Bob Marley And The Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73’ Is An Important Part Of The Group’s History That Reggae, Marley Fans Alike Will Welcome

Courtesy: Tuff Gong/Mercury Studios

This coming October marks an important mark in the history of Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Approximately 48 years will have passed this year since the group performed a live, closed-door performance at Capitol Records’ offices following what was a rough tour in support of its then latest album, Catch a Fire.  The “concert” in question is a rare recording from the group.  It took years of searching and research to even locate the footage, assemble and edit everything.  Now this Friday, that painstaking time and effort will come to fruition when Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios (formerly Eagle Rock Entertainment) release the intimate performance.  The recording proves an entertaining presentation thanks in part to its featured liner notes.  Those liner notes set the stage (so to speak) for the recording and will be discussed shortly.  Adding to the recording’s appeal is its production, especially considering the amount of time and work that went into restoring the footage.  It will be examined a little later.  The set list rounds out the recording’s most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the recording a presentation that reggae fans and those specifically of Bob Marley and the Wailers will appreciate.

Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios’ forthcoming release of Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73 is a presentation that will appeal widely among reggae fans.  Its success comes in part through its featured liner notes.  The liner notes are so important to the recording’s presentation because they establish the setting and story that led to the one-off performance.  The notes come from author John Masouri’s book, Simmer Down: Marley-Tosh-Livingston.  The excerpt featured in the recording’s booklet points out that leading up to the rare performance, Marley and company had not had the best experience.  Masouri even cites then band member Joe Higgs as saying of the experience, “We weren’t happening, our outfits were inappropriate, and we were rebels.”  In other words, the U.S. leg of the band’s “Catch a Fire Tour” (which was what led up to the Capitol Session according to Masouri) was not necessarily a positive experience.  Audiences will be just as enthralled as they learn that the band’s connections at Island Records helped to get the band its performance.  Perhaps most interesting of all that Masouri points out in the featured excerpt is that the Capitol Session performance was one of the very last times that the majority of The Wailers’ initial lineup performed together.  As he states, Bunny Livingston had left the band around the time that the tour’s UK leg launched in April 1973.  He later adds that following the Capitol Session performance, the rest of the initial lineup would perform together two more times before many members went their own way.  Having this understanding, it makes the performance and recording that much more important of a moment in the history of Bob Marley and The Wailers.  Higgs and Tosh each left the band after the band returned to Jamaica following those last two shows together.  They would go on to their own successful careers as solo artists.  So simply put, the information featured in this recording’s liner notes are just a brief excerpt from Masouri’s book, but they offer so much in the way of establishing the setting.  When audiences read those notes first, they will go on to have even more appreciation for the performance.

While the history presented in the recording’s liner notes does a lot to make the recording engaging and entertaining, it is just a portion of what makes the recording successful.  The recording’s production makes for its own appeal.  Going back to the noted time and effort that went into finding and restoring the recording’s footage, that work paid off.  Considering that almost half a century has passed since the footage was initially captured, it looks and sounds quite impressive.  The picture and audio are each surprisingly clear.  What’s more, the mix effects that are used between the four cameras give the performance a feeling that is just as enjoyable as any much bigger concert.  The smooth, gentle transitions from camera to camera do so much to heighten the relaxed sense that the music establishes.  Considering that the band was playing this concert in-studio instead of in front of a live audience, it meant extra attention also had to be paid to the recording’s audio mix.  The attention paid even to this aspect is impressive, as audiences can hear the subtle echo of the band in the studio, but the echo never once overpowers the music.  In fact, it actually adds a subtle positive aesthetic impact to the general effect.  It shows along with the video production that the work that went into recording the performance and even restore it paid off in spades.  That positive result and the story behind the performance join to make for even more engagement and entertainment.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item to address in examining the recording.  That item in question is the recording’s set list.

