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Black Gold
Ref.: Midnight Beat MBCD 058-062
Date: 1996
(5) Bootleg


1.01. Ain't Too Proud To Beg
1.02. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
1.03. Long Hot Summer Night
1.04. 1983 ... (A Merman I should turn to be)
1.05. Moon, turn the Tides ... gently gently away
1.06. Angel
1.07. Cherokee Mist
1.08. Getting My Heart Back Together Again
1.09. Voodoo Child
(Voodoo Chile)
(Voodoo Chile)
1.10. Gypsy Eyes
1.11. Gypsy Eyes
2.01. South Saturn Delta
2.02. Rainy Day, Dream Away
2.03. Rainy Day, Dream Away
2.04. Rainy Day, Dream Away
2.05. Third Stone from the Sun
2.06. Jam Back At The House
2.07. Bleeding Heart
2.08. Pride Of Man
2.09. Pride Of Man
2.10. Valleys of Neptune
2.11. Sending My Love To Linda
3.01. Had To Cry Today
3.02. Paper Aeroplanes
3.03. Blue Suede Shoes
3.04. Izabella
3.05. Izabella
3.06. Honey Bed
4.01. Mannish Boy
4.02. Closer To The Truth
5.01. Voodoo Child
5.02. Instrumental Jam - Black Gold
5.03. Three Little Bears
5.04. Gypsy Eyes
5.05. 1983 ... (A Merman I should turn to be)
5.06. Untitled Instrumental


Original file names:
Jimi Hendrix - Black Gold (1 of 5)_ALBW.mp3
Jimi Hendrix - Black Gold 2 of 5_ALBW - Skillet JR.mp3
Jimi Hendrix - Black Gold (3 of 5)_ALBW.mp3
Jimi Hendrix - Black Gold (4 of 5)_ALBW - Skillet JR.mp3
Jimi Hendrix - Black Gold 5 of 5_ALBW - Skillet JR.mp3
A excellent collection of jimi's outtakes with excepcional sound. Perfect compilation of five cd's with neverending jams and strange stuff. A fair amount of this material has come out since this was first released, but for the most part was here first. A classic bootleg. The sound overall is quite good, even excellent, for almost all tracks.
Black Gold (Midnight Beat MBCD 058-062 / 1996 / 5CD Box) ftbfs: B540
Disc #1 - 2: "Volume 1": Drake Hotel Demos, New York City apr.1968 / Outtakes 1968-70 plus BBC Sessions, London 1967
Disc #3 - 4: "Volume 2": Outtakes 1968-70 plus Home recording 1969 / Jam with Traffic, Electric Lady Studio, New York City 15.06.70
Disc #5: "Volume 3": Outtakes 1968-70 plus Drake Hotel Demos, New York City apr.1968 / Electric Demos 1968
BLACK GOLD (Midnight Beat) Luxembourg
DISC 1: I Was Nade To Love Her;Ain't Too Proud To Beg (Parts 1 & 2) (Jimi & Stevie Wonder, BBC sessions 1967)/Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (Takes 1-15) (from studio sessions during 1968)/Long Hot Summer Night (Parts 1 & 2) (solo)/1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (solo)/Moon Turn The Tides...Gently Gently Away (solo)/Angel (solo)/Cherokee Mist (solo)/Getting My Heart Back Together Again (solo)/Voodoo Chile (solo)/Gypsy Eyes (solo)/Gypsy Eyes (solo); DISC 2: South Saturn Delta (acoustic 6/14/68)/Rainy Day, Dream Away (overdub; take 1)/Rainy Day, Dream Away (overdub; take 2)/Rainy Day, Dream Away (overdub; take 3)/Third Stone From The Sun;Villanova Junction Blues (instrumental)/Jam Back At The House/Bleeding Heart/Pride Of Man (take 1)/Pride Of Man (take 2)/Midnight;Valleys Of Neptune Rising (takes 1-7)/Sending My Love To Linda (takes 1-3, 5/69 w/Stephen Stills); DISC 3: Had To Cry Today (w/Lee Michaels)/Paper Aeroplanes (takes 1-17)/Blue Suede Shoes 'Jam'/Izabella (overdub; take 2; 8/29/69)/Izabella (two takes)/Honey Bed (takes 1-4); DISC 4: Mannish Boy (takes 1-7)/Closer To The Truth (Room Full Of Mirrors); DISC 5: Voodoo Chile (The Blues Session, takes 1-5)/Instrumental Jam: Stepping Stone;Sending My Love To Linda;Freedom;Here Comes The Sun;Cherokee Mist;All Devil's Children/Three Little Bears (acoustic solo)/Gypsy Eyes (acoustic solo)/1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (acoustic solo)/Untitled Instrumental
