Jimi Hendrix born 1942; Tina Turner born 1939; on 11-27-71 “Top Of The Pops Vol. 20” Various Artists LP was No. 1 in England.
As a youth, I was very interested in The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I heard “Foxy Lady” on the radio, and, quite frankly, it didn’t sound like anything else I had ever heard. You can find your own truth about the work of Jimi Hendrix, but somewhere in there, it’s possibly he was an alchemist of the electric guitar. Simply, nobody else even comes close – to the whole package. He could write, sing…and play the guitar!
So, always sort of interesting that his catalogue was so badly mis-handled for so many years, by his own ‘estate’. CD’s got issued that sounded bad; many LP’s were issued that didn’t seem to have much to do with Hendrix at all. Guess the family took an interest (when the bucks got interesting enough) and got Eddie Kramer involved, finally.
I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Eddie Kramer, a year or two ago, via an invitation to his studio by Mr. Pete Brown, the Cream lyricist. I never knew that Mr. Kramer was from South Africa; he’s a perfectly polite and reasonably individual! He also engineered some of my favorite records on Earth, including most (if not all) of the best Jimi Hendrix Experience albums.
With Kramer on board, I got the 3 x CD + DVD releases of “Are You Experienced?”, “Axis: Bold As Love” and “Electric Ladyland”. I watched the short segments on all 3 x DVD’s, about the making of these records – not bad. Off of the top of my head, I would say that these are the best sounding CD’s of the best work of Jimi Hendrix, however…
When I played the “Are You Experienced?” CD + DVD set recently, I noticed that they used what I consider to be the wrong version of “Red House”; they certainly didn’t use the version from the original Track Record UK mono LP! On the positive side, I believe “Can You See Me?” is in stereo (for the first time?). Not 100% of everything on the “Are You Experienced?” CD + DVD sounded exactly like the original LP, but it was mostly ‘correct’, and what one expects – when the original engineer is involved.
I really should give these sets a closer listen. It has always bugged me that ‘fake stereo’ versions of Hendrix material exists where ‘real stereo’ versions exist. One notable exception is the track “Stone Free”; most of us first heard this great track when the original “Smash Hits” LP was released in the US; by then, the song was already swimming in reverb. Ever heard this killer track in mono? AMAZING!
The work of Mr. Hendrix continues to beguile listeners of all ages, and rightfully so. It was neat stuff then, and it’s neat stuff now. The synergy of the combination of those three men was something very special. Mr. Kramer knows how it should sound, and I’m sure he does the best with what is made available to him, when preparing releases for the Experience Hendrix folks.