The set list featured in the band’s Capitol Session performance is interesting because of its clearly directed focus.  The 12-song set pulls from the band’s then latest album, Catch a Fire behind which the band was touring, and its follow-up, Burn, both of which were released in 1973.  The band had already released four other albums prior to the performance, so to have the focus mainly on those two albums is just very interesting.  As a matter of fact, the band pulled over half of Catch a Fire’s nine tracks for the performance, and approximately half of Burnin’.  So what audiences get in this set list is a very specific look at the band at that moment in its history.  To that end, it is a positive in its own right.  So in other words, not only do audiences get an actual history of the band at that point through the recording’s liner notes, but they also receive a musical history so to speak at the same time.  Keeping that in mind along with the impressive production values in the recording, the whole leaves The Capitol Session ’73 a presentation that will appeal widely among reggae fans and those specifically of Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios’ forthcoming “live” Bob Marley and the Wailers recording, The Capitol Session ’73 is a positive new offering for any reggae fan and fan of Bob Marley and the Wailers.  Its success is established early on through the liner notes featured with the recording.  The notes, which are in fact an excerpt from a book about Marley and his fellow musicians, do well to establish the history of the moment.  Audiences are recommended to read those notes before taking in the concert, as it will serve to increase the appreciation for the performance.  The production values presented in the recording add to its appeal.  That is because it shows how ell the footage has stood the test of time.  What’s more, it shows that the time and effort that went into locating and restoring the footage paid off in its own right.  The recording’s set list rounds out the most important of its elements.  It is important because it encapsulates the band in a sense.  It shows the band at a very particular point in its life through the performances of songs from two specific albums.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered, they make the recording a piece that reggae fans and Bob Marley fans alike will appreciate.

Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Capitol Session ’73 is scheduled for release Friday through Tuff Gong and Mercury Studios. More information on The Capitol Sessions ’73 is available along with all of the latest Bob Marley news at:




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Fall Out Boy Fans Will Enjoy Band’s Latest Live Recording In Every Season


Courtesy: Eagle Vision/Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group/Crush Music/DCD2/Island Records

Late last summer pop punk outfit Fall Out Boy hit the road in support of its latest album American Beauty/American Psycho.  As part of its tour, the band performed a hometown show that was recorded for release.  That recording was released this past October via Eagle Rock Entertainment, the leading name in live recordings.  For fans of this recording, there is plenty to appreciate beginning with the concert’s set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list is just as important to note here as the show’s set list.  It will be discussed later.  The concert’s packaging might not seem all that important in the grand scheme of things, but even it plays an important part in its presentation. It is hardly the last element that can be noted, too.  The concert’s cinematography and combined video and sound mixing can also be discussed, too, as could the band’s simplistic stage setup.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  That goes without saying.  All things considered, The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago proves to be, again, a recording that will appeal to any of Fall Out Boy’s fans.

Fall Out Boy’s new live recording The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago is a work that will appeal to any of the veteran pop punk band’s fans.  It is not the band’s first live recording by any means.  Regardless, it will appeal to said fans.  That is due in part to the concert’s set list.  The 17-song set list pulls from all six of the band’s current albums.  American Beauty/American Psycho receives the most nods with five songs.  The band’s 2013 album Save Rock and Roll comes in second with four of its songs featured in the show’s set list.  Infinity on High (2007) comes in third with three songs featured.  From Under A Cork Tree also sees three of its songs included in the set list while Folie a Deux is represented by two songs and Take This To Your Grave with one song.  Needless to say, the fact that the band pulled from each of its current albums makes this concert a career-spanning show for the band.  That being the case, it becomes clear why the concert’s set list is so important to its overall presentation.

