I don’t think that any musical artist has been more prolific after their death than Hendrix and Tupac. In fact, I hear later this year, there’s a Hendrix/Tupac duets album that is coming out. They cover a White Stripes song…so that should be good.
Valleys of Neptune becomes the (approx.) 14th studio album released after Jimi’s death. Yes, that’s right 14 albums…after he died. Now as amazing as it seems…there’s a little cheating going on. Some of the early albums featured as few as 5-8 tracks. And lots of the tracks crossover onto multiple albums, with each new song only being an “alternate” version of a previously released track. While other songs are the exact same track that was from a previous release. Then there’s a box set…tons of live albums…and shitloads of demos that Courtney Love has been hoarding. So how the hell do you know what to own?
Let’s make it easy. Start with the big three: Axis, Are You Experienced?, and Electric Ladyland. From there ignore the immediate follow-ups: Cry of Love, Rainbow Bridge, and War Heroes. Most of the tracks were compiled to contruct the proper 4th LP, The First Rays of the New Rising Sun. So get that. Which means you can also ignore Voodoo Soup, which is pretty much the same thing…but with poor mastering. Then you’ve got Loose Ends, Crashing Landing, Midnight Lightning, Nine To The Universe. Forget these. The producer added new musicians to the mixes, creating his own version of Jimi’s rough outtakes. So they’re not official. Pick up South Saturn Delta. It compiles most of the better outtakes, making these previous releases mostly obsolete. This means you can also ignore Blues…which like Voodoo Soup…is very similar…but not equal in production quality or track choice. The only other outstanding releases worth getting are the JHE box set, which features the best of the rest and many alternate takes of big songs, and the BBC sessions, which features live versions of his popular songs along with a plethera of covers.
With that taken care of…Valleys of Neptune should be the next to fit right in with the others.
Here are the 11 best Jimi Hendrix songs:
1. All Along the Watchtower (Electric Ladyland)
2. May This Be Love (Are You Experienced?)
3. 1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be) – (Electric Ladyland)
4. Bold As Love (Axis: Bold As Love)
5. Little Wing (Axis: Bold As Love)
6. Hey Baby (First Rays of the New Rising Sun)
7. The Wind Cries Mary (Are You Experienced?)
8. Purple Haze (Are You Experienced?)
9. Angel (First Rays of the New Rising Sun)
10. Hey Joe (Are You Experienced?)
11. Voodoo Chile (Electric Ladyland)
Buy Jimi Hendrix’s new album, “Valleys of Neptune” now!!
Also, check out the new $5 albums for March, including the new Spoon, early Phoenix, Kid A deluxe edition, the new Citizen Cope, Postal Service, and Lil Wayne’s Rebirth.