Jimi Hendrix New Studio LP: Out Now

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Both Sides of the Sky (Photo © Mike Berkofsky via Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings)

The first thing you notice are the eyes, staring at you. We imagine that the magic of the music will match the magnificent cover artwork. A new Jimi Hendrix album, Both Sides of the Sky, featuring 13 studio recordings made between 1968 and 1970—10 of which have never before been released—is out now from Experience Hendrix and Sony’s Legacy Recordings. The album, announced Dec. 6, is released on multiple formats including CD, digital, and as a numbered 180 gram audiophile 2-LP edition.

A single, “Lover Man” b/w a live version of “Foxey Lady,” recorded in Bussum, Holland, in November 1967, was released as a limited, numbered 7-inch at indie record retailers on Feb. 23. Hear it below.

Both Sides of the Sky is the third volume in a trilogy of albums intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in the music legend’s archive. The previous titles were 2010’s Valleys of Neptune, which reached #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart) and 2013’s People, Hell and Angels (#2 on Billboard).

“Since Experience Hendrix began its restoration of the Jimi Hendrix music catalog in 1997, our goal has been to present these important recordings to Jimi’s fans in the best possible quality. We’ve also been intent on generating album releases which present this amazing music in its proper context,” said John McDermott, one of the album’s co-producers, together with Janie Hendrix and Eddie Kramer.

Jimi Hendrix in the studio (Photo: Chuck Boyd via Legacy Recordings; used with permission)

The music on the album was recorded between January 1968 and February 1970, and features guest appearances by classic rock legends Stephen Stills and Johnny Winter, among others. The announcement notes Hendrix’s “desire to push the boundaries of blues music can be heard throughout. Many of the album’s tracks were recorded by the trio that would come to be known as Band of Gypsys: Jimi on guitar and vocals, Billy Cox on bass, and Buddy Miles on drums. For their first-ever recording session on April 22, 1969, Hendrix turned to their shared musical root, delta blues.”

The previously unreleased, uptempo reworking of Muddy Waters’ ‘Mannish Boy,’ was recorded at the Record Plant in New York at that first session. The song opens the album and sets the tempo for what follows.

Listen to “Mannish Boy”

“Lover Man” was a favored Hendrix original and the guitarist was determined to realize a finished master. The version here was recorded in December 1969 by the Band Of Gypsys—complete with its homage to the popular Batman theme song. The session took place two weeks before the trio introduced itself to the world via four triumphant New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day concerts at the Fillmore East, which would ultimately yield the live album Band of Gypsys (1970). While the song became a Hendrix concert staple, this dynamic studio rendition has never before been issued.

Watch the “Lover Man” video

The recording of original blues composition “Hear My Train A Comin,’” from April 1969, features drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Other highlights: previously unheard recordings of “Stepping Stone,” “Jungle,” “Cherokee Mist” (which features Hendrix on both electric guitar and sitar) and a January 1968 recording of “Sweet Angel.”

Related: Recalling Hendrix’s earlier days in Greenwich Village

Both Sides of the Sky also features an assortment of notable guest musicians. Stephen Stills befriended Hendrix at the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. In September, Stills was invited to a Hendrix session at the Record Plant in New York. Stills, Hendrix and Buddy Miles recorded Joni Mitchell’s composition, “Woodstock,” months before Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released their popular rendition. Stills would also contribute “$20 Fine,” an original song that featured Hendrix on multiple guitars, Mitchell on drums, Stills on organ and lead vocals and Duane Hitchings (Buddy Miles Express) on piano.

Another of the album’s unique band creations sees Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Winter on guitar, backed by Billy Cox and drummer Dallas Taylor of CSN&Y, on a full, newly mixed rendition of Guitar Slim’s “Things I Used To Do.”

Watch the trailer for the album

Both Sides of the Sky was produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, and Eddie Kramer (who served as recording engineer on every  Hendrix album made during the artist’s life).

Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix said: “ Jimi and I once made a promise to each other. He said he would take care of me and I told him I would take care him. Through his music and our preservation of his work, my brother and I honor one another.”

Kramer added: “Jimi’s true home was the studio, that’s where the music and the magic happened. He loved everything about recording and it’s been my distinct pleasure and an honor to play a part in that process both then and now.”

Both Sides of the Sky Tracklist

Mannish Boy*
Lover Man*
Hear My Train A Comin’*
Stepping Stone*
$20 Fine*+
Power Of Soul^
Things I Used to Do#
Georgia Blues++
Sweet Angel*
Send My Love To Linda*
Cherokee Mist*

*Previously unreleased
^ Previously unavailable extended version
+Featuring Stephen Stills
#Featuring Johnny Winter
++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood


Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. Scorpio Woman
    #1 Scorpio Woman 7 December, 2017, 13:37

    Who would have thought there were so many unreleased songs this far down the line?

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