"I purchased this awhile back and while the music selection is good with unreleased goodies and the remastering was well done, there's this annoying DJ-like introduction to the songs. There's this great acustic version of Angel that I wanted to convert to Mp3, but it's ruined by a ...DJ voice-over at the end. I have no idea why they did that."
A mixed bag and a great live performance
Kenneth M. Osowski | Stewartstown, PA USA | 02/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This set is somewhat scarce these days, but most Hendrix nuts have probably heard it. The first three discs contain some rare recordings, some obvious ones, and a narration that's either annoying or informative, depending on your mood. A real gem is the home demo recording of "Angel" on Disc 3 - I know of no other release of this performance. Personally, it's my favorite recording of the song, warts and all. It has an intimacy and delicacy that are lost in the bombastic (and somewhat ragged) recording released posthumously on "Cry of Love." It's too bad Jimi never recorded a proper studio version of this gorgeous ballad. The 1967 Paris "Red House" on Disc 1 is also fantastic - Jimi and the band are in raucous form here. Some of the other recordings on the first three discs (the narrated part) are available on "The BBC Sessions" (or the earlier, less comprehensive release, "Radio One"), including the sizzling "Drivin' South," which has always been one of my favorite Hendrix jams.
Anyway, the real meat of this set is the 1969 L.A. Forum concert on Disc 4 (Amazon's track listing is incorrect; there are four discs in this set, not five). For Hendrix fanatics like myself, this disc is pure nirvana. The recording quality is outstanding for a live show of this vintage, and the band is at the peak of its powers. Jimi, of course, is brilliant throughout; drummer Mitch Mitchell's playing still has its trademark agility and inventiveness (his playing with Jimi in 1970 was rather lackluster and sloppy by comparison); bassist Noel Redding does sound a bit bored at times during the extended jams (perhaps an indication of the dischord that would eventually lead to the trio's breakup later in '69), but in general, he's solid.
"Tax Free" is a great warm-up jam, though the band probably should have tuned more carefully before beginning (bassist Redding sounds sharp to me). A stunning performance of "Red House" follows, in the extended arrangement Jimi featured in his '69 and '70 shows. This is one of the best versions I've heard, and Jimi's vocals are particularly strong here. This performance of "Spanish Castle Magic" is fascinating, if a bit overlong. It features an extended "flamenco" solo (in the style of Jimi's Woodstock improvisation) that builds to an overwhelming climax. The "Star Spangled Banner" - "Purple Haze" pairing is a blueprint for the famous Woodstock sequence. This "Banner" sounds tame in comparison to Woodstock, but "Haze" is a strong performance, as is the ensuing "I Don't Live Today." Again, "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"/"Sunshine of Your Love" is a tad over-extended, but it does have its share of powerful moments.
All in all, the L.A. Forum concert is occasionally ragged, occasionally self-indulgent, but it reaches some stunning peaks, particularly on "Red House" and "Spanish Castle Magic." It's too bad that "Foxey Lady" was omitted (it's on the hard-to-find, excellent "Jimi Hendrix Concerts" compilation), but if you are a Hendrix nut, you'll want to have this set in your collection."
Correction on this errant listing
CD Warehouse | Erie, PA USA | 07/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The track listings are incorrect for this product. As you can note towards the top, under the Product Description, there are only 4 discs, as it correctly states. However, when looking at the Track Listings, it posts 5 discs. If you look closely, though, you'll realize discs 2 & 4 list the identical tracks. What's listed as disc 2 truly is disc 1's track listing, disc 1's listings are truly disc 2's listings, disc 3's listings are correct, what's listed as disc 4 does not exist at all, and what's listed as disc 5 truly is disc 4 in this set.
Amazon really dropped the ball with this item's description, but I wanted to set the record straight, for the sake of both the buyers and sellers. Just know that if you order this, and only receive 4 discs, you're getting the item the way it was made. There are not 5 discs!"
The Jimi Hendrix STORY
Cuvtixo | Arlington, MA USA | 10/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a Biography, a radio program released in the UK as "Live & Unreleased: The Radio Show" Some of the "never before released" material has since been released in other collections. What struck me most about this was how good it is as a radio show, when radio still offered some good programming. I like "Damien's" voice, and though I do have to put it away for a while after listening, I go back to it now and again. I think this collection is perfect for iPods, where you can listen to the entire collection leisurely, as if it was an audiobook."
Enjoyable one-time listen but unrepeatable...
Stephen Cabral | New England | 12/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Four disc collection of 52 Hendrix songs...many rare songs mixed in with the hits with the fourth disk being a live concert from LA. There is narration and interviews between each song so it made for an enjoyable one-time listen but unrepeatable. The live disc is now available on it's own."