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Valleys Of Neptune
Jimi Hendrix
Valleys Of Neptune
Genre: Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

This brand-new, completely unreleased studio album features 12 previously unreleased studio recordings totalling over 60 minutes of unheard Jimi Hendrix. Ten of these recordings were made between February and May, 1969, as...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Jimi Hendrix
Title: Valleys Of Neptune
Members Wishing: 17
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony Legacy
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 3/9/2010
Genre: Classic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886976405625


Album Description
This brand-new, completely unreleased studio album features 12 previously unreleased studio recordings totalling over 60 minutes of unheard Jimi Hendrix. Ten of these recordings were made between February and May, 1969, as the Jimi Hendrix Experience set out to create the sequel to their groundbreaking 1968 double-album Electric Ladyland. The album features ?Valleys Of Neptune,? one of the most sought after of all of Hendrix?s commercially unavailable recordings, and includes exciting 1969 arrangements of the classic signature songs ?Red House,? ?Fire,? and ?Stone Free.? Also includes unheard studio versions of Hendrix?s inspired interpretations of ?Bleeding Heart? (Elmore James) and Cream?s ?Sunshine Of Your Love.? Mixed by Eddie Kramer, the engineer for all of Hendrix?s albums throughout the guitarist?s lifetime. Produced by Janie Hendrix, Eddie Kramer, and John McDermott, the team behind all of the acclaimed Jimi Hendrix CD and DVD releases since 1996.

All of the 12 recordings featured on the album have never before been released on a CD/LP. The songs document the pivotal time period after Electric Ladyland and before Electric Lady Studios and the recordings made there that would later take form as Cry of Love and First Rays.

Valleys of Neptune documents both the final studio recordings Jimi made in 1969 with the original Jimi Hendrix Experience and the first efforts with new bassist Billy Cox. As a number of the song titles will be familiar to fans and buyers alike, the following details the key characteristics of each of the tracks on Valleys of Neptune.

"Stone Free": The original 1966 recording by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience is best known as one of Jimi?s signature songs. The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2000) featured a new remake by the original group. Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Billy Cox recorded this version in May 1969. It is a different recording entirely.

"Valleys of Neptune": This track was recorded in September, 1969, and May, 1970. This full-band version has never been released. An extract of a demo Hendrix made of this song -- featuring just Mitchell on drums and percussionist Juma Sultan -- was part of the short-lived Reprise/Polydor album Lifelines, which was in the marketplace between 1990 to 1992.

"Bleeding Heart": This cover of the classic blues song by Elmore James is different entirely from the versions featured on South Saturn Delta and (originally) on War Heroes. This recording has never been issued and features Jimi, Billy Cox, and drummer Rocky Isaac. It was recorded in April, 1969.

"Hear My Train A Comin?": This electric, full-band version is different from the famous 12-string acoustic version that was featured in the 1973 documentary Jimi Hendrix and subsequently on the album Jimi Hendrix: Blues.

"Mr. Bad Luck": Like ?Valleys of Neptune?, a different version of this song was part of Lifelines in (1990). Jimi would later develop this song as ?Look Over Yonder,? issued as part of South Saturn Delta.

"Sunshine of Your Love": A stage favorite for the group during the 1969 period which has never been released.

"Lover Man": Jimi recorded many different arrangements of this song, including the versions on both the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2000) and South Saturn Delta. This is an entirely different recording made in February, 1969.

"Ships Passing Through the Night": A never-before-released track taken from the last recording session by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience on 4/14/69.

"Fire/Red House": Both of these songs by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience were recorded at the same February, 1969, session. They feature the expanded stage arrangements Jimi had developed and are not alternate takes of the original 1967 recordings.

"Lullaby for the Summer/Crying Blue Rain": These April, 1969, recordings by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience have never been released.

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CD Reviews

Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 03/09/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"61 minutes (unless you purchased the edition with extra tracks) in length approximately. The sound is good,especially considering these tracks were recorded with,possibly,no immediate thought of release. The disc snaps in inside the fold-out cardboard holder. The additional info (who plays what and when recorded) and color and b&w photos in the enclosed 22 page booklet are well done and nice to have,especially for the price. The entire background story of all the tracks (except the 2 "bonus" tracks) is laid out pretty well. Speaking of that,there is an edition out there with 2 extra tracks-"Slow Version",and "Trash Man",both instrumentals (more likely unfinished backing tracks) from 1969 available through Target. The tracks are similar to the regular set available everywhere,but for the same money listeners get 12 or so extra minutes of Hendrix,but if you've already purchased the regular edition-don't fret,you're not missing a whole lot. There's information on these two tracks in the "snap-in" portion (behind the CD) of the cardboard holder.