The remainder of Disc 1 was recorded at Jimi's hotel room at the Crake Hotel 4/68. The acoustic solos on Disc 5 were recorded at the Record Plant 3/20/68. CD; 5-CD Boxed Set. ++


REVIEW (thanks to JEFF EVANGELISTA: Hey-Joe, Voodoochile Yahoo e-groups) This is a handsome 5xCD box set from Midnight Beat. It consists of an 11x6-inch black box case with gold scripted writing and the War Heroes picture of Jimi's head. On the back, you will find a complete track listing for each CD, including number of takes or if rehearsal or solo. Inside you'll find a simple but colorful booklet. The 10x5.5-inch saddle-stitched booklet is only about 10 pages, and largely consists of photos, except that in the middle is a two-page matrix of track information. This info. is sparse, giving only date, name, personnel, and recording location. I believe there are some inaccuracies with dates and personnel, but not many. (*****There seem to be a few that go slightly against the information I have on this set as well. But I think my listing -- along with Jeff's review -- lays out a very good picture of what is on 'Black Gold'. -- Ted.***)
There are five discs: the Volume 1 jewel case contains the first two discs, the Volume 2 jewel case contains the next two discs, and the third disc is alone in the Volume 3 jewel case. The discs themselves are silk- screened black on the front; quite nice. Heck, it beats my commercial Citizen Steely Dan box set!
The sound overall is quite good, even excellent, for almost all tracks. I have no problem with the sound, except for perhaps two tracks I can think of off-hand; Had To Cry Today and the Instrumental Jam with Mitch; more on that later.
Here we go...
1. I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER, AIN'T TOO PROUD TO BEG, 8:35 10-6-67 Playhouse Theatre, London. Hendrix, S. Wonder (drums), Redding. This is the familiar Stevie Wonder on drums jam, complete with the first part of the jam. Sound quality is excellent, and Jimi lets rip on some riffs. I like this jam. There are no vocals, but faintly you can hear someone (Stevie?) singing some verses of ATPTB. I know this jam is found on other imports, but this is the only version I have, and I think it's great! It *does* fade in though, so my guess is that something from the beginning is missing. I read in a review of this song that one release has the BBC announcer at the start, and if so, then this version misses that. It does fade into the jam though, so we *are* definitely missing something. Compare this track time to your version if you must.
2. VOODOO CHILD (SLIGHT RETURN) (The Session, Take 1- 15), 32:43 5-3-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Miles, Redding. I would think this is Mitch on drums, but booklet claims Miles. Booklet could be wrong. This can also be found on the Voodoo Sessions CD. The last take is the keeper that we all know, complete with some added seconds of maracas and tambourines at the end. Now, unlike the Voodoo Chile Blues Session takes (more later), this is NOT a fluid rehearsal session; that is, there are cuts in between some of the takes, which I suppose may or may not indicate missing takes. But that doesn't take away the enjoyment of seeing how this song progressed from primitive to mature. Very good quality; someone's post on Voodoo Sessions a while back says this is mono; maybe so, but it sounds pretty open to me.
