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First Listen: Jimi Hendrix, 'People, Hell And Angels'

February 27, 201310:30 PM

Jimi Hendrix's new album, People, Hell and Angels, comes out March 5.

Brian T. Colvil/Courtesy of the artist

Given that Jimi Hendrix has been dead for more than four decades, the visionary guitarist has remained awfully prolific: He left behind a formidable tape library, full of alternate takes, discarded ideas and collaborations of varying quality, and those materials have been mined in the making of far more albums and compilations than he churned out during his 27 years. That one such collection would produce a chart-topping single in 2013 is a testament to Hendrix's enduring appeal, not to mention technological advancements and the eternal struggle to maximize the commercial clout of a lucrative catalog.

Thankfully, the newest collection of Hendrixiana (titled People, Hell and Angels, out March 5) is a suitable addition to the guitar giant's large posthumous output, drawn from recordings he'd made between 1968 and 1970 with a variety of co-conspirators. (Stephen Stills even turns up to play bass in "Somewhere.") With producers and preservationists taking great pain to ensure that listeners never notice their work, these polished-up and previously unreleased recordings all shine a spotlight on Hendrix's considerable charisma; it's no fluke that "Somewhere" has already reached an audience well beyond diehards.

By definition, People, Hell and Angels can't advance Hendrix's legacy beyond where it already stood; we'll never hear the innovations, hairpin turns and creative dead ends he'd have followed had he lived to celebrate his 70th birthday at the end of this year. But the collection does do a fine job of preserving Hendrix's work in amber, while still polishing it up as good as new.

Jimi Hendrix, 'People, Hell And Angels'

Cover for People, Hell and Angels

Earth Blues

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Somewhere

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Hear My Train A Comin'

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Bleeding Heart

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Let Me Move You

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Izabella

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Easy Blues

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Crash Landing

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Inside Out

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Hey Gypsy Boy

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Mojo Man

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

Villanova Junction Blues

  • Artist: Jimi Hendrix
  • Album: People, Hell and Angels

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i'm a huge hendrix fan but, come on, how many times are they gonna repackage the same damn songs?

these are not 'unreleased recordings', just remastered again. and again. and again....

all about the $$$

Money grab or not, I like it. Might not spend big $ on it, but undeniably serious mojo from that man's fingertips. Thanks for posting this Ted.

I seldom buy brand new cd's (NZ$30-50 for fresh albums, sheesh!) but this time I fear I may have to buy this one over the counter. There is the usual re-re-re-mastering you'd expect from The Hendrix Machine, but at the end of the day, Jimi was a visionary guitar god who charted the way ahead for the rest of us. Anything released that isn't Greatest Hits has to be good.

I'm listening to it right now, and while I agree the tracks are NOT as new and unreleased as the hype would have us believe

it certainly sounds good to my old ears.  Came packaged with a very nice magazine here in the UK which was a real bonus, you could say the most comprehensive sleeve liner notes ever ;o)

Midge

after a little googling managed to procure the album. it is indeed excellent quality with superb playing throughout.

but i wouldn't buy it - already got all the tracks on it many times over:)

It is really a nice set of songs for those who don't have it.  Never was a Post experience fan and never thought much of most of the Drumming this album, but it shows a real transition and shows his dark side, at least the side of himself that lent itself to the traditional blues, and that, he was great at.  I bought the album.

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