This is a review of the Disc 2 of The Jimi Hendrix Experience Box Set.  The tracks and live performances included on this installment of the box set are those representative of the second year of The Jimi Hendrix Experience; Late 1967 through early 1969.  This is another excellent survey of the band that follows them through their sophomore year.  There are live songs, alternate recordings, and unreleased songs.  An excellent variety here.

On with the review…The Jimi Hendrix Experience Box Set Disc 2

  1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live: Stockholm, Sweden, September 5, 1967) – A great live cover of the classic Beatles track.  Jimi’s vocals, while distant and drowned out at times, are rhythmic and have a hip hop type of feel to them at times.  Jimi’s guitar bends and sways through the song.  The drums are on track.  Short version, under 2 minutes.
  2. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Live: Stockholm, Sweden, September 5, 1967) – The song starts off with Jimi’s soft, mellow guitar riff.  A high quality live track in that both Jimi’s vocals and guitar are clear as are the drums and bass in the song.  There is a slight bit of hissing throughout.  Jimi’s vocals are strong and have an excellent R&B flavor.  Jimi’s guitar has a flange effect on it throughout.  Mitch Mitchell offers slower but finely tuned in drums.  Jimi’s solo is raw and clear.  Noel Redding provides a funky and consistent bass line.  A slower, more mellow song.
  3. Little Wing (Alternate Recording) – A rougher, seemingly un-mastered version of this classic Hendrix composition.  Jimi’s guitar sings deep to the listeners soul.  Noel Redding provides guiding, plunky bass throughout.  Mitch Mitchell’s drums are repetitive but in perfect rhythm.  The star is obviously Jimi’s guitar.  The solo is searing and makes you drop your head back and close your eyes in bliss.  Another of Jimi’s all time shining moments which didn’t even require vocals.  A swaying, psychedelic type sound from Jimi’s guitar ends the song.
  4. Little Miss Lover (Alternate Recording) – This song starts with just drums which sounds great.  Jimi’s guitar has a phasing type of effect on it and his vocals seem a bit like the were recorded in a tin can at times.  Noel Redding’s bass work has lots of movement and flavor.  Jimi’s solo is full of classic finger work.  The song fades out with the band still in full force.
  5. The Wind Cries Mary (Live: Olympia Theater, Paris, France, October 9, 1967) – Jimi starts saying “this guitar is no more good, do you want it?”  Maybe a lucky fan got that hammer!  Jimi thanks the audience for welcoming their rookie performance the year prior.  Jimi’s guitar is soft and blues ridden and sounds good live.  Jimi’s vocals are solid and on cue.  Mitch Mitchell’s drums are soft and in the distance as is Noel Redding’s bass.  Jimi’s solo proves he could bring what he created in the studio to the stage very well.  Overall, an excellent live track both in sound and composition.
  6. Catfish Blues (Live: Olympia Theater, Paris, France, October 9, 1967) – An excellent slow, blues song.  Jimi’s guitar is raw and extremely bluesy.  Jimi provides deep, soul & blues vocals that sing right along with his guitar licks.  The drums are rapid fire in some places but mellow, and distant at times.  Jimi’s solo is rough, rugged, and raw in a good way.  An amazing live song.  Mitch Mitchell has a drum solo which he adds an African type sound to.  The bass line by Noel Redding is excellent.  The guitar solo work at the end is distorted with the song fading out.  Another awesome sounding live song.
  7. Bold As Love (Alternate Recording) – The song starts with Jimi gently sliding on the guitar.  Right when the main riff kicks in, you get that euphoric head bobbing feeling that only a Jimi Hendrix guitar ballad can bring you.  The bass by Noel Redding plays a huge role in the sound of the song.  The glockenspiel seems to be present and accents the song nicely.  Jimi’s guitar work is legendary and sways smoothly throughout the song.  About a third of the way through the song, Jimi’s guitar has a flanging type effect on it, adding to the ambiance of the song.  Jimi’s work on the guitar neck and his fast finger rolls keep this slow moving song somehow moving fast.  Some of Jimi’s solo work is searing and screams through the song.  The song ends with a ripping guitar solo that slows down with pinging drums accompanying.
  8. Sweet Angel (Alternate Recording) – The drums come from a makeshift keyboard Jimi was using to keep time.  Jimi’s guitar is clean and beautiful.  Jimi’s vocals are smooth as butter and really do an excellent job selling the love song.  The bass guides the song right along.  Everything seems excellent but the drums just seem a bit out of place because of the sound quality.  Jimi’s candid laughs throughout the song are a great effect.  Jimi’s solo work at the end of the song is soft, yet striking.