The rest of this disc contains the Drake Hotel Jimi solo songs, some available on the Illustrated Voodoo cartoon book CD (hereafter called Illustrated), 1968 AD Pt 2, and assorted boots. I don't have Illustrated so I can't compare the quality, but the quality here is very, very good. And, Black Gold features *more* of these solo songs than Illustrated. These seem to be presented in the order in which he recorded them; it appears that tracks 3-11 were one continuous recording session, and you hear Jimi turning pages at the end of most tracks and then beginning on the next track presented here.
Tracks 3-11: 4-17-68 Drake Hotel, NY. Hotel Room Recording
3. LONG HOT SUMMER NIGHT (PT 1 & 2), 4:23 Jimi solo. Rough in the sense that he stops to turn pages throughout, and his guitar sounds out of tune at times. Excellent as a historical piece to regard with interest, but not really great music. He announcesa second verse at 2:14 into the song. At 3:56 comes "Part 2," where I think Jimi pauses the tape recorder and then un-pauses it, but we miss some of his vocals; some boots have this part indexed as another track.
4. 1983...A MERMAN I SHOULD TURN TO BE, 4:00 Jimi solo. This is a slow meandering early version, with Jimi singing. The instrumental version on Volume 3 is superior, in my opinion.
5. MOON TURN THE TIDES...GENTLY GENTLY AWAY, 3:28 Jimi Solo. Although indexed here as Track 5, this is the last part of 1983... You really are awed by Jimi's creative genius after hearing him work out this segment.
6. ANGEL, 3:22 The familiar Angel solo. Same as on Lifelines and Illustrated. Nice, probably the most polished Jimi solo among the group on this disc.
7. CHEROKEE MIST, 3:12 Jimi solo. I think this is the best, most natural version of Cherokee Mist there is; you know how the 7+ minute version of it has to grow on you? Well, this doesn't really require that because it doesn't contain the feedback Indian sounds and drum beat. In fact, the chords for CM really are beautiful, and for me it takes this version to realize that.
8. GETTING MY HEART BACK TOGETHER AGAIN, 1:21 Jimi solo. Very short solo version of Hear My Train. Starts out like Voodoo Chile, but Jimi sings the Hear My Train lyrics. Some minor tape glitches at the beginning.
9. VOODOO CHILE, 6:07 Jimi solo. Jimi hums along with his guitar, and does some singing too. At 3:00 you hear him say "guitar solo," for reference later in the studio. Segues right into Gypsy Eyes.
10. GYPSY EYES, 5:53 Jimi solo. At around 2:00 into this we hear some bars of Cherokee Mist. The lyrics do not really match up to the official Gypsy Eyes on ELL. And yes, at 4:54 you hear phone ringing in the background. See Volume 3 for best version in my opinion.
11. GYPSY EYES, 4:14 Jimi solo. This take includes a more advanced guitar lead-in. Jimi stays on course more in this version, as it appears he has found the rhythm; although there is no singing. Gypsy Eyes must have been closely related to Cherokee Mist in Jimi's mind, because he again plays some chords of CM here.
1. SOUTH SATURN DELTA, 3:29 6-14-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. Instr. jam of this song, with just Jimi solo on guitar and no other personnel. The booklet claims the above personnel, but I can't hear anyone or anything but Jimi and his guitar. If you like the rhythm and pattern of SSD, then I suspect you'll enjoy this rendition. I like it because it offers a clean, unfettered version of SSD without the horns and everything else you hear on Lifelines. It starts off with a series of very sharp banjo-type twangs (sort of like at the beginning of acoustic Hear My Train on :Blues). 2-3 seconds of studio chatter precede the song.
2. RAINY DAY: DREAM AWAY (Overdub Session, Take 1), 0:56 3. RAINY DAY: DREAM AWAY (Take 2), 2:19 4. RAINY DAY: DREAM AWAY (Take 3), 10:21 6-10-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Redding, Lee Michaels (organ).
