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Hendrix, Jimi -  "Experience"  Volume Two (LP)

Hendrix, Jimi - "Experience" Volume Two (LP)

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Genre: rock
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title:  More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience" Volume Two
Company: Ember
Catalog: NR 5061
Year: 1973
Country: Seattle, Washington
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: UK pressing; gatefold sleeve
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6214
Price: $10.00

So, I'm simply not a big enough Hendrix fan to care whether these tracks were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall on February 18th, 1969, or February 24th, 1969 (the liner notes claim the former, the latter is the date attributed to the performances by Hendrix scholars). Regardless of which date you subscribe to, these were among the final performances played by Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding an The Experience. Anyhow, if you can get over the hideous artwork and the bizarre title (officially "More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience" Volume Two") these seven tracks proved surprisingly impressive. Yeah, the sound quality wasn't particularly inspiring, but Hendrix sounded good throughout, turning in some dynamic performances on 'Fire' and 'Purple'. The two 'new' tracks Room Full of Mirrors'' and 'Bleeding Heart' were mildly interesting, but hardly essential to the casual fan. I will say that seeing the film clips for some of these performances (I've provided YouTube links below), make them even more impressive.

- I've always thought 'Little Ivey' was one of Hendrix's prettiest compositions and on this version he keeps it fairly simply and focused. A wonderful example of how commercial Hendrix and company could be. rating: **** stars
- I don't know how much post production work went into these tapes (I suspect little, or none), but this live version of 'Voodoo Chile' was simply killer. Hendrix the singer seldom sounded as good and you'd be hard pressed to find a better blues-tribute song. To my ears it was almost as good as the studio jam version found on the "Electric Ladyland" album. Only complaint was that the song faded out just as it really started cooking. rating: **** stars
- The first real disappointment, to my ears 'Room Full of Mirrors' sounded like a throwaway jam, more than a full fledged song. It certainly wasn't very long, fading out just as Hendrix was starting to solo ... Charles Cross borrowed the song title for a Hendrix biography he penned. There are actually a couple of far superior versions including this one with a darker and fuller arrangement: rating: ** stars
- Sped up a bit and stripped of the famous harmony vocals, this version of 'Fire' took a little while to get use to, but ultimately acquitted itself with honors. You could hear Mitchell and Redding doing everything in their power to keep up with Hendrix. rating: **** stars
- In spite of some bursts of unintended feedback, the live take on 'Purple Haze' came off as another winner, though the transition into Chip Taylor's 'Wild Thing' was a bit abrupt and clumsy.  Another nice YouTube clip: rating: *** stars
- Stripped down to their garage rock core, The Experience seldom sounded as good as on the bruising 'Wild Thing'. That left you to wonder why the song faded out almost before it began. What the hell ... rating: *** stars
- I've always been puzzled by Hendrix-philes who rant and rave about Hendrix's blues roots. To my ears, much of his blues work was fairly dull, though this cover of Elmore James 'Bleeding Heart" (erroneously credited as a Hendrix original), was a bit better due in large part to the amazing sounds Hendrix managed to coax out of his Strat. Here's another YouTube clip from the concert: rating: *** stars 

Given Ember's reputation as a throwaway budget label, this was far better than I expected.

"More Titles from the Original Sound Track of the Feature Length Motion Picture "Experience" Volume Two" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Little Ivey
2.) Voodoo Chile (Jimi Hendrix) - 
3.) Room Full of Mirrors (Jimi Hendrix) - 

(side 2)
1.) Fire (Jimi Hendrix) - 
2.) Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix) - 
3.) Wild Thing (Taylor) - 
4.) Bleeding Heart (Jimi Hendrix) - 
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