The long wait came to an end last Friday when USPS, despite a harsh snowstorm here hitting the East Coast, managed to deliver the mail on time so I could finally get my hands on the new Jimi Hendrix album, titled “People, Hell and Angels”.
Admittedly, I was skeptical when I learned a while back ago that Sony is planning on issuing a new set of previously unreleased Hendrix studio tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan. And as a fan, I am willing to compromise and even plunk down a few extra coins in order to get something that can would be otherwise reasonably considered a mediocre product – I’ve been there, done that. Therefore, when the track list leaked for the first time, I thought there was no point in buying something that I quite possibly already have. On the other hand, the Hendrix family, Sony and Eddie Kramer did a good job in advertising “People, Hell and Angeles” and the unsophisticated consumer that I am after all, I put in a pre-order to secure my own copy.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, for the first time I actually heard sound samples – mind you, that was before the official release of the album. And after scanning over what the world wide web is capable of making available to the universe instantaneously, I was relieved and satisfied because I knew this is going to be good. No, let me take that back and be more clear: It’s going to be KILLER!
For those of you who did not have a chance to read up on what “Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell and Angeles” is all about, here is a snipped of the liner notes taken off the fantastic booklet that accompanies the CD. I obviously don’t own the rights to the following excerpt which are obviously with Sony Music Entertainment (Legacy Recordings):
People, Hell and Angeles is a new album featuring twelve never before released Jimi Hendrix studio recordings. This special album showcases the legendary guitarist working outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio. Beginning in 1968, Jimi Hendrix grew restless, eager to develop new material with new friends and old ensembles. Outside the view of a massive audience that had established the Experience as rock’s largest grossing concert act and simultaneously places two of his albums together in the US Top 10 sales chart, Jimi was busy working behind the scenes to craft his next musical statement.
These twelve recordings encompass a variety of unique sounds and styles incorporating many or the elements – horns, keyboards, percussion and second guitar – Jimi wanted to incorporate in his music. People, Hell and Angels presents some of the finest Jimi Hendrix guitar work ever issued and provides a compelling window into his growth as a songwriter, musician and producer.
Well put. I couldn’t agree more. Eddie Kramer did a fantastic job in producing this album. You can tell that whoever contributed to this product genuinely cared in diligently creating something special. Contrary to my what my initial doubt was based on, this is truly a NEW Jimi Hendrix album, even though us fans are obviously intimately familiar with most of the tracks featured here. But there is a new spirit and a whole new atmosphere, which has nothing to do with just dusting off old pieces and advertising them as ‘new’:
Here is the track list:
1. Earth Blues
3. Hear My Train A Comin’
4. Bleeding Heart
5. Let Me Love You
7. Easy Blues
8. Crash Landing
9. Inside Out
10. Hey Gypsy Boy
11. Mojo Man
12. Villanova Junction Blues
“Izabella” was always one of my all-time Jimi favorites. But it really doesn’t make sense to pick one track over the other. They are all so unique and meaningful in their own right. The whole album is nothing short of a blessing. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan – believe me, I certainly bought a few Hendrix records that are not worth listening to and merely serve as a historical document to complete my rather modest collection. But “People, Hell and Angels” does not at all fall into this category. It will find its place right next to the original Experience and Band of Gypsies studio albums because that’s where it rightfully belongs to.
Buy the new Jimi Hendrix album People, Hell and Angels for the best amazon price. I am usually very careful and making such bold statements, but I guarantee that you will love “People, Hell and Angeles”. You’ll get more bang for your buck that you could possibly expect, hands down.