Take 1 - The first take is with organ, drums, and guitar (no vocals) with the band just messing around loosely on the Rainy Day pattern. I don't think any of this made it into the official version. Not much music. Take 2 - This take really departs from Rainy Day. Jimi soloing accompanied by organ and drums. Again, I don't think any of this made it in official version. Take 3 - This is the combined Rainy Day, Dream Away and Still Raining Still Dreaming tracks on ELL, except here it is presented as the original single track. The mix is a little different too, with vocals and instruments at times more upfront or more behind than in the official version. Also, the horn is not as full-sounding as on ELL. Take 3 fades in, so we are missing something at the beginning...but, we shouldn't complain because at the 2:37 mark we hear the cough that kicks off the familiar Rainy Day, Dream Away from ELL...that means we get a full 2:37 min. more of music at the beginning that the official version chops off. In addition, we get an additional 5 seconds at the end, with Jimi saying something unintelligible to the control room. Taken together, these three takes give you a more complete picture of Rainy Day than is available on ELL. I know this is nothing new to bootlegs, but here it is anyway and in very good quality.
5. THIRD STONE FROM THE SUN, VILLANOVA JUNCTION BLUES (Instr), 14:05 5-14-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. From its name, this track sounds promising, but it's hard to hear *any* Third Stone here. If you try you might detect some similarities. There's a lot of bass, rhythm guitar and drums/cymbals on Third Stone, not much if any lead guitar. Jimi doesn't really play lead until 4:12 min. into the jam. At around 6:30 the band begins VJB. Jimi starts playing more lead guitar now. This is a mellow jam that is nice to have, not much in the way of guitar licks, but good for the soul. The last 5-6 minutes though is really beautiful in a Hey Baby sort of way.
Now, something odd happens in this jam, but I can't be sure so I leave it to you to decide. At precisely 7:05 into the jam it sounds like it cuts into another jam entirely; that is, it sounds as if someone spliced in another jam on top of one. I can't be sure; I like to think this isn't the case, and hopefully it isn't.
6. JAM BACK AT THE HOUSE (Instr), 5:47 6-16-70 Electric Ladyland Studios. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. Beginnings from War Heroes. Might be a different mix, but sounds similar enough. Here this song sounds very good and clear - a great song to crank in the car. Near-commercial quality to my ears.
7. BLEEDING HEART, 3:48 3-24- 69 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. Ahah! This I know for sure - the same version as on Eyes & Imagination, complete with all the instruments. However, Jimi's vocals are soft in the mix until the third verse or so, when his vocals get louder. I did a direct comparison to E&I version -- on E&I, the vocals are normal all the way through. But here for some reason he sounds as if he's off-mike (or more likely a different mix). The sound quality is just as good as E&I, maybe with a tad less hiss. But I really do wish his vocals were louder.
8. PRIDE OF MAN (Take 1), 1:28
9. PRIDE OF MAN (Take 2), 2:18 9-24-69 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. Instrumentals. Sound just like the Valleys of Neptune from Track 10 below. I recognize the title name from other imports, but I don't have them. I wonder if these also have anything to do with the 15 minute PoM on Multicolored Blues. Anyway, these two takes seem like they might come from a session with many more takes. The tune itself is only ok, very distinctive when you hear it. Because he plays the same chords and sound as the Valleys of Neptune jam below, this is either another name for Valleys or an unrealized version.
10. MIDNIGHT, VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE ARISING (Take 1-7), 14:51 4-3-69 Olmstead Studios, NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. The VoNA takes (2- 7) sound just like the Pride of Man takes above. They're not duplicates, it's just that they are the same songs. Take 1: This is the Midnight jam, ending at 2:40. VoNA Take 2: 2:52-3:40. Doesn't last long, and breaks down with Jimi saying, "Eddie, make the congas much louder in my earphones." Eddie: "Sure." They test the congas and drums awhile before Take 3.
