Hendrix' Valleys of Neptune
Album and single to be released
Jimi Hendrix' vaults have been combed once again and a new album, titled Valleys of Neptune, is due to be released on March 9th, 2010. The title track, "Valleys of Neptune," will be released as a single. The track has been long sought by Hendrix collectors - a demo version of the song came out in an earlier release, Lifelines, but this unreleased version will be available as a
45 vinyl single or an MP3 download February 9th, at Amazon.com and other outlets. The material on the album was recorded in 1969, while Hendrix was playing with bassist Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell, along with other drummers, working on what was to be the next studio album after Electric Ladyland.
The song "Valleys of Neptune" itself is a fairly strong effort of Jimi's, with a beginning and middle sections that echo the open, jazz flavored chords used
in "Third Stone from the Sun." The recording sounds clean and well balanced. The credits don't indicate who the drummer is, but the sprightly rolls and tight interplay with Hendrix sounds like Mitchell's drumming. The song is unfinished, in terms of studio work. It sounds like there's just one guitar playing all the parts, which is a showcase of Hendrix' astonishing technical dexterity, but there's no real guitar solo, and the characteristic layering of guitar parts Jimi used on Electric Ladyland classics like "All Along the Watchtower" and "Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland) never made it
to tape. Still, certainly fascinating to hear and of vital interest to all Hendrix aficiondos.
Spinner.com is streaming the complete song, here.
Album information, from Amazon.com
VALLEYS OF NEPTUNE: Track by Track
All of the 12 recordings featured on the album have never before been released on a CD/LP. The songs document the pivotal time period after Electric Ladyland and before Electric Lady Studios and the recordings made there that would later take form as Cry of Love and First Rays.
Valleys of Neptune documents both the final studio recordings Jimi made in 1969 with the original Jimi Hendrix Experience and the first efforts with new bassist Billy Cox. As a number of the song titles will be familiar to fans and buyers alike, the following details the key characteristics of each of the tracks on Valleys of Neptune.
"Stone Free": The original 1966 recording by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience is best known as one of Jimi’s signature songs. The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2000) featured a new remake by the original group. Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Billy Cox recorded this version in May 1969. It is a different recording entirely.
"Valleys of Neptune": This track was recorded in September, 1969, and May, 1970. This full-band version has never been released. An extract of a demo Hendrix made of this song -- featuring just Mitchell on drums and percussionist Juma Sultan -- was part of the short-lived Reprise/Polydor album Lifelines, which was in the marketplace between 1990 to 1992.
"Bleeding Heart": This cover of the classic blues song by Elmore James is different entirely from the versions featured on South Saturn Delta and (originally) on War Heroes. This recording has never been issued and features Jimi, Billy Cox, and drummer Rocky Isaac. It was recorded in April, 1969.
"Hear My Train A Comin’": This electric, full-band version is different from the famous 12-string acoustic version that was featured in the 1973 documentary Jimi Hendrix and subsequently on the album Jimi Hendrix: Blues.
"Mr. Bad Luck": Like “Valleys of Neptune”, a different version of this song was part of Lifelines in (1990). Jimi would later develop this song as “Look Over Yonder,” issued as part of South Saturn Delta.
"Sunshine of Your Love": A stage favorite for the group during the 1969 period which has never been released.
"Lover Man": Jimi recorded many different arrangements of this song, including the versions on both the Jimi Hendrix Experience box set (2000) and South Saturn Delta. This is an entirely different recording made in February, 1969.
"Ships Passing Through the Night": A never-before-released track taken from the last recording session by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience on 4/14/69.
"Fire/Red House": Both of these songs by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience were recorded at the same February, 1969, session. They feature the expanded stage arrangements Jimi had developed and are not alternate takes of the original 1967 recordings.
"Lullaby for the Summer/Crying Blue Rain": These April, 1969, recordings by the original Jimi Hendrix Experience have never been released.