The set list presented in Fall Out Boy’s latest live recording is in itself a key piece of the recording’s presentation.  The set list features songs from each of the band’s current albums.  That makes it for all intents and purposes a career-spanning performance, even with the band’s career being far from over.  While the show’s set list is clearly an important piece of its presentation, it is just one of the elements that should be noted in examining the concert’s presentation.  The band’s performance of the show’s set list is just as important to note in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  The band’s members—Pete Went (bass, vocals), Patrick Stump (guitar, vocals), Joseph Trohman (guitar, vocals) and Andrew Hurley (drums)—have full run of the massive stage.  While they do make use of its wide open space at times, it seems that they opt to use their energies for their performances rather than running around the stage.  Audiences will appreciate that attention to the performance.  That is because it shows through in each song.  The band gives its all in each song.  The end result is that it will pull in home viewers just as much as it did the concert’s attendees.  It should be noted that even in the concert’s semi-acoustic section the band spends plenty of time interacting with the audience between songs in a sort of Storytellers (for anyone who remembers that VH1 program) setting.  It serves to strengthen the band’s connection with audiences even more.  That includes audiences at home, too.  The solid connection that is made between Fall Out Boy’s band members and the band’s audiences translates very well to audiences.  It makes the viewing experience all the more enjoyable for the band’s fans at home, and is still not the last of the recording’s key elements.  The concert’s packaging is just as important to note as its set list and the band’s performance thereof.

The career-spanning set list presented in Fall Out Boy’s new live recording and the band’s performance thereof are both key the this recording’s overall presentation.  They are not its only important elements.  The recording’s packaging is an important piece of the recording’s overall presentation, too.  Much like so many of Eagle Rock Entertainment’s other live recordings released this year, this recording has been released in a standard package that will allow it to fit on any fan’s CD rack.  That is even with the recording being presented on separate DVD and Blu-ray platform.  This is important to note because of its ergonomic value.  The concert being packaged in a standard CD packaging—despite being presented on DVD and Blu-ray—saves space on fans’ DVD and BD racks.  Being a very thin package, it also saves space on CD racks, too.  So that end, the recording’s packaging may not seem important on the surface, but ultimately proves to be just as important as the recording’s set list and the band’s performance thereof.  It is just important in a different way.  Interestingly enough, it still is not the last of the recording’s key elements.  The concert’s video and sound mix (its production values) and the band’s simple stage setup could also be discussed in examining this recording’s overall presentation.  Each element is clearly important in its own right.  All things considered, they show in whole why The Boys Of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago is a recording that any of Fall Out Boy’s fans will appreciate.

Fall Out Boy’s latest live recording The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago is a recording that any Fall Out Boy fan will appreciate.  Fans will appreciate this recording for a number of reasons beginning with the concert’s set list.  The set list features songs from each of the band’s current albums.  While the band’s career is likely far from over, this approach still technically makes the set list a career-spanning set.  The band’s performance is just as important to note as the concert’s set list.  That is due to the fact that the band’s members don’t run around the stage unnecessarily.  Rather, they use their performances of the show’s set list to entertain audiences.  That attention to its performance of each song improves the band members’ endurance and thus enhances each song’s performance even more.  Those enhanced performances in turn make the band’s performance that much more engaging for fans.  The recording’s packaging, production values and the band’s simple stage setup combine to round out the recording’s most important elements. Each element is obviously important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they show why The Boys of Zummer Tour: Live in Chicago is, once more, a recording that any Fall Out Boy fan will appreciate.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this recording is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:










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Every Anthrax Fan Will Want Band’s New “Disease”