VoNA Take 3: Begins 4:01
VoNA Take 4: Begins 7:46
VoNA Take 5: Begins 9:41
VoNA Take 6: Begins 10:22
VoNA Take 7: Begins 11:19
11. SENDING MY LOVE TO LINDA (Instr. Take 1-3), 11:06 4-21-69 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. This single instrumental track consists of 3 takes. There is no singing on it, and therefore cannot be the same as the one on Lifelines. But, this is awesome! It has a real haunting sound, and is one of my favorites. It is unlike the version on Lifelines, which besides having vocals, has a much more restrained guitar sound. This guitar is definitely heavy at times. The same basic chords are played though. Other boots have shorter versions of SMLTL or Heaven Has No Sorrows; not sure if this is HHNS, since I've never heard it, but this is an 11min track whereas I haven't seen SMLTL's or HHNS's anywhere over 8min. Correct me if I'm wrong. Take 1 - Breaks down at 0:46, but Jimi continues to solo repeating the main riff until 1:07. Take 2 - Begins at 1:07 with engineer saying "on four," and band breaks down at 2:36 with Jimi complaining that the earphones are distorting everything. Jimi continues to play alone until the 3:00 min. mark. This take is about 1:53 min. long. Take 3 - Begins at the 3:00 min. mark, with engineer saying "on five." Continues until the end at 11:06. This take is about 8:06 min. long. Jimi doesn't seem to have the rest of the song ironed out yet, as Take 3 plays out the haunting riffs he started in the first two takes but then he just improvises for the remaining jam. This could have been a killer song had he lived and chose to work on it, adding some lyrics and filling out the song.
1. HAD TO CRY TODAY 16:30 7-23-70 Electric Ladyland Studios. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. The quality here is good, but not great. Maybe it's just that I don't like this jam; kind of boring, but not terrible. Features a lot of percussion playing, and Jimi's voice is very distant, but he doesn't sing much anyway. At about 2:00 into the jam Jimi's guitar starts to heat up, making sporadic appearances thereafter, and so if you find the beginning a tad uninspiring, hang in there. The percussion (conga, drums, cowbells) dominates at the beginning though, and provides a beat that you might find catchy. An organ joins the fun much later in the jam. One caution is that there are a lot of instrument drop-outs and some amp distortion at times. One other thing to keep in mind is that the jam is very loose and somewhat disorganized. Now, I have a suspicion, but I would have to listen to the Ball & Chain CD to confirm. Scott Hannon posted in his review of B&C the following two tracks: "[8:49] jam with organ 1: Maybe this should be titled "Hear My Struggle To Tune A Guitar Calling" as Jimi spends most of this jam struggling to tune his guitar (unsuccesfully). He makes a few brief appearances playing guitar, but mostly he's just making noise trying to tune up. But it sounds like the others are having fun without him. The jam/pain lasts around 7:32 followed by around a minutes of tuneups... 7:43 a jam called "Hear My Freedom Calling" (from some of the lyrics Jimi sings). Jimi's tuning problems haven't been solved, so after a few minutes he gives up trying to play/tune and starts doing some ad- lib(?) vocals (which tend to be a bit buried in the mix). After a couple minutes of singing, he tries the guitar again, but quickly gives up." -- S. Hannon... Interesting -- I wonder if these two tracks are Had to Cry Today? I know a "Had to Cry Today" appears in the Notes in Colours boot, but I have not listened and have no other information. Consider: 1) the track times from B&C add up to about the 16 min of HtCT, 2) Jimi's vocals *are* toward the end of the jam, and they are very buried in the mix (or he's off-mike?), 3) "Hear My freedom Calling" *is* one of the lines he sings. This would have to be confirmed with comparative listening. Jimi's first vocal comes at 11:57 into jam, and lasts for about 1:15 min. Here are some tidbits: "I hear my freedom call me/...Wake up early in the morning, think about what I got to say/.../I'm singing from the bottom of my heart/Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord".
