This album was released the same year that the First Rays Of The New Rising Sun album came out in 1997.  It represents a variety of unreleased and alternate tracks spanning Jimi Hendrix’ entire career.

Next to the title of each song, you will find a parentheses that states the song type whether it be an unreleased song, an unreleased instrumental, or an alternate version to an already released song for easy identification of the contents of this album.
Jimi Hendrix South Saturn Delta

This review is on the 1997 release…

  1. Look Over Yonder (Unreleased Song) – The song starts with Jimi’s high pitched humming.  The guitar riff is loud and owns the song.  Jimi’s vocals are solid and rockin’.  Jimi’s solo work throughout is excellent, screeching at times.  Half way through the song, the pace slows down and Jimi’s vocals take on a soulful style followed by a jump back into the normal pace of the song.  The song ends with feedback and whammy work on Jimi’s guitar.
  2. Little Wing (Alternate Instrumental Version) – This song immediately shows you where Jack Johnson got his guitar style.  With muted stops along with ballad like guitar playing to start the song, this song shines.  The drums are strong and stand out from the track.  Jimi’s guitar is upbeat and bright.
  3. Here He Comes (Lover Man) (Unreleased Song) – The song starts with Jimi talking about how he’s going to approach the song.  The engineer says “what’s it called Jimi” and Jimi replies “Here He Comes.”  The song starts out with fast guitar work by Jimi alone and then transitions to the catchy main riff of the song with drums following.  Jimi’s vocals are lower than usual.  The guitar is fast and skips across the song.  The drums are excellent and perfectly match Jimi’s journey with his guitar.  The solo work by Jimi is fast and shows him at his best with plenty of solo work in this song.  Jimi hums and sings harmonies with his guitar work which adds an excellent effect to the song.
  4. South Saturn Delta (Unreleased Instrumental) – The song starts off with a mysterious, funky guitar riff accompanied by shooting horns.  The horns and Jimi’s guitar work meld well together.  The drums are guiding and set the foundation for the song.  The horn work is top notch.  Jimi uses a muted string strum to keep a rhythm for himself which sounds great.  Jimi takes advantage of spaces in between the horn work and adds excellent guitar.  Toward the end, the horns and Jimi’s guitar take turns standing out front.
  5. Power Of Soul (Studio Version) – The studio version of the song performed on the Band Of Gypsys album.  Jimi’s guitar almost talks with his signature wha wha effect on the guitar.  His vocals are soul filled.  The drums are on que and in the perfect volume range to compliment the song.  Jimi’s guitar is the clear star of the show here.  Gospel like background vocals give the song a deeper, more religious/mysterious effect.  A short solo halfway through the songs sets the stage for the main vocals to start.  The background vocals perfectly accentuate Jimi’s vocals and give them more strength.  The song ends with Jimi and the background singers exchanging harmonies.  A welcome release which certainly stands on its own as a studio version even compared to the live Band Of Gyspys version.
  6. Message To The Universe (Message To Love) (Studio Version) – The song starts with a count off by Jimi.  His guitar work sets the mood and then is immediately joined by the drums and bass work.  Jimi’s guitar has a slight but maintained squealing quality.  The drums are crisp but not overbearing.  Jimi’s vocals are loose and raw.  Jimi’s guitar work is smooth and his solos squeal and sing at the same time.  In classic Jimi style, he hums along with his guitar work in an emotional style which adds one of his many unique touches to the song.  The song ends in a flurry of drum blasts, bass fills and shredding guitar work by Jimi.
  7. Tax Free (Unreleased Instrumental) – A well structured song with a slightly muffled and searing guitar sound.  The drums are clear.  Excellent use of light distortion in parts of the song by Jimi.  Jimi’s lead guitar riff has an exotic kind of sound reminiscent of hints of Asian music.  The baseline is simple yet effective at adding depth to the song.  Jimi’s guitar work is superb.  Two thirds of the way through the song, the pace momentarily slows down before speeding up dramatically for a final climax before the song comes to an end.
  8. All Along The Watchtower (Alternate Version) – A song we all know that is incredible every time you hear it.  Jimi’s vocals are perfect and on que.  The rhythm of his guitar make this song really shine.  The drums are present but sit well in the back of the song.  Some of Jimi’s solo work here seems a bit thin at times.  The bass is also hidden in the background through much of the song.  The song ends with Jimi’s searing solo work along with him talking in the background.