Courtesy: Island Records

Courtesy: Island Records

Early this week veteran metal act Anthrax announced the name and release date for its upcoming eleventh full-length studio recording. The album, For All Kings will be released Friday, February 26th, 2016. Considering that as of next Sunday, November will be halfway wrapped, it’s safe to say that February 26th is not that far off. While fans wait for the big day, Anthrax is giving audiences a special treat to tide them over. The treat in question is the re-issue of the band’s 182 sophomore album Spreading the Disease. The album will be released Friday, November 20th via Island Records. Whether or not fans already own this classic collection of songs, its new re-issue proves to be a great addition to the music library of any of the band’s fans. The main reason for that is its overall presentation. The band didn’t just phone it in per se and re-issue the original album and call it done. Along with the original album it features a complete concert that spans seventeen songs and runs for a total of an hour and sixteen minutes. This will be discussed at more length shortly. Speaking of the concert, its set list is just as worth mention in the overall experience. Last but not least worth noting is the concert’s audio mix. Considering that the concert was originally recorded in 1984 as part of the band’s tour in support of the then upcoming album, the audio quality in this recording stands well apart from so many other recordings. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Rather it makes the overall listening experience of this concert all the more interesting. In turn it makes the whole of Spreading The Disease’s re-issue that much more worth the listen among the band’s fans. All things considered, Anthrax’s new re-issue of its seminal 1985 album Spreading the Disease is one of the best of this year’s music re-issues.

Anthrax’s re-issued 1985 sophomore album Spreading the Disease is one of the best of this year’s music re-issues. The central reason for such honor is that it isn’t just another music re-issue. In other words, the band didn’t just simply re-issue the album and call it done. Instead it re-issued the album alongside a complete live performance recorded in 1984 ahead of the album’s original release. On the surface that might not be saying much. But in the grand scheme of things, it is in fact quite important to the record’s presentation here. The album itself was part of the movement of the rock world at the time away from the glam and hair bands that had dominated the rock community for the first half of the decade. Not only that but its brand of thrash separated it clearly from its counterparts on the west coast. It opted for substance instead of just speed and shredding. That is evident throughout the course of the album’s eleven tracks (nine of which come from the album’s original release and two that are bonuses) and forty-eight minute run time beginning with the Metallica style opener ‘A.I.R.’ ‘Medusa,’ ‘Lone Justice,’ and ‘The Enemy’ each exemplify that difference from the west coast thrash sound just as much. And they are not the only examples that could be cited as examples either. The combination of all ten tracks paints a vivid picture not only of Anthrax’s roots but those of so much of today’s thrash metal. In simple terms, it serves not only as a source of musical entertainment but as an important piece of music history, too. And it is just one part of the reissue’s whole that makes the album’s presentation so important. The bonus concert included with the record is just as important to the package’s presentation as the album itself.

The presentation of Spreading the Disease by itself is an important part of this album’s re-issue. It is just one part of what makes the album’s presentation so important to its overall listening experience. The bonus content included with the record’s re-issue is just as important to the package’s presentation as the album. The bonus material in question includes an eight-song performance that was originally recorded in 1987 during a performance by the band at Sun Plaza in Tokyo and nine isolated tracks. The bonus live material boasts songs from both Spreading the Disease and the band’s 1984 debut album Fistful of Steel. That element will be discussed shortly. What is truly important in regards to the concert’s recording is the fact that it displays the band in its younger days. This is especially important considering that front man Joey Belladonna and bassist Frank Bello had joined the band only three years prior to the concert. That means that Spreading The Disease marked the first time that the pair had recorded with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante and at the time of the concert’s recording the group had obviously not been together all that long. Even having not been together but so long one would not know it from the band’s stage presence in the featured live performance. it is just one element of the bonus disc that makes this re-issue such a worthwhile addition to any Anthrax fan’s home music library. The bonus isolated tracks add even more enjoyment to the package’s overall presentation. That is because they give the featured songs (most of which were recorded in the sessions for Spreading the Disease) a whole new identity. They give fans a glimpse into the creative process at the time and in turn make the reissue’s overall listening experience even more interesting for fans. The combination of the live elements and studio elements together makes the reissue’s bonus disc a bonus in both name in content. They still are hardly all that should be noted in regards to the reissue’s overall presentation that makes it enjoyable for fans. The live songs included in the package’s bonus disc are just as important to the package’s presentation.