2. PAPER AEROPLANES (Rehearsal Sessions), 26:41 11-21-69 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Miles, Cox. This is really good. You get a near-complete rehearsal session of this Power of Soul tryout. This is probably the stuff presented on the CD Paper Airplanes. And, now I know why this track is called Paper Airplanes, because in one of the takes Jimi sings "strike down some of those paper airplanes." There is no indication anywhere of the number of takes, so I came up with the following (a total of 15 takes):
Take 1: Band ends at 2:43, Jimi soon continues on alone until 5:48 ("alright, fade out"). Features some nice lyrics, including "paper airplanes."
Take 2: 6:00-6:08. False start.
Take 3: 6:10-7:03. Jimi's playing is nice here, but they don't get very far. No vocals.
Take 4: 7:06-8:48. No vocals.
Take 5: 8:50- 9:19.
Take 6: 9:20-9:22. 2 seconds of nothing, but the engineer calls it "Take 6."
Take 7: 9:22-9:40. Drums and guitar play together for about 20 sec.
Take 8: 9:40-10:10. The drummer is out of step.
Take 9: 10:12- 10:32
Take 10: 10:32-12:06
Take 11: 12:07-12:38
Take 12: 12:38- 13:50. Not much music; numerous false starts.
Take 13, guitar and drums - engineer. 13:50-16:12. This take includes no bass. Breaks down with engineer saying "What's the matter in there?"
Take 14: 16:25-16:46 (false start of sorts)
Take 15: 18:54-end (includes a new start at 24:55).
Rehearsal ends ubruptly with Jimi talking to control room, so we are missing something. This rehearsal is easy to follow because engineer is good about marking takes (e.g., "Take 1," "Take 2," etc). Listening to this session reveals that the drums and guitar at the opening were having a hard time synching up.
3. BLUE SUEDE SHOES (Jam), 11:36 1-23-70 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Miles, Cox. This must be "Police Blues" from the Freak Out Blues CD. You start out with Jimi's funny Elvis impersonation, and then it rolls into a nice studio Blue Suede Shoes. After about 2 mins. it rolls into jam-mode. At 2:30 in the song Jimi's guitar and another guitar and harmonica combine to sound like a wailing siren and it has been suggested that this is where the name "Police Blues" comes from. However, the vocals do contain references to policemen, and this might be a truer reason. You may find the harmonica annoying; I don't, but some might. Very good jam, but sadly fades out. Nice quality throughout. Transcription of Elvis impersonation: JH: "I feel evil. If you want trouble, you've come to the right place". Jimi then sings a verse of Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel! BSS begins.
4. IZABELLA (Reel 4, Take 2, Overdub Session), 3:50
5. IZABELLA, 4:41 11-7-69 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Miles, Cox. These are two nice takes of Izabella. Track 4 starts with engineer saying "Reel 4, take 2." This is the more polished of the two tracks, and Jimi sings along with his guitar at the end. Nice. Track 5 really consists of two takes; it is looser and contains no vocals. Starts with engineer saying "Izabella, take 1, go ahead." At 0:32 song breaks down: JH: "Can I get the guitar through these earphones?" After a false start, at 0:53 Take 2 begins. Toward the end Jimi plays a few bars of Freedom, which is a pleasant surprise.
6. HONEY BED (Take 1-5), 7:52 9-10-69 Sheridan Square, Greenwich Village NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. Although booklet claims the above, it is more likely the date is 12-23-69, as other reviewers have noted. If so, then it makes more sense if Miles was the drummer. I do not know which date is true, let alone the personnel. 9-9-69 was the Cavett show appearance in NYC, so it is conceivable Jimi was in NYC on 9-10. Well, Jimi announces at the start that he'll call this one Honey Bed. So it is a genuine name. Ball & Chain has 4 takes of Honey Bed and this has 5, but Black Gold calls the false start in Take 1 another follow Scott Hannon's comments below for Honey Bed on Ball & Chain...they apply here too. This song had possibilities, but at this stage it is rough and not very developed at this stage. The main lyric: "You got me sittin' up on the shelf."