  9. The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice (Unreleased Song) – An early recording by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  The vocals are distant but present.  Jimi’s guitar work tears through the song and is incredible.  Implanted crowd noises give the song a live feel.  The drums have a garage style sound but are right on par with the rest of the song.  The drums and Jimi’s guitar work drown out much of the bass work by Noel Redding but it can be deciphered in places.  This song was originally released as a b-side but finding that record is seemingly impossible now and the CD quality version released on South Saturn Delta is much needed.  Much of the song is Jimi’s blazing solo guitar work in which he also talks throughout, interestingly enough.
  10. Midnight (Unreleased Instrumental) – A guitar driven instrumental with searing guitar work by Jimi.  Jimi’s solo work starts right from the beginning of the song and guides the rest of the track.  The bass guitar by Noel Redding is funky and stands out more than usual.  The drums are a touch behind the bass and guitar here.  About half way through the song a panning effect can be heard on Jimi’s guitar and his solo work compliments the sound.  This track is an obvious guitar exploration with Jimi experimenting with what his guitar is capable of.
  11. Sweet Angel (Angel) (Alternate Version) – The song starts already in progress.  Jimi’s vocals are soft and demo like.  Jimi’s guitar work sounds excellent.  Time is kept with a simple high hat tap throughout the song.  A song about love.  The song maintains a fast pace while also being a perfect love ballad.  Jimi’s solo work is petite and soft.  The bass guitar has an R&B style to it.  Jimi’s good hearted laughs can be heard in many parts of the song.  The song ends with a very clean and emotion filled guitar sequence.
  12. Bleeding Heart (Unreleased Song) – A fast paced song that jumps right into a shredding main guitar riff.  Jimi’s vocals show his blues and soul roots.  Jimi’s solo work is in perfect form and shines.  Billy Cox provides excellent bass work which is loaded with funk.  The drums play their part mostly in the background.  A song about emotional pain through a bleeding heart.  An excellent song with mainstream appeal written all over it.
  13. Pali Gap (Unreleased Instrumental) – This is one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix songs of all time despite the fact that it has no vocals on it.  Just a beautiful, mesmerizing piece that really showcases Jimi’s emotional infatuation with his instrument.  I take issue with the fact that that track was initially titled “Slow Part” by Jimi and changed to Pali Gap after his death to help facilitate the release of the dis-functional and since deleted Rainbow Bridge album.  The song starts extremely slow before building up steam and setting the stage with an excellent foundational bass riff.  Jimi’s guitar sings, cries and yells in this emotion ripping guitar song.  The drums are consistent, medium paced and show plenty of life.  The obvious main attraction here is Jimi’s dancing guitar.  A song you can really lose yourself in by closing your eyes, relaxing, and escaping to a groove filled land of mystery.  Jimi’s finger rolls work full time in this song.  Probably one of the best summer time cruising songs out there.
  14. Drifter’s Escape (Unreleased Song) – Screaming guitar work and lively drums get this song off to a rockin’ start.  Jimi’s vocals are slightly behind the music but well structured.  Jimi’s guitar moves all over the track as he sings.  The bass guitar is fast moving and decorates the song in excellent fashion.  Ever present is Jimi’s lead guitar shredding.  A fast moving song.  The song ends with shots of Jimi’s solo work and distortion.
  15. Midnight Lightning (Unreleased Song) – The opening to the song has a bluesy, almost southern sound to it.  Jimi’s vocals follow suit with a southern blues style.  Jimi’s guitar is raw and laced with minor distortion.  Jimi sits alone on this song; no drums, no bass which adds to the blues framework.  Jimi shows his comfort with his blues roots in this song.  A perfect conclusion to the album.

This album is a mix-up of a variety of unreleased or alternate material and amazingly, is an excellent compilation.  My favorite track on the album is Pali Gap which is also one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix recordings of all time.  The studio versions of songs from Band Of Gypsys are excellent as is the already in progress song Sweet Angel.  Bleeding Heart is also a welcome addition to the Hendrix library.  This album is certainly a welcome addition to the Jimi Hendrix catalog and I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

4.5 Stars Chris Elliott Rated

This is another of the easy to get and cheap CD’s by Jimi Hendrix.  You can grab it at the Amazon link below and they will kick me back a few cents if you found this review helpful…

Until the next review,

Chris Elliott Signature

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