Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jan 11th 2010 10:00AM by Benjy Eisen
The complete 'Valley of Neptune' album will hit stores and digital retailers on Mar. 9. That same day, the Jimi Hendrix Catalog Project will reissue, through Legacy Recordings, new deluxe CD/DVD and vinyl editions of the Hendrix classics. The DVDs will include new documentaries by Grammy-winner Bob Smeaton.
Material for 'Valley of the Sun' is from studio sessions that largely took place during a volatile four-month period in 1969. Hendrix was famously being torn in many different directions at that time, embattled with legal issues over various contracts on the business side of things that wouldn't be settled until years -- or even decades -- after his death.
More relevant to these actual recording sessions, this was the period in which Hendrix was just about to start phasing out the Jimi Hendrix Experience (featuring Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums) in favor of Band of Gypsys, with bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles. Some have speculated that it was a harbinger of a stylistic change to funkier, jazzier territories from the classic, if experimental, blues-rock of the Experience. However, several of these new tracks feature Cox on bass but Mitchell on drums. The sessions took place, alternately, at both the Record Plant in New York and Olympic Studios in London and were intended to form the foundation for the follow-up to 'Electric Ladyland.' It's an exciting unearthing, no doubt.
Like many of Hendrix's best-known recordings, 'Valley of Neptune' was mixed by Hendrix's longtime engineer, Eddie Kramer. Hendrix's sister Janie, who is CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC, says that the newly unlocked material reveals Jimi's talents as a studio innovator as well as a guitarist. "His brilliance shines through," she says, "on every one of these precious tracks."