1) "[1:08] false start 0:28-0:36; take 1 0:48- 1:06 2) [0:31] take 2 0:14-0:31 These two takes have Jimi singing the first 4 lines of the song. Jimi also mentions he wrote the song on July 19 (so he probably had the lyric sheet in the photo with him while doing this). Things are not progressing too well, so Jimi gives up trying to do rough guide vocals and from now on concentrates on getting the music (gutar, bass, drums) down right. 3) [4:33] take 3 0:05-4:14. Instrumental. It isn't pretty, but they manage to get thru the whole song, which seems to have been their intent. Jimi hums/na- na's some of the lyrics to provide a rough guide of where they are in the song. 4) [1:45] false start 0:06-0:09; take 4 0:15-1:38. Jimi sings the first line, then it's instrumental the rest of the way. -- S. Hannon"
1. MANNISH BOY (Rehearsal Session Take 1-7), 39:55 1-7- 70 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Cox. This is just great. It is the longest track on the set, and features some outstanding playing as the Gypsies try to cut this tune. This is one of my favorites on this set. You hear all studio chatter between each take, and Jimi telling the band and engineers how he wants parts played. Throughout Jimi is dissatisfied with the band's timing in particular. The track on Blues is created from this set, and those liner notes claim 4-22-69 as the date - I do not know which is right. I'm sure there is an import with this session on it, and if so I cannot vouch for its quality, but the quality here is terrific. Play this loud with no worries of distortion, hiss, etc. The booklet claims 7 takes; I hear many more than that.
Take 1: Lasts about 1.5 minutes.
Take 2: Begins at 1:40
Take 3: Begins at 5:32
Take 4: Begins at 6:00
Take 5: Begins at 6:17. Very good take. Some of this may have been used to create the track on :Blues. Breaks down at 10:15.
Take 6: Begins at 11:00. After breaking down, you can hear Jimi apologize to the control room at 13:26, "I didn't mean to keep you up this late."
Take 7: Begins at 13:58
Take 8: Begins at 19:25, with Jimi wanting to go a little faster this time. AT THIS POINT I LOSE TRACK OF TAKES. At a take at 27:20, we hear the riff used at the start of Mannish Boy on Blues, along with the strange "Mama, Mama Hankin Take 1....Oooh yeah...everything's gonna be alright this mornin'. Have mercy!" However, I do not believe the rest of this take is used on Blues, so Douglas did some major cut & paste between the takes to manufacture his Mannish Boy -- I think at least a combination of this take and Take 5.
2. CLOSER TO THE TRUTH (ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS), 22:06 3-10-69 25 Brook Street, London. Home Recording. Hendrix. 25 Brook St. was Jimi's flat for awhile. This is really disappointing if you're expecting music. Jimi is talking/chanting/spacing out in his apartment to the accompaniment of taped music of others; music which he is controlling on his cassette deck or record player. His vocals are on one channel, while the music is on the other. The music itself is a bit of a mystery, but I detect at least three different songs. Orange and Red Beams and Closer to the Truth (New Animals) is featured, and another snippet of a mystery song. I really do not like this, and I've been flamed for not liking it.