The overall collected bonus material featured in Spreading the Disease’s bonus disc is important in its own right to the reissue’s overall packaging. And while they are hugely important altogether, both elements in themselves play their own important role. Having noted the importance of the bonus disc’s featured isolated tracks the natural progression is to examine the featured live performance also included in the bonus disc. The live performance included in the bonus disc was originally recorded in 1987, three years after the original release of Spreading the Disease. And of its eight total tracks, five of those tracks were lifted from Spreading The Disease. The remaining three were lifted from the band’s 1984 debut record Fistful of Metal. The live performance paints a clear picture of the band both musically and personally at the time of the concert’s recording. In comparison to the band’s live show today it shows how far the band has come since that recording and how much its members have grown since then.

The set list featured in the live section of Spreading The Disease’s bonus disc is in itself an important portion of the disc and the performance. It is not the only aspect of the performance that should be noted however. The concert’s audio mix is just as important to the whole of the recording as the set list. What makes the audio mix so important is that unlike so many of today’s live recordings this recording’s audio mix sounds raw. It doesn’t have that, re-mastered, spit-shined sound of said recordings. Listeners will actually feel in listening to this performance like they are really there with the people who were there at the show’s original recording. This is obvious in the open, airy sound presented from beginning to end. Anyone that has ever been to a live concert in person knows exactly what that sounds like. It is different from when one hears it on disc. Even with that noticeably truer live sound, the concert still sounds surprisingly impressive. It never sounds like any of the band members are way off in the distance but that they are right up on stage. It makes for a truly interesting experience for audiences. Together with the concert’s featured set list, the performance in whole makes for a wonderful addition to Spreading The Disease’s new re-issue. The concert in whole, coupled with the album’s original presentation (and its bonus tracks), makes Spreading The Disease a great addition to any metal purist’s music library. Of course for all of the positives offered by the reissue’s noted elements one would be remiss to ignore the isolated tracks included in the presentation’s bonus disc. They play just as important of a role in the overall presentation as the album, its bonus tracks, and the bonus live recording included in the bonus disc.

Spreading The Disease’s full album presentation and its bonus tracks give plenty of reason for this re-issue to be added to any metal and rock purist’s home music library. The bonus concert gives those audiences even more reason to purchase this package. That is because it acts–together with the main album and its bonus tracks–as a complete look back at where Anthrax was then versus where it is now as a band. For all of their importance to the whole of this package, one would be remiss to ignore the isolated tracks included in the bonus disc alongside the concert. The isolated tracks add even more interest to said disc. That is because they give the featured songs new identities in whole. They also serve to give a glimpse into the work that went into bringing each song to life. From time to time, viewers get to see and hear behind-the-scenes featurettes on how bands’ albums come into being. The problem is that none of the noted featurettes give the kind of view as these isolated tracks. Rather they are typically short vignettes shot in guerilla style that do little if anything to illustrate the time and effort spent to create said albums. While the isolated tracks presented here are audio-only, they offer quite a bit more than so many of those “making of” featurettes included with so many of today’s albums. That being the case, the tracks featured here are quite the positive addition to Spreading The Disease in its new re-issue. And together with the bonus live recordings, the whole of the bonus disc proves to be a bonus in far more than just name. It is an extra that will not only entertain but enlighten fans regardless of their familiarity with Anthrax and its body of work. Together with the package’s main album and its bonus tracks, the bonus material included with the album makes Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease re-issue one of the best of this year’s music re-issues.