Well,here it is,the "new" Jimi Hendrix album. It consists of tracks,mostly recorded in 1969,put together by the Hendrix family. In that respect it's much like "First Rays of the New Rising Sun",or "South Saturn Delta". And while the tracks are previously unreleased,a number of titles will be familiar to Hendrix listeners. And,while having another look into the musical world of Jimi Hendrix can still be an exciting thing,somehow this release (along with several other re-releases of original period albums-now with a DVD included,and all at a new low price) feels much like a purely money-making venture. Maybe it's to advertise the partnership with Sony Music. Maybe it's to introduce some of his finest albums to a younger generation. Maybe it's both. And I say this from the perspective of someone who's lucky (and old) enough to have first heard Hendrix on vinyl. Who witnessed Hendrix live,both at the Fillmore,and in my home town (parts of "Hendrix In The West" supposedly),and came away astounded. So Hendrix listeners will have to decide whats worth purchasing-again.

This album does contain some good music,even familiar tracks ("Stone Free","Sunshine of Your Love","Red House"-even though the fadeout is irritating) have something to offer the long time (like me) Hendrix listener. And to finally have an officially released version of "Valleys of Neptune" is indeed nice. As for "Mr. Bad Luck", "Lullaby For The Summer",and "Crying Blue Rain",listeners will have to make up their own minds if these tracks (among others) should have been released. And (again like me) long time listeners will have a list of tracks that could have been released in place of some of these tracks. Maybe in the future-we can only hope. But overall,the genius of Hendrix is woven throughout this set,and like most long time listeners,the more Hendrix (up to a point) the better-because we have only a few chances,here and there,to listen to any musical genius at work. And the price (again,low to entice buyers) does make this set attractive.

So,is this album worth purchasing? Absolutely. The "finished"/unfinished tracks all have their strengths and weaknesses. In that respect it's similar to other posthumously released studio tracks-an aural insight into the music of Jimi Hendrix. It's a working snapshot of songs,over a period of time,that Hendrix might have released sometime in the future. But it's not the album to reach for when you want to hear the real-deal musical statements of a genius. For the real Jimi Hendrix "experience",the albums he released in his lifetime are still the best."
Lullaby For Jimi
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 03/11/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well here we have another Jimi Hendrix album of unreleased material from later in his career. This is literally what?The fifth,sixth time this has happened following his death? Yet at the same time there's a big difference between discussing the music on this album and merely having an opinion on it. This album comes from a very awkward period in Jimi's sadly short musical career. Most of these songs feature Noel Redding but here you also see the transition to Billy Cox (the liner notes explain what happened during that time) and interestingly enough,as the bassists change you also notice a difference in in the way Hendrix's rhythmic patterns work. By the way the versions of "Stone Free" and "Fire" here are not the heavily psychedelic versions as presented previously but rather very different,more concetrated versions of the song that have a more live in the studio type of flavor to them. In speaking of Hendrix's music Miles Davis often referred to what he called "hillbilly/country music" influences in the sound Jimi had when he was with the Experience and on the album closer you can definately here that country-blues style of playing in the bridge. Now if this album had come out in it's day it would've been the Experience's follow up to Electric Ladyland and therefore followed a somewhat harder groove centered sound on "Bleeding Heart","Mr.Bad Luck" and a great and largely instrumental take on "Sunshine Of Your Love" and these also make another point for the album. Aside from the very radio friendly title song none of the songs on this album really focus as much on songwriting as the development of Hendrix's guitar work and his rhythm section. So there's more musically said here than in the composition necessarily. So if you like Jimi's music as I do and want to hear some things you never heard from him before,this is a good place to go to get it. If you are just getting into him this would'nt be the place to start either. It is,as with any pothumous Hendrix volume designed for the fan and serious collector and that should be taken duely into note before you buy this."
Some Really Great Tracks, others not so much
S. Johnson | Washington, DC United States | 03/09/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The sound quality on these newly mixed 40 year old tapes is great. And Jimi absolutely RIPS on some of the tracks, which is one thing I never get tired of hearing. "Mr. Bad Luck" sounds very out of place on this CD and should've been given a miss. Also on other tracks some heavy editing has taken place, including dropping in background vocals and guitar solos from other Hendrix recordings (Stone Free). However this was probably largely unavoidable in order to bring us this much 'new' Hendrix which overall sounds fantastic both in terms of the band's performances and the audio fidelity. It's not hard to second-guess some of the choices made on this release but it's still an exciting and enjoyable release..."