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Upcoming Jimi Hendrix Album – ‘New and Unreleased,’ or ‘Old and Recycled’?

Jimi Hendrix People Hell Angels
Legacy

One of the most hotly anticipated classic rock releases of 2013 is the the Jimi Hendrix album ‘People, Hell & Angels,’ which Experience Hendrix is advertising as a collection of 12 new and previously unreleased tracks. But not so fast — according to our friends over at Antiquiet.com, that may not be entirely accurate.

Though Hendrix released just three studio albums during his lifetime, he’s been the subject of a series of seemingly never-ending posthumous collections and live releases that number into the dozens — many of which consist of demos, unfinished studio material, or poor quality live recordings that aren’t much better than bootlegs.

It would be challenging to find a dozen truly previously unreleased tracks, and as a matter of fact, a closer look at the track list for ‘People, Hell & Angels’ reveals that while this new project may include different takes — and will undoubtedly offer better quality recording and packaging than previous collections — much of this material has already seen the light of day in one form or another.

‘Earth Blues’ was featured on the 1997 posthumous release ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun,’ which Experience Hendrix put out as an attempt to replicate a fourth “finished” Hendrix album. ‘Izabella’ also hails from that disc, and ‘Hey Gypsy Boy’ appeared on there after already being released on a collection titled ‘Midnight Lightning,’ though it appeared both times under the title ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’ with a more advanced arrangement.

‘Somewhere’ first appeared on the 2000 box set ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience,’ though the new version is supposedly “entirely different.” There are many multiple versions of ‘Hear My Train A Comin” on various releases, so it remains to be seen if this one is much different, while a four-minute edited version of ‘Easy Blues’ has been available since 1981 on ‘Nine to the Universe.’ The upcoming collection promises an unedited version that is nearly twice as long.

‘Bleeding Heart’ was featured on the ‘Valleys of Neptune’ album Experience Hendrix released just a couple of years ago (but we’re not accusing them of false advertisement — hey, maybe they just forgot). ‘Crash Landing’ was the title song of a posthumous release that featured random session musicians overdubbing some of the parts, so hopefully this version will be the original. ‘Mojo Man’ was released last year as a single by the Ghetto Fighters — the name of a band led by some old friends of Hendrix, whom he helped out on the track, although technically this will be the first time it’s released under the Jimi Hendrix name. And of course, ‘Villanova Junction Blues’ came to light on the 2006 compilation ‘Burning Desire.’

As far as actual new and unreleased material goes, ‘Inside Out’ is an earlier studio version of a track titled ‘Ezy Ryder’ from ‘The Cry of Love,’ so it looks like this version might be different. And ‘Baby Let Me Move You’ appears to be a true, honest-to-goodness unreleased track, featuring Hendrix and sax player Lonnie Youngblood in the studio together in March of 1969. Whether this is a fully realized track or just an aimless studio jam, we won’t know until March 5, when the album is slated for release.

So there we have it — out of a dozen advertised “new and unreleased” tracks, ‘People, Hell & Angels’ appears to feature just one or two that actually live up to that claim, at least as far as we know right now. But then again, if there’s any chance of anything of musical value surfacing from the late great Jimi Hendrix, we’ll still gladly take it over most of the mainstream Justin Bieber-esque dreck that’s likely to see release in 2013.

Next: Top Posthumous Jimi Hendrix Albums

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