Anthrax’s Spreading The Disease reissue is one of the best of this year’s new music re-issues. That is because it doesn’t more than just present the original album and call it done. Anthrax, together with Island Records, has included a number of bonuses for audiences new and old alike. The main disc presents the original album and also includes a pair of bonus tracks for a total of eleven tracks. Along with the main album, the two have also included a bonus disc that is indeed a bonus in every sense of the word. It features an eight-song set recorded during the band’s 1987 tour of Asia and nine isolated tracks recorded in studio that display in-depth the work put into bringing Spreading the Disease to life. The bonus live set adds its own share of positives to the whole of the presentation. Each of the elements in their own right make Spreading the Disease’s new re-issue well worth the listen by any metal purist and Anthrax fan alike. Together with the package’s main disc the whole of this package makes it one of the best of this year’s crop of music re-issues. Spreading The Disease will be available in stores and online on Friday, November 20th. More information on this upcoming release is available online now along with all the latest updates on the band’s next new album and all of the band’s latest news at:




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McDermott Discusses Upcoming Hendrix LP

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Bob Merlis/M.f.h./Experience Hendrix, LLC/Legacy Recordings

Legacy Recordings will release the brand new Jimi Hendrix rarities album, People, Hell and Angels on Tuesday, March 5th.  The anticipation is building over this upcoming compilation of previously unreleased songs.  Now thanks to writer Joe Bosso, audiences are able to get a glimpse into each song on the new LP.  Bosso—who previously served as editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine and ex VP of A&R at Island Records–sat down with the album’s co-producer John McDermott and let him discuss the story behind each track in depth.  The following is what McDermott had to say about each song.  It comes courtesy of Mr. Bosso.

On 5 March, Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings releases People, Hell And Angels, a new collection of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix recordings culled from sessions between early 1968 and late ’69, which saw the guitarist assuming the producer role and experimenting with different groups of musicians outside of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience trio.

“It’s a really exciting and interesting album,” says John McDermott, who co-produced the set with Eddie Kramer and Janie Hendrix. “The idea on Valleys Of Neptune was to show the end of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience, and with People, Hell And Angels, we moved the timeline up some. We looked at the remaining material, and the idea was to fill in the portrait as best we could.”

The recordings on People, Hell And Angels feature the first-ever studio session by the Band Of Gypsys, along with the group that Hendrix assembled for Woodstock, and also it showcases collaborations with old friends and new friends. “He was widening the net,” says McDermott. “Once the Experience were no longer going to be an effective recording unit, he got Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, as well as additional percussion and Larry Lee on additional guitar. And there’s a track where his friend Stephen Stills bass. There’s experimentation, but it’s not in a loose, unformed way; Jimi was working with really compelling song structures, and he was playing great, too.”

During this period, Hendrix worked at various facilities – New York’s Record Plant, Hit Factory and Sound Center, along with the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama – and with the exception of the track Somewhere, everything was recorded 16-track onto two-inch tape. “They were mainly Scotch tapes, and they were great shape,” says McDermott. “Jimi was fortunate in that he was working at a time before tape got thinner. We didn’t have to do any baking to the recordings. Everything held up beautifully.”

Hendrix’s last official album with the Experience was 1968’s Electric Ladyland, and the tracks on People, Hell And Angels offer fascinating insights as to the musical direction he was entertaining on his planned double album First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. “Jimi was working with friends who shared a common language with him,” says McDermott. “To be able to say to people who knew Elmore James, ‘I want to get an entirely different beat to this. I want to take this somewhere new. Here’s where we’re going’ – that was exciting for him. Everybody fell right in and tore into the music.

“What’s fascinating about Jimi is that one week of his felt like a year for other artists. There was so much creativity and so many possibilities. He was really looking to challenge himself. When he had an idea, he chased it fearlessly.”

Earth Blues


     “This harks back to that first May 1969 session. It was one of the songs that Jimi showcased to Buddy and Billy. While they didn’t get it then, they certainly had an interesting handle on it. When things geared up in December of that year for 

      the Band Of Gypsys shows, this is one of the tracks that was not only in the set, but Jimi recorded it in the studio, as well.


“What’s really interesting about this one is that, unlike the version now on First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and previously on Rainbow Bridge, it shows off the stripped-down funk, without the Ronettes and a lot of the extra guitar things that were overdubbed by Jimi later. It’s a separate take entirely, and he’s got the drum break in it, which is really cool. It’s a different approach.