  9. Fire (Live: Clark University, Worcester, Ma. March 15, 1968) – One of the more popular Jimi compositions out there.  The song starts off with a different beginning that the recorded version.  Mitch Mitchell’s drums are powerful as are Noel Redding’s backup vocals.  Jimi’s vocals seem a bit more distant than Noel’s which was probably due to microphone placement.  Jimi’s guitar solo work is flat out screaming and raw.  At times the song seems a bit rushed.
  10. Somewhere (Previously Unreleased Recording) – The song starts with a count off.  The guitar riff is instantly full of blues accompanied by blues vocals from Jimi.  The drums are present but stay in the background of the song.  Jimi’s guitar solo work is packed with singing soul.  The bass line is front and center and the designated driver for the song.  Toward the end of the song there are some cool variations in Mitch Mitchell’s drum work.
  11. (Have You Ever Been To) Electric Ladyland (Alternate Recording) – The song starts of with some studio chatter.  The song is demo sounding with a slight muffled sound on the guitar.  No drums are included, nor vocals.  Jimi’s guitar still sounds excellent playing this classic guitar riff.  The entire track clocks in at about a minute and a half.
  12. Gypsy Eyes (Alternate Recording) – The song starts off with Mitch Mitchell’s rhythmic drums.  Jimi’s vocals are powerful and stand out.  The guitar riff has a slightly rugged sound to it which works perfectly with the song.  Sounds like Jimi may have overdubbed vocals on the song which adds to their prominence.  There is a guiding bass line provided by Noel Redding.  At times, there’s an almost Arabic sound to Jimi’s guitar slides.
  13. Room Full Of Mirrors (Alternate Recording) – The song starts with a bit of a tin can sound on the guitar.  A down south, blues type song.  Jimi’s rough guitar is accompanied by a harmonica which adds a lot of depth to the song.  A short song at about a minute and a half.
  14. Gloria (Previously Unreleased Recording) – The song starts with bass and drums setting the tone before Jimi’s raw guitar riff comes in.  The bass riff is simple but consistent.  Jimi’s vocals are a bit rough at times and seem drowned out by the instruments.  However, Jimi’s vocals are smooth and soul filled.  This song clocks in at nearly 9 minutes long but never gets boring or monotone.  Jimi’s guitar work is perfectly placed and bending.  A Van Morrison cover.  A little past half way through the song, Jimi starts clowning around with the vocal content and talks about Noel Redding having a girl named Gloria and how she had horrible breath.  Jimi said this is a more spicy manner, which was hilarious.  Jimi’s guitar has heavy distortion which sounds great.
  15. It’s Too Bad (Previously Unreleased Recording) – The song starts with Jimi’s guitar moaning like something you’d hear in a tavern some place in the south.  This song is about Jimi’s brother Leon coming over and asking for money.  Jimi’s guitar is bluesy and engulfing.  Buddy Miles provides simple drums that do their job well.  The bass line is also simple.  There’s an effect on Jimi’s guitar which seems purposely distant with a hint of distortion.  The song clocks in at almost 9 minutes.  There is also an organ involved in the song which mixes well with the band.
  16. Star Spangled Banner (Previously Unreleased Studio Recording) – You have probably heard the infamous Woodstock performance of this song.  However, this is the studio version which is actually much different.  Jimi’s guitar sings the national anthem like that of a highly skilled soul singer at the super bowl.  The guitar playing is amazing as well as clear.  It’s obvious as Jimi’s guitar screams through this track that no one thought of using the guitar in ways that he did.  There is no bass guitar or drums.

This disc in the collection certainly has some great highlights.  There is a great selection of great sounding live songs which is nice.  There are also a couple of unreleased studio tracks which are excellent.  The inclusion of the studio version of The Star Spangled Banner is a gem, no doubt.  While I don’t think that this disc is as powerful as the first one, it is certainly a classic disc.  Certainly a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars on this disc…

4.5 Stars Chris Elliott Rated

You can grab this disc and the rest of the collection at Amazon pretty affordably for a box set.  You can grab it through the Amazon link below and Amazon will kick me back a few cents if you found this review helpful…

Until the next review,

Chris Elliott Signature

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