day, really. Really just a demo, but it still sounds cool. I don't see why Alan Douglas chose this as the second track, it isn't very strong as it is so unfinished. I guess he was trying to get an "Electric Ladyland" feel - like how that album went from the jarring "Gods Made Love" to the laid-back "Electric Ladyland." Still, I would've segued "New Rising Sun" into "Freedom."3. "Stepping Stone" - the one that upsets so many, as this mix has the drummer from the Knack on it - his drums were overdubbed in 1995. In all honesty, his drums sound better than Mitchell's, on "First Rays." And also keep in mind that even Mitchell's drums aren't the original - he overdubbed them in the early '70s, after Jimi's death! So overdubbing is overdubbing - regardless if it's 1972 or 1995. Therefore, the presence of the Knack drummer doesn't bother me. And besides, this mix is much better than the one on First Rays - the drums are rolicking, Jimi's guitar is much more up in front, and the overall sound is much, much better than the bottom-heavy First Rays mix.4. "Freedom" - not much of a difference between this mix and the First Rays mix. I guess I like the First Rays mix a little more - it's heavier on the bottom, which is good for this track - gives it more of a thump.5. "Angel" - a great song. Jimi's voice on the VS version doesn't echo, as it does on First Rays. And whereas the First Rays track fades at the end and then comes back up for the ending chord (as a lot of other tracks do on First Rays), the VS mix plays throughout, up to the final chord. 6. "Room Full of Mirrors" - the other track with the Knack drummer. And again, a much better mix than that on First Rays. The drums are funkier, giving the song a great groove, and there are effects on Jimi's vocals - making them spiral around the music, adding a hallucinatory haze to the song. The First Rays version is more straightforward, and lacks the impact of this mix.7. "Midnight" - the biggest misstep on Voodoo Soup. Instead of using "Izabella" or "Dolly Dagger," two completed (and not to mention well-known) tracks Hendrix had in mind for his 4th album, Douglas chose to use this, an over-long instrumental that was recorded in 1968 with the Experience.8. "Night Bird Flying" - much like the First Rays mix, except the drums are a bit softer on VS.9. "Drifting" - again, much like the First Rays mix, except the effect on Jimi's guitar is slightly different, and the backwards guitar (at least to me) is a little more noticeable.10. "Ezy Rider" - definitely better on VS. I think Douglas did a little work on the drum mix, as it just sounds better on here than it does on First Rays.11. "Pali Gap" - a great song, perfect for late-night listening. The version on "South Souther Delta" is a tad longer, but it's cool to have this song on here - it would have been cooler if it had followed, say, "Dolly Dagger."12. "Message to Love" - a great, funky track that is very similar to First Ray's "Earth Blues." According to the liner notes, this was recorded in the same session as "Earth Blues." Shorter and less dynamic than the live "Band of Gypsies" version.13. "Peace in Mississipi" - another instrumental, recorded with the Experience in 1968. I wonder if Jimi would've used so many instrumentals on this album. And, placed so close to "Midnight," you can't help but notice how similar the two songs sound.14. "In From the Storm" - a great end to the CD, much better than the track chosen to end First Rays: "Belly Button Window." The VS mix deletes Jimi's opening comments, as preserved on the First Rays mix, and also his chorus backing is not as in the front as the First Rays mix.And on top of this you also get well-written liner notes by Michael Fairchild. Sure, the guy idolizes Jimi to the point of godhood, but still, so what? If you're going to make a rock star larger than life, why not make it Jimi Hendrix? In summary, I would recommend tracking this down. The mixes are better than those on First Rays, and also the album doesn't drag after a while - First Rays gets a bit jagged, towards the end. But still, Voodoo Soup could've been THE First Rays album, had Douglas used Dolly Dagger, Izabella, and maybe even Hey Baby, instead of overlong instrumentals like Midnight and Peace in Mississipi."
I'm glad I have it
Eric Gomez | Sherman Oaks, California USA | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No, you can't have my copy of "Voodoo Soup." I know, it's out of print and you may not easily find it, however I'm sure if you really, really want it you can find it. And want it you should. I listen to this CD and I hear such incredible music that I sometimes wonder if there is a heaven, will I go there to listen to his newest music. I doubt I will, but Jimi is heaven on earth. Close your eyes and listen, you'll get there too. "Voodoo Soup" is supersonic... hell, what's faster than supersonic? It's just call it ultrasonic because there really isn't a single word to describe Jimi's music. Juxtaposed with "Are You Experienced" "Voodoo Soup" shows you just how far Jimi went musically in only a couple of short years. The music on this CD is light years away from his start, yet fully grounded in his god-like talent. Jimi might have been the second coming, if you believe in that sort of thing. He wasn't evolutionary, he was revolutionary, completely different from anyone before or since. Pick up this CD and prepare to enter the spacecraft that will take you to the stars."
Hendrix's Official 4th Album
Glenn Nippert | Alpharetta, Georgia United States | 06/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Jimi Hendrix died, he left an unfinished album, tentatively titled "First Rays of The New Rising Sun". This, with the exception of the title, is essentialy that album.This album was released in 1995 and was quickly withdrawn due to legal action taken by the Hendrix estate who had plans of their own to release this material under it's proper "New Rays" title. They eventually did release it in 97' with a slightly different track listing and with slightly different mixes. In my humble opinion, this one is better and based upon what I've read about Hendrix's
plans for his fourth album, this track listing is more accurate to his musical vision. This album is definately of a piece with the three original studio albums that he made in his lifetime and it's just a shame fans had to wait so long to hear it. Because this album was withdrawn within a year of being released, it will probably someday be a collector's item. There are so many "live" and "best of" albums of Hendrix material that it is easy to forget he really only made 3 albums. "Freedom" is probably the best known track here since it was used in a car commercial a few years ago and "Angel", which Rod Stewart had a hit with in the early 70's. Jimi's guitar playing is peerless as always, whether imitating a baby crying on his abortion themed song "Belly Button Window" or on the grinding heavy metal instrumental "Midnight". It's stunning to think how good he was, especially in the face of such competition as Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page,Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Alvin Lee.If you can track this one down, buy it. It's got every style that he played in- blues, ballads, hard rock, heavy metal and psychedelia. I'm sure Jimi's spirit is smiling down, knowing that the public finally got to hear this music in the 1990's. Although, perfectionist that he was, he would probably want to do some overdubs and remixing. If you consider this a new album of new material, then I would have to say it was one of the best albums released in the 90's. Incidentally, Jimi Hendrix sold more albums in the 90's than he did in previous decades. Not bad for a guy who's been dead since 1971!!"