1. VOODOO CHILE (Blues Sessions, Takes 1-5), 36:44 5-1-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix, Mitchell, Stills/Redding. The above personnel may not be accurate (Casady, Winwood also appear on this?). This is the same session as on Voodoo Sessions. However this clocks in at 36:44, whereas the Voodoo Sessions version is more like 40 minutes, so something is missing here. The first take fades into the song, so maybe the cut is from there. Sound quality is very good. For those who have never heard this, it is a must. The track on Blues uses parts of two takes to create its version. Take 1: Breaks down at 9:20. At the beginning we have some audio problems/fades. Some of this take was used to create the track on Blues. Take 2: 10:50-12:05. Jimi sings, but doesn't get very far. The take breaks aubruptly. Take 3: 12:08-19:00. The first two minutes I think is used on the Blues track. At 14:10 Jimi breaks a string and curses, so it is at that point that Douglas decides to cut. I believe it has been stated that the last 6 minutes or so of Take 1 is used to finish the construction of the Blues track. Yes Virginia, nothing is as it appears. After breaking the string, the band (minus Jimi) continues to play impromptu (organ interplaying nicely with drums). Jimi rejoins at 17:40. Take 4: 19:00-21:18. Includes a false start. Jimi says the audience claps at the wrong place. Take 5: 21:20-35:48 (music ends). This take has the audience participation correct now. This is the ELL version. Different mix though, as the audience is mixed way up front; kind of disconcerting, since you hear individual conversations throughout the entire familiar ELL version. Obvious overdub, since Jimi is heard talking to the crowd at the same time the track has him singing. From 26:15-27:07 everything is mixed out except Jimi's screeching solo, some of which I recognize and some which I think was cut from the ELL version. From 28:00-28:25 everything is again mixed out except organ and guitar this time. For the third time, from 34:02-35:19, everything is again mixed out except guitar...we get a superb Jimi solo here, no more than 10 seconds of which I think was used. It's always fun to try to hear what the crowd is saying in the last minute after the take ends.
2. INSTRUMENTAL JAM with Mitch Mitchell. Jam includes snippets of: Stepping Stone, Sending My Love to Linda, Freedom, Here Comes the Sun, Cherokee Mist, All Devil's Children. 23:48 2-1-70 59 West, 12th Street, Greenwich Village NY. Home Recording. Hendrix, Mitchell. This seems like something that is completely new to CD, but then again, I don't know. I have never heard anyone mention this before. The track "Acoustic Medley" on Freak Out Blues sounds like it could be this, but I don't have it so I don't know. It is a bit hissy, but maybe it's only because it features just soft guitar and soft drums, with plenty of seconds of silence, and therefore any hiss is more noticeable. We have Jimi and Mitch just trying things out here, supposedly in Jimi's home in NYC. It almost sounds like he's playing acoustic, and that may be. Mitch seems like he is playing the drums with brushes instead of sticks, he plays that softly. Another way to put it is that it sounds like he is slapping his legs instead of drums - it is that kind of sound, not a normal drum sound. He also achieves sounds by banging his sticks together. Okay, let me try one more analogy - it kind of sounds like Jimi playing acoustic guitar with Mitch tap- dancing beside him. That is, Mitch achieves a tapping, not drumming, sound throughout. Basically, the playing is quite restrained and soft, and you hear some chatting between Jimi and Mitch. It would be great to listen to this if it was carefully de-noised to remove hiss. I hear more hiss through my speakers than the headphones though, so it may vary. This is a wonderful jam that seems more intimate than any of the others. The Freedom snippet in particular is short but quite nice. The jam starts out with Mitch and Jimi chatting, and features another funny Elvis impersonation (I think it is Mitch this time), and then playing begins. You do not notice Stepping Stone until 3:20 into the jam. Since songs melt into each other, I'll list the rough times at which I first recognize the song: 3:20 - Stepping Stone; 4:50 - Sending My Love to Linda; 6:30 - Freedom; 8:03 - Here Comes the Sun (I don't know if this is the Beatles tune, or what). I'm not even sure I have the time correct here. I can't recognize this tune; 10:23 - Cherokee Mist. I can't hear much CM here; 19:20 - All Devil's Children. I am not sure here; 23:20 - I also detect Pride of Man (Valleys of Neptune Arising) here.
3. THREE LITTLE BEARS, 2:38 4-20-68 Record Plant NY. Hendrix. Jimi solo, instrumental run-through. The CD incorrectly lists the time as 10:03, which led me to believe that this was a slightly shorter version of the Unsurpassed Studio Takes 3-song medley. Not so. This is just Jimi solo'ing on the TLB riff. Not too interesting, really. To me, the charm of TLB is the lyrics, not the music, and as this contains no vocals, I like it less than the Unsurpassed/War Heroes version.
Jimi Hendrix