“There was a shared understanding between Billy and Buddy, and that made it really easy for Jimi to work with them. As great as Noel became as a bassist, I just think that the camaraderie that Jimi and Billy had was special. They worked on material before they got into the studio in ways that Jimi and Noel never did. They got together in hotel rooms or in Jimi’s apartment – they enjoyed playing together. By ’68, ’69, Jimi’s relationship with Noel was more professional.”


“It’s really Jimi and Buddy Miles, and then Stephen Stills joins them on bass, and it starts to come together. It’s a great track with something of a strange history: It was part of the Crash Landing album, but a different take of the song was used on that. To us, this is the version that has all the right pieces. It’s got the original instrumentation and none of the posthumous overdubbing.

“It’s surprising to me that Somewhere was never considered for Electric Ladyland. I don’t know whether that was because Jimi recorded it without Chas Chandler being there to supervise it – that could have been an issue. Like My Friend, it’s a really interesting look at Jimi when he was just starting to step outside the original three-man band.

“Stephen Stills was good friends with Jimi, and he was friends with Buddy, as well, so it was a great mix of personalities. Stephen acquitted himself well on the bass. I think this track was really about Jimi taking advantage of the skills his friends had and tapping into that. Today, it’s nothing to invite your friends to the studio and have them play on a track – people do it all the time, guest starring on cuts and all that. Back then, it didn’t happen so much. The Beatles, The Stones – with rare exceptions, they always kept the core.”


Hear My Train A Comin’


“One of the highlights of the record. It’s Jimi sharing a common language with Billy and Buddy. All three of them did the chitlin’ circuit together. Both this song and Bleeding Heart were right in everybody’s wheelhouse.

“Jimi’s first love was the blues, but unlike his contemporaries – Clapton or Beck or some others – who were covering blues songs that they had heard on records, he was writing new, original blues and taking it to the next level. That’s what this is – a phenomenal take on a song that he had really tried to get right with the Experience, but hadn’t been able to do it to his liking.

“Billy and Buddy understood how to set the tempo. If you listen to this recording, they play it the same way as they did on the Live At The Fillmore East album. They knew intuitively that the song should have a great, menacing groove; it shouldn’t be old-school, old-tempo, four-bar stuff. They wanted it to have a totally different feel, and that’s what makes it exciting.”


Bleeding Heart

“The Elmore James song. Jimi loved Elmore, of course, and he tried this one many different ways: as a 12-bar, slow, extended version with the Experience; as a version that’s on Valleys Of Neptune with Billy Cox and the Cherry People, which is really cool – a totally different vibe. He worked with it a lot.

“What’s so cool about this track is that, prior to cutting it again, he told Buddy and Billy, ‘I want to drive a whole different beat.’ Again, it’s Jimi reinterpreting the blues. Yes, there’s homage there, but he’s putting his imprint on it. He had a way about him in that, when he did a cover, be it All Along The Watchtower, Sgt. Pepper or Like A Rolling Stone, it became a Jimi Hendrix tune. This is a fresh take.” 

Let Me Move You


“Jimi was reaching back to old friends, including Lonnie Youngblood, and he had this idea to take what they used to do, when Jimi was a sideman for Lonnie, and bring it into the future. He was able to be free not only with his guitar part but with the tone and the attack, as well. None of that stuff had to be muted like it was going to be a little R&B recording; instead, it was a Jimi Hendrix recording.

“Given that, I think everybody stepped up. It’s a very exciting, energetic cut. Jimi put everything he had into it. If you compare it to some of the things he had done with Lonnie three years earlier, it’s like night and day.

“Guitar players should take note of him comping the changes. He really understood the value of rhythm guitar; that you really have to connect to an arrangement and bring something to it, not just for a 16-bar solo but throughout the song. He’s all over it.

“It’s really cool to hear Jimi play off Lonnie’s saxophone, and what’s especially interesting is to hear how he can add but not trample.”



“What I love about this version of Izabella is that it showcases the promise of the Woodstock band. I think what Jimi saw in that, and having somebody like Larry Lee, whom he had played with on the chitlin’ circuit, was adding that rhythm guitar and connecting with it. The band had played this song two weeks earlier at Woodstock, and it came off very well. Jimi wanted to cut it in the studio while it was still fresh.

“The solo is just fantastic – absolutely scorching. Eddie Kramer and I heard it in ’95 when we were going through the tape library, and we said, ‘You know what? When the time comes, there will be a place for that.’ It’s amazing.”

Easy Blues

“Easy Blues is a favorite. There was an edited version that came out as part of Nine To The Universe, and we’ve had a lot of requests for the extended track. It really fits here because it’s from the same sessions, and it’s the same instrumentation, the same players. Contextually, we felt that this was the place to showcase the longer extract.

“It’s right in Mitch’s pocket – he plays very, very well on this. The additional percussion, the ability for everybody to add to what Jimi was doing instead of him having to carry the weight all the time – there’s a lot here, and you can hear why Jimi felt that this band had a lot of potential. It’s a shame that it wasn’t able to grow into something, but cuts like this sound great.”

Crash Landing


“Obviously, it was a part of the Crash Landing album. We just felt that anything that had been tinkered with should be heard in its original form. This is what Jimi was actually doing with the players, and it’s really good. There was never any need for any of that overdubbing that had gone on in ’75.

“Anybody who hears this will recognize it as a precursor of Freedom, but it still stands on its own. Jimi’s playing is great, the time signatures are unique, and Billy Cox, in one of his first sessions, is terrific. You can kind of get a sense for some of the things Billy would be doing going forward. He cemented the bottom in a way that Noel didn’t.

“There is a keyboard player on the track – somebody’s on B3 – but we don’t know who it was. They cut it all live. The session was tough for Jimi because he was struggling to get the guy to play what he wanted. A more sympathetic player like Steve Winwood might have been able to take it our further, but this is what Jimi had on this particular day.”

Inside Out


“A cool track. It starts to show the concept of Jimi no longer having to work with the three-man band. Actually, it’s him looking at a really unusual way of recording, where he and Mitch would work without a bass player. Jimi would overdub the bass.

“When you listen to a track as complex as this, that’s almost hard to believe. Mitch wasn’t a straight-ahead kind of drummer like Buddy Miles. While he played in time, he would certainly add a lot of amazing accents and techniques. Yet Jimi was able to pull everything off, and as a bass player he was fabulous.

“He and Eddie Kramer worked on that great Leslie guitar sound. Ezy Rider was such an important riff in his head – he doesn’t yet have it quite together, but here he’s blending it with kind of what he did with Tax Free, and that’s what makes it so interesting.”

Hey Gypsy Boy


“The precursor of Hey Baby from the Rising Sun album. Again, it’s one of Jimi’s first recordings with Buddy Miles. It shows the direction moving out of the Experience, and it would be a key part of Jimi’s set throughout 1970 and, of course, as the great version that’s on First Rays.”

Mojo Man


“A very cool track. It was cut at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, which was the hottest R&B studio at the time, but Jimi, just by making his additions, turned it into something that those guys never could have put together. His whole approach elevates it beyond what was then contemporary R&B.

“The groove of the Fame track – James Booker on piano – is fantastic. There was some amazing talent in the room. But what Jimi brought to it really speaks to what he could do, not only as a guitar player but as a producer, as well.”

Villanova Junction Blues


“The Woodstock version with Band Of Gypsys is so ingrained in people’s minds, but here is Jimi at the very front of it, kind of saying, ‘OK, I’ve got something really great, but I have to develop it.’

“We thought it was a sweet way to bring the record to a close. Like a lot of great songs in the library, it’s one that held a lot of promise, but of course, he wasn’t able to